As a kid, I was raised the Catholic way. I went to CCD classes every Wednesday and made my sacremental milestones, from my first Reconciliation, my Holy Communion and then finally my Confirmation. My Grandmom is a devoted Catholic who’s nightly ritual was based on prayer cards and rosary beads. I even had great aunts that are nuns. It can’t get any more Catholic than that.
During my studies, I read many stories about Jesus healing the blind and the “crippled and lame” (they used demeaning names back then) and at one point, I was totally convinced that one day, I can pray my rare form of Albinism away.
I spent many nights praying, rosary beads and prayer cards became a cluttered mess on my end table. I watched shows like Benny Himm in the morning, hoping he could beam some of that magical Jesus energy my way, put me into what looked like a seizure for a few seconds, and I’ll be cured. I prayed every night I would have friends, that nobody would ever hurt me again, that I would be happy.
At age 12, my doubts became real. My nose stuck in a bible during class wasn’t because I chose to. It was because I needed to make my family happy. Plus, my Game Boy on mute kept me from dying of boredom.
I eventually gave up believing because at one point there was nothing to believe in. I let a hard journey going through my teen years, trying to find out who I was and whether or not life would get better for me.
Little did I know that God wasn’t the only thing I had to believe in. Turned out I needed to make that change for myself. Wishing on a crucifix was not my only option. Turned out I can heal myself through hard work and determination. And eventually, things did get better.
Despite the fact that I wasn’t healed magically the way the Bible says, meaning I still am legally blind, I feel as though my life has come full circle. Those dreams of my preteen self have finally come true. I finally have friends and a meaningful life.
I still question my faith every now and again and I’m not as religious as I used to be, but I do believe someone, somewhere, has pushed me in the right direction. May not be the God that raised me, and I can’t take all the credit. But somehow here I am thriving and surviving and overcoming adversity every day.
To whatever guiding force is up there, thank you for helping me see things as they are.