No, it’s not what you think. I have not channeled my inner teen. I don’t think I’ve ever texted or tweeted or snapped or even uttered that phrase in the conventional way.

But, O.M.G. has completely changed my life.

Almost a year ago, my husband texted me from work. “Hey, I think I need to see the eye Dr. My eyes are just kind of blurry and I’m straining to read stuff. I guess it’s my turn for glasses.”

The next morning he woke up with double vision and, other than a brief week in the fall, it has not gone away. We’ve seen countless doctors and been to a big University training hospital twice and the only explanation they can come up with is that my husband has  an autoimmune disorder called Ocular Myasthenia Gravis. (O.M.G.) Think MS, only instead of the central nervous system, this attacks voluntary muscles. Never heard of it? Neither had we. And while doctors know what it is, most have very little knowledge about it.

The reason Mr. Riehl sees double is because his eyes muscles are affected the most. He’s begun to experience other symptoms over the last year that tells us it could be morphing into generalized MG. Sometimes he can’t move parts of his body, even if he really wants to. He was stepping on our daughter’s foot the other day (not hard, not on purpose) and he wanted to move his foot, but couldn’t for a few minutes. He’s sore and exhausted after very little physical exertion. Sometimes it’s hard for him to swallow.  There is a lot I could say about our year of searching for answers, and I probably will over time. But for now, let me tell you (and I apologize in advance if this offends you): this year has been hell.

Mr. Riehl was a police officer for nearly 12 years. His department let him keep his job as long as they could (he was on long term disability and not allowed to come in, even for light duty) but in February of this year, they finally had to let him go. We understood. We really did–probably not a good idea for police to be driving around with double vision. We get it. It didn’t make it hurt any less.

I could list the many ways this year has knocked us down and left us shaking in uncertainty. But I would much rather tell you over time about the many, many ways God has cared for us. How He has consistently been the steady Rock in this storm.

He’s provided, not only for our physical needs, but our spiritual needs as well. Over and over and over. In too many ways for me to ever explain. And I’m sure more than I’m even aware of.

So as I step back into blogging, there is my first order of business: explaining why I’ve been away for so long (not that you were waiting with bated breath 😉 )

But next, let me tell you what I’ve been working on. A few posts back, I wrote about pulling my book proposal from a big publishing house so that I could write it the way I wanted to. I’m thrilled to tell you that I was able to publish that book last month! This is my first self-published book, and I’m not going to lie: it’s terrifying.

Soul-stretching. Heart-wrenching. Knee-knocking. But so worth it.

In this season of uncertainty, this has been familiar. Creating stories and learning more about the Lord through the trials of imaginary friends. What other profession lets you talk to people in your head without everyone suggesting you be heavily medicated? 😉

In the coming months, I would love to share more details about Mr. Riehl’s disease (I’m always willing to answer questions!) and even more about how the Lord has sustained us. But for now, I’ll close with details about my new book, Trending.

While attending her high school reunion, Amelia Howard discovers three things:
1.She may have taken a decision she made in high school much too far.
2.She is virtually the only one from her graduating class that is still single
3.Her best friend and secret crush—who moved away after graduation and never talked to her again—is back in town with a surprising new title.
Oh, and he can still make her tummy flutter with that charming grin of his. The stinker. Thank goodness she never has to see him again. Only, he’s suddenly everywhere—including on the trending tabs of all of her social media accounts. But to her surprise, their renewed friendship promises to heal Amelia’s long ago broken heart…until it’s shattered all over again.
Creed Williams finally has the opportunity to make things right with Amelia and is determined to show her how much he has changed. But when a video of him goes viral, internet fame and drama take over his simple life. Suddenly he’s at risk of losing everything.

Trending Working File.jpg





2 thoughts on “O.M.G.

  1. Bethany, I didn’t know exactly what your family had been faced with this past year, but continued to pray because I had a feeling it was something pretty significant. I really appreciate you sharing and am glad you’ve decided to venture into blogging again. Even though we only know each other online, please know that you can count on me praying for all of you.

  2. Thank you so much, Heather. I know that the prayers of friends have made a huge difference this year in not letting ourselves feel consumed by the circumstances around us. God is good. In this hardship we have seen that over and over. Not because of happy times, but because He has been faithful to His word. He’s the One constant. Praise Him!
    And online friends are some of the best 😉

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