Pictured (me right after my retina surgery. The captain hook eye patch is hiding a super lazy, black and yucky eye ball).
This is a reminder of the last part of my last blog.
Me: I came back to school after about a month of being on house arrest haha. Luckily I had a pretty awesome cousin who came to visit me everyday and some other great friends who would keep me company throughout the month of house arrest! When I got back to school I had to wear sunglasses a lot…sometimes even in class. My eye wasn’t used to all the sunlight and it was a pretty vulnerable little guy. As I said before the gas bubble was still in my eyesight so I had to start adjusting to that. I noticed that I couldn’t sit the same way I sat before because if my right eye was covered I wouldn’t be able to see anything. Make-up was out of the picture for a long time because I couldn’t close my right eye and see where I was swiping the mascara. My left eye was super lazy and looked black. As a teenage girl I wanted to look pretty, ya know…easy on the eyes and I felt far from it. I had to re learn volleyball. Tracking the ball was different and my peripheral wasn’t as good as it used to be. My first time back to playing volleyball was at a University of Georgia volleyball camp. I had to wear these awful, awful, awful goggles to protect my eye. However the problem was that these suckers would fog up every minute (luckily my dad noticed my frustration and let me take them off). So after this I went through the summer and had my last appointment with the doctor down at Duke where he told me that how my vision was at that appointment is how it was going to stay. This is how my vision was: the bubble was gone; my vision was blurry and wavy (like a funhouse mirror at a carnival). Obviously I wasn’t happy with this information but I sucked it up and went about my way. Not gonna lie I got used to my eye quickly but it had still left a pretty big scar on me emotionally and instead of dealing with it I just covered it up with a Band-Aid. That was until Nicaragua
So while you just read a bunch of complaints and poor me statements (that make me cringe) this is what God was doing.
God: He was teaching me patience—a virtue I lack and struggle with a bunch. He was taking my control out of the equation. I couldn’t do a thing to speed up the recovery process or bring my vision back to what it was. My first time back at volleyball was at UGA, the school I would end up committing to a couple of years later. I found that pretty funny. And then Nicaragua.
I went to Nicaragua to help others and God placed me in Nicaragua to help others and to heal me. My eyes were opened (irony) when I visited this little third world country. I was surrounded by some of the most joyful people I had ever been around and it was not because of any tangible worldly item. This experience alone humbled me beyond belief but God kept working. My “testimony” was my detached retina and I had the opportunity to speak with a woman whose life was crumbling before her eyes. Her son had just committed suicide and her husband was going blind and wasn’t the kindest man and she had thoughts about leaving him. I wish I could remember this moment more vividly than I do now. Anyways, I asked if I could pray with her and during my prayer she started bawling. After I was finished we both just held each other and cried. We didn’t speak the same language but she did say, “You are an angel. God sent you here to me. I needed to hear from you.” I replied back with, “You’re my angel. I was meant to speak with you…I needed you just as much as you needed me.”
Do I think it was ironic that her husband was going blind? No, absolutely not. Do I think it was a coincidence that I was the one to speak with her instead of someone else on the team? No, God was preparing me for that moment years in advance. God is so good. It is that simple.
However this was not the “finale” to my testimony haha no shot. For a while I thought a testimony was just a single moment in life. I thought it was a single moment that defined your whole walk with Jesus. Lies… y’all God keeps building on my testimony day by day. There is no way our walk with God can be summed up into one little moment. God has definitely picked a theme for my testimony: My Eyes.
You know there are certain mornings you wake up and look in the mirror and ya kinda scare yourself? Well February had a lot of those mornings. For some odd reason I would wake up and my eyes would be super swollen. At first I wasn’t too concerned but as the days strung together with swollen eyes I began to think of my prior eye history and got a little nervous. This continued for a week and kept getting worse until finally enough was enough and I went to the doctor. The man tested me for mono and gave me some allergy medicine…I left the doctors office with a bottle of allergy medicine, gauze around my arm (where they took blood to test for mono), and no diagnosis. I was not a happy camper and I thought the doc was dumb for even thinking about testing me for mono. However, it turned out the doc knew what he was doing…my results came back positive. Apparently swollen eyes are a very rare symptom of mono. Now this I had to laugh at. I immediately thought: “Okay, it is rare, it has to do with my eyes, it is another body issue that I can’t do anything about so I have no control. Hmmmm Alright God what are you gonna do with me this time?”
I knew God had something up his sleeve but I was also pretty frustrated. We were just starting spring volleyball season and I was so excited. This was going to be the first time I had played volleyball in a long time. I had only been cleared from my concussion three months prior. Needless to say…I was not a very happy girl.
Now since this was a textbook God move in my life I started to investigate and to this day I don’t really know why he did it. Maybe he realized I was catching onto his whole eye trick or maybe I’ll see the results of this “time out” later in life or maybeee I’ll never know what he was doing until I get up to heaven (I think by the time I get into heaven I’ll probably forget that whole thing.)
I’m thinking the mono was God saying, “look Syd you cannot figure me out…don’t try to figure out every little thing just have some faith and let me work.”
And to that I say “You’re right God… you use my eyes and my body and my mind as much as you need. I am here to be a disciple for you.” It is as simple as that folks.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose