Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Faith's Eyes

...seem to be working just fine!

She loves watching my iPad. Multiple times a day she will request "musica" and is even beginning to sing along in her own Bulgarian/English jibberish!

She loves looking at herself in the mirror and often entertains herself {and me} for large blocks of time by making a variety of silly faces. She's very, very expressive, especially with her eyes.

She loves bubbles. Most days we take some with us to the park, and she has no problems watching them blow away in the breeze. Up, down, left, and right, she's able to follow their movement without any difficulty. She amuses many passer-byes with her funny antics.

She loves balloons, and today is the first day she hasn't flinched when I bounced them in her direction. Again, I watched to see if she had a hard time tracking them with her eyes, and she seemed to have no problem.

Officially, according to her medical records from the orphanage, she has hydrocephalus, Type 2 Arnold-Chiari Syndrome, and meningomyelocele in the lumbar region. I'm still learning what this all means, and I'm sure that it will be much clearer when we finally have her evaluated by doctors and specialists back home. Additionally, she has something known as conjugate gaze palsy, which is a neurological disorder affecting the movement of a person's eyes. Apparently, Faith Ana's condition is a vertical gaze palsy, which affects her ability to move her eyes upwards and downwards. And, although, she seems to have little difficulty following things with her eyes most of the time, I do see her moving her head in odd ways and at odd times, and this is a classic symptom of someone with this specific disorder.

As she was happily entertaining herself this morning, I spent a little bit of time researching each of these conditions, and, quite honestly, it's overwhelming! The prognosis and the possible surgeries, the amount of care and assistance that she will require - I could very easily become just as paralyzed as she is when I think about the reality of caring for a child with profound special needs.

And in the stillness and quiet of this hotel room this morning, I want you to know that I have been on my knees, asking the Lord to heal my own vertical gaze palsy.

For whoever has, to him shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; 

because while seeing they do not see

and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand...

You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; 

and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive

for the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, 

and they have closed their eyes lest they should see with their eyes

and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart...

~Jesus, Matthew 13:12-15

You see, she's not the only one with vision problems. 

There's also a different variation of her condition called horizontal gaze palsy. I don't believe that Faith Ana has this issue, and I know for sure that my eyes don't have any problem with looking to the left and to the right. I find myself much too often looking all around me, looking to see what someone else has or what someone else is doing. Comparing my family or my situation to theirs. It's so easy to get caught up in the comparison game. 

My eyes also have no problem looking downwards. I look at myself all the time through a critical lens, choosing to believe lies about my parenting, my performance, or my appearance. These lies come from much further down, from an Enemy who wants nothing more than to distort my vision.

And, even more than distorting my vision, he wants to paralyze me. I'm convinced that his desire is to inflict every single one of us with vertical gaze palsy. Do you remember what I said vertical gaze palsy was? 

A condition which causes one's eyes to be unable to look Upwards or downwards.

Of course, he could care less if our eyes can look downwards. If all we are able to do is focus on ourselves, then he's already successful, and it makes his job significantly easier. Being self-centered and self-absorbed always keeps us from saying "yes" to what the Lord is prompting us to do.

But if he can prevent us from turning our eyes upwards...

It only stands to reason that if he is successful at that, then our eyes won't be the only thing that is paralyzed.

Our hearts and minds will be paralyzed with so much fear and anxiety that we will never even be willing to consider doing something hard that the Lord asks us to do. Our feet won't be able to move where He calls us to go, and I would think that the enemy must be very pleased with himself. If he can simply keep our eyes from looking heavenward, from looking to Jesus. And if he does this successfully, then we will never move forward into the fullness of all the Lord has planned for our lives.

It would not be in our best interest to always remain in one happy and comfortable location. Therefore He moves us forward. The shepherd leaves the fold so the sheep will move on to the vitalizing mountain slopes. In the same way, laborers must be driven out into the harvest, or else the golden grain would spoil. But take heart! It could never be better to stay once He determines otherwise; if the loving hand of our Lord moves us forward, it must be best...

So whatever awaits us is encountered first by Him, and the eye of faith can always discern His majestic presence out in front...

Comfort your heart with the fact that the Savior has Himself experienced all the trials He asks you to endure; He would not ask you to pass through them unless He was sure that the paths were not too difficult or strenuous for you. This is the blessed life - not anxious to see far down the road nor overly concerned about the next step, not eager to choose the path not weighted down with the heavy responsibilities of the future, but quietly following the Shepherd, one step at a time.
~ J. Danson Smith

Jesus went on to tell His disciples these words...

But blessed are your eyes, because they see...

~Matthew 13:16

Jesus, I want to see...

And that's why, today, I'm praying these words for myself, for Will, and for our little ones...

That we will keep our eyes on Jesus and always weigh the cost of what He's asking us to do at the foot of the cross.

That our focus will be on telling others about His grace and that in all that we do and say, we will point others to Him.

That we will see others through His eyes and that the things in this world that grieve His heart will grieve ours as well.

That our perspective will be an eternal one, seeking to store up treasure in heaven rather than wealth and applause here on earth.

And, that each one of us will have a vision for Kingdom Purposes above and beyond anything we could ever imagine and that we will live our lives in a such a way that brings Him much, much glory.

And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, and saying, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" 

And after He had come into the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" 

They said, "Yes, Lord." 

Then He touched their eyes, saying, "Be it done to you according to your faith."

~ Matthew 8:27-29

Jesus ~  My eyes, will you touch my eyes, too ...


1 comment:

  1. Children should have eye exams at an early age Between 6 months to 12 months. If they are having problem or going to have then they can have better treatment on time by pediatric eye specialists .