Many of you know that I have a beautiful little daughter named Arianna. Some of you followed what transpired with her after she was born. Some may not, and some may remember but have forgotten. Today I want to talk a little bit about healing, in general, but I think it would be a poor discussion without bringing up this personal story.
Arianna was born on January twelfth of 2010. It was the climax of some of my greatest fears being met, becoming a father. I never thought I would be able to handle the responsibility of being a father. I had, and still have, baggage. Arianna came and a wave of unexpected emotion came over me. I can’t explain it, but for those of you who have children…you get it. If you haven’t, it is going to be such an amazing experience.
A lot of the normal things went along with her birth, well, normal for the doctors and nurses but all new to Denise and me. We got some great time to cuddle with the new little “Peanut” and rest up a bit. We learned some of the new things parents need to know. I slept there at the hospital because I didn’t want to miss a thing. I wanted to take it in. This doesn’t happen every day. A pediatrician came in to do the basic checkup, a normal thing, and said she looked healthy. He was concerned about one of her eyes though. He suggested that we take Arianna to an eye specialist. Denise set up the appointment to happen on our way home.
No one expected anything more than a quick checkup.
When we got there with Arianna, we did the normal wait. The doctor came in, took a look at her eye and did a few more tests and told us that he couldn’t see into her eye, so there was no way she could see out of the eye. Told us to come back the next day, if nothing changed he would send us to the Cleveland Clinic for further testing.
She was blind in her left eye.
We hadn’t even gotten her home yet.
I went numb.
We got home and put everything in its place. Arianna went down for a nap. I went downstairs and began to pray. When I say pray, I mean inciting an argument with God. My attitude in the prayer went from how could You to more of a pleading to more of an understanding that God would glorify Himself in this somehow and I needed to stop being the protector and let Him be God.
We went to the doctor the next day, she was still blind. We went to the Cleveland Clinic and they did tests that you never want to see your three day old child go through. Arianna was amazing, barely crying and recovering quickly when she did. They confirmed she was blind and believed that she had a disease called Coats Disease. She would always be blind in her left eye, there wasn’t much hope.
What was happening was that the capillaries in Arianna’s eye were dumping blood into her eye and it was slowly lifting the lens away from her pupil. She had one blue eye (right) and one brown eye (left), the brown eye was due to the blood in her eye.
We had a few more visits and the best report we received was that Arianna may gain up to 10% sight at best. Many prayers were lifted up from several churches and friends. My parents came up for a visit, and we had a doctor’s appointment at the same time.
I am not ashamed to tell you, as I am typing this I am sitting here in tears…still.
We prayed, and honestly, I expected different news this time. I knew something was going to happen, I sensed it. My mom and dad sensed it as well. When we started the trip up to Cleveland, Arianna still had one brown eye. When we got to the office, it looked kind of grayish blue. The doctor came in, actually he sent in his assistant to check everything out. I assume he thought it would be pretty routine. The assistant came in, looked at Arianna’s eye, looked at the chart, her eye, the chart, her eye, the chart, and her eye again and said, let me go and get the doctor so he can check everything out. I began to have a feeling wash over me that I, again, can’t explain. I knew something was up.
My mother was sitting out in the waiting room near where the doctor was sitting and heard his assistant come out and say, “You need to come in here.” The doctor and assistant went back and forth and finally the doctor came into the exam room and smiled and made small talk. He then took the instruments and began looking at her eye. He went back and forth doing a thorough scan of Arianna’s eye. He then stood up straight and said, “This looks like a completely different eye.” I began to tear up.
I am emotional…sue me.
He went on to say everything wasn’t perfect yet, but there was no reason to believe she wouldn’t have normal eyesight. I cannot express my feelings. I cannot communicate the joy. I cannot celebrate the victory enough.
We had another visit a few weeks later and the doctor came in and asked how the “Miracle girl” was doing.
Her eyes are both blue, she has normal sight, the doctor said he believed it was a miracle and in his professional opinion she was healed. I plan to use this story to glorify God the rest of my life.
I know that healing doesn’t always happen, I understand that. I have had ailments, I have had a bad knee, and I have lost friends to diseases. I also know that God can heal, that He has a plan, and if Arianna was blind in one eye her whole life that would be because it brought Him the most glory. Her eye is healed, so I believe that He will use that to bring Him the greatest glory.
We will all suffer from time to time, the suffering may even end our life, but can we be ok with that and bring God glory no matter what? There is no formula to healing, no way to try to get your request met in a more effective way. Just trust that God’s ways are much, much, much higher than ours. It may not make sense to us, but He has a plan.
I am just…so thankful. To be a father, for Arianna to be able to see, for the future, for my wife, for a new itty bitty on the way, for a life that is richly blessed and yet not without struggles that drive me to my knees so that I remain close to Him.