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Jennifer Rothschild  

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When Jennifer was 15 and beginning her sophomore year of high school, she noticed her eyesight starting to deteriorate rapidly. Though her eyesight had started to weaken in junior high school, she found that this time the loss of sight was unusual. Though she did not want to admit she had a vision problem, she told her mother. Her mother immediately took Jennifer to the ophthalmologist.

The ophthalmologist tried to remedy the problem with a stronger eye glasses prescription, but it didn't help. He then referred her to Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

After a few days of testing, the doctors at the institute met with Jennifer and her parents. They told her she had retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that slowly eats away at the retina of the eye. There is no cure and no way to correct damage already done. A doctor said Jennifer had lost so much sight that her retinas would continue to deteriorate until she was totally blind. At that point, she was legally blind.

Over the next year, Jennifer completely lost her vision, but still had light perception (and still has limited light perception). Her dreams of becoming a commercial artist and cartoonist faded.

Soon after her diagnosis, when she was back at home, Jennifer started to play the piano. Though she had been taking piano lessons for years and practiced diligently every night, she noticed this time it was different. Looking back, she believes God guided her hands to play "It is Well with My Soul" by ear. To Jennifer, the miraculous event wasn't that she could play the song, but that it was actually well with her soul. This is the greatest lesson that God has taught Jennifer in the school of suffering: it doesn't have to be well with your circumstances for it to be well with your soul.


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