We have updated our Privacy Policy to provide you a better online experience.

Half-Sight, Full Faith: Trusting God through Life's Challenges

Jodi Detrick, an ordained AG minister, shares about her ongoing experience with her loss of sight and how such challenging times help Christians come to more fully understand "walking by faith."
Dabbing a tissue at my watering left eye, I wondered what was going on.

May 11, 2021, had been a lovely day in Washington state, giving me a chance to spend some time outdoors. When the search for an errant eyelash or other visible debris yielded nothing, I concluded my eye irritation was simply the result of spring allergies.

Applying eyedrops before bed that evening, I hoped sleep would bring relief. However, I spent the night tossing and turning in increasing discomfort.

By morning, my eye was red and inflamed. I quickly made an appointment with my optometrist, who diagnosed a corneal abrasion. The doctor explained that dry-eye syndrome may cause the cornea and lid to stick together during sleep. This can result in a painful tear upon opening the eye.

The doctor put a contact bandage in my eye to protect it and prescribed some antibiotic drops. I went on my way thinking the problem would soon resolve.

When my local pharmacy didn’t carry the prescribed drops, it was frustrating, but not overly concerning. Neither the pharmacist nor I could reach the doctor to ask about a substitution. However, the pharmacist ordered the medication and assured me it would be ready the next day. I told myself I could manage one more day.

I picked up the antibiotic eye drops the following day and used them as prescribed, but the searing pain continued. That night, I held my head in my hands and rocked back and forth in increasing anguish, praying for daylight.

The next day, I returned to my optometrist. He took one look at my eye and sent me to an ocular specialist in Seattle. By that time, a virulent infection threatened not only the loss of my vision, but also the eye itself.

Without the benefit of antibiotic drops, the contact bandage covering the abrasion had acted as a petri dish, allowing bacteria to multiply and the infection to blow up.

The agony was indescribable. And, I realized with growing alarm, I was completely blind in that eye.

Thus began the long, painful journey that continues to this day. It has included a seemingly endless series of appointments, scans, tests, and medications. I have endured everything from injections in my eyeball to eye drops that had to be administered hourly around the clock.

I have had three surgeries, including a cornea transplant. The newly colored blue eye on my left side is a striking contrast to the original brown on my right.

At this point, I have some peripheral vision in my left eye, but everything in the center is gone. As I write this, I’m facing a fourth surgery that might restore some centric vision.

Unless God miraculously heals me, however, it’s unlikely I will fully regain my vision. Of course, I believe He can and does heal. Like the man in Luke 18, my prayer has been, “Lord, I want to see” (verse 41).

Meanwhile, I’ve been learning how to maneuver life with half-sight. Don’t get me wrong. Half-sight is better than no sight!

In fact, I believe we all stumble through life with half-sight at times. As Paul told the Corinthians, we don’t have perfect clarity on everything this side of heaven. The Message puts it this way: “We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Everyone experiences life’s gut punches. It may be a troubling diagnosis, a baffling hurt or loss, a loved one’s addiction, or a friend’s betrayal. During such times especially, we can feel like we’re in a fog, groping our way toward a seemingly too-distant hope.

But it is also during such seasons that the biblical concept of walking by faith steps off the page and into the flesh and blood of our real-world experiences. These half-sight times are when we experience more fully what it means to trust an unseen, compassionate God with our most tender wounds.

Somehow, I think this trusting in the dark thing might be part of what Peter was referring to in 1 Peter 1:8: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”

We have not yet seen the Lord. And we don’t always understand all the hurtful stuff life throws at us. But we love and trust Jesus — which leads, inevitably, to joy and a new way of seeing.

Somewhere in the mists of an unseen future, full sight is waiting for those who believe.

This article appears in the Spring 2024 issue of Influence magazine. Used with permission.

Jodi Detrick

Jodi Detrick, D.Min., is the author of The Jesus-Hearted Woman and The Settled Soul, an ordained Assemblies of God minister, a certified personal leadership coach, and an in-demand speaker. She is an adjunct professor at Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri. She lives in North Bend, Washington.