She was 8 years old and blind when she penned these words:

Oh, what a happy child I am,
Although I cannot see!
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be!

How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don’t!
To weep or sigh because I’m blind,
I cannot and I won’t.

The year was 1820. She was only 6-weeks old when her eyes became inflamed. A man who claimed to be a doctor put hot coals in her eyes and even though the inflammation cleared, she was blinded ever since. That same year, her father died.

Her mother had to leave her with her grandmother Eunice so as to earn a meaningful income. Grandmother Eunice would read Scripture to her and often affirmed to her of God’s special and unique purpose for her life.

As she grew older, Grandma Eunice helped her memorize the Bible. By the time she was 12 years old, she had memorized all of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The Bible verses were like friends that cheered her up.

As a young child, she was able to play outdoors with other children, running, jumping and climbing trees. She excelled as a student and later as a member of the faculty of The New York Institute for the Blind. Combining her poetic and scholarly gifts, Fanny Crosby wrote over 8,000 hymns before her death at age 95, in 1915.

What made her excel despite her blindness?

  • She chose to be joyful and content.
  • She never considered her blindness a handicap.
  • She focused on her blessings rather than her hardship.
  • She memorized God’s Word and claimed it’s numerous promises.
  • She testified of God’s goodness in poetry and song.

May her story inspire you to live above whatever difficult circumstances, to stop complaining and to keep exploring your gifts for God’s glory.

More about Fanny Crosby on:

  • Fanny Crosby: The Blind Girl’s Song (Trail Blazers) by Lucille Travis.
  • Fanny Crosby’s Life Story (Classic Reprint)
  • Fanny J. Crosby: An Autobiography: An Autobiography (Hendrickson Classic Biographies)

You would probably also want to read: The Story of My Life (Dover Thrift Editions: Biography): When she was 19 months old, Helen Keller (1880–1968) suffered a severe illness that left her blind and deaf. Not long after, she also became mute. Her tenacious struggle to overcome these handicaps — with the help of her inspired teacher, Anne Sullivan — is one of the great stories of human courage and dedication.

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