Ten years ago my husband and I were hit with very disturbing news. We noticed that our two-year-old daughter’s left eye would drift uncontrollably, and we took her to the doctor. She was diagnosed with a rare eye disease called Retina Blastoma, which is a malignant tumor that forms in the eye, and causes the retina to detach. At the time, only 100 people in the United States, per year are diagnosed with the disease. We were told that the only cure would be to remove our daughter’s eye.
My husband and I were devastated, but we were not going to give up. We sought the opinion of several other doctors, and they all gave us the same prognosis. Our pastor, who is also a pediatrician, arranged for us to meet with an ophthalmologist at the hospital where he worked. The ophthalmologist examined our daughter and told us that he believed that our daughter had Retina Blastoma. He also told us about another disease called, Coats which looks just like Retina Blastoma, but it is benign. Strangely, Coats usually occurs in boys, and it is extremely rare for girls. The ophthalmologist only knew of one other case where a girl was diagnosed with Coats. Most ophthalmologists cannot distinguish between the two diseases until the eye is removed.
The ophthalmologist told us about a conference for ophthalmologists that take place at the hospital twice a year. One of those conferences was scheduled that day. He also informed us that there was a world renowned retina specialist attending the conference, and he was sure that specialist would examine our daughter. The specialist could determine that our daughter had Coats. Miraculously, our daughter’s eye would be saved.
One day while I was home alone, I reflected on the ordeal and many other challenges I have had to triumph over in my lifetime. In my spirit, I told God that life has been rough for me, but I could clearly see how He has been there to help me through it all. I began to think about other women I knew who were still trying to battle life on their own. I then told God that it is ashamed that more women won’t turn their lives over to Him. I then heard a still small voice say, “Tell them.” I asked, “Tell them? Lord, how?” The same still small voice said, “Book!” This moment was the conception of Return to Your First Love.
Return to Your First Love is the assignment God gave me to tell my testimony. Throughout my life, I have gone from walking with God zealously in my youth, inconsistently in my early adulthood, and maturing to a steadfast walk with Him in my latter years. My story is a tale of overcoming the struggles of family dysfunction, low self-esteem, rejection, forgiveness, financial hardship, sexual immorality, challenges in the work place, to winning in marriage and living a victorious life. Over the past four decades of my life, I have learned valuable lessons that have been both beneficial as well as costly. I trust my life experiences would speak to any woman no matter what stage she is in life. Return to Your First Love is a timely message that edifies, exhorts and encourages in times of uncertainty. Readers will be compelled and encouraged to seek a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.
Teresa Jones is a writer for the Neighborhood Writing Alliance (NWA), which publishes the award-winning Journal of Ordinary Thought (JOT). Teresa is a member of Toastmasters International and the National Association of Female Executives (NAFE). Teresa is faithful member of the Apostolic Faith Church, where she serves as a prayer counselor for the Prayer Line Ministry. She and her husband, Alexander, have been married for 16 years and have two children. You can visit Teresa R. Jones website at www.teresarjones.com. You can contact Teresa at firstname.lastname@example.org.