People keep asking me how I am doing. It’s not asked like a normal, casual question, but more with an intense, worried concern. Sometimes, after I answer that I am doing well, they follow up with a “No, really, how are you really doing?” I appreciate that people care about me and I am glad for their support. But I don’t know how to answer them. I thought that maybe, if I write out what I am thinking, it might be easier to answer the next concerned friend.
I am doing great. I have accepted the fact that I have low vision. For the most part, I have integrated deteriorating vision into my identity. In a strange way, it fits me. It feels almost like I’ve come home. Does that make any sense? Maybe it’s because I worried about my eyesight my whole life and now the worst is happening and so I don’t have to worry any more.
I was thinking about my situation the other day and I decided something that is significant to me. While having these vision problems is a cross (and I am not going to minimize that fact), as crosses go, it is not a very heavy one. My low vision is a cross that fits me. If I were given a choice, I would not trade it for any other cross.
Some of the results of my vision loss are unpleasant. Having to give up my youth ministry position is a prime example. But I have learned many lessons through this process of losing vision. I have found many blessings. I have good days and bad days, of course. But I had good days and bad days before my vision problems began to escalate. My bad days are no worse than they were before. My good days are some of the best days I have had in my life. I find myself laughing a lot. My marriage has grown stronger than ever.
I think my expectations for myself are more realistic. I don’t beat myself up anymore for the things I do badly or don’t get done. I accept myself. I love myself. I love the grace I find working in the world. I focus on the good instead of dwelling on the bad. I look at new paths that are opening up to me. My good cheer is not fake. It’s not an act or a cover-up. It comes from a real, true, deep-down happiness with my life right now.
That’s how I’m really doing.