Devotions, Disability & Accessibility, Ministry, Pastoral Life

His Encouragement: Giving Thanks for Unexpected Healing

After unexpected good news from a cornea specialist, I want to take time to give thanks to God for an unexpected healing. I believe in the power of every day miracles.

Black words on a green background read, "His Encouragement: Words from Scripture to Strengthen Your Soul"

Bible Verse:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.

–Hebrews 12:1-2b, NIV

Giving Praise to God

Beckie gives jeff a hug. They are dressed in their sunday best and standing at the front of the church
A happy memory! Jeff preached his first sermon on Father’s Day

I keep thinking about this passage from Hebrews. I have experienced a great joy in my life and I want to take time to publicly acknowledge and thank God for His goodness and mercy.

This past summer, I started experiencing severe eye pain. I went to a local ophthalmologist and he diagnosed me with bullous keratopathy in my right eye, a disorder in which the cornea swells and causes blisters to form. These blisters then burst and reform. When these blisters burst, it is very painful. It felt like having a shard of glass stabbed into my eye.

I was grateful that the pain was episodic. It was not always constant, but when it was present, it was very distracting. It was a painful summer, but my glaucoma continued to do well and my IOP (interocular pressure) is the lowest its been in years.

After trying all sorts of things, include giving up coffee for several weeks (I thought it might be making the swelling worse. It wasn’t) and using Muro saline ointment, I still couldn’t get the pain under control. It came and went in very serious episodes.

Now, something truly wonderful has happened. About a week ago, Jeff took me to an appointment with a cornea specialist at Wills Eye. After a thorough examination, the doctor gave me some surprising news: he said that there were NO BLISTERS on my cornea! None!

The doctor told me that in the future if this happens again, I should come back and they will treat the blisters with an anterior stromal puncture. But for now, other than some swelling, my cornea looks good (albeit both my corneas are twice the thickness of a normal cornea).

A selfie of jeff and beckie standing on the bridge over the lake at Lakemont park
A happy memory! Jeff and I watched the sunset on the bridge at Lakemont park before watching the fireworks from our car.

Counting My Blessings

It has been a week and I have had NO episodes of severe pain. Other than my normal eye discomfort (a bit of dry eye and some burning from the glaucoma drops) I feel fabulous. I ran 7.13 miles on Labor Day and I can’t stop smiling.

I was preparing for terrible news and now I feel like I could run for miles and miles. I have so many questions. Did the first doctor get it wrong? Did I only have micro cysts or corneal abrasions as opposed to full blown bullous keratopathy? Will it come back some day? Or did I receive a small but truly great miracle?

I don’t know. I’m still processing everything. All I can do is give thanks to God, say a sincere prayer of gratitude for modern medicine, and enjoy the fall weather.

When I look back on this summer, I refuse to think of it as the “summer of bullous keratopathy”. I choose instead to count my blessings and think of it as the summer we made happy memories in spite of the pain and by the grace of God. I will recall this as the season in which I experienced God’s unexpected grace through a miraculous moment of surprise healing. I will focus on the good things instead of the past discomfort and I will not waste time worrying about what I will do if the blisters return.

In between painful episodes, Jeff and I still managed to make lots of happy memories. We are relatively young yet and only God knows what the future holds. We (hopefully) have our whole lives ahead of us. I plan to spend the fall focusing on my ministry, finally finishing that novel, and learning piano. I also plan to run a 10k in October.

Long distance running has taught me a lot about life and endurance: Just focus on running the mile you’re in. Don’t think about all the miles left to go or worry about how fast other people are running. Run your race and be grateful for how far you’ve come.

Jeff and beckie smile as they take a selfie on the carousel at Knoebels amusement park
A happy memory! Jeff and I on the grand Carousel at Knoebels Amusement Park

This post is part of the series, “His Encouragement: Thursday Thoughts to Strengthen Your Soul.” Every Thursday, a group of friends and fellow Christian writers join together to share the Bible verses that are encouraging us during the week. What scripture verse has been on your heart lately? Let me know in the comments below!

Please be sure to check out the other great bloggers involved in the His Encouragement weekly series! 

Trisha @ Joy of Reading

Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl

Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home

Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective

Becca @ The Becca Files

Jenny @ Author Jenny Lynn

Gina @ Stories By Gina

Andi @ Radiant Light

Leslie @ Words of Hope

Claudia @ By Claudia Mose

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