Why I Still Haven’t Prayed for Healing
Recently, my experiences living with the rare vision problem, Achromatopsia, have come up in a lot of conversations, including one about the possibility of weaving this into a book. I’ve connected with two women—one through my blog and one through a Facebook group—who also have Achromatopsia. This is a big deal for those of us who grew up not knowing anyone besides a sibling who shared our eye condition. I’ve caught myself visiting the Achromatopsia Support Facebook Group more often to answer questions, share experiences, and Love pictures of darling kids in dark glasses. (I don’t remember my glasses looking that cute.)
I’ve discovered some things in the process about people with Achromatopsia.
They are smart. This is a big deal for those of us who were mistaken for having a learning disability because we didn’t know our colors in kindergarten.
They are creative, and so are their parents. When I saw a picture of one mom’s plastic Easter eggs with a tea light in each one so her light-sensitive little girl could have an evening egg hunt, I couldn’t wait to tell my family.
Their families are very accommodating. My mom still labels her colored pencils so I can use them. Our Uno cards are also labeled.
They have done some amazing things! If you visit the Achromatopsia information site, you will find a scientist, a dog sled racer, a skier, musicians, and artists.
If given the choice they probably wouldn’t beg God, “Ooh, pick me for the weird vision problem that makes me super sensitive to light, unable to see colors, and unable to drive—the one that even eye doctors have a hard time diagnosing. It sounds so cool! I love the idea of being that mysterious.” But they also don’t see it as a tragedy. We understand that, as nice as it would be to see in color and drive and go outside during the day without feeling like someone dropped a white sheet in front of our face, there are worse things. For example, I would rather be the visually impaired kid than the one who made fun of the visually impaired kid. In my opinion, meanness is a much more serious disability than low vision.In my opinion, meanness is a much more serious disability than low vision. Click To Tweet
Several years ago, when I friend asked, “Have you ever prayed for healing?” I thought about it for about six seconds and said, “I know my parents prayed, but no one ever laid hands on me or anything. Not that I know of anyway.”
“Would you ever want someone to?”
I thought for another six seconds. “No. The thing is if God healed my vision right this minute, I’d probably die from the shock of visual overload. I have had the same vision since birth. It’s all I know.”
I had a hard time explaining why my acceptance of how God created me did not in any way reflect a lack of faith in His ability to do a miracle, or lack of desire to see better, but I think she understood. If He wanted to, that would be awesome, and I’m trusting that He would also take into the account my concern about dying from visual overload and cover that. But by that point in my life I had confidence that on the day I was born, God did not holler, “Wait, I forgot to put in her cone cells!”
The first time someone encouraged me with Psalm 139, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” God did not whisper to that person, “Pick another one. That verse doesn’t apply to Jeanette.”
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made” was a little harder to believe in seventh grade when girls don’t need one more reason to feel bad about themselves, and again in tenth when I found out that I’d been docked points in a speech competition because my dark glasses “created a barrier for eye contact,” (which explains why I only wear them outside now). I blamed my glasses for every old lady part that I got in school drama productions when I wanted to play someone younger for a change. If someone had offered to lay hands on me and pray for God to fix my eyes, I would have said, “Yes, please!” and waited for my miracle of biblical proportion. Instead I continued to adapt and overcome and learn that God didn’t see me as needing fixing.
Low vision has held me back from driving and ever considering a career that required 20/20 vision or telling people which colors looked best on them, but not much else.
It made life a bit more challenging after my husband left.
In our house, the mom asks the kids, “What color is this?” When this happens in public, we get funny looks.
When Christian was in 2nd grade, one of his classmates asked if his mom was a vampire, “because she always wears dark glasses.” I gave him permission to say yes, just to see how the kid reacted.In our house, the mom asks the kids, “What color is this?” Click To Tweet
I spend a lot of time explaining myself.
I have a secret fear that when I say, “I don’t drive” people will think I did something to get my license revoked.
Apparently, my fellow shoppers get annoyed with me when checking prices results in me accidentally getting in their way.
But I still don’t see myself as someone who needs her eyes fixed.
Low vision has made some parts of life hard, but it has also benefited me in many ways.
Maybe I’ll save that for next week.
When has it been difficult for you to see yourself as wonderfully made? How has God helped you embrace your uniqueness?
One of my favorite things about calligraphy and lettering is that they don’t require color vision.When has it been difficult for you to see yourself as wonderfully made? Click To Tweet