This might be long, but you won’t be disappointed. Grab a cup of coffee, read on and then friends, celebrate around the world with us!
This story is dedicated to all who have loved, prayed for and believed with us for Ruby’s healing. She is my wee-BFF and together we thank you for being part of her story through your prayers.
But this story is also for all the doubters, the nay-sayers, and those who can’t grasp the miraculous power of our loving God. Please read on….
If you read my book Rescuing Ruby, you will love this story…
If you have not yet read Rescuing Ruby or need a brush-up, I am including an excerpt from the book because it’s a necessary backdrop to this powerful story:
Excerpt from Chapter 16:
Surgeries, Seizures, Signing and Seeing; page 209
Ruby’s diagnosis of Cortical Blindness had come from the in-hospital eye surgeon after we had landed and every test imaginable was done to assess her overall health and wellbeing. Since that difficult diagnosis, we had been fervently praying as a family that God would heal Ruby’s eyes.
At the in-hospital exam it had been revealed that behind Ruby’s eyes it was white. The hospital eye surgeon who had done the assessment and given the diagnosis of Cortical Blindness was very nice but definitely didn’t offer hope for Ruby to ever gain her sight.
A few months later, as it turns out Dwight and Emma were once again in Africa leading a team when I took Ruby to meet the new eye surgeon who was supposed to care for her on an on-going basis.
Having not met this new eye surgeon, I was looking forward to what he would find. He had come with such rave reviews, as we were encouraged by several other parents that he was the one we “had to go to”.
Immediately I found him to be rather abrupt and remarkably cold. I actually wondered how in the world he had gotten the rave reviews. In his defense, maybe he had just had a really horrible day, but what transpired next was downright mean, nasty and uncalled for, no matter what (if anything) had happened to him prior to him walking into our examining room.
It went like this:
Ruby’s eyes were dilated. Upon inspection they were not dilated adequately so they dilated them again. Eventually we went into his examining office. When the doctor with the rave reviews came in, I was , of course, anticipating a pleasant visit (regardless of the exam results) based on the splendid reports I had heard from other moms about him.
However, he immediately looked at me and said, “Your daughter has Cortical Blindness and she will never see.” It was so abrupt that I was kind of caught off-guard.
Smiling hesitantly, I remarked, “Well, she was diagnosed with Cortical Blindness in the hospital when we first arrived from Africa, but we have been praying a ton and we believe God can heal her!”
He looked me square in the eye and without a change of facial expression, while completely ignoring what I had just said, he firmly responded, “Your daughter has Cortical Blindness and she will never see.”
Not to be argumentative at all, but believing in the hope of healing that the Lord brings, I continued, “Well we really believe in the power of prayer and so I’m just wondering, what color is it behind her eyes?”
He answered, “Pale.”
Excitedly I responded back, “See! We have been praying and God has been healing. It was white when she was in the hospital. If it’s pale – that’s better, right?”
He sounded irritated and again completely ignoring my question, he repeated the exact same words, “Your daughter has Cortical Blindness and she will never see.”
Now call me crazy, but I am of the persuasion that there is always, always always hope – unless maybe you’ve been dead for more than three days.
And in our case, we were counting on the ability of our powerful and mighty healing God! Because when we are trusting God, our hope becomes rooted in His supernatural, omnipotent power and things that everyone thought were once impossible, now become completely possible!
Now not to have God’s power questioned by Dr. Nasty, with every bit of graciousness I spoke softly and hesitantly,
“Okay, so please help me understand this. You’re saying you think that there is no medical way that Ruby will see? And you also think that God can’t heal her? So would you be willing to say, that if Ruby does see one day, that you will give all credit to God, because it was not medically possible otherwise?”
Dr. Nasty turned and with an increasing sound of irritability in his voice, stuck his now reddened face toward mine and wagging his head minimally side-to-side emphatically answered me, “Your daughter has Cortical Blindness and she will NEVER see!”
For all my bravery, my eyes filled with tears as Ruby and I left his office that day.
Once in the car, I started to sob. What a nasty man, a true hope-stealer. Yet, the fact remained, Ruby’s diagnosis was not limited to what a bully of an eye surgeon would say. No! On the contrary! Her situation had been and always would be at the mercy of God. And He loved Ruby immensely.
Crying as I drove down the freeway that day, the Lord and I had an important and lasting conversation. I gave Ruby’s sight and future to the God who rescued Ruby as I asked Him to continue to do the impossible!
I also mentioned to the Lord that it would be okay with me if He healed her eyes completely and I could have the thrill of one day taking our sweet little African princess to Dr. Nasty’s office again to allow him to “see” (pun intended) for himself just what Almighty God is not only willing, but more than capable of doing!
Over the next years, after meeting with Dr. Nasty, we began to notice Ruby doing things very intentionally with her eyes coordinating with her hands. We were convinced she had vision!
In fact one time while I was in Africa with Emma, Dw called to tell me that he had been unable to find Ruby….so he went searching…she had maneuvered herself through our home (as she often did), around corners, down narrow halls, silently, not banging into anything….and he found her sitting in front of the bathtub waiting for her bath. After all, it was bath time! We both laughed. She was reminding dad of one of her favorite things to do each day. “Daddy! It’s bath time! Give me a bath please!”
And so years passed, because, to be honest, I really wasn’t up to taking her back to any eye surgeon. Until one day, I met with the pediatric eye surgeon who eventually did surgery on Birdie’s eyes. He is everything that Dr. Nasty was not. His name is Dr. O and he is kind, compassionate, wise, and knowledgeable. He did an incredible job surgically straightening Birdie’s severe strabismus.
Based on previous encounters with Dr. O, I knew he was safe to take Ruby to see. It had been many years since she had been to Dr. Nasty.
So here we were in his office where he examined Ruby’s eyes. He took his time and was so gentle and kind to her.
He then sat and turned to write some notes. His back was to me as I asked him, ‘Do you think glasses would help?”
He whipped his head around to stare at me as he questioned with confusion, “Glasses? Glasses for what?”
I responded, “To help Ruby see better?”
Dr. O looked so confused! Obviously Dr. O had not read the earlier notes from the hospital eye surgeon nor the notes from Dr. Nasty – both confirming that Ruby had been diagnosed with Cortical Blindness.
After seconds of seeming bewilderment, he quipped, “Glasses? She doesn’t need glasses!! She has 20/20 vision!”
I gasped before I started giggling loudly while praising God right in his office!
There is was! The most beautiful words ever! Our astounding faithful God had done the miraculous and a kindhearted eye surgeon was confirming it – 20/20, friends, 20/20!
Ruby has 20/20 vision!! Celebrate with us! God is soooo good!
God did it!! And possibly the most incredible part of it all, is that when GOD MOVES….He doesn’t do half-way. Nope. He Heals! We would have praised Him for giving her a bit of sight…but a “bit of sight” is just not God’s M.O.. He does the remarkable – in the “only God could have done this” style of His all-loving character – – He heals to 20/20 vision! Oh how we love and praise Him!
Below is the video I chose to “prove it”. It’s one of my favorite videos of Ruby because it shows just how God’s healing is real. He moves on behalf of those who love, honor and serve Him. And keep in mind as you watch it, medical professionals along the way said, “She will never do anything!”
This video was taken in Alden, New York in the summer of 2020 after my precious mama’s funeral. Ruby was exhausted and on her own decided it was time to go. With Elizabeth silently following closely behind but not steering her in any way, Ruby wheeled herself right out of the church, across the parking lot, (at this point Elizabeth starts recording her) …and as Ruby wheels herself straight to our van, around the side of the van…well watch for yourself….
I cry with joy as I type this post – the God who made heaven and earth, who made each of us, HE heard our prayers, and not only confirmed that Dr. Nasty did not have the final word, not at all. Instead God healed her to 20/20 vision!
In fact I’m convinced that when Dr. Nasty wagged his reddened face at me and told me with much irritation for the fourth time, “Your daughter has Cortical Blindness and she will never see…” that Almighty God was powerfully resounding from Heaven, “Oh really Doc? Watch this!”
Because the only explanation is God Himself – He is our miracle-working, mountain-moving, awe-inspiring, gasp-giving God – and He alone is worthy of all our praise. Celebrate with us! Ruby has 20/20 vision!
PS The top photo is Ruby being Ruby – personality plus! She’s seriously hysterical and we laugh daily at her antics.