Disability & Accessibility, Diversity, Ministry, Pastoral Life, Preaching, Prayers, and Devotions, Women in Ministry, Writing

Eye Patched & Proud: Hope for the Broken is Now Available from Touch Point Press

Amazon Author Page: Rev. Rebecca L. Holland

My name is Rev. Rebecca L. Holland. I am a visually impaired pastor and author. I would just like to take a moment to share my recent joy with you, as well as some words of encouragement.

Image shows Rev. Rebecca at the pulpit. Her right eye is covered by an eye patch.

My prayer concern is that I am still in the middle of a long and arduous recovery from my most recent eye surgery; however, my joy is that in the middle of my recovery, my third book was released. Although I have written two books previously, this is the first time I have been accepted by a publisher. I was very happy to work with Touch Point Faith, a division of Touch Point Press! The sales ranks on Amazon change quickly, but at one point, HOPE FOR THE BROKEN: Using Writing to Find God’s Grace ranked as a #1 Best Selling New Release in the Category of Methdodism. (affiliate link) If you ever wanted to write a book, I encourage you to chase your dream. If I can do it, so can you!

Image shows the cover of the book next to an orange number one new release sticker.

I was born with a complicated medical condition that caused me to lose a significant amount of vision by the time I was four years old. I’ve had so many eye surgeries that I have lost count. I think it is somewhere between fifteen and seventeen. At the end of January, I was admitted to Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia for an eye infection and for emergency surgery. I needed a tube shunt revision and patch graft. A tube in my eye had become exposed and infected.

The recovery from surgery has been brutally painful. I think part of the reason the pain was so extreme this time was because I have had so many previous operations. After a certain point, the tissue becomes tender and fragile. I know that I have a significant buildup of scar tissue.

It was important to me to take the minimum amount of time off of work. The church is not required to comply to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Although my conference and my congregations have always been supportive, I feel an intense pressure to prove that a visually impaired or blind pastor can be just as effective as one who is fully sighted.

When I returned to the pulpit, I needed to wear an eye patch. The only way I could deal with the distracting pain of the stitches in my right eye was to cover it with a patch. The patches I used were latex free and covered the eye like a band aid. I put ointment in the eye before each church service on Sunday mornings and then patched the eye to keep out the light (I was very photosensitive). The patch also helped to protect the sensitive eye from the light.

In this image, Rev. Rebecca wears green vestments and preaches. She wears an eye patch. She writes her sermons and then memorizes them. This way of preaching allows her to preach even on days when her vision is blurry. It also allows for a dynamic preaching style, although it takes hours of preparation.

I served for two Sundays and Ash Wednesday with an eye patch. At first I was embarrassed. I was afraid that no one would be able to concentrate on what I was saying. I was worried they would be too distracted by the patch. However, as each week passed, I came to realize that preaching with an eye patch could be a good thing.

I was reminded that he Apostle Paul himself had a thorn in his flesh. I hoped that perhaps people would see me and be inspired to pursue ministry, even if they have a disability. Despite my physical discomfort, it was my hope I could serve as an example that God can use all of us, no matter what, to do God’s work.

Life comes with a great deal of pain, but it also has a great deal of joy. In the gospel reading we read today in church, Christ reminded all of us that the goal of life is not to avoid suffering. We all must be willing to take up our cross and follow Christ (Mark 8:31-38).

As Christians, we are not promised lives that are pain free. Instead, we are promised that God will always be with us. God loves us, and even when we suffer, God knows how we feel. There is hope, even in the darkest times.

The image shows the book sitting on a typewriter. The cover has a purple flower and the typewriter is black.

It seems appropriate that, after three years in the making, my third book, HOPE FOR THE BROKEN: Using Writing to Find God’s Grace, was released this past week from Touch Point Press! I’m so excited about the positive reception this book has received. When I held this little book in my hands, I was reminded that with God, nothing is impossible. Even in our darkest time, there is still the light of Christ.

If you would like to know more about HOPE FOR THE BROKEN, please continue reading!

My new book Hope for the Broken: Using Writing to Find God’s Grace is now available from Touch Point Press! It is available in large print paperback or on Kindle!

About Hope for the Broken: Using Writing to Find God’s Grace

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted… to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning.” –Isaiah 61:1-3, NIV

Rebecca was no stranger to adversity. Marked as different from an early age by her visual disability and half-Filipino heritage, she tried her best to bury herself in the pages of a book. For years, she was able to find solace in stories, until an ill-fated battle with her own personal Goliath left her with a shattered heart and broken dreams.

Rebecca found herself at the darkest point in her life. All she knew was that she needed to finish school and find work so that she could continue to afford the expensive medicines that maintained what remained of her precious eyesight.

During the darkest point in her life, a miraculous encounter with God gave her a new hope and a new purpose. Rebecca accepted the call to ministry in the United Methodist Church, and since then, her life has never been the same.

By writing just fifteen minutes a day, you can find God’s comfort and spiritual healing for your own life!

Redeemed by the gift of God’s grace, Rebecca found her own “happy ending.” In this book, Rebecca helps the reader to use the art of writing to find that same sense of purpose. It includes:

-Instructions to help you create your own Writer’s Notebook
-Weekly Bible verses and prayers
-Daily writing prompts
-Exercises to help the reader connect to God
-Excerpts from Rebecca’s own spiritual journals and poems

God bound up the pieces of Rebecca’s heart and created something beautiful. Healing doesn’t always look like we expect. Journey with her as you find your own place in the biblical story and hope for your own life.


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