Holding On to My Prince
By Janet Perez Eckles
“Are you ready?” my Dad whispered.
I nodded, putting my trembling arm through his.
The church echoed with the guests’ whispers. And a soft melody came from the piano. Gene, my bridegroom, waited for me at the altar. The music changed—my sign to begin my walk down the aisle.
My steps were slow, but my heart beat fast.
Dressed in pure white, I joined my prince. “For better or for worse…”
I repeated those words. And back then, they were just words, because my focus was on the thrill of my dream coming true.
But nine years later, my world darkened with the reality of the “worse.”
“What I can see is a clear deterioration of the retina,” the ophthalmologist had said. “You both need to prepare.” He paused. “With this retinal disease, no one knows how long you’ll have your sight.”
Gene held me tight as we walked out of the doctor’s office.
“He’s wrong. It won’t happen. I can see just fine,” I reasoned.
Each day became a test of the amount of sight I still had left. One week I could see the furniture around me; the next I could only perceive portions of some items.
It’s okay, I can still see what’s important—our three little boys’ faces. I tried to comfort my anxiety.
But no reasoning or comforting thoughts changed the reality. We found no treatment, surgery, vitamins, or medications to halt the blindness progression.
I tossed at night. Will Gene still love me? If I were to go blind, how would that affect our marriage and our intimacy?
I tried to brush off those tormenting thoughts. But the months that followed ushered what I dreaded.
Out of habit, I felt for the light switch in our bathroom, I flipped it on, but… the darkness remained. I held my breath and my muscles tightened.
Holding onto the cold, slick countertop, I looked toward the mirror and saw a dreary-gray nothing.
With no sight at all, I was about to walk down the aisle of misery. The trumpets of sorrow sounded to torment my soul.
But out of desperation, I turned to God. And His voice, powerful and reassuring, silenced the anguish. “My Word will be a lamp to your feet, and a light unto your Path.” (Psalm 119:105)
I took a deep breath, held my head high and lifted my eyes to Him. And a wave of comfort and confidence washed over me.
And with tears of gratitude dripping, I took the arm of my Savior and held tight to His love. We walked in rhythm through the stages of adjustments, of challenges and then on to triumph.
Nights aren’t dark anymore. With the Prince of peace ruling my life, He promised all of the worst would turn to better, all the darkness would shine with hope, and with every step He’d help me see triumph.
Copyright 2014 Janet Perez Eckles. Used by permission.
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Although blind, Janet Perez Eckles has been inspiring thousands to see the best in life. She is an international speaker, writer and #1 bestselling author of Simply Salsa: Dancing without Fear at God's Fiesta, Judson Press 2011. www.janetperezeckles.com
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