Psalm 30:12 "That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever."
Last week was Thanksgiving and we as a family had quite a bit to be thankful for, but I felt extra thankful. In fact, I felt overwhelmingly blessed. While many might believe themselves to be fortunate, I got to cross something off of my list. Many who read this blog are aware that I was diagnosed with Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) when I was 21. This disease is genetic, but never passed on by males (the thankfulness that this disease ends with me regarding my own offspring is also endless). It has affected me in very odd ways including rolling black outs of my vision, days of complete loss of vision, a loss of peripheral vision, a definitive decrease in my night vision, and many more. When the doctors officially diagnosed me, they told me that it was likely that I would go blind and that I should be blind already. In fact, my optic nerve is additionally weakened and further destroyed by increases in physical and emotional stress, alcohol use, and smoking (all the more reason to continue on in my Baptist ways and trust God to take care of my worries). Why did I share all of this with you? I try to keep a great deal of my life private. It's actually not that I am opposed to sharing, I just tend to keep some of the more intimate details of my life to myself because people often become fixated on flaws and weaknesses in an individual and I believe God has made me exactly how He set out to. I am not flawed, but designed and created with purpose and intention. Why share it now? Because I am undeniably moved and my God deserves glory and thanks. When I found out that I was blessed in a different way than others, I began to think of the things I would miss seeing if I went blind that day. Every day from there on out would be a gift of sight, so what would be important to see? I made a mental list of all of the things that were wishes and prayers of mine to see before I went blind (should God choose to send me that way). The top two things on my list were that I could see my bride on our wedding day (though I hadn't even begun to know who she would be at the time) and that I would see my first child born. I'll never forget how emotional a day it was to see Lindsey, my beloved wife, walking down the aisle towards me in all of the radiance and grace that God has blessed her with. I honestly did not think much could match that day, but the birth of my daughter has come very close. While many fathers have spoken to me about queasiness, fainting, and being disgusted at the time of delivery, I was in awe and literally waiting on pins and needles. Every remarkable push Lindsey made, God was using my wife to bring my prayers closer and closer to fruition. With each "I'm so proud of you! Keep pushing!" to Linds, a silent prayer was said that God would give me 10 more seconds...then another ten seconds...until there she was. God had faithfully answered another prayer and let me see, hold, and watch in amazement as my little miracle entered this world and God granted me the miracle of sight, and what I saw has left me captured. I quoted Psalm 30 above because the more I thought of how our Lord Jesus has given me this gift, the more it was evident to me that I could not be silent about my gift, God's faithfulness, and answered prayers. Thanks for reading and may all glory go to our mighty God, who still hears and still answers his children's cries.