Technically, without my glasses, I am legally blind. This makes me think about John 9:1-3 NIV when the disciples asked Jesus if the man who was blind since birth got that way because someone had sinned. Jesus told them, “No, this happened so that the works of God might be made visible through his life.” God desires that we see His works so he sometimes needs to cloud our vision so we can see him.
My uncorrected vision is 20/450 yet by going to the doctor, I have been given the tools that provide clarity in vision. That’s how my faith life is too. Jesus is the great physician. Only through daily interactions am I able to see the steps I take in my walk with Christ.
Just like my glasses allow me to see, there are faith tools that I rely upon too. I love to start my mornings in my green chair reading reflection booklets, then journaling…just spending quiet time with God.
How I journal changed in 1992 when a nun, Sister Cecelia Ann Loomer shared her two-part approach. I write a letter to Jesus, God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit; whatever flows from my pen on any particular day.
I share my deepest thoughts, inner most feelings, fears, challenges, and triumphs on paper. However, sometimes I am without words so I jump to the second part of my journaling is where I get to be still and listen. This is where the magic happens.
The insights and messages have been downright astonishing. Sometimes I even wrestle with God on paper because I’m not ready to face the truth. And no big surprise here, he always wins. My journal and pen are tools for making things black and white for me–to make them tangible. Something that is really cool is how in the second part of my journal writing, the penmanship changes.
If you haven’t used a journal before, or if you are writing without giving God a chance to respond or guide you, I’m passing along what I was taught because it has richly enhanced my life. At the very least, it can expand your awareness about your own faith. At best, your Christian Awareness will grow continually.
Another message I get from being technically blind is to follow Jesus with blind faith just like the apostles did, such as in Matthew 9:9 NIV Jesus said to him, “Follow me”, and Matthew got up and followed Jesus. There are times when I know there is something I am being called to do, yet don’t have all the answers let alone a roadmap of where I’m headed.
Here’s a story I will never forget because of the tremendous impression it left on my heart. On November 29, 1982, I was divorced from my abusive first husband. Ten months earlier, I sought counsel from a priest because my marriage was on very shaky ground, and I clearly remember his words:
“God didn’t intend for you to be a martyr. He gave you life so you could enjoy it. You need to get out of this destructive marriage before your husband kills you, your daughter, or both of you. You need to get divorced.”
Literally stunned, all I could think to say was “Are you sure you’re a priest because I thought that wasn’t in our beliefs.”
On December 2, 1982, with my daughter, who was two years old at the time, our clothes, and the microwave oven (because I wasn’t a good cook back then), I started the long journey home: driving 1258 miles from Minot, North Dakota to St. Louis, Missouri. I just wanted to drive as long as I could before stopping. It was my first solo driving experience across multiple states.
For a 90 mile stretch between Fargo, North Dakota and somewhere in South Dakota, on Interstate 29, I encountered fog which continued to grow thicker with each passing mile. Then it became a thick, heavy fog. It was pitch black outside with no exits in sight. The fog got even worse to the point where I couldn’t tell which lane I was in on the two lane highway.
I prayed non-stop while my baby was asleep in the seat next to me. My left hand was gripping the steering wheel and my right hand clung to the cross I had hanging from the rear view mirror. Out of nowhere appeared red tail lights; big red tail lights. It looked like an 18 wheeler was in front of me. I couldn’t see the truck, just the lights. Oh thank you God.
Literally trusting in blind faith, I followed these lights just hoping that the trucker was going in the same direction I was heading. It may have been 30 miles or so but the trucker’s lights would flicker on occasion as if to say “Follow me, I will lead you.” And so I followed even though at a snail’s pace, we continued to make progress in the white sheet fog.
It took a while, but eventually I started to sense calmness about following the lights. Thankfully, some of my fears even dissipated. On I-29 in the middle of nowhere in South Dakota, the clouds lifted and the stars where shining brightly.
How apropos I thought making a symbolic connection between the fears weighing down heavy on my heart and the clouds that had shrouded the highway. When I relinquished control of my steering wheel to God things got clearer.
Seeing no truck before me, I looked left and I looked right. There was no truck in sight. Nothing was in front of me but the long lonely highway; no other cars; nothing. Oh how my God led me through the dark scary night. I felt humbled and overwhelmed. As I cried, it released the remaining tension in my body.
The fog was symbolic of how my life had been going. I had no idea of where I was being led, just that I needed to believe and follow the lead by trusting in my God and follow with blind faith.
Blind or not, God leads me. When I listen and follow, I am never without awe in the outcome.