Scotty and Tiffany Smiley are an extraordinary couple. Scotty, founder of Hope Unseen ministries, is a military veteran who has endured more suffering than most could ever begin to imagine.
In April 2005, he was severely injured when he spotted a suspicious looking vehicle approach his military base in Mosul, Iraq. Before he had time to react, a suicide bomber self-detonated right in front of him. Shrapnel pierced through his eyes as he was knocked unconscious by the blast.
“Sure enough, someone had come in and blown themselves up. It was the worst day of my life,” Scotty’s wife, Tiffany, said in a recent video shared by Hope Unseen. “I had no idea what was yet to come.”
In the powerful video testimony, Scotty, who had aspirations of becoming a Delta Force operator, described that fateful day when his life was changed forever.
“I was deployed to Mosul. On April 6, 2005, I found a suspicious vehicle,” he said. “The last thing I remember seeing was a man raising his hands in the air as he exploded. I woke up over a week later in Walter Reed Army Medical Center, blind the rest of my life.”
Tiffany recalled a senior army official calling her to break the news of the attack. He informed her that Scotty had been blinded.
“This strong leader just broke down and started sobbing on the phone to me,” Tiffany explained. “That was the moment that I knew that my world changed.”
Scotty had to try and get to grips with his new life without sight. For an active military man and a gifted leader, this was excruciatingly difficult.
“That darkness just overwhelmed me. I felt I couldn’t do anything,” he said. “Being able to do anything you wanted to do, and now you can’t even move. Let alone, you can’t see, you will never be able to see again. I chose to be angry at my wife, my family, my friends, at everyone.”
“As a result, I just got deeper and deeper and darker and darker,” he added. “I felt the heaviness of what it was gonna take. It was easy to be a cheerleader but so much harder to really feel that pain and burden.”
But despite Scotty finding himself in an ever-deepening pit of despair, he knew that there was a hope and a light — God.
“In the darkest, deepest depression that I was in, I knew where the light was,” Scotty said. “I knew what the truth was. For me, it was to make a choice to choose Him. When I didn’t, it was dark.”
Then, a beautifully simple encounter with a child brought Scotty back into a place of hope and breathed life back into his bones.
“It was when a little boy, who I taught Sunday school, came to my door and I just began to cry,” he said. “There still may be a purpose for me if a little boy still looked up to me. That could be a reason to continue to live. It forced me to choose to love and to ask for forgiveness.”
Scotty knew that despite his disability, he had to fight to find the Lord.
“I knew that if I didn’t have true hope and faith in God, then loving my wife and finding a true purpose life would almost be all for nothing,” he explained.
Now a gifted author and speaker, Scotty can truly say that despite all the heartache and pain, God has been good to him and his family.
“For me, I wouldn’t change anything that has occurred,” he said. “The blessing that God has given us is that he uses us if we want to be used.”
“Scotty and I aren’t just surviving, we’re genuinely happy, joyful and grateful for this life that we have,” added Tiffany. “God has shown me that my happiness and my joy, it doesn’t come from my circumstances. It comes from my heart, and from the beauty that he shows us through pain and heartache.”
“No, this isn’t the life I would have ever said I wanted,” Tiffany continued. “But it is the perfect life for us.”
Learn more about Scotty’s ministry and book “Hope Unseen” by visiting his website here.
(H/T: Hope Unseen)