At the very same time when I turned 30 and my father 55, the retinal disease began to rob our eyesight.
In a matter of 18 months, our vision closed in completely, leaving us in darkness with no trace of shadows, color ... only a dark gray nothing.
My World Crumbled
...as the black curtain fell, destroying the dreams my husband and I had for us and for our 3-, 5- and 7-year-old sons.
But when I turned to God for hope and strength, He responded by opening my eyes to see a new revelation—the insight my father had given me.
My father had not only passed on to me the gene that caused my blindness, but also the example of living with determination and tenacity.
Only a couple of decades prior, my family and I lived in Bolivia, our native land. At that time, he defied the family's opposition to move to America. Instead, he and Mom worked nonstop to satisfy the requirements imposed by the U.S. Immigration Department to enter the country legally and establish residency.
My Father Persevered
Once in the States, my father overcame humiliation, intense loneliness, helplessness and uncertainty. But determined to succeed, he got a job unloading trucks. He endured ridicule because of his lack of fluency in English, but he pressed on. And he managed to gather enough money for the basics—rent a small apartment, buy modest furniture from thrift stores and put a down payment on a car. Nine months later, he sent airline tickets for my mom, my brother and me.
He demonstrated that humility is crucial to success. My father is in the glory of heaven now. And this Father's Day, I celebrate the qualities that define his legacy.
Like a baby takes its first steps holding tight to his father's hand, my dad held onto God as he stepped from the comfort of our hometown in Bolivia to the unknown in a foreign land.
Confidence in God
I did the same as I stepped into the unfamiliarity of a sightless world. Holding onto God's hand, I gained confidence and learned the language of appreciation.
Gratitude is what my heart sees. Thankfulness for God's promise that when in the dark land of discouragement, in a place unfamiliar, and when the path is unknown, His Word shall always be "a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Ps. 119:105).
With that light shining the way, I celebrate my heavenly Father's provision and my earthly father's perseverance.
Both allowed me to gaze at the beauty of life when choosing to see through the eyeglasses of gratitude.
Father, thank you for the lack of physical sight that opened my spiritual eyes. Now I see my life through the window of gratitude. In Jesus' name.
What blinds you from living with gratitude?
Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker and the author of four books. She has helped thousands conquer fear and bring back joy.
This article originally appeared at janetperezeckles.com.
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