I Choose Life

Yesterday (Friday) morning I was diagnosed with a detached vitreous in my left eye and with bleeding of the retina where the detachment occurred. The vitreous is the “gel” that covers the retina, and a section of it tore loose, did NOT take the retina with it (thank You, Jesus) and is sitting in the middle of my eye, blocking the center field of vision in my left eye. The torn part of the retina that is bleeding is a place where, if fluid gets in, the retina could detach, leading to blindness if not corrected immediately.

The doctor told me if I had insurance or money, he would have sent me straight to the surgeon. Instead, he asked me to “watch and wait” over the weekend to see if the symptoms get worse, indicating a retinal detachment and the need for immediate surgery.

“Watch and wait.” Not my favorite thing to do, especially with my precious eyesight at stake. But “watch and wait” has turned out to be a good opportunity to reflect on some changes God has made in my life – changes that have led me to “Choose life!”

I’ve gone through extensive spiritual healing in three areas that had affected me since birth: (1) Fear, (2) Self-hatred, (3) Refusing to choose life. All three of these affected my physical body for years (autoimmune, cancer, frequent injuries). Now walking free of these things, I have a spirit that shouts, “I choose life!” It feels like an inner fire has been lit, and I feel vibrant inside! My physical body is starting to respond, just as God’s Word says it will: “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?” (Proverbs 18:14)

As a result, my expectations have changed. I used to expect and fear the worst with my physical body, and so the worst kept happening. As I began to “choose life,” the Lord showed me the bad expectations I held, and the lies I believed in my spirit (“I am not worthy of health,” “I cannot be healed,” “I have no right to ask for my healing,” “Being sick makes me less of a person,” “People will always treat me badly if I admit I’m sick,” and “It is too late for my healing” were some of the many lies I had believed all my life). I repented of believing these lies, and I brought these lies and expectations to death at the Cross. I asked God to give me new expectations and the ability to hear only His truth.

Asking for prayer the night before, staying home from work, seeking medical help, believing God would provide a good doctor to see me right away and give me immediate answers, trusting God for the money to pay for the doctor visit, asking God, “Prepare the doctor to receive me. YOUR daughter is coming to see him,” getting rid of fear, “for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”(II Timothy 1:7), believing for a good diagnosis, and knowing that no matter what the diagnosis, God would heal… these are all things I wouldn’t have done in the past. I would have ignored the symptoms, gone to work, and lived in constant fear. I might have even lost my vision.

When the doctor did the first test on me, he looked grim but said nothing. While I waited for the second test, I prayed and reaffirmed, “I choose life!” I asked God to show me any other lies that might stand in the way, and He did. I brought those to the Cross. After the doctor completed the second test, he admitted his surprise that the results were better than he expected. He had concluded already that I had a detached retina, had written this already in my chart, and had already contacted the nearest surgeon. He said he had not expected a good outcome. (Well, I had!)

Later that day, after going first to the church, where folks prayed over me for healing (“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” James 5:14-15), I made an appointment with a friend who does reflexology at a healing spa. She prayed over me for healing while she worked on my feet. The enemy had thought I’d be spending the afternoon in emergency surgery. Instead, here I was at a spa. Isn’t that just how extravagant God is with His love?

Being asked to “watch and wait” on my eye this weekend has been a great opportunity already to see the healthy fruit of the changes in my spirit. In the past, I would have been constantly watching for the symptoms to get worse, and I would have walked in fear, “knowing” the worst would happen.

Instead, any time I woke up during the night, the first thing I looked for was to see if the symptoms had gone away, indicating healing. THAT was my expectation! I never even thought to wonder, “Is it worse?” It didn’t cross my mind. What a change!

This morning, with the symptoms still present, I caught myself falling into old habits, grumbling and thinking, “This blob in my eye is a constant reminder of the danger I’m in, that my retina is vulnerable, exposed, torn, bleeding … and could detach at any time.” The Holy Spirit convicted me immediately. I realized, “No! That’s a lie I don’t believe anymore!” Instead, I spoke out loud, reminding myself, “This blob in my eye is a blessed reminder that GOD is in control of my life, not me.” (Reminding me of when the Apostle Paul asked God to remove the thorn in his side, and the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you.” II Corinthians 12:9)

The “blob” is a cool reminder to keep my hands off the steering wheel. I pray I will learn this well enough and continue to remember God’s in charge, even after the symptoms disappear. During good health, our need for God is just as great as during times of illness. It is only by His grace that we live and breathe. It is only by His grace that we are saved. I’m glad right now to have this constant reminder of how much we need Him … and how precious we are to Him.

While these symptoms in my eye persist, does that mean I’m not healed? No. I’ve already been healed, and I accept that by faith. As Henry Wright says in his book, The More Excellent Way (looking at spiritual causes of disease), we need to focus not on the symptoms but on Jesus. The Lord says that by His stripes, I am healed (Isaiah 53:5; I Peter 2:24). I believe Him! I choose life! I choose health! Thank You, Lord.

P.S. Already my vision in my left eye is beginning to improve. It improved some last night, and it’s improved dramatically more as I’ve been writing this.