Thank you, my dear friend, for asking about my blindness. Well, I didn’t cope so well at the first, but learned to trust the Master’s loving guidance over time; and no, the blindness was not reversed, but has only gotten worse over the years. I am at this time 68 years old, and I have only some patches of light sensitivity left to me-no shadows or shapes any more. I use a long cane for travel, and often require a guide. My story is a story of gaining through losing if I might put it so. At the age of 23 years, I was in my first year of dentistry school at the University of Iowa, and I felt that I had the world by the tail!  Becoming a dentist was all I ever wanted to be, and indeed, all of my energy and efforts for the previous 7 years had been directed towards being accepted into dental college. In this same year, through the ministry of a classmate, I accepted the Lord Jesus as my Savior and Lord, so I felt twice blessed, now being a born-again Christian, and also a dental student. I felt certain that the Lord was affirming my career idea in this. But in January of 1976, about a month after I was saved, I went to the University Hospital in Iowa City to check out my night vision issues…I did not adapt well to the dark and made many navigational errors. The diagnosis was retinitis pigmentosa, a very rare form of hereditary vision loss, progressive to total blindness. I didn’t cope very well at all with this news! Indeed, I was shattered because I saw all of my hopes and dreams for my future going down the drain, and I was upset that God had allowed this to happen to me, and just after I was saved to boot! I prayed for healing, and others prayed with me and for me for the same; but since the progression of the disease was known to be very slow, I could only trust that the Lord’s will would be done. Since I could yet see very well, I determined to forge ahead as though this diagnosis did not exist at all. So, I completed my training, was licensed in 1979, and I set up a private practice in a small, rural community in eastern Iowa. In the meantime, I came into fellowship with the Christians who host this website we are using, met my wife-to-be at one of their Bible Conferences, and practiced dentistry until my 8th year out of dental school, when I had an unction that I needed to get into a different line of work. I did want to work, but we didn’t know what to do, so then we prayed and fasted together for a year, and we decided to pursue “rehabilitation counseling.” A rehabilitation counselor is one who helps people with disabilities to get jobs. My wife and I believed this to be the Lord’s will, and as it turned out, this career lasted 33 years for me, and it took care of all my family’s temporal needs, while allowing me to serve others. 

Well, over the years, I began to lose my feeling of frustration that my prayers to reverse the blindness were not answered in the way I wanted. In II Corinthians 12:8-9, we read of the Apostle Paul who was “given a thorn in the flesh”: “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” It took me years to truly be at peace with this particular verse, but I now own it with all my heart! I was forced to discover God’s wise and loving plan for my life, which must supersede my own. Now, I can look back on it all and praise Him for His amazing Grace.  He truly blessed me with a great new career, a loving family, and a Christian fellowship that I really love being a part of, and even a ministry of encouragement as well as Gospel preaching. He has never left me nor forsaken me (Hebrews 13:5). In the final words of a poem that I am very fond of, “I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life. I was given life, that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for – but everything I had hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered”.  –Unknown Confederate Soldier

I have been so abundantly blessed by the Lord! I could never be sorry for the blindness for it has brought me closer to our loving Christ Jesus!  (SF)  (492.2)