I was a little upset about the cause. I wasn't stressed! How could this happen to me? But I learned from that experience to look more closely at the early warning signs and take action sooner. Because of that experience, I pay careful attention to my left shoulder muscle. Once it starts to tighten up, I know I need to change course. It has become my stress thermometer.
The interesting thing about stress is that it is not directly tied to the presence of difficult things, it is about how we carry difficult things. I've also noticed that too much caffeine also heightens the effect of stress on me. But the core of my struggle is the question of faith. I carry what I believe others can't carry and what I won't let God carry. And when I do that, burden begins to weigh on me. Prayer and reflection on God's provision are the ways I release that stress. Frustration, anger, and resentment live as a cancer inside if I keep them as friends. Doing less, living more, and noticing the world around me helps me see the way God is shaping my life rather than being a victim of my circumstances.
My blind spot disappeared after a few months. I still have a small line that never healed, a mark that has become a gift to me. I can rest. I can live well, no matter the challenges. If I don't, I lose my vision.
-John M Troyer
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