Facing the Unknown

Heifers, bulls, twins, breeches, winter storms, health crises, social and political unrest, recession, or depression; so many unknowns, how can I face them all Lord? What I meant to be an encouraging start of the New Year post for all my friends this week suddenly changed direction yesterday with four little words. You-Could-Go-Blind. In the moments following that news from my eye doctor, everything changed. Suddenly, I was facing an unknown I never dreamed of.

During the long drive to Tyler to see my trusted ophthalmologist, I reviewed this week’s post in my mind. We all have unknowns in our lives. They’re the things that we think about, sometimes worry over, often pray about, and try to prepare for. We have “rainy day” savings because we know there’re times when we need that reserve. With calving season coming, the number and genders of new calves are unknown. And while having calves is a blessing, their health, delivery problems, the weather, etc. are the unknowns that keep ranchers like me up at night.

The thing about life’s unknowns is how they are fertile ground Satan can use to introduce fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) into your life. When we dwell on these things, the FUD factor (my term) goes into full effect. We wonder “what if” and we let fear control our lives. The more we allow fear and worry to go unchecked, it grows into an all-consuming obsession—making mountains out of molehills, derailing our faith, and robbing us of our joy.

If you don’t control the FUD factor, it will control you. Click To Tweet

With the Covid pandemic, family health challenges, and the busyness of life, it had been two years since my last eye exam. Noticing some vision changes, and especially the impact of glare (oncoming headlights) on my eyesight, I knew it was time. In 2017, Dr. Kiblinger performed cataracts surgeries on both eyes and restored my vision to near perfect condition. I loved the freedom of doing many things without first reaching for my eyeglasses. I especially loved being able to drive at night again since I’m the primary driver in our family.

As a long-time diabetic, something I’ve always watched for is signs of diabetic retinopathy. And even though I can minimize its impact through good diabetes control, retinopathy is a side effect of having higher blood sugar levels that come with diabetes. Experts estimate that up to 80 percent of long-term diabetics will suffer some form of retinal damage. When the doctor added an optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan yesterday, I sensed something was different. OCT is a non-invasive imaging test; using light waves to take cross-section pictures of your retina to help determine its health. The results showed inflammation and something he called cysts within the layers of my retinas; one eye worse than the other.

My trusted doctor referred me to a retina specialist he trusts. I pray the coming weeks will reveal the extent of the damage, the cause, and any potential corrective actions to preserve my eyesight. When I asked his opinion on the long-term prognosis, he honestly told me he couldn’t say, but he knew that, “If we don’t arrest this, you could go blind.”

The drive back to Cooper differed greatly from the drive down, as I allowed Satan to attack me with full force. I selfishly started thinking of how my life would change with blindness. How would I continue to write, ranch, care for my family, support the AWANA kids, attend other nighttime functions at church, etc.? All those thoughts crept into my mind and I soon found myself emotionally and spiritually overwhelmed.

I pulled off the highway to pull myself together. These words were pounding in my mind; “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV). But I can’t Lord! I’m scared. How could You have led me here to Texas, called me to become a Christian writer, etc. just to allow this to happen? With those thoughts, the realization that I just blamed God for this hit me. This broke my heart much more than the thought of going blind scared me. I knew at that moment I was in the midst of a spiritual battle.

When you realize you’re in the midst of a spiritual battle, where do you turn? Click To Tweet

With that realization, I prayed for peace, called upon the many verses hidden in my heart from Psalms and elsewhere in God’s word to find strength, and called a friend. “Brother, can you meet me in 35 minutes? I’m inbound and I’ve gotten some unexpected news. I need someone to cry and pray with?” Without hesitation, my friend said “Yes.” I knew I had to let go of the fear that was gripping me. This, as with most unknowns, is something I had to take to heaven’s door. You can’t always do that by yourself, and I thanked God for godly friends whom I can rely on to help when I need them.

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we can’t always solve someone’s problem. We can’t restore health, overcome circumstances, or even understand everything that’s going on. What we can do is Be There. We can be a sympathetic and empathetic friend who can listen, counsel as led by God, and join them in prayer as we petition God together.

My Christian friend understood how the FUD factor was robbing me of God’s peace, joy, and hope in Christ. And while he couldn’t restore that, he knew who could. So, as he prayed with me, I could feel a resurgence of the Holy Spirit within me. God was immediately answering our prayers by giving me the strength to take control of the fear attempting to overwhelm me.

As I prayed myself to sleep, God comforted me, and I had the best night’s rest I’ve had in a long time. I awoke with a sense of peace and an assurance that wherever this unknown leads, I won’t be alone in the journey. That’s all I need to tell Satan where he can get off and stand strong in my faith in God.

When you face whatever unknowns that find their way into your life, I pray some of these verses I prayed last night help you. In them, you’ll find the peace, comfort, strength, and encouragement you need to face your unknown and overcome the FUD.

  • Psalm 27:5
  • Psalm 28:7
  • Psalm 50:15
  • Psalm 56:3
  • Psalm 91
  • Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Isaiah 26:3
  • Philippians 4:13
  • James 1:12
  • 1 Peter 5:7

And if you need someone to listen and pray with you in the midst of your spiritual battle, I’m here. My email is author@jdwininger.com and while I can’t fix it, I know who can.

God’s blessings,

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76 thoughts on “Facing the Unknown

  1. God bless you, J.D. Thank you for your encouragement and introducing FUD into my vocabulary. And thank you for the reminder that, not only is God ready and eager to listen to us, He has placed friends and prayer warriors in our life who exhibit the hand’s and feet of Jesus, along with the love He has given them for Him and for us. You are in my prayers, and I count it an honor to pray for you.

    1. Thank you Ms. Evelyn. While I’m not sure where this journey is going to lead me, I know that I won’t be alone in making it. My many friends, brothers and sisters in Christ (my “Family of Faith”), and my God will be with me through this. Thank you so much for your kind encouragement and powerful prayers ma’am.

  2. JD, thanks for your candor of sharing your (FUD) moments with us. I’ve already lost one of my primary senses and the eyes are potentially next on the “hit” list. I knew having 130 radiation treatments to my facial region would come back to haunt me later. That time is beginning now. My eyesight isn’t improving with just glasses alone.
    But when on of the senses goes away, the others compensate for it and are heightened. I truly think that when our own (FUD) factors come into play, God wants us to learn to rely more and more on Him and His word. I just watched a new program yesterday where a blind man has climbed all the tallest mountains in the world. What he lacks in sights, his feels, hears, and smells his surroundings to take in the experience.
    Isn’t traversing the unknown what faith is all about? Knowing that God knows should be enough!

    1. So very true Mr Ben. God created us to adapt and overcome what may happen in our human lives. As a longtime Lions Club member, I’ve spent many nights and weekends promoting the cause of blindness, and help others who are living with low vision. I know there’s lots of therapies, treatments, and assistance devices to help, but in the immediate aftermath of that news, I struggled to focus on any of that. Instead, I was selfish in thinking all that I would miss if my world becomes dark. Only later, when I was able to regain my secure footing in Christ’s foundation in my life was I able to realize that while I may one day not be able to see, my world will be dark only if I allow it. So instead of focusing on what might become darkness, I choose to focus upon His eternal light that will continue to shine in my soul. God’s blessings my friend.

  3. Thank you for this today, JD. What a great lesson, encouragement and reminder of where to go when the FUD factor comes a knocking. I will be praying for you and for the doctors to choose the best treatment to stop the issues in your eyes. You’re a blessing to all of us through your words, I ask God to bless you as well.

    1. Amen Ms. Marjorie. We sure are ma’am. And boot camp was designed to teach us how to adapt, conform, and learn to fight as a unit. Not as individuals, but as a cohesive team that thought more about protecting our comrades than ourselves. Thank you for this great reminder sweet friend.

  4. Praying for you while you’re in the FUD zone. I have to remember this is necessary during this little while—boot camp, if you please! Blessings!

  5. Well, I wasn’t expecting this! And I can imagine how you were not either. Isn’t it interesting how in a moment everything changes?
    What a great picture you’ve painted of human experience. We never know what awaits us around the next corner but we know He’s there waiting to pick us up, dry our eyes, and give us Truth, with a capital “T.”
    Thanks for sharing this hard experience with us. I’m praying for you regarding this matter. Already, you’re learning and teaching in it.

    1. Neither was I Ms. Connie. I was certain I was walking out of his office with a new prescription, and maybe a recommendation on how to minimize the glare from those new headlights that feel like they’re always on high beam. I so appreciate your prayers precious friend.

  6. What an unexpected, stirring, challenging, encouraging, and spiritually rich way to start the new day, J.D. As will all who read this piece, I felt my heart connect with yours in both the struggle with the daunting, potentially life-changing, news. I loved the transitional moment when you realized that the fallen human part of us wants to blame God for every bad thing that comes our way, as though we deserve all those things our flesh tends to cling to. I also love the way the love of a brother and the power of the Word of God rescued you from the depths that you were being sucked into. For what it’s worth, Diane and I are under this with you, and sending our prayers and blending our faith with the many whose love for Jesus Christ and you makes us a family. Like the victories you’ve seen before, the one that will follow this battle will live on beyond all of us. I’m committed to move into this new year by displaying unyielding faith, resilient hope and defiant joy no matter what the world and the devil throws at me. And you, my long distance Brother, have given me a worthy target toward which project direct it. Keep us posted on the outcome of the tests.

    1. Knowing that you and your Ms. Diane are holding me up in prayer is such a precious and life-giving gift my friend. On last Tuesday, I knew I didn’t have the strength alone to withstand the storm of emotions that was raging within me. I knew also the source of those storms. It wasn’t the diagnosis, but the fear and panic it caused within me. Perhaps a test to see just how strong my faith is. I felt I was failing miserably at the time, but when I realized that at least I had enough sense to know I couldn’t survive this alone and needed to reach out to my friends for help. Maybe I’m stronger than I think, but I also realize I need to be stronger still in my faith if I am to survive the coming storms in my life. Thank you for always being there to encourage, guide, and correct me my gracious friend. God’s blessings.

  7. J.D., this is such a powerful testimony of turning to the Lord when crisis hits. You recognized the battle and reached out to a Christian friend. Thank you for sharing your very real and relatable experience. Although I haven’t dealt with a vision issue like this, I’ve been hit throughout my life with other news that rocked me. I love your reminder and example to go to the Lord. He is our Rock and Shelter in the storm. Praying now for God’s healing touch on your eyes and an excellent upcoming visit with the specialist.

    1. Yes ma’am. It’s when our world is shaken that we realize just how strong our foundation of faith is. I’m so very grateful for Christian friends that I can reach out to in times of need; and pray daily that I can be that same kind of friend to others when needed. God’s blessings ma’am.

  8. Dear friend, I am praying for you. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability and your need for a friend. God is holding you in His loving arms. Thank you for these Scriptures, too. You always inspire and encourage me.

    1. He is indeed Ms. Melissa. I needed a friend to help reassure me of that the other day, but am slowly regaining my footing. Sometimes we get knocked off our firm foundation of faith, but it is always there waiting for us to climb back on. I’m grateful to have friend like you who don’t hesitate to extend a helping hand to me.

  9. I’m sorry to hear of your situation, and my prayers are with you. How quickly you turned to God in your turmoil! It takes me longer to find peace in distressing circumstances. What a faith-filled example you provide for us in all you do.

    1. To be honest, those 40 miles or so that I drove while feeling sorry for myself and letting Satan get away with so much felt like an eternity Ms. Candyce. Am so grateful to God though that He was there with me in the cab of my pickup and willing to help me fight the spiritual battle I was facing.

  10. Well look at that! Out of the mire of despair, faith rises. What Satan tries to use to bury us (adversity and FUD) God uses to grow us into trees that offer rest, a new vantage point, and shelter to others. — JD, I believe this is one of your richest posts. Thank you. Thank you for your honesty and thank you for being a tree.

    Praying for wisdom for your doctors and healing for your body, for God’s continued peace and presence and leading, and His richest blessings on you and Ms. Diane, and your work.

    1. I so appreciate the prayers and encouraging words Ms. Rachael. As I’ve said, I’m not sure where this journey will take me, but I know for certain where it ends. In whatever shape I’m in when He returns, I know that in an instant, my glorification will make me whole and complete – for eternity! Until that day my friend, we must “keep the faith.” God’s blessings my gentle friend.

  11. It is so scary when we receive a fearful diagnosis. We ask why me? What have I done to deserve this? How can I fix it? But of course, we can’t fix it. I’m so glad you had a friend that could help you find peace and encourage you to reach out to our loving Father. Although we don’t always get the anser we want, He is with us at all times during those FUD times. Thank you for sharing from the heart. Praying for you, my friend.

    1. Amen Ms. Katherine. We can’t “fix it”, but we can “accept it” with God’s grace and help. I’m so very grateful that He has sent wonderful friends like you who I know I can depend upon to help through this journey. I cherish your prayers and thoughts sweet friend.

  12. Oh my wonderful friend, how frightening that must have been to hear, especially when you did not expect it. You are in my prayers very regularly and I am praying the doctor will have an effective treatment that will stem this and not allow it to get worse. God bless you and what you shared about how you handled it is so open, honest and helpful. We are all blindsiided with fearful news at times – thank you for sharing your faithfilled way of handling it.

    1. Thank you Ms. Ann. I hope you realize how much your healthy living posts and the information you share helps so many. We forget sometimes that even though we have an illness like diabetes well-controlled, it can still reek havoc on our bodies. I too am praying that God give me the courage and strength to fight through this. I can’t imagine what it will be like to not watch new calves stand for the first time, and most especially to gaze upon my wife’s beauty and grace, or see her smile. Or watch the joy that lights up the faces of the little ones in my Sparks class at AWANA when they accomplish memorizing a verse, or all 39 books of the Old Testament and two of my boys did this week. I’m praying daily that God takes me from this world before He takes away the visual delights I take from His natural world around me. God’s blessings dear friend; and thank you for the continuing prayers.

  13. J.D. , thank you for sharing your need with us. I’m adding your vision to my prayer list. I appreciate the way you shared your process with honesty, set a good example by calling a Christian friend, and meditated on the Word. In the unknowns, we don’t know the answer, but we know our powerful and loving God does. May God give comfort and assurance to you and your wife.

  14. JD I don’t know where to begin in my comments. “Thank you” is a start-for your transparency and vulnerability; giving us clear scripture, reminding us of our enemy in FUD, and then to point us to the One who “sees” clearly and perfectly and holds us. I agree with the above comment- one of your richest posts. I am also agreeing with many praying for direction to the right human physician to have wisdom in your treatment and fir the Holy Spirit to bring to your reminder throughout the day scriptures of love, peace, and truth. God’s richest blessings to you and my prayers for you and Mrs. Diane.

    1. Thank you so much Ms. Marilyn. Sometimes our faith is shaken and our hope seems far away, but in reality it is only a prayer away my friend. I am so grateful for your kindness, grace-filled words, and your continued prayers.

  15. What a turnaround. We had lunch just hours before you went to your doctors appointment and had such a good time sharing each other. Neither one of us had any idea of what life changing news you would receive. You handled it well my friend as I knew you would. I’ve seen your deep devotion to our God and we’ll just have to wait to see what he wants you to do and how he will lead you. My prayers are with you and Diane.

    1. Yessir. As I mentioned earlier, I was convinced this appointment was a formality to point out that I needed a new prescription; and I had no idea what news was awaiting me. I knew with the glare back when bright lights are introduced was a sign something wasn’t right, but I was convinced it was a case of the lens implants from the cataract surgeries back in ’17 was the cause. A quick polishing with the laser in his office, or a small change in prescription, and I would be all set. I sure never expected to hear news of retinal cysts. While it still seems scary to me, I’m finding the encouragement and prayers of friends and family to be enough to hold me steady on course sir. I’m so very blessed to say that you are both friend and family sir. God’s blessings.

  16. Dear J.D., I am adding your need to my prayer list. Thank you for sharing with such honesty. May our Lord continue to comfort you and surround you in His peace. In love and friendship, Tammy

  17. Father. Abba. You are the creator. Everything made was made by you. Our humanity often gets in the way, but you sent Jesus to give us life more abundantly. By His stripes we are healed. Are. Healed.

    Thank you for loving us so much. Thank you for healing JD, even if you do use medical practitioners. Amen.

    1. Thank you for the blessing of your friendship Mr. Warren. I especially appreciate your prayer sir. How God chooses to use this to shape my life is up to God, but I so appreciate your bold claim of His healing. What I’ve discovered this week is that the greatest healing occurs in my soul. I may lose my vision one day, but I’ll never lose my faith in God and His plan for me. Romans 8:28 my friend!

  18. Oh JD. I am praying too. The Lord knows what He is doing even when we don’t understand. I found your comment about blaming God very poignant. I think we all tend to do that when bad things happen. “But, I have been so good in following you, why are you letting this happen?” Is usually how my train of thought starts out. We make everything about ourselves instead of about God’s will. Hang in there my friend. God’s got you.

    1. Mine too Ms. Yvonne. I still can’t understand how God is going to use this to enrich my life, but I believe He can and will do exactly that, if I allow Him to complete His work in my life through my surrender to His will. God’s blessings precious friend.

  19. Thank you for your openness, transparency and honesty. I think when bad things, especially unexpected bad things happen, our first tendency is to question God – “Why me? Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this?” And then when our heartrate slows down, and our breathing evens out, we realize that we’ve asked the wrong questions. And we repent. And we ask the right questions and say the right things. “Is this Your will? What do you want me to do? Regardless, I will follow You, Lord, because I know that I know that I know You will never lead me astray, You will never abandon me, You are always with me.” I am delighted you had a friend you could call who walked the first few hours of this journey with you. Know that you have hundreds of friends who are praying daily for you and for Miss Diane.

    1. Amen Ms. Edwina. I can’t understand it right now, but I can accept it as His will my friend. Knowing that so many of our friends are praying for Ms. Diane and me touches me greatly ma’am. Such an outpouring of love this week reminds me of how very blessed I am. Thank you and God’s blessings sweet soul.

  20. J.D., while we will pray hard you will win the battle for your eyesight, it’s obvious that you’re already won the first of many battles with our enemy and his henchman, fear. Thank you for modeling how Faith fights fear and wins with God’s truth to guard your heart and mind.

    1. Thank you Ms. Lori; and thank you, Mr. David, and my many friends at NTBC for your continued prayers. I know many there understand what news like this is like. And I remember watching the dear woman praise and worship using a braille songbook. I was reminded of that this week, that even in the midst of our trial, we must praise Him. God’s blessings precious “Family of Faith.”

  21. I will lift you up each day in my prayers, J.D. Those anxious thoughts are what the enemy uses to defeat us. Your spiritual wisdom led you to remember to cast down those imaginations. Philippians 4:6-7 are some of my favorite scriptures to go to when peace is threatened. Know you are lifted up by a myriad of brothers and sisters!

  22. Thank you, J.D., for your transparency here. When we face the unknown, we live in fear. You’re showing us the blessing of fellowship, Christians bearing one another’s burdens.

    You’re showing us faith. Faith shines light and eradicates fear. No matter your situation, God will grow you–and others through you. God bless!

    1. Thank you Ms. Nancy. Am praying that God continue to use me in whatever way He sees fit to use me. And if He has chosen to take my vision to cause me to be more humble a servant, then so be it. I remind myself several times a day that there’s nothing this world can do to me or take from me that will stop me from fulfilling God’s will in my life.

  23. What a shock! News like this can set up the same grief reactions as other losses: denial, bargaining, anger, depression, & acceptance. They may manifest differently or in different degrees with everybody, but your FUD factors fit right in there. Thank you for sharing this very honest account with us. I will be praying for the best possible resolution to your diagnosis. You have prayed for all of us, and as you’ve said many times, “You get what you give.” I’m sure you’ll be covered in many, many prayers. The Lord bless & keep you.

    1. It sure was Ms. Dottie; and yes, I’m going through many of those DABDA stages quickly it seems. One thing I’ve learned through the years though is that sometimes you have to make two or three visits to a particular stage of grief before you can fully release it all. I’m ever-grateful for a patient God and prayerful friends who will lift me up. I pray I am able to return that honor to many.

  24. Well, it looks as though I have something else to add to my “J.D. prayer list!” Look at all the prayer support you have. How wonderful. We all share in the sorrow of this difficult news, but we all know that God’s plans for you have not been fulfilled. Besides, God can do the impossible even through blindness! Of course, I pray that you can be successfully treated and continue as you have.
    As I read your post, I relived the moments and thoughts I had when I was diagnosed with Stage II cancer. So similar. “What if’s” are dangerous ground, a sneaky tool of the enemy. Don’t go there! It is a ploy to distract the focus you need to be putting on God. Return to praise and rest (as you did). Those two things alone show faith. God is there with you today and will be in your tomorrows. Day at the time, my friend, day at the time. You may even discover how to find joy through this darkness.

    1. I can only imagine my friend. Like your cancer journey, it’s the not knowing what those cysts are filled with that has me the most bothered. Are they blood-filled from leaky vessels in my eyes (diabetic retinopathy)? Are they filled with other substances (cancer cells, etc.)? Are they a result of the successful cataracts surgeries that happens to approximately one percent of patients? It’s the unknown that frightens me the most. Am so grateful for godly friends like you who remind me that human life itself is an UNKNOWN, and our faith is what gets us through each day.

  25. Hi Uncle Jim,
    Hugs! So sorry to hear about all this! I will take to prayer throughout each day! The FUD has been weighing my heart these days, your writing sure touched my heart to take it to Jesus and pray! Jesus, I trust in you! I will read those verses in scripture you shared too! Love, hugs, and prayers!
    Kim

    1. Thanks Ms. Kim. I was too ma’am. I think Satan is having a hay day with many of us today with his FUD. The way we overcome it though is with the help of Christian friends and family members, relying on God’s word hidden in our hearts, and remembering to take it all to Him in prayer. We can’t fix all that is happening in the world, but we can rely upon God to fix us with His peace, joy, love, and comfort. God’s blessings precious angel.

  26. Jim,

    Thank you for the honesty in your message. I am praying for you and I know that He hears our every cry. He knows the plans he has for you.

    Louise

    1. He does indeed Ms. Louise. We just have to remember that He’s always ready to listen when we cry out. And yes, He knows how this turns out. My job is to simply trust Him. Thank you for your kind words, powerful prayers, and great friendship ma’am. My life is blessed because of so many godly friends like you that God has placed in it.

  27. Thank you J.D. Your honesty about FUD resonates so well in these days. I am truly sorry about the vision issue, but yet so very grateful for the testimony in dealing with it. Praise God for His Word and for His body of believers. Thanks for confirming both! I will be praying with you!

  28. J.D., I pray the specialist will be able to help you keep your eyesight! How wonderful that your friend met and prayed with you and helped restore your faith and trust in God!

    1. Thank you Ms. Kathy. I know there’s much more beauty in this world that God wants me to see. Whether I see that with my eyes (like when I look at your creative genius) or I hear it in the words of my Christian writing friends (such as when I read your blog posts), there is beauty to behold in my soul. Thank you for your prayers my friend. They lift me up and embolden me to lean in closer to our Lord.

  29. I’m so sorry to hear the doctor’s report, dear brother. But I know a great physician who knows all about healing. You know Him too—Jesus! Our Healer. I’ll be asking Him to touch your eyes and perform a miracle for His glory. Don’t fear. God has a plan and we can trust Him. You’re going to come through with a powerful testimony!

    My mother also had a detached retina twice and five operations. Although she lost most of her sight in that eye, the Lord has promised her He is going to heal it. And her healing has begun. Her eye surgeon checks her twice a year, and her recent check showed it stable. It should be just the opposite—but we know Jehovah Ropha. He is working. We pray daily and God is making a way where there appears to be no way. One day soon that atheist surgeon will meet Jesus when He brings His Word to pass. What a powerful testimony! Thank you Jesus!

    1. Wow Ms. Karen. I thank you so much for your prayers sweet friend; and while I don’t know what God is planning to do with my eyesight, I know for a fact that He has plans to prosper me, to use me in His kingdom work, and to bring me home to be with Him in His time. God’s blessings my dear and beautiful friend.

  30. I am so sorry for that devastating news. I will be praying that God will save your eyes for as long as possible which means Forever. Bless you!

    1. Amen Ms. Teresa. If God has chosen to hide all the ugliness in this world from my vision, I am certain He will continue to shine brightly in my heart; and He will use faith-filled people like you to share your light of God with me. Your kind words touch my heart ma’am. Thank you so much for your grace and kindness.

    1. Thank you Ms. Joanne. Not sure what the days ahead will bring yet, but so very blessed to know there are so many wonderful caring friends like you who are lifting me up in prayer. It’s a comforting and encouraging knowledge that I can lean upon when my faith and resolve are weak.

  31. Praying for the protection of your eyesight, J.D. It is scary to potentially lose such an essential part of life. I can’t imagine. Hugs.

    1. It is scary Ms. Kathy, but I needed to remind myself this week that what happens in this human life is “but a vapor”; and that I will have an eternity with Abba when I will be perfected in glory, as I continue to endure to the end my friend. God’s blessings and know please how hard I am praying for you and Mr. Larry as all y’all face your trial by fire also.

  32. I appreciate your authenticity and demonstrating how to be humble and reach out to a trusted friend when you found yourself assaulted by … FUD. Great way to remember these emotions and states of mind that trip us up! You are a solid example of what it looks like to walk with Jesus when we are given no promise of perfect health but assurance of steady footing alongside our Creator and friend Jesus. I’ll add this particular concern in my prayers for you, JD.

    1. Thank you so much Ms. Mary. I so cherish your prayers my young friend; and while we can’t know how God plans to use this, we can trust Him to continue to use me in His service as long as I seek Him, His guidance, and His control of my life. God’s blessings sweet friend. Did you know that I can no longer eat a peanut M&M without stopping to pray for you and your writing? 🙂

  33. J.D., this message resonated with me and spoke to my heart. The unknowns and “what ifs” really get to me sometimes and I don’t do well controlling the “FUD” factor. I added your name and eyesight issue to my prayer journal so I can bring this before the Lord on a regular basis. Love many of the scriptures you shared at the end, especially Psalm 91. Let’s pray now.

    Lord, I come before your majestic throne and praise your splendor, glory and sovereignty! You reign in the heavens and over the earth. Thank you for the privilege to pray. I ask that you continue to give J.D. the comfort and peace his heart and mind need as he trusts in you. Lord, hide J.D. in the shelter of your wings and help him to abide there. Give your angels charge concerning him. Finally, I pray for treatments and medical wisdom to keep his eyesight healthy. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

  34. JD…My heart sank as I read of your dilemma on Wednesday. Although I didn’t comment at the time, I want you to know I’ve prayed for you ever since.

    After my struggle with my vision last year due to dry eyes and inflamed corneas, I can also relate to the fear of never being able to see in focus again. Today, I type this with clear vision and trust God that this will be a short, treatable season in your life.

    Once again, your post is filled with strong spiritual Truth that serves as inspiration to us all. God knows whom He can trust to bring Him honor and glory through adversity. To you, my friend, I’m sure His response would be, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

    Please continue to keep us posted, as I’m sure all of us within this thread will keep you lifted up to the God who see you and still heals.

    In His love,
    Starr

    1. I thought of you in the aftermath of this news my friend; and I prayed God give me that same strength and courage to see me through this as He did you in your vision journey Ms. Starr. I prayed too that He deliver me from this as He did you ma’am. Thank you for all your kindness, encouragement, and most especially for your prayers dear sister. God’s blessings.

  35. Peace be with you, JD. The road ahead is unknown for sure and for all, but the joy of the Lord is our strength and courage to keep on keeping on. Satan doesn’t stand a chance! I know this bc, just this week I received a diagnosis. I suspected what it was because of a symptom I have been afflicted with about a year now. Itching! After researching on my own, I experienced unexplainable peace – His peace. I met with the doctor and strangely did not have an ounce of dread. The report of CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia) was confirmed. At this point, it requires no treatment, except for the symptom, which my Dermatologist is treating. But I must see my oncologist (a smart and funny man) every couple of months. CLL is typical, he tells me among folks of my age. (Ugh). The good news is, I have time to prepare, plan, grow closer to God, and be an example to my family of what Satan can’t steal from me – JOY! Thank you for sharing your testimony, JD. Yet another life-giving lesson from the Cross Dubya. And for the scriptures of comfort, bless you for sharing. Praying that God’s healing light will pierce any darkness attempting to move in on your eyes, in Jesus’ Name.

    1. Thank you Ms. Kathy; both your kindness and your encouragement in the midst of your own trial humble me ma’am. I was reminded this week that the bad part about getting older is that we have more ailments, illness, and aches and pains. Yet, the good part about getting older is that we’re still around to experience them. I am praising God that you now have a diagnosis and can call it by name, as the “not knowing” is in ways worse than dealing with the malady. Please know that I’ll be adding this to my daily prayers for you ma’am. I’m so very glad that with your diagnosis came God’s peace. I’ve been thinking in recent days of what situations must be like folk who don’t know Christ, and have no hope for their eternal future. This breaks my heart even more ma’am. Thank you again for your encouraging words sweet friend. The best part of our illnesses is knowing that they’re only temporary my friend. God’s blessings.

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