Friday, October 31, 2014

"My Grace Is Sufficient"

"My grace is sufficient." Over and over, all day long today that statement kept going through my head. I needed to be reminded of it. I needed to hold on to it.
In a recent post, I shared about how my husband has been having eye trouble. (Here is the original post.) He has Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy with a Vitreous Hemorrhage. That's a mouth full to say. It's much more to live with. Many people experience this medical condition, but it doesn't make it easier to deal with when it happens to you.

It started in his right eye. It's a frightening thing to lose vision in one eye. But yesterday, October 30th, he lost the vision in his left eye too. He is 80-90% blind. All he can see are flashes of movement and shadows, lots of shadows.

It has been a flurry of activity since then.

"My grace is sufficient."

For 4 weeks we have been going back and forth to a retina specialist getting treatments to prevent the very thing that happened in his left eye from ever happening. Tests, multiple dilations (three this week alone), shots, laser surgery twice, arranging payment plans with the billing office, and hours sitting in waiting rooms praying that the blood in his right eye would start to dissolve and be absorbed into his body like any blood is with a bruise or cut.

When his second eye started to bleed and he could see it happening his initial reaction was some fear, a little panic, and then to get help right away. We were able to get into the doctor in just a few hours. It was agreed that he needed emergency surgery and it was scheduled for Tuesday, November 4th.
Then a big, no giant ball got was made of money.

"My grace is sufficient."

Before the surgery would even take place, between the doctor and the hospital they needed from us $12,000. Yep, $12,000. I thought the same thing you probably did.

"Are you serious? Who has $12,000 sitting around available to hand you?"

There is no insurance. We can't afford it. We are overqualified for assistance of any kind. We sat there taking in what the nurse told us and felt this overwhelming pressure on our lives. Help is available and the prognosis was very good. One short 30-45 minute surgery and he would be able to see again in at least one eye. But right in front of us was this giant $12,000 obstacle!

"My grace is sufficient."

The nurse was very sweet and made some calls to see if she could find some help for us, someone who could do the surgery for less or even free. She took a few moments and came back with a name and a phone number and a big dose of hope! A clinic in Illinois could help us. We could get in Friday, October 31st if we could go.

We could and we did!

This morning we left at 6:30 AM with a dear friend and high hopes of finally getting this eye problem under control. With hopes that my blind husband would again see and be able to function without the help of a seeing-eye-wife. We were anxious, excited, and thankful that things would turn around and quickly.

"My grace is sufficient."

The clinic was easy to find in Chicago. The doctor who initially assessed his condition was hopeful. He called in a colleague to verify things. She wasn't sure about something she saw in his left eye. They called in another more specialized doctor to confer with them. And then even another. They were being thorough and saying that there were no retina problems and the blood in his eye could be removed. This was reversible and that they could do the surgery for sure.

The appointment was set for Monday, November 3rd.
Remember that first giant ball that dropped? It dropped again!

What we had been told by one office was not the case at all in another. What once would have been covered for free, yes free, no longer was because of Obamacare rules and regulations. Help that we were told was there now was not. There was nothing they could do even though they sincerely wanted too. There was nothing we could do. All that hope we had at the start of the day had been dashed.

"My grace is sufficient."

We asked lots of questions. Now what? Where can we go? What can we do? People were so helpful and tried to get us answers. They called offices and organizations, messaged individuals, contacted people in our state and in Illinois, and gave us as much information as they could. Several of them even cried with us as we struggled to deal with the fact that we had a solution right in front of us and could not get over or around the obstacle between us and that solution, that giant ball.

The day was long and we were tired. Eight hours we were at the eye clinic and it seemed like the longest eight hours of our lives. All afternoon I kept hearing in my head "My grace is sufficient," over and over. I held on to it like a lifeline. It was what I needed to hear. It was what my husband needed to be reminded of.
Paul was very clear when he wrote those words inspired by the Holy Spirit in  II Corinthians 12: 9-10. He knew suffering. He knew pain. He also knew what Christ had gone through for him and for me and Rick.

9. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (NKJV)

I can admit unabashedly that I am weak right now. I'm not afraid or ashamed to say it. My husband is hurting and I hurt with him. There is no possible way I can figure out how Rick and I will get through this. It is overwhelming to us and to the many people who love us and call us family and friend. But I do know my God. I know that in my weakness I still have strength, a strength that can get me through and beyond what I can only see as a big giant obstacle in the road. It's a strength that can hold my husband up when he feels so discouraged, vulnerable, and helpless.
Believe it or not, I am rejoicing in this weakness. It's hard, but deep, deep inside there is this flame of hope I have that I know is the strength that only Christ can give. I am looking forward to that flame growing. We don't know the outcome. Rick may regain his vision. He may remain blind for the rest of his life. We won't dwell on that. We will, however, dwell on His promise, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”


  1. I am so sorry for these tough times. I can't imagine what you guys are going through. And like you said, in these tough times we find our strong our faith is in God. Keep the prayers and the faith strong. I hope you can find ways and some answers. Keeping you guys in thoughts and in prayers.

  2. I will pray that things turn around for you.

  3. My mother has bleeding in the back of her eyes but it wasn't as serious as your husband. She initially had surgery that helped her a lot. I'm going to be praying for your husband that something works out. And yes his Grace is sufficient but we also need faith and a lot of it.

  4. I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Reading your post this morning was exactly what I needed to hear today. Today is a very difficult day for me and I will spend the day rejoicing in this weakness. Thank you.

  5. I know that internal peace you're talking about, and if you're hearing the verse, that's an awesome affirmation for you. I will be praying with you.

  6. Just want to let you know that you are know alone! I can feel your pain and hear your voice! Hang in over there- God will never forsake you ! He is a mighty and loving God- that can do a miracle anytime your life. Trust...and your help will come.

  7. I so admire you! how easy it would be to get angry at your situation and cry out! But you are keeping the faith, I will be praying for you!