I am continuing on with the Thought Conditioners. The passage for today is:
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27
This could not be more perfect for where I am right now, after spending time on retreat. I really see that God has given me a peace, beyond anything that the world can offer, about my situation with my vision. I do not know what the future holds, but I am not afraid. I know that grace will help me through whatever obstacles I may face.
Of course, sometimes I worry. I was a bit nervous about going to camp this year because of my vision. The main problem is that I have a lot of difficulty seeing in low light. The light is sometimes dim in the chapel. I hardly ever read from a printed page anymore, so I was worried about having difficulty reading aloud in low light and about being unable to follow the written parts of the program. I overcame this anxiety by splitting the tasks with John in a way that had me doing little reading and mostly just speaking from my heart. I did read one children’s book to the group. We carefully positioned me so that the light was coming in over my shoulder and falling on the pages, giving me the best lighting possible to read with. The children sat on the floor in front of me, so I could see the book and the kids. This strategy worked out well. I learned that, with a bit of prior planning, I can still function as a leader and guide.
Another problem was that it gets VERY dark at camp after the sun sets. At home, in the city, there is a lot of “light pollution” and it never really gets dark. At camp, it gets pitch black dark at night. So, I was afraid about walking around at night. This was not hard to solve. I held on to John’s arm whenever we had to walk anywhere in the dark. I did have to give up a bit of independence, but I stayed safe. I learned that, strange as this may sound, it is in giving up some independence that I gain freedom.
I think the important thing, for me, is that I am learning not to let worrying about the details and specifics of how I will accomplish something upset my peace of mind. I am constantly amazed at how everything can work out if I just relax and make a plan to accommodate my visual difficulties. Instead of stressing over the tasks I cannot do, it is more helpful to make a plan that allows me to do the tasks I can. Instead of allowing my peace to be upset, I can take a few minutes to sit quietly, breathe deeply, and repeat these sentences. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Peace is possible. Peace is available. Peace is promised to us.