“I’m okay, honey,” I said to my seven-year old son, Jason as I pressed a piece of ice on my forehead.
“Are you crying?” he asked.
I brushed a tear off my cheek and nodded, but my heart ached. How can I tell these little ones that their mommy was going blind? Will that mar their childhood? Rather than enjoying their young years, would my disability usher gloom and sadness for them?
Pressing ice on my forehead, I sat on the couch in our family room. And while all three romped in the backyard, I made the decision. My unexpected blindness wouldn’t interfere in my role as a mom. On the contrary, I’d use each episode to teach them about life.
“You have a bump on your forehead,” Jason said when he came inside.
I had removed the ice and the spot still throbbed.
“I do.” I pointed. “There’s a lump, but I didn’t fall. I’m okay. In life we all have bumps. We’ll run into things we never expect to be there. I run into things because I can’t see.” I pulled him closer. “When you grow up, you might too. And when you do, you need to know that God is already watching you. Sometimes He allows a bump, but if you trust in Him, He’d never allow you to fall.”
Each time I faced a challenge, I laced lessons for each of them. My three-year old brought a book for me to read—attempt to read with my limited vision.
I sat him on my lap and opened it to the first page.
“Mommy it’s upside down,” he said as he turned the book in my hands.
“That was the wrong way, wasn’t it?” I turned his chubby cheek toward me. “Can you tell me other things that you know are wrong?”
“When I hit Jeff?” he said.
One night, as I walked in his room, I made my way to the bed. And with my finger tips I felt for the pillow. As I always did, I bent over to give him a kiss, but this time I didn’t feel his soft cheek. When I investigated with my hands, he had gone in head first under the covers and I had kissed his wiggly feet on the pillow.
I laughed. And coming out from the covers, he gave a mischievous giggle.
It was that sense of humor and the joy that we held on to that became the vehicle that took us through tough episodes and adjustments.
God gave our family a way to face my blindness. He gave my sons a new view of life. And He gave me a unique opportunity to learn a new side of motherhood-a mom’s weakness, physical or emotional can be the very strength to teach crucial lessons: the value of perseverance, the importance of courage, and the need for increased faith.
Now grown and with their own lives, they display compassion, maturity and a bright outlook of life.
Although without eyesight, God graced me with insight to teach my sons that, through Jesus, the weakness that makes us doubt will be the strength that makes us soar.
As God said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)