For two years, I have suffered an unexplainable eye ailment that has baffled my dermatologist, ophthalmologist, and allergist alike.  It rears it’s head a bit in October, lies dormant from November through mid-March, then creeps-in and attacks with a vengeance before I see any signs of it’s unwelcome visit.

This morning I arose to eyes that couldn’t be opened.  I felt my way to the sink and was able to see again after using warm water.  Imagine my shock and horror when I opened my glued-shut peepers to find this:

Have you ever seen a scarier picture?  And can you believe I’m posting this on my BLOG? I have lost my ever-lovin’ mind…

It happened last year as well but we thought it was actually a dermatology issue rather than an eye issue.  And now, two and a half years later, we are seeing  a seasonal correlation. 

But what am I still failing to see?

The evidence is starting to show an allergy to tree pollens.  Darn maples.  Blasted junipers.

But what am I failing to see?

Yet for the first time in a while, I feel like we are actually getting somewhere.  I have three doctors communicating with each other on this oddball of a patient so we might be able to figure something out and to detect this seasonal link?  Huge.

But what am I failing to see?

On the flipside, this ailment is not so attractive.  At the height, as you see, the swelling doesn’t really subside until days later.  I can’t wear eye makeup.  My eyeballs physically hurt and the whites look like I’ve been following the Grateful Dead for 25 years.

Not to mention that the onslaught of this random ailment often brings on some mild depression and frustration over the fact that we just can’t seem to figure out what’s going on.

But what am I failing to see?

I was able to obtain an appointment with my allergist early in the day and he wanted me to see my ophthalmologist just one floor above but would need to call and see if I could get in.

They could see me right away.

God’ hand was everywhere – from getting the appointment at such short notice with my allergist, to the friends able to help me take care of my children so I could go alone,  to the opening in my ophthalmologist’s office right when I was there, to the treatment plan to reduce swelling, to perhaps finally finding the cause of this wretched condition that has wreaked havoc on my soul for so long.

Poor little Natalie was finally getting some answers.

As I was leaving the allergist’s office feeling hopeful for the first time in two years, I saw it.

Across the hall was a door that read “Cancer Care.”

And I was humbled.

I see now.

The “woe is me.”  The feeling sorry for myself.  The self-consciousness of the swollen eyes.  The redness. The inability to wear any make-up.  The anger that “no one can figure this out.”  The hours spent in doctor’s offices to “get to the bottom of this”.

Yet I’m not walking through the door that reads “Cancer Care.”

And on this same day, I hear of a girl I knew in high school who was one year older than me.  A girl with an angel face and a gentle spirit that was never a part of the “mean girls” crew and usually wore a pleasant smile that suggested a maturity beyond her 16 years.

She lost her yearlong battle with cancer and leaves behind two beautiful adolescent girls who, by golly, need a mommy so much ALWAYS but particularly right now at this moment as they face body changes and boys, right and wrong, and temptation at every corner.

And somewhere tonight, a husband who loved mourns.

God, I praise you.  I hear your message loud and clear.  I am on my knees.

On this Multitude Monday, God I thank you so incredibly much for all you have been teaching me just in the past few weeks…

371. On pride

372.  On humility

373.  On loving well

374.  On better communication

375. On perspective

376.  On trusting You

377.  On grace

378.  On grace

379.  On grace

380.  On grace…

And yes, I realize “On grace” is listed four times.  I have a lot to learn there.

May you be open to the lessons He is teaching you this week because they are inevitable.  He loves you too much to let you stay where you are…

I have refined you, but not as silver is refined.

Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.

– Isaiah 48:10 (NLT)

Linking with Ann for “One Thousand Gifts” and Jen for “Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood”










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