Hannah Abel’s inability to do certain things independently leads her to “want to help others … and I love just working with people and helping them get to a better spot than the one they’re in.” That’s why, although she’s legally blind, Hannah refuses to allow her eyesight to stop her from pursuing her goal of becoming a licensed social worker, with a focus on domestic violence.
In one of her first classes at Cedarville University, she went to a domestic violence shelter and saw the sensitive ministry taking place, “and I just learned about abuse in general and it really laid heavy on my heart.” Hannah senses the helplessness some victims of domestic violence feel and how important it is for someone to be available to guide and encourage them.
Once she graduates, Hannah knows prayer will be an essential part of every workday. “I could not see myself going in to work at a domestic violence shelter - even a day - without just praying through the entire day because it takes a lot of endurance and I’m going to see some very hard things and I’m going to have to learn how to handle them – and I think just going to the Lord in prayer is going to be so helpful and encouraging,” she shares. Even now, when she visits a shelter or thinks about those who are hurting, Hannah prays and gets comfort from the Lord’s presence and knows that He knows, “this is not okay!”
Concerning her vision, at age 9 Hannah was diagnosed with Stargardt macular degeneration. In our podcast below she explains more about the disorder and how she does workarounds to get through life each day. When I asked, “So you’ve not let this hold you back?,” Hannah’s answer was quick and direct. “No,” and then she added, “I don’t see the point in letting it hold me back … It’s not debilitating. Like, I can still live my life. It just takes adjustment. Now approaching age 21, she points out that she’s lived more than half her life with the vision situation, so it “just is normal” for her.
Hannah is determined, very transparent, positive, and intending to live a life helping others. Hear the story directly from her: