“Say to the fearful of heart: Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; With divine recompense he comes to save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall see, and the ears of the deaf be opened.” Isaiah 35:4-5
This is a verse from the Old Testament that later is shown and witnessed within the New Testament as Jesus literally heals the blind and deaf, opening their eyes to see the world anew and their ears to hear sound as never before. I love the verse from Isaiah as it both projects the revelation of His glory through the miracles and in the spiritual revelation of sight and sound through the healing of the spiritually blind and deaf.
This hit deep when I spoke to my dear friend, Cheryl, who had founded Mission at Serenity Ranch, a non-profit benefitting the women coming from the human trafficking industry. Mission at Serenity Ranch was in the process of building a recovery home for the women when she had to undergo surgery for a crushed septum. Because of the extent of the surgery she was under longer than the projected 5 hours and in the process her eyes were neglected. Coming out of surgery when the bandages were removed they scratched her corneas. After months of issues and more mishaps, infections, etc she has been declared legally blind.
She can’t see anything but blurry shapes. She can’t drive. She can’t see to walk unless someone guides her. You would think this tragic occurrence would cause her to give up on everything but not Cheryl. “This has caused me to really ‘see’ what God is asking of me,” she said. ”I can’t read and I can’t watch TV so I’m home alone with my thoughts. What I can still do is speak, tell my story and help others.”
Currently she is looking for a ministry with a similar mission to Serenity Ranch to take over the nearly completed safe house. The mission of Serenity Ranch is being reshaped and restructured but not forgotten. In fact, today with the help of others, she is speaking at an event to educate officers.
Cheryl was a victim of the domestic human trafficking industry at the young age of 12. She managed to escape when she was 15 but found that she had no place to go. Her family assumed she’d run away and seeing her in a state of addiction did not welcome her back. She knew no other life than to prostitute for room and board and the drug addiction led her life. By the grace of God she heard His voice at a moment when all she wanted was to die. She sought the help she needed and in time began to build a healthy, ‘normal’ life.
When I made the comment that she was truly an inspiration to me she said, “I’ve been through too much in my life to give up now! It might be best that I can’t see because it forces me to get to know the heart of someone rather than their physical beauty.”
Amazing. I really needed to hear this today. Not because of what I see but to be strengthened by her tenacity. I never intended to call her and I was in the middle of two tasks when she popped into my mind and I thought to call and see how she was doing. I’m glad I acted on instinct.
The other pertinent comment she made today (among the many) was, “Whenever I find myself getting frustrated I let myself cry. There is nothing else I can do and if I’m feeling it then I cry. That way it’s out and I move on.”
Amen! Bad things happen every day to good people. Why? There is no perfect answer because we will never understand the logic of accidents, carelessness, neglect, and simple stupidity but what we can do is do the best we can to be vigilant of our own actions and responses.
I can’t quit this post without giving my most amazing news to date! Today I signed a contract with CHOOSE-NOW PUBLISHING for REDEEMED!! (Tentatively titled..unless they see fit to change it.)
Here is a little humble pie, I told Seth I looked ‘old’ in this picture and he said, “You are old Mom.” Like, duh…
This is the follow-up book to EXPOSED giving more of Neal and my deep dark secrets and miraculous blessings within our 17 years of marriage. Although there is truth to that statement the book is a reflection of the struggle I went through as a survivor of abuse to embrace genuine intimacy and the love of my husband, myself and of God.
Tentative release date is June 2014! (If I get my booty in gear!)