Monday, September 27, 2004

Opening the Eyes of My Heart

Of all the awesome things that Jesus Christ has done in my life, what He did for me in July of 2002 will be one of the most memorable.

Ever since 5th grade, I had to wear glasses. I started getting bad headaches, and it was discovered that I was nearsighted. It wasn't very bad at first, but it slowly grew worse as I got older. I never liked glasses, but I had no choice but to wear them. I switched to contacts when I was in 10th grade, and even though I liked those a lot better, I still didn't like that I was dependant on them. Unlike some of my friends, I wasn't blind without them, but things in the distance were very fuzzy and the headaches would be horrible.

In January 2002, our Sunday school class was given the opportunity to go on a mission trip to England. Only ten to twelve would get to go, and almost instantly I felt like the Lord wanted me to go. So, I applied and was selected.

About a year prior, the Lord had been working on my heart regarding my career choice. I had received my Associates degree in 2000 in Graphic Design/Multimedia, but, to be honest, I had absolutely no passion for that line of work. I just knew that you could make a lot of money in that industry, but the Lord had other plans. Right after I got my degree, I started looking for a job, but there were none to be found. I remember praying one night and venting my frustration to God about the lack of job oppertunities, and suddenly, I felt the Holy Spirit ask me, "Wendy, what are you doing to advance My Kingdom?"

That stopped me in my tracks. He had cut straight to my heart. Advancing God's Kingdom had never entered my mind. I couldn't think of a single excuse. So, here I was with a degree in something I didn't want to do, and now I had no clue what God wanted me to do. I had only one choice. I asked God, "Ok, Lord, what do You want me to do?" He didn't answer me immediately, but by the end of the year I began to feel that He was calling me to be a missionary. I still don't know where He wants me to go, but I'm confident that when I'm ready, He'll let me know.

So, in Jauary 2002, when I was selected to go to England, I was very excited and looked forward to what God had planned for our trip.I began to pray for the trip, and I also prayed that God would show His power while we were there. Little did I know what He had in store.

Not long after I was selected, I began to feel even more frustrated about my eyes because as I contemplated going into foreign missions, I began to see my vision problem as a potential hinderance to my calling. One thought occurred to me:
What if the Lord calls me to be a missionary in the middle of a jungle in Africa? There's not gonna be a convenience store around the corner where I can get contact lense solution. What was I gonna do then?

Shortly afterwards, I remember hearing a sermon on the power of prayer and how our unbelief is one of the main hinderances of seeing the Lord's supernatural power in our lives. God immediately convicted me about my unbelief. "Why do you doubt Me?" I felt the Holy Spirit ask. "You can trust My Word. Believe without doubting. Ask and ye shall receive." So, I did. I searched the Scriptures, and what I found made my heart begin to swell with the faith that God really could heal my eyes, if it was His will.

So, everyday I prayed and ask Jesus to heal them, and I read, claimed, and believed the Scriptures of God's promises to His children:
"…by His wounds you were healed." (1 Peter 2:24 NASB)
"And Jesus said, 'Go on your way. Your faith has healed you.' And instantly the blind man could see!" (Mark 10:52 NTL)
"… He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases." (Matt. 8:17 NLT)
"Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart's desires." (Psalm 37:4 NLT)
"… No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly." (Psalm 84:11 NLT)

I'm sure my family thought I was insane. May of them actually told me so. My parents reminded me that they both had vision problems, so it was only natural that I would have vision problems too. They told me that was just the way I was and that I just had to live with it... but I refused to listen! After getting such a negative reaction from them about my prayer request, I told no one else. I just kept praying and kept reading God's Word. I believed God! I believed that if it was His will He could heal me. Nothing is impossible with Him. Nothing is beyond His power!

Seven months later... still no change.
In fact, the week before our trip, my vision got worse. I had to get stronger contacts. These, however, were unusually uncomfortable, like they were too big or something, but my work schedule was so crazy that by the time our departure came, I couldn't get replacements.

Well, our long flight overseas was very uneventful. When night came, I took out my contacts so I could sleep, and when the plane landed, we were all in such a rush that I decided to wait until we were settled on the ground before I would try to put my contacts back in. After claiming our baggage, we went to the train station, and while we were waiting for our train to arrive, I decided to put my contacts back in. I made sure to thoroughly clean my hands and my contacts, and then put them in. They had been in my eyes for less than five minutes when suddenly my eyes began to burn. It was a painful, stinging burning that I had no choice but to take out my contacts. I could only figure that they were somehow dirty despite my cleaning.

Our train arrived seconds later, and to make matters worse, my eyes turned red and blood-shot and then they began to weep profusely. Everyone in my group was concerned about me and asked if I was all right. I had no explanation except to blame the contacts. When my eyes did finally stop watering and the redness had gone, I decided to try to put my contacts in again. I cleaned them thoroughly, but the same thing occurred. My eyes burned horribly and began to water incessantly.

At this point I was at my wit's end. I didn't know what to do. I remember desperately praying, "Lord, please help me! What am I going to do? This is my only pair of contacts, and something is wrong with them. Lord, please help me!" After I prayed, I felt very tired, and with my eyes still watering, I curled up in my seat and went to sleep.

I had slept for quite a while, and when I awoke my eyes had stopped weeping. A lot of my friends were still sleeping, and so to pass the time, I looked out the window. Everything was going by so fast, but as we began to pass through a stretch of pasture, I began to notice that the green blurs in the distance were now recognizable. They were trees with leaves all over them. I could clearly see the trees in the distance and their details. I turned back around and realized that I could read a sign at the end of the train-car.

I sat there in shock, and suddenly doubt filled my mind. "This is impossible. This has got to be a fluke," a voice inside my head said. "This is too good to be true; it's got to be just temporary. Just wait. Soon the headaches will come."

I never said a word about my eyes when we reached our destination, and it was not until that night as I was getting ready for bed that I realized that the headaches had not come. I had gone an entire day without my contacts and no headaches. My vision had been restored. I could see! God had answered my prayers! I am healed, and since that day in 2002, I have never worn my contacts again.

Praise be to God! Thank you Father for hearing and answering your servant's prayers.
To You be the honor and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.


godschild said...

Open the eyes of my heart lord!!!! Sonicflood right? Hi my name is Deanna. God has also done amazing things in my life too. I'm so happy for you that your so young and close to God. It took me longer to truly learn of God's love, grace and mercy. I have always believed in God but in the last four years I have come to understand what it means to have a personal relationship with him. Now my life is forever changed.

My mother (who was also my best friend) died in June of 03 and if God had not of prepared me ahead of time, I would not have been able to hold myself and my family together. After that I was laid off in November 03 but I knew God was watching over me and had other plans so I didn't worry. Watching my mother die of breast cancer made me understand what is really important in this life on earth and losing my job gave me an opportunity to change directions. I want to make a difference and not just to exist. So now I'm 44, in college for the first time and want to be a respiratory therapist. I know I'll succeed because God is in my corner.

I also love Casting Crowns. Do you like the Newsboys? I saw them in concert and they really do carry the Holly Spirt with them.

May God continue to bless you!!!!

TJ said...

It's so great to hear about someone else with God in their life. I've always been brought up o be a faithful Christian but it was always just something I knew and not what I live by. Going through high school and now being in college I've come to understand more of how God works in my life as well as others. I always turn to him when I have difficulty and I always praise him for the blessing in my life. He truly is an Awesome God!

God Bless <><

Joey Chaney said...

It was great to hear about your experience. Im also close to God and so is my family I was raised around the christian faith. My Mother and other members of my family have grown very strong in there faith in the past couple of years.

Joey Chaney said...

Ok I started writting a comment and i guess i pushed something and it sent it and saved it before I was finished. So I will continue. I was saying my mother and other members of my family have grown in their faith in the past couple of years. I have been away from my family for long time traveling and living in other states and countries. This is the first time I have had a chance to be around my family. Im trying to get closer to God before I leave again. Your story was helpful and enlighting thank you.