I am a born-again Christian delighting in and claiming God’s promises!
I grew up worshiping in a non-denominational church in Erie, Pennsylvania. At age 12, I was baptized. Every summer, my sister and I attended Camp Agape, a wonderful church camp in New York. Even with all this exposure to Jesus, my relationship to Him wasn’t an integral part of my identity. In other words, my faith was still only part of who I was.
But it was a big enough part that I chose to study in a Christian environment–Ohio Valley University. In my junior year, I transferred to a sister college, Oklahoma Christian University. There I found my calling, to teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). My plan was to support myself as a teacher so I could enter the mission field.
After three years of living abroad, I came back to the United States and went to the eye doctor. My intention was to get a stronger prescription for my glasses. Instead, I learned I had an incurable hereditary vision disorder called Retinitis Pigmentosa and was told I would go blind. After an intense communication with God, my faith began to deepen and I chose to continue to teach abroad.
God blessed me for several years. My teaching career took me to Colombia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Japan, Egypt, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates. I was thrilled to live and travel in such diverse cultures, to learn new languages and also share God’s word.
I taught in private schools, language institutes, colleges and military language programs and worked with churches in the area. I cherished the variety of people I worshiped with around the world and the churches that helped me grow.
After the loss of twins and an unsuccessful marriage, I clung even more to God’s word. In 2006, I noticed difficulty in my hearing. In 2009, in addition to learning how to use a white cane, I discovered I could have Usher Syndrome, the leading cause of deaf blindness in the world. Coping with hearing loss is challenging but God remains faithful. As I lose more physical vision, God heightens my spiritual vision. He ministers to me all the time.
I’m proud to be the woman I am today–adventuresome, optimistic and passionate about God’s love.
God has such a sense of humor! It always makes me laugh when I think about how He let me–a map-challenged young woman losing her vision–loose on the world. In Sept 2012, I gave up my 25-year teaching career. I took up a full-time writing and speaking ministry to educate others about vision and hearing loss, and to encourage those coping with blindness and deafness.
To be able to be a successful author of three memoirs and to speak regularly at churches, civic groups, senior centers and schools reminds me how God’s always looking out for me and how blessed I am.