A Patch from My Past

>> Thursday, January 7, 2010

When I was a kid, I had horrible eyesight. One eye was lazy, my right eye, so I had to wear a patch over my left eye for most of my first grade year. It was black like a pirate patch, so even though the six-yr-old boys thought it was cool, it was so NOT COOL to me. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough, I was also really far-sighted, so I had to wear big thick lenses with bifocals. And for those of you who don’t know, they didn’t make the lenses thin and unobtrusive like they do nowadays. I truly did have four eyes!

So I had a pirate patch on my left eye, bold black frames, and a great big eyeball, my right one, magnified through the bifocal. I looked like Mr. Magoo meets Popeye!

But here’s the irony. While everyone was going through all this trouble to help me see better, all I really wanted was to be blind to my circumstances.

Why? Because through those lenses, I saw hate. I saw abuse & pain. I saw drunkenness & anger & despair. I saw beautiful things too, but the ugliness of my circumstances shoved the good out of my mind’s eye. I had a serious astigmatism deep down in my heart and soul that needed correcting, and a patch wasn’t going to do the trick.

As I grew up, my eyesight improved some. No more bifocals, a bit thinner lenses, a little more style in those frames. At the same time, my spiritual eyes were seeing more clearly too. My circumstances didn’t change, but I began to see God magnified through them instead of the other way around.

I began to see how God had been there for me as a young hurting child, and how He had comforted me each time I called out to Him in desperation and fear. And by His grace, He revealed to me that He was not only my Comforter, but my Redeemer as well. He corrected my vision with 2 Corinthians 5:7, showing my lazy eye that if I would “live by faith” and “not by sight,” I would see Him up close and personal, big and tall—fully able.

If you could see me now, you wouldn’t see any eyeglasses on my face. But I’m wearing some…because my gracious Father offered me a pair. I call them my Faith-colored glasses. Through them, He has become larger to me than any circumstance I faced in the past or will face today or in the future. Through them, I see His light instead of darkness. Through them, I see hope and strength enough for each new day.

What about you? Do negative situations, big, small or medium cause you to take your eyes off God’s ability to help you through them? Is the Lord in your peripheral vision while your circumstances stand large in front of you? Are you squinting to see any beauty from the ashes of your past? Do you see only hopelessness in your future?

I wish I could say that I never put my faith-colored glasses on the shelf, but I do. So friends, let’s challenge one another to live God large. Let’s commit to see life—past, present & future--through His eyes, walking by faith and not by sight.

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you,
the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints,
and His incomparably great power for us who believe…”
Ephesians 1:18-19a

***Comments left on this post by January 21st will be eligible for THIS GIVEAWAY.


Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama January 7, 2010 at 8:13 AM  

That is a beautiful way to look at things.

Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith January 7, 2010 at 8:14 AM  

Laura, Thank you SO SO SO much for sharing your heart and these words; Prayers that they are a source of strength and encouragement for all!

Melissa January 7, 2010 at 9:26 AM  

You've shared your testimony beautifully; thank you for blessing us with that!

Pamela January 7, 2010 at 9:37 AM  


Great story of how his love transformed your vision. The imagery you used was outstanding and really gave me a picture of what 1st grade was to you in comparison to the outlook you have now through His amazing grace. Well done!

OhMyOhMy January 7, 2010 at 10:21 AM  

I have been blessed this morning by your testimony. Through your open heart, the Lord has enabled you to reach some dark places in my past. While, years have passed and healing has taken place in many ways, your gift of imagery and encouragement opened a window in my spirit and yet another opportunity for my healing to move forward to a deeper level. Bless you Lauralee for being courageous in following your calling.

HisFireFly January 7, 2010 at 10:39 AM  

Oh for glasses to see as He sees!

Thank you for sharing your testimony to His great love.

Anna January 7, 2010 at 11:23 AM  

You give us the strength, Laura, by sharing your story, to open our eyes to our own pasts and recognize God's work both then and now. It's wonderful to follow Him instead of following the trends in fashion, technology, and materialistic possessions of this world. It's apparent that through so bold and tough years, God gave you a gift even you may not have known existed.. a gift to share and write and be an inspiration.

Sita January 7, 2010 at 11:25 AM  

I put those glasses on when I look at my past--what a diff--20-heavenly vision makes (:..Blessings,
(Please enter me in the draw--all books look good!)

Cathy January 7, 2010 at 12:17 PM  

Bless your heart. Glasses are hard for children, and yours sound really bad. You are beautiful now, and thank God for His spiritual eyes. Blessings ~ I would love to enter your giveaway. Thank you.

A. Henry January 7, 2010 at 12:34 PM  

How wonderful to see the life through His glasses! One day we'll see Him face to face. Thanks Laura for your insight.

Larkin January 7, 2010 at 2:06 PM  

Wow! What a beautiful, concrete way to show the difference He makes! Yeah, God!

LauraLee Shaw January 7, 2010 at 2:17 PM  

I appreciate these encouraging comments and for those of you who feel free to share your own experience. Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback!

Sara Harricharan @ Fiction Fusion January 7, 2010 at 4:01 PM  

Wow. I can only imagine what that could have felt like, as when I was a "kid" I did everything I could to avoid getting glasses, (eating carrots every chance possible, trying not to read while the car was driving, etc) now I realize how ridiculous that was, because I was trying to take a quick fix, to put a band-aid on the problem so I wouldn't have to deal with the rest of it. Great post...made me think back for awhile.

Joanne Sher January 8, 2010 at 10:34 AM  

LOVE this, dear Laura - a favorite of yours. :D What an incredible reminder for ALL of us. (I already have "Lies Women Believe." No other preferences!)

Connie Arnold January 8, 2010 at 1:31 PM  

What a beautiful testimony, a blessing to read, Laura! I had those big thick glasses as a child too and like you have learned to see God in all things through eyes of faith. Thank you for letting the light of Christ shine through you to others through what you write!

Debbie January 8, 2010 at 3:14 PM  

Oh Laura Lee, I love your faith colored glasses! Childhood can be so difficult and we can't choose our family situations. It's often in retrospect that we see His hand had been at work in our circumstances. I know all too well how hard it is to be different from other children but in a different way. I had a heart defect that caused me to have to go on a special bus and I couldn't participate in any sports. However, when I had open heart surgery I had my health restored.

You have a beautiful and sincere testimony to share with others. I look forward to following this new blog too. I would love to learn and see how God is working in you and through you. You will bless others like me as you share.

Blessings and love,

lisalyn January 8, 2010 at 5:41 PM  

Such a beautiful testimony of what God can do! This is very inspiring to me.
Thank you for sharing.

ABCKegg January 8, 2010 at 6:33 PM  

My faith colored glasses are in need of a good cleaning. Thanks for the reminder! I always love this story too. God is so good!

AnooCre8ion January 8, 2010 at 6:34 PM  

Laura, what a beautiful testimony. So encouraging also. Thank you for sharing. I would love to be entered in your draw. It would be great to have the book about foundational beliefs.

Thank you

elaine @ peace for the journey January 8, 2010 at 8:40 PM  

Those glasses have been my guiding light in recent days, well, actually a lot of my days. But there are seasons when the situations pressing in on me make it difficult for me to focus. It's been a very hard past couple of months for me. Through it all, the lenses have been on. God has been faithful to pull me through.

I'm learning, friend. I want to "default" to Jesus and my faith everyday of my life.

Keeping the lenses clean...


Sabbie Bee January 8, 2010 at 8:54 PM  

Love it!!!!

Thanks for reminding me that I need to always put on my Faith Colored glasses and quit trying to leave them at home.

Catrina Bradley... January 9, 2010 at 7:41 AM  

What an awesome testimony! My faith-colored glasses tend to get dusty from dis-use. Thanks for this reminder of how important they are.

thegypsymama January 9, 2010 at 10:58 AM  

What a remarkable metaphor for your testimony. Just wonderful. Thank you for your honesty and openness and the encouragement it brings to others!

Patty Wysong January 9, 2010 at 1:26 PM  

Love this, Laura--something I need to hear and be reminded of on a regular basis.

windycindy January 9, 2010 at 9:58 PM  

How lovely! I can totally identify with you. My left eye is a lazy eye,
but I didn't listen to anyone about how to get better. Also, I have a port wine birthmark on the left side of my face. A double whammy! You spoke to my soul and heart.
Many thanks, Cindi

momrox,  January 10, 2010 at 7:45 AM  

I've been looking through the same faith colored lenses for the last year going through a divorce. He is so good all of the time! Thank you for your testimony!

sarah January 11, 2010 at 1:00 PM  

I too couldn't see once....but not b/c of glasses...b/c of the darkness I had been caught in...He opened my eyes...with His gentleness...He touched me...and I've 'seen' the world through His lens ever since. Sarah

Sharlyn Guthrie January 11, 2010 at 3:44 PM  

I "See" where you're going with all of this. Wonderful! Looking forward to seeing more through your faith toned lenses.

Mari January 12, 2010 at 12:39 PM  

Ahh...another glimpse into the life of my dear LaLee-pop. What a wonderful direction you are going with your new "theme". I love it.

Anonymous,  January 13, 2010 at 5:45 AM  

You are such a blessing of what God can do!
Love you!

Mari January 15, 2010 at 1:52 PM  

I am ever so glad I got to meet you this past summer. You are beautiful in and out!

My family has a big situation going on right now. It has been extremely hard to keep my eyes on God. But I sure am trying to attach my eyes to Him as if they had crazy glue on them!

Lisa E. Williams January 15, 2010 at 6:31 PM  

I am so blessed to see the woman I met at She Speaks. God's work in our lives in amazing and I am thankful to know the new creation you are Him. I love the blog.. oh I said that before LOL...

Anonymous,  January 16, 2010 at 7:29 PM  

Hello Laura ~

It's so nice to meet you. I followed your comment on Sheila Gregoire's speaker's blog. It was wonderful to be reminded that I need to follow my own advice and do what I KNOW instead of what I FEEL in a situation our family finds itself in. The concept doesn't just apply to others; it applies to me.

Blessings on your ministry, Laura.

Barbara January 20, 2010 at 10:11 AM  

I want to see through God's glasses. I used to more easily than I have lately. 18 months ago I had a stroke and it affected fine motor skills, speech, and speed of comprehension. I'm still working day by day, and believe I'm to speak and write. I pray God continue working in me.

MyJourneyBack January 20, 2010 at 2:44 PM  

Oh what a beautiful testimony. I loved your photo when I saw it at WFW. You have a great testimony thanks for sharing it. And thanks for being an encouragement.
Please enter me in your giveway I would love to win any of these books.
Thanks for offering. I wish you many Blessings on your new blog.

Joan January 20, 2010 at 7:04 PM  

Wonderful testimony. I'm often guilty of putting my "faith glasses" on a shelf--wanting to walk by sight.


LivingforGod January 20, 2010 at 10:42 PM  

Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing your testimony with us. I, too, want to look at everything through our Father's eyes. I want His vision, not mine.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for a chance to win your cool giveaway :).

jo.attalife January 20, 2010 at 11:30 PM  

I did grow up with eyeglasses, and right at this moment, yes, I tend to be blinded by my circumstances (if not by tears, mostly). Thank you for this post, I really needed a reminder to look up and see that "He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world." All God's blessings to you for this ministry!

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