How Strong Is Your Faith? Alaina Allen Testimony
“And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:22–24 —
I like this scripture verse above. It reminds me of how powerful someone could be if they’d just have faith in God. Have we all lost faith in God? Have we lost faith that we can’t accomplish the impossible? The Bible also says that “we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.” (Philippians 4:13) So, why do we all have little faith in God, in each other, or in the impossible? We need to stop doubting ourselves and start putting our faith in the God of the impossible. Let’s start with the main focus: faith.
The Power of Faith
I’m going to start by telling my testimony… Throughout almost my whole life, I’ve battled with blindness. It all started when I was two years old. I got a vaccination that caused me to go into a coma for some time. I was later diagnosed with a disease called NMO or Neuromyelitis Optica, even though the test results were inconclusive. It is when your vision goes fuzzy or completely blind.
When I was four years old, I had a relapse, which means that either my eyes go fuzzy or I go completely blind. I started to bump into things and tell my mom that I was blonde, instead of saying that I was blind, which is funny because I am blonde. My mom did not realize that I was trying to say that I was blind until a few minutes or so later. She and my dad immediately took me to the emergency room when they found out that I could not see much of anything. When we arrived at the hospital, the doctors started asking me if I could see anything or if I could tell what things were. I started kind of getting annoyed that everything was so dark, so being only a little four-year-old I asked the doctors if they could turn the lights of the room on. What I did not know was that the lights were already on. However, the doctors told me that the power had gone out so they could not turn the lights on until the power came back on. What the doctors did not remember was that I could still hear things. I [being smart] heard a television show on tv and I asked myself, “if the power is out, then how come there is a television on?” I just felt suspicious and kept going with the act. After a few weeks of treatment my vision returned.
When I was six years old, I was given the chance to go on a vacation anywhere I wanted. I was able to go on something called a Make-a-Wish, which is when you could travel wherever you wanted and visit that place for a week or so. I chose to go to Universal Studios and to visit a place near there called Give Kids the World, which is a wonderful and thoughtful place that allows kids with disabilities to have a chance to do whatever they could imagine without their disability holding them back. I went with my family and had a blast. I felt like I could do anything, like I was actually capable of doing things that normal people could do. When I mean “normal” I mean people without a disability.
When I was seven years old, I had another relapse. I was put in the hospital and had to stay there overnight for a while. While I was there, I was asked to go on an Easter egg hunt, but I could not do it because I was blind. All that was going through my head was that I wanted candy or a toy. So, I decided to go on this Easter egg hunt inside of the hospital. I was put in a wheelchair and the nurses put Easter eggs in front of me while I felt around to pick them up. Our family did not celebrate Easter and during that hospital stay it was Passover and we had to be creative with our food choices.
When I was nine years old, I had, yet, another relapse. While I was at my church with my family and friends, we were watching a play that our church had put together. I got a random feeling to check my vision in my right eye. I did and the vision was very fuzzy. I could barely see any details. I told my mom. She and my dad took me to the emergency room. The doctors told me that I needed to stay at the hospital for a few weeks or so to see what caused me to go blind and why at that time. So, the weeks soon turned into a couple months. I tried my best to have faith that soon I would go home and I would be alright. Being in that hospital over and over again throughout my life made me used to it. I was used to getting poked with needles, being asked how much my pain was on a scale of one to ten, and being told that everything would be alright. In that hospital, I also experienced a great amount of love. People came all the way from their homes just to visit me in the hospital to see if I was getting better and they gave me cards and presents, wishing and praying that I would get better. The nurses were also very kind and sweet.
When I was ten years old, I learned braille. Braille provides people who battle with blindness or some vision loss with a chance to still be able to read books, magazines, numbers, and other things that help them to do some things that they might like to do on their down time. Braille is defined as “a form of written language for blind people, in which characters are represented by patterns of raised dots that are felt with the fingertips.” I started using braille because some people lacked some faith in God. They believed that even though I survived this far I could potentially go blind some time in the future. I still had faith that I wouldn’t go blind because I believe that God is healing me to show people my testimony. Later, I got a surgery for a medical port. A medical port allows me to get IVs and shots without getting anymore scars in my hands and arms.
From ten years old to fifteen years old, I remained stable for the most part without any relapses. Everyday, I continually try my best to persevere through obstacles that I face and I constantly try to have faith that God has a plan. As I am getting older and heading to college in a few years, I know that I will be facing even more obstacles that will test my faith and the energy that I have to keep moving forward. Everyday, we all face challenges that cause us to think that we are not able to accomplish anything, that we are not good enough for life, or even the thought that we are too weak or lack the knowledge to keep going on our paths to success. I have faith in God that I can do all things through Him. I also believe that God has a plan for me to go to college and be successful. He wants that for everyone because he loves us and wants to see us succeed. I want to go to college to follow God’s plan that He has for me.
Today, I am 8 days away from turning 16 years old. I was somewhat recently officially diagnosed with a newly discovered disease called anti-MOG (myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein). This news was amazing to hear about because it is better than NMO and MS combined. I was told by my doctor that I may not need to get medicine every month for two days as I do at home now with a home nurse. I’m not sure if this is true or not, but I’m choosing to put it into God’s hands.
I have even more faith today than I did when I was younger because today I can see almost perfectly in my left eye. My left eye is currently 20/20. My right eye still needs some more prayers and time, but I can see a lot more detail in it now. My right eye is currently around 20/40-20/50. Compared to being blind this is a miraculous change in my vision. Both of my optic nerves are dead, but the doctors that I have seen for a while still can’t explain why I can still see. I’m supposed to be blind right now because of the nerve damage, but I’m not because I know a God who can perform miracles and do supernatural things. He restored sight to the blind, caused the lame to walk, helped the deaf to hear, gave orphans a home, showed His love to others through Jesus (Yeshua), and so many more miraculous things.
Today, I don’t need to read braille, but I am still reading it for a back up plan in the future in case God has a different plan than I do in my head. In April of 2018, I had to get a new port because I outgrew my other one. Each day of my life I am surrounded by people who love me, pray for me, and have faith that I will be able to see even better than 20/20.
How Strong Is Our Faith in God?
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3
Everyone knows that this is true. They believe that God is our rock and through Him we can do the impossible, but when we hit those hard times in our lives when we feel like we can’t go on anymore, we lose that faith that helps us carry on. We forget that “we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.” (Philippians 4:13) God puts these obstacles in our lives to help refine us and teach us lessons. God doesn’t promise us that He will make our lives easy and give us everything we want. He promises us that He will guide us through our hard times. He will never leave us behind and say that we should do all alone. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2) God doesn’t put challenges and struggles in our lives to be mean or get back at us for sinning, NO! He doesn’t leave you where you are. He leaves the 99 to find you. Yes, you. He won’t abandon you and leave you in your sins and pain. He loves you and wants to see you in heaven. He wants to hold you in His arms and help you through your pain and suffering. He died for you on that cross so that you won’t have to experience what the grave has in store for you. He calls you His child and wants you to come home to Him. He is at the door knocking. All you have to do is have faith in Him, open the door, and invite Him in. It is all up to us to let Him in. He won’t barge right in through the door and make you have faith and worship Him, NO! You need to be the one to choose God over the world’s temptations.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20
“12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices more over that one sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.…” Matthew 18:12-13
Keep pressing into God and never lose faith. Don’t swerve to the right or to the left. Just keep your eyes on God and put your trust in Him for everything you do. Don’t blame God for every bad thing that goes wrong in your life, but remember that He has a plan for each and everyone of us. God is in control. The path to your success isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s a narrow path with bumps, hurdles, thorns, and powerful storms. God wants to help you through these things and guide you home to Him.
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ Matthew 6:9-13
Written by Olivia Mancini