If you have ever felt prevented from living the life you expected or held back by a disability, then this show is the perfect show for you. We talked with my friend, Carolyn Newell, about living with blindness. Carolyn knows what it is to live with blindness, but she calls her disability a gift from God. So many of us take our sight for granted, so I wanted to hear from her what it’s like to live with blindness in a sighted world, and how she maintained her hope despite the limitation it imposes.
Carolyn spoke about the challenges of a blind person: having to rely on organization and her memory, getting disoriented when trying to go places, and needing help but not having offers to help. She spoke about experiencing depression as a consequence of her frustrations; feeling she was incapable of doing things and trying to do more than she could. She called herself “Super Blind Woman” because she tried to do it all.
When Carolyn experienced depression, she couldn’t feel God’s presence. But Hebrews 13:5 assured her that God had not abandoned her. She also shares how learning braille taught her how to depend on God. When she was most frustrated, Carolyn prayed scripture back to God. When encountering difficulties because of her blindness, she repeatedly prays, “God, you said in your word that if we have the faith the size of a tiny mustard seed, we can move mountains, and I need you to move that mountain!” Carolyn shared how vital it is that we step out in faith and trust God.
Even though we often feel we can’t do something, God can. That may be through prayer, or it might come by asking others for help. If you are struggling with some kind of limitation, Carolyn recommends that you pray and read the word of God and that is where we get our strength.
Carolyn learned that she can do many of the same things that others do, she just has to do them differently. But God is the one we need to depend on more than ever. God has a purpose for our trials that we may not see at the time, but will come to appreciate as a gift, just as Carolyn does with her blindness.
In this post, Carolyn shares about Living with a Disability and Depression.
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Quotables from the Episode:
- Organization and memory are essential for anyone with visual impairment.
- When I lose something, it’s in those moments that I will pray and ask Jesus to help me.
- A guide dog can help expand a blind person’s independence.
- If I wasn’t blind, my life wouldn’t be free of frustrations, they would just be different.
- One of the greatest struggles being blind is that no one seems to know to offer help.
- It’s okay if we get upset or disappointed with God, but we don’t want to stay in that place.
- Some of the days we think are going to be the worst days of our lives open up the door for so much more.
- It’s fine to have the attitude that you can do it all, but the reality is that it doesn’t work. None of us can do it all.
- When you strive for perfection you are setting yourself up for a fall. When you take that fall, you feel worthless and incapable. Those feelings of hopelessness lead you right down the slippery slope to depression. That is where the enemy wants us to go.
- With depression, we have to remember to take our thoughts captive. If they are not Godly thoughts that we should be having or that God wants us to have, and they are coming from the enemy or from our flesh, then we need to remove those thoughts from our mind because our emotions respond to our thoughts.
- We have an enemy who is trying to attack us. That is called spiritual warfare. And it is war: it is not easy!
- God wants us to come to Him and to ask for what we need. He does not want us dependent on ourselves; He wants us dependent on Him.
- We need to give everything, small things and big things, to the Lord and believe that He will meet our needs. If it’s in His will, and we believe Him, He’ll do it!
- When you learn to step out in faith, assuming that everything is okay even though you can’t see it, then that’s how we all need to trust God.
- Trusting God is so vital. You’ve got to step out in faith in everything you do.
- God is the one we need to depend on more than ever.
- Hebrews 13:5, “Be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’”
- Philippians 4:13, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Recommended Resources: (If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).
- “Eyes of Faith: Winning the Battle Between Our Feelings & Our Faith” by Carolyn Newell
- “Loved Back to Life” by Sheila Walsh
- “Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises” by Dr. Michelle Bengtson
- “Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award
- “Hope Prevails Bible Study” by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award
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To connect with Carolyn Newell:
For more hope, stay connected with Dr. Bengtson at:
Carolyn Dale Newell is a speaker and author of four books. Carolyn knows what it is to live with blindness, but she calls her disability a gift from God. She shares her stories of vulnerability and conquered fears in a vast buffet of topics suitable for retreats or conferences. She is accompanied by her beautiful guide dog, Iva, a black lab who is adored by all. Carolyn resides in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband, Tim. She loves reading, pizza, and discovering new independence with Iva.
Radio Air Date: October 14, 2019
Hosted By: Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Audio Technical Support: Bryce Bengtson