I count it a blessing to know the girl in this photo, miss Laura Lawson. We go waaaaaay back to high school, and through the powers of social media, have stayed relatively connected and up-to-date on each other’s lives.
Laura is an artist, a lover of all things beautiful, a joy-seeker. She loves Jesus and has a contagious laugh. She’s a celebrity on Instagram. She’s the kind of girl you want to be friends with forever.
Laura is 25, and she is losing her sight.
She wrote a book about her journey, and it’s the best book I’ve read in quite some time. It was an equally heartbreaking and hopeful read (I read the whole book in an hour and a half and cried three separate times). If you’re looking for hope, inspiration, or just want to read a powerful story, I truly cannot recommend this book enough.
Okay, on to the interview….
A: Laura, you’re a PUBLISHED AUTHOR. That is incredible! How does it feel to have your story out in the world for all to read?
L: Completely surreal, and a little unnerving. But mostly exciting! From the first day I opened my laptop and began to type, I prayed that God would speak through me and that this book would point to Him and not myself. I believe He will be faithful to that prayer. The book is extremely intimate – I wrote things I have never told anybody before. It was a confession to the world of sorts. More so than wanting people to tell me I was so brave for sharing this story, I wanted them to see me as a flawed human being in need of grace.
A: You’ve been writing for a while, both for yourself and for various online publications. How was writing a book different for you? Take us through the process….
L: Writing a book is completely different than any other kind of writing, especially writing a memoir. To be honest, the most difficult part about writing Believing is Seeing was recounting the pain of what it felt like to be told I was losing my vision. I am so far past it that it felt fake. Whenever I would feel the tiniest sting of my vision loss (usually due to someone offering a high five and me not seeing it or something like that) I would run to my computer and get all the sad stuff out. Another challenging aspect to this journey was the editing process. What a humbling experience that was! Haha. The editors did a fantastic job and I am even more proud of this story due to their refining.
A: As I read your book, I felt like I was reading your personal diary. How did you work up the courage to share some of the thoughts that were so deeply personal?
L: As you know, I’ve been blogging about my eye disease for years now. My blog entries would always be something along the lines of sad story followed by humorous and hopeful anecdote. I’ve written so many times about the processing journey of accepting RP that I realized I had gotten stuck in a rhythm. No longer was I hoping for a cure. I had accepted the present and was growing numb to my need for God. As I wrote Believing is Seeing, I questioned my motives. God began to expose my heart to myself. And I decided to write as honestly as possible. Writing this book, a book about going blind, has been the most healing part of my journey thus far.
A: When people read this book, what is the one point, or one thought, you want them to walk away with?
L: I wrote Believing is Seeing not just for the blind and low vision community, but for anyone who struggles with faith through a difficult time. The point is not to tell the world to do what I did. I’m just one person. We all process differently. But hopefully there is something in my story that every human being can relate to, eyesight or no eyesight. Whatever that little nugget may be: hold onto it. Allow God to heal your own story in His timing. He so desperately wants to.
A: You’re 25. You wrote a book. What’s next for you?
L: Getting married this year to an amazing man (how great was that foreword he wrote?!), and continuing to get plugged into the art scene of Seattle. Art will always be my first love. But writing has certainly become a huge part of my life as well… maybe I’ll write another book!
Let’s hope so!
In the meantime, you can purchase Believing is Seeing here. Use promo code WMHR for 20% off (which makes it only $4!).