by Janet Perez Eckles
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:6 NASB
I sat at the kitchen counter, wrinkled tissue in hand. I thought I had no more tears to cry. But still, they flowed. With no warning, an incurable retinal disease had robbed my eyesight. I had sunk into a dark pit of gloom and desperation. With no treatment surgery or medication available, my hope had vanished along with the motivation to continue with life.
At 31, everything had turned upside down. Tormenting thoughts about my inability to care for my three-, five-, and seven-year-old sons kept me awake at night.
I dabbed my tears with the edge of my pillow case, and asked God for answers. I begged Him to heal my blindness and for a hint of hope to return.
He answered. He granted what was important. And He did so in an unexpected and a beautiful way.
One morning, I ran my fingertips along the side of the bed to find my way out of my bedroom. I followed the wall toward my three-year-old’s room. His whimper echoed in the hallway. I can’t find my puppy,” he said.
Once in his room, I extended my arms toward him, and kissed his chubby cheek. “We’ll find him.” I lifted his blanket and my fingers found the soft stuffed animal.
But finding a simple item didn’t compare to the needs my sons would have as they grew up. They needed a Mom who could see.
Lord, help us, I prayed.
God heard my cry. The day after that incident, Mom came to visit. She sat beside me on the couch. “This is what we’ll do,” she said. “I’ll move in with you.” She squeezed my hand with her thin fingers. “I’ll be your eyes,”
Her words caressed my aching heart, filling it with gratitude.
She left her comfortable condo and moved in a room in our home. With her loving flexibility, we established a routine. Years swept by. Her hair is now snow white, and at 90 lbs. and 4’9”, her love is as big as the city in which we live.
More than taking on some chores for the family, she taught me the value of selfless love.
She recently turned 91 and hasn’t lost the spark in her voice that exudes confidence in the Lord. It’s even more evident now, as we face the current circumstances that have shaken our world. Her mind is sharp, and her faith is strong. Her trust, peace and joy remain.
And what remains in my heart is the desire to give that same gift to my own sons. In the midst of adversity, I want to imitate my Mom, living out Philippians 4:6 (NASB) before them: “Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.”
My prayer has changed. Asking for a healing of my blindness isn’t my main priority anymore. I place these requests before the Lord instead:
Lord, grant me enough faith so my sons can see me praising God even when all falls apart. Help me to express gratitude for big and small things. Show me, Lord, how to erase fear and worry with my words that echo Your promises. Even when I cannot see tomorrow, will you show me how to embrace Your peace for today? And as my sons grow up and lead their own families, will You remind them life is not about seeing our surroundings, but about allowing others to see your love in us.
About the author: Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker, author and founder of J.C. Empowerment Ministries. Through her books and conference messages, she empowers thousands to overcome fear, conquer worry and live triumphantly.
Janet’s book, Hola, Happiness: Finding Joy by Dancing to the Melody of God’s Word is a brief Bible study to nudge you to the next level of triumph and joy. It is packed with deep reflections and answers from God’s Word. No matter what you face–disappointment, fear, heartache, shame, insecurity, sorrow–you will say “Hola” to happiness, peace, and the joy for which God created you.
Join the conversation: Is there someone in your life who has expressed love through their service?