I’ll never forget the sound of my daughter screaming in the other room.
As a parent, you know the difference between a severe and a silly scream. This one was a pure animal bellow: frantic and wild.
When I heard it, I came charging in to find my daughter sitting on the floor holding her eye with both hands.
My body shook with icy fear as she yelled, “Daddy… Daddy, my eye. I can’t see! I can’t see!” All the blood seemed to have drained from her face.
The entire world disappeared. All I could see was my baby suffering on the floor.
She wouldn’t stop moaning and yelling.
Tiffany and Presley were at a party on the cruise ship. We were in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. No cell reception. No way to get help.
Anxious and Alone
I felt useless. Parker was screaming, and there was nothing I could do to help.
Finally, I got her to lie down and rest.
Looking around, I discovered that she had (how exactly, I’ll never know) slipped while opening a box and sliced through her eye.
The doctor on board did her best to examine the injury, but she just didn’t have the tools necessary to give a good diagnosis. She told us to see a specialist as soon as the cruise ended.
For the next five days, I stewed in anxiety and fear.
My baby couldn’t see, and we were almost a week out from seeing a specialist. What if we miss our window for healing? What if she needs help right now?
No one could help.
I couldn’t help.
I was anxious and alone.
Finally, our dream-cruise-turned-nightmare was over. The boat docked, and we rushed straight to a specialist.
I sat in the waiting room feeling that same icy gut-punched ache: anxious and alone.
After some time, the doctor came in, holding a chart of the anatomy of an eye. Not a good sign.
The lens of her eye had been crushed, and the cut from the box was deep. He explained that they would have to do emergency surgery.
If you are a parent, then I am sure you can relate to the feelings that rushed over me at that point: a gumbo of shame, fear, and self-accusation.
When we get like that, it doesn’t matter how many people are around us with encouraging words. We are alone with our fears and anxieties: isolated in a self-made room of shame.
With one sentence from the doctor, God walked into that room of shame. As he continued explaining things, I heard him say, “If that box went a centimeter deeper, your daughter would have been blind.”
As soon as he said it, I saw everything related to Parker’s injury differently.
God was there in every detail.
I call these moments “God winks”. Little moments where He shows me that I’m never alone. Quiet times where it’s as though He says, “See, I still got this.”
As I reflected on this story, I’ve realized that, like Parker, I was also almost blind.
For a week, I couldn’t see that God had His hand in caring for every detail. He stopped that box at just the right moment.
I felt anxious and alone when in reality, God was calm and close.
Like Parker, I was screaming, “Father, I can’t see! I don’t see how you could let this happen.”
I was blind in the darkness of my shame and anxiety, but I’ve never found Jesus afraid to enter my most shameful places.
Invite the Holy Spirit into the darkness of your shame and anxiety.
It may hurt, but like Parker, your vision will be renewed when the surgery is done.