Emma’s very existence was a miracle. She had heard the story her whole life—her surprising and miraculous conception to parents who struggled with infertility—but she thought that was it. She was a miracle already. Why would God choose her for another one?
After her birth, doctors realized her eyes were crossed—a neurological disorder called amblyopia that greatly affects vision and depth perception. Feeling guilty that fertility drugs may have been the cause, Emma’s parents did everything they could in the natural world to fix the problem. She underwent seven surgeries by the time she was five. She had her last surgery when she was 10. “By the second or third surgery, my eyes were no longer crossed,” she says. “But my right eye started deteriorating. They were stretching the muscle and causing a lot of scar tissue.” She had to put eye drops in daily and often wear a patch over her good eye to try and train her bad eye to improve. It was a difficult time for Emma but an equally difficult time for her parents who couldn’t understand why God wasn’t healing their baby girl. “It kept getting worse,” Emma says, “by the time I was 10, I was legally blind in my right eye.”
Emma’s brain compensated and made her left eye dominant with 20/20 vision, but she could only see vague shadows out of her right eye. Doctors immediately started measuring her right eye to see how much her eyeball was shrinking, something that happens naturally when the nerves in an eye have died. She also endured broken blood vessels and developed a film over her eye. Glasses helped but weren’t the answer. “I didn’t know what it was like to have peripheral vision,” Emma says. “I didn’t know what it was like to see out of both eyes or not wear glasses.” However, something about her condition made her stronger.
Emma was bullied in school, yet she became president of an anti-bullying league. When she had to wear an eye patch and her parents got divorced, she resisted depression and self-pity. She started singing and leading worship instead. Emma got involved in photography and videography, things that depend on good eyesight. She handed the Department of Transportation a doctor’s certificate indicating she was legally blind but successfully got her license. “Yes, it was difficult, but there was nothing I could do about my eye,” she says. “I just decided I wasn’t going to let it define me.” All this time, her family continued to pray for a miracle.
“It probably wasn’t until I got my license that I really recognized that God still hadn’t healed me,” Emma says. “That day was a reminder that I was going to have to live like this the rest of my life.”
With a fiery determination, Emma finished high school early and received her associates degree by the time she was 17. She began freelancing as a photographer and social media manager and volunteered with Gateway Students in her spare time. So when her best friend invited her to a Campus Weekend at Christ For The Nations Institute (CFNI), she decided to go to offer support.
On the second day, Emma and her friend went to a lecture. Part way though, the instructor suddenly stopped speaking. He said that he felt the need to stop because someone in the room needed physical healing. Emma immediately disregarded it. “I thought, That’s not me! I feel great—I’m not sick or suffering at all!” she says. “But then I heard the Lord say, ‘No, that is you. You talk about how I’m a God of miracles, but you don’t believe it for yourself. If you raise your hand right now, I’ll heal you.’ I’ll never forget those words.”
Emma raised her hand.
Her best friend put her hand over Emma’s eye, and the instructor led the entire room to pray over her. “I took off my glasses and closed my eyes,” she says.
“And when he said, ‘Amen,’ I opened my eyes, and for the first time in 17 years, I could see out of both my eyes.” Emma ran to the restroom, looked in the mirror, and saw that there was no more scar tissue, no film, and no broken blood vessels in her eye. She could see everything and even needed to wear sunglasses the next two days because she felt like it was so bright out.
Emma and her friend left CFNI and called her mom and dad on the way home. “In the last few years, I kind of felt like my mom stepped away from the Lord, and it was something I had been praying about for a while,” she says. “So when I called her about God healing my eye, she was completely overwhelmed with God’s goodness and recommitted her life to the Lord.”
Emma’s mom isn’t the only one who has been affected by this miracle. Emma’s influence as a worship leader, volunteer at Gateway, and photographer led her to tell her healing story in multiple venues. People are being saved and reinvigorated, and Emma is seeing a rise in faith and hope all around her, especially in her own relationship with the Lord. “The healing came at a time when I was super unsure what I wanted to do with my life and whether photography was the right choice,” she says. “And I felt like, in that healing moment, God said, ‘If I’m doing all these amazing things through you with one eye, imagine what I’m going to do through you with two eyes.’”
Now Emma is pursuing photography, videography, and social media management and has created her own business! She has 20/20 vision in both eyes, and she is still in awe. “In a second, God healed me and turned it all around. It was the most tangible thing I’ve ever experienced in the presence of the Lord,” Emma says. “It wasn’t like I didn’t think God healed anymore, I just never thought it would happen to me. But it did. And His timing was perfect.”
If you need physical healing, visit healing.gatewaypeople.com for information on Gateway Healing Ministry. We would love to pray with you.