When I was 20 years old, I went in to have a routine tonsillectomy surgery. A day later, I was completely blind and deaf in one ear. It is still so shocking. After the outpatient surgery, I was discharged and my parents took me home. At 3:00 am, my mom came in to give me water to moisten my throat but found me totally unresponsive. I was rushed to the hospital where I was immediately intubated and put on a ventilator. I later was told that if I hadn’t made it to the hospital within 30 minutes, I wouldn’t be here. When I woke up the next day, I couldn’t see anything. Or hear in one ear. I was totally devastated. I was so active as a college student; I was on the equestrian team and one of the top three riders in the nation in both my freshman and sophomore seasons. But now, I found myself completely blind. I had to learn how to exist in a sightless world: how to read Braille, use assisted technologies, walk with a cane. I had been raised a Christian but had pretty much lost my relationship with Jesus by the time I entered college. But I reverted back to my Christian foundation. I found myself praying constantly for God to restore me, to give back my sight. To give me comfort, peace and strength. I couldn’t really bring myself to open up to my parents or friends about how depressed I was, but found I could always bring it to God. And something unusual happened. He answered my prayer. No, He did not give me back my sight. But He did restore me: He brought me back spiritually to Him. He also gave me peace and strength. Yes, I still want to be able to see. But I can’t, and I need to take this and somehow bring glory to Him. So that is what I set out to do. I returned to campus eight months later and learned how to live on my own. Once I graduated, I felt God calling me to share my experience with others, to show what He had done in my life. To show how we can all find light in dark circumstances and overcome very difficult obstacles. I share my faith on my blog, my podcast, my book and speaking to groups. I want people to see how Christ helped me find my way and share how God continually turns my trials into even greater triumphs. My journey truly tested and strengthened my faith in the Lord. Now I’m living for Him in all I do.
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