Jesus the Other Sun

Guiding me along the lighted path…

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Mobility Matters Stepping Out in Faith was on my heart long before I wrote it.  This book chronicles my progressive vision and hearing loss,

Identifying my boundairies - both physical and, in writing, emotional. Still feeling my way forward.

and the obstacles those losses caused for me, both physical and self-imposed.  As I attempted to cope with a more muted, fuzzier environment, I felt out-of-sync with everyone around me. As a foreign language instructor, it became more difficult to teach Spanish and control the behavior of my students. It became more challenging to fit in with my friends.  I couldn’t even hear the whispers of my dates let alone accompany them into dark movie theaters without stumbling all over the chairs and other people’s feet! My outlook was transformed due to meeting the knowledgeable and caring personnel at the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services who guided me through the transition.

But the one who really changed my life was my orientation and mobility instructor. In those unforgettable hours of cane training, he gave me back my self-esteem.

Afterward, I wanted to share the insights I gained to encourage others in the midst of whatever problem they were facing.  Our solutions clearly revolved around maintaining the right perspective.  God whispered that my story mattered and He would use it. I was already writing my memoir about my international teaching experiences with vision loss, how could I write another without finishing the earlier story?  It seemed a distant dream while I continued writing my first book, Fading Light.

Four years elapsed and I still hadn’t gotten out Fading Light. But suddenly, I felt God telling me to write the latter book I’d shoved aside.

One huge problem was the authentic detail I wanted to include. I knew the core of my book revolved around my orientation and mobility training because overcoming my attitude toward using a cane was the biggest stumbling block to me.

How could I write about the streets where I learned how to use my cane when all through training my eyes had been covered with a sleepshade (blindfold)?

I felt I would have some gaps in my story without knowing the exact street names. After I finished my O & M training, I had tried keeping up with my instructor but I  lost his email address and he had since moved on from his position at the Bureau of Blindness. At one time, he had given me his home phone number but, for whatever reason,  I couldn’t get through to him.  I convinced myself that I couldn’t write the book unless I knew the exact locations where everything took place.

But GOD….

He kept telling me to write the book. Just write it. He would supply everything I needed.

Finally, I stepped out in faith and started writing this past January.

I wasn’t comfortable with approximate streets and I longed for my instructor’s feedback on our conversations.

But I didn’t get them.Even though I prayed hard, God kept that door firmly closed.

I continued to write.  I had come to terms with what I’d written. Finally, I was ready to publish.

My editor loved the book and declared it “ready.”

I lacked only one thing. I  wanted to use a quote from my orientation and mobility instructor at the start of the book. So, I asked around as to what to do. “Just call and ask permission,” one of my critique partners said bluntly. “Most people are flattered when you quote them in a book.”

She didn’t know how many times I’d tried to call him.  Or the uncertainties that each attempt cost me to make.  Had he moved or was he simply angry with me for something I had done in the past? The book was due out so I had to either post the beginning  quote using his name but not his permission or delete the quote. But how could I do that when the  quote pulled everything together?

I prayed and called him. One Last. Time.

Guess what? The call went through! He hadn’t moved after all!

While I waited for him to come to the phone, my heart beat wildly in my chest.

He didn’t sound angry or put out in the least. He sounded genuinely thrilled to hear about the book.

My words tumbled out. I quickly took his contact details down for future reference.

“I’m so happy that we can communicate again!” I bubbled out, “If you don’t mind, can you check the names of the streets?”

To my amazement, he said,  “You don’t need specific street names. The lessons you learned are powerful wherever they took place.”

My jaw dropped. Another lesson learned. My doubts flew away.

After I hung up and thought about it, I felt God teaching me yet another truth.  If I had reached my instructor earlier when I was writing the book, I would have obsessed over trying to get every detail right and I wouldn’t have focused on the real messages God had for me to convey.

God always has a purpose.

And perfect timing.

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You have just read Blurred Details, Clear Message © Amy Bovaird August 15, 2014.  Have you ever had a situation in which you’ve waited for a long time for God to act? Share it in the comments below. To find out more about Mobility Matters Stepping Out in Faith, go to www.amybovaird.com  Don’t forget to LIKE this post, and share it with those in your social community!

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21 thoughts on “Blurred Details, Clear Message

  • August 15, 2014 at 6:32 pm
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    Your story is very inspiring. I have not had to deal with loss of vision, however I have loss of hearing. It is difficult dealing with misunderstandings due to not hearing correctly, however it has helped me to rely on my God given instincts and trust God has my back. There has been times in my life where I believe God has used my hearing loss to protect me from certain situations I have encountered and again just to trust Him. Thank you for the reminder there is a plan and a purpose through it all.

  • August 15, 2014 at 6:44 pm
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    Sandy, I so hear you! Hearing loss can even be more separating than vision loss! I’m glad you can relate.
    There is a purpose and plan, and we have to go back to our trust. But God sometimes gives us glimpses now and then of how He uses our weaknesses in varying ways.
    Thank you for taking time to read and share your thoughts.
    Amy

  • August 16, 2014 at 1:11 am
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    details about the past so often don’t matter, only when you have a meeting or appointment: time and place. Actually, they are too often boring anyway and get glossed over by the reader. Be confident; I think you’ve done a great job.

  • August 16, 2014 at 4:53 am
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    Thanks, Bettie Lou! I really think you’re right! The message is so powerful.It’s crazy how we let inconsequential things interfere with what God wants us to accomplish.

  • August 16, 2014 at 4:54 am
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    You’re welcome, Joan.

  • August 16, 2014 at 9:51 pm
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    Amy, you are true inspiration to others and I’m so excited about your book. I like the fact that you found the lesson in the writing of your book and you accepted it when you realized that’s what it was. so many times we are given lessons in our lives and so many times we overlook them only to continue to question the same things over and over again. looking forward to more of your posts.

  • August 17, 2014 at 12:59 am
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    Congratulations!! Such an exciting next step! I love how you share the trust that you felt in having all that you needed to be a success.

  • August 18, 2014 at 1:17 pm
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    Thank you, Jen! My book will be out by September 1. It has lots of humor and insights as to what it’s like to face ongoing vision and hearing loss without losing sight of the hope of a normal life in the process. =) Well, even though it might be a new norm!
    Please do come back and read some of the humorous experiences in my life! You might be interested in reading I Didn’t see the Flood. http://creativesorbet.com/amyblog/i-didnt-see-the-flood/
    Amy

  • August 18, 2014 at 1:23 pm
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    Thank you for your good wishes and also for keying in on my biggest lesson, Amy! It’s an exciting time for me as I lead up to its release. So happy God keeps reassuring me all is in His hands. Check back for some of my humorous stories and more insights!

  • August 18, 2014 at 3:59 pm
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    We can get so wrapped up in getting things right we miss the message. The details don’t matter as much as that we listen in the silence and follow His lead.The story is meant to be told as we hear it rather than remember it. If we wait for perfection we may never move. I refuse to edit my writing most of the time because then the story gets lost in my fixing it to perfection.

  • August 18, 2014 at 4:56 pm
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    I hear you, Charles. You’re so right about listening and following His lead. That’s how I knew I reached the end of the book! So exciting. Everything came together nicely.

  • August 18, 2014 at 10:00 pm
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    It’s amazing how God blesses us when we wait on his timing! I can particularly relate to this quote from your piece: “As I attempted to cope with a more muted, fuzzier environment, I felt out-of-sync with everyone around me.” I still feel this way when I’m in crowds and need to know what’s happening. And when we’re plunged into that “more muted, fuzzier environment,” we must interpret a world whose language much of the time is still Greek to me. I just smile and nod my head a lot. When I started writing “Seeing Through Blindness,” I, too, was in the midst of writing another book. But God wanted me to shelve that one and write what he had called me to write. Once I put my hand to the plow it’s difficult for me not to finish what I started, but I’m glad I let go of the plow and obeyed. Now, I’m going to go back and finish the other one I shelved. I sense God’s hand on your new book, Amy. And I can’t wait to be one of your first readers to be blessed by it!

  • August 19, 2014 at 2:15 am
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    Thank you, Matt!
    I, too, still feel that way–on the periphery. I get into a lot of trouble pretending to hear. I’ll just say “Yeah!” enthusiastically or “No way,” and the person might say, “Did you hear what I just said?” and I am then forced to admit I didn’t. LOL. It really is having to interpret from various cues. Have you ever read Dorothy Steifel’s The Maddness of Usher’s Syndrome?It was written quite awhile ago but she gives a lot of tips and shares her experiences with both RP and Ushers. Great book! Dorothy was the founder of TARP. Texas Association for Retinitis Pigmentosa.
    It’s getting closer to when the book will be out…!
    Thanks for your support!
    Amy

  • August 19, 2014 at 5:25 pm
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    Blurred Details, Clear Message is such an appropriate title and important life’s lesson Amy. Sometimes we are so bogged down by what I refer to as the “minutia of madness” that we can miss out on the joys right in front of us.

    I can’t even begin to imagine what it is like to live with hearing and vision loss though I do have several friends who have Ushers and I am so blessed by their friendship. Being with them has made me more aware of what they could be missing and I try to keep them in the loop because having lost my vision I understand the impact of the loss of information.

    You are an inspiration Amy!!

  • August 20, 2014 at 2:57 am
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    Steph,
    That is great you take the time to keep your friends with Usher’s in the loop. It’s a little isolating sometimes trying to locate who is speaking and to follow the conversation at the same time and also try to contribute.
    It felt good to know that it was best to write the book and then let my trainer read it.
    Soon, he’ll read it … in Braille.
    He said he can’t wait to get his fingers on it! Ha ha!
    Thanks for your comment, Stephanie!
    Amy

  • August 20, 2014 at 2:44 pm
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    Love the honesty in your story, Amy. Powerful lesson about trusting God and trusting Him instead of obsessing over what we think is important. Blessed to read your insights. Thank you!

  • August 20, 2014 at 5:55 pm
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    Thank you, Karen.
    It was a real lesson in letting go of the details. =)
    I was just reading how God uses our life experiences to reach out to others and share how we stay optimistic because of Him!
    Amy

  • August 22, 2014 at 3:21 pm
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    When we learn to listen and see on the inside, life is never silent or without direction. When we learn to follow the directions and guidance of the One who is ever speaking to our inner ear we will never get lost or off track. glad you are learning such valuable lessons sooner than later. Bless you as you continue your journey with Him.

  • August 23, 2014 at 9:43 pm
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    Wonderful story and your expressive writing style. I’ll return to read again!

    I read about your “attitude (s)”, and immediately went to my handy, next to my computer, Thesaurus–ATTITUDE; disposition, habitude, outlook, sentiment (CHARACTER)…(POSTURE). I liked the definition “habitude” in our character. If we are functioning in our spiritual life with a “habitude” type of character, then we don’t need God’s direction. Not that HABITUDES are all bad, they can just redirect our focus sometimes.

  • August 23, 2014 at 11:09 pm
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    Yes, Mel, I think you’re right. You’re saying that if we rely on ourselves, our outlook without seeking God, we can miss the mark, right? That’s exactly what I learned! =)
    Thanks for the new word!!
    Amy

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