My Journey with MS

My diagnoses and path to spiritual peace

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  • Matt Dowie

A Subtle Nudge

Over the last 27 years I have come to realize I am really good at one thing. That one thing happens to be procrastination and my recent visit to the eye doctor was no different! According to my eyes I 'limped' into the eye doctor on my last pair of contacts where one of them was actually ripped a little bit. The most common question when I am at the eye doctor goes as follows, "Do you need more contacts today?" Why yes, yes I do. Thanks for asking! I am sure I am not alone in this, am I?

Despite the need for more contacts my trips to the eye doctor are quite important. One of the areas of my body that has gotten hit the worst over the years due to MS are my eyes. I had double vision back in, I believe, 2015, uhthoffs phenomenon(click here if curious about uhthoffs) in 2017, and a bad case of optic neuritis in 2018. So trips to the eye doctor result in a lot of vision tests as well as pictures of my optic nerve. You know what else a trip to the eye doctor brings? Not so great memories. I was sitting in this office when my mom called me to tell me a friend of mine had passed away at the age of 27. It was this office, just 10 minutes after the news my mom shared, where the last nail in the 'I think I have MS' coffin was hammered in. I had suspected I had MS for awhile but when the eye doctor comes in and says, "You have optic neuritis right now and there is nothing corrective lenses can do to help. The first thing that comes to mind for me when I see optic neuritis is MS." Nothing more needed to be said, I had MS. As you can imagine going back to the eye doctor isn't the most enjoyable occasion but on this trip something amazing happened. God whispered in my ear and said, "I love you."

You may be wondering what circumstances lead me to seeing God at the eye doctor so let me fill you in on a little bit more of what happened on this trip. My eye doctor decided to take a look at my brief visual field test that I took before I saw her and compare it to my very first one I did in 2018. When we looked at the one in 2018 she stated, in a not so subtle voice, 'wow that is unbelievable.' The image shows a person's visual field and the places that show up black on the image show blind spots in your eye. The image of my left eye happened to be roughly 70% blind spots! You know things are bad when you are in the middle of the test and you ask the person helping you if the test has started yet. It was that bad! But then she showed me the one I did in 2019 as well as the one in 2020, turned to me, and said these words, 'That is incredible. Most people will improve a little bit from optic neuritis but not this much. You went from all those blind spots to essentially none. I have never seen someone's vision improve that much. You must have an angel watching over your eye."

As I drove back to work I couldn't stop thinking about what she had said to me and the ramifications of it all. This was a place where I had horrible memories. Where I almost dreaded going because I don't want to be given more bad news. Yet despite those concerns and very real memories I get a nudge from God that makes me think of only one thing. Despite all the circumstances and things that have happened at this doctor's office, God was with me. Sure, the view of my visual field in 2018 is nearly an all black circle but God was still with me. I want to preface this by saying I am not a theologian nor am I trying to claim I am one but it makes you wonder. I believe God is all knowing. So to think He was unaware of me getting MS would be fundamentally flawed. I also believe God is all powerful. To think He doesn't have the power to prevent me from getting MS or now to fully heal me is also fundamentally flawed. It leads me to one conclusion. Me having MS is, for me, how all the glory can be given to God. It seems strange and is hard to wrap your head around it but God was fully aware of me getting MS and was fully aware of the things that were going to happen in that doctor's office and knew that these things were going to happen so that all the glory can be given to Him. I know this because despite it all, He was there. I could be blind in my left eye right now but because of a miraculous God my eye recovered to a level and a degree that this doctor has never seen before. Isn't that amazing?!

I believe God uses all things for good and that includes everything that may have happened in your life in the past. As I wrap up this post I encourage you to look back at times that were tough. Maybe times of injury, hurt relationships, loss, financial struggles, whatever it may be and look at it in a different light. Don't sit there and think about the hard times but think about the things that may have come out of it. Maybe it was the introduction of a person that has impacted your life. Maybe it was a new path that you got placed onto that lead you to a place of happiness and joy. Maybe it changed your outlook on life in a positive way. Look for the growth coming from the ashes. You just might be surprised at what you realize when you look at these situations in a different light. My trips to the eye doctor will never be the same thanks to the subtle yet power nudge from God.

I would love to hear from you as to how God might have used a situation for good in your life. Or, have thoughts or questions about life, whether that be yours or mine? Comment on this blog post or shoot me a message on social media. I would love to hear from you!

Take Heart

John 16:33

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