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As wonderful as Brighter Days is to sing, even the guy that wrote the song has days where he goes, “I got to be honest, this isn’t fun.”
At a young age, congenital glaucoma caused Blessing Offor to be blind in one eye. Blessing moved America to live with his uncle in hopes of finding better medical treatment. But at ten years old, a water gun accident caused Blessing to lose sight in his other eye.
Before I had the accident, I was like athletic Blessing. I could dunk on anybody. Basketball was my thing. But I remember middle school and I was like, “Man, if I’m not that guy that’s better at than everybody at basketball, who am I? If I’m not the guy that can out physicality anybody, who am I?” My identity was wrapped up in being this top seventh, eighth grade athlete, which is in hindsight so narrow. But when you’re 12, that’s everything.
And I remember thinking, “Okay, I have to find some way to convince my friends that I’m still the same person.” And so, I was incredibly uncomfortable, which made other people around me incredibly uncomfortable. And the minute I got comfortable with myself, all of a sudden nobody was uncomfortable. So it’s like as comfortable as you are with yourself is how other people will be comfortable with you. Honestly, when I was 13, I couldn’t articulate it like I just did. But I just realized, “Oh, if I’m not in my head about what people think of me, most chances are they’re not thinking of me at all. They’re just trying to get out of their head about what they think of themselves.” And that’s all of us.
When I was going through everything I was going through as a teenager, obviously I was like, “God, what are you doing? This isn’t fun at all.” So going through that process of coming to grips with hard things and God’s place in those hard things, in the middle of those hard things is something that I think whether it’s losing your vision or going through some other illness or going through a reversal of fortune or going through whatever it is, life is really just about us learning that lesson, which is in the New Testament, it says that, “Who among you can add a minute to their life or hair to their head by worrying?”
But I don’t want people to think, again, that this is some kind of 30 minute sitcom, where things are perfect. My sister just died a month ago and that has been awful. And me and God wrestle on a daily basis.
As wonderful as Brighter Days is to sing, even the guy that wrote the song has days where he goes, “Okay, I got to be honest, this isn’t fun.” And a month ago we lost one of the kids that my parents brought into the world. And yet, a month later, weirdly enough, I wake up and I have happy days, and it’s actually frustrating to me. How can I even be happy right now? And it’s because life is still life. You know what I mean? And it’s this weird thing where life just keeps moving for all of us and until we find ourselves in front of God.
So for me, I’m wrestling with God, and the wrestling is like, “How am I even still happy?” And then sometimes the wrestling is, “How could you let that happen?” And sometimes the wrestling is, “Man, I miss her.” I think there’s a process in life where we go through trials and fires and ups and downs, and in the moment it feels like there’s no point to it, but there is a kind of experience with suffering and discomfort that actually makes you immune to it.
So when you’ve been through enough things and realize that once you come out of the other side you’re still okay, though it was uncomfortable, though it wasn’t fun, you’re okay. You are more able to withstand other shocks and maybe bigger shocks and you have experience maybe not with the same thing over and over again, but you say, “Oh, listen, I’ve been uncomfortable before, and it’s okay.” And that’s a kind of wisdom that is worth having no matter what it costs you to get to because it makes moving forward much simpler.