Having Hope in Trying Times

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

During these trying times it is difficult to always stay positive. When you are dealing with any chronic illness on top of the “Social Distancing and the Stay at Home Orders” it becomes harder to see the positive in life. As someone who lives with chronic illness and pain, I know first-hand how difficult it is to stay positive when you are separated even further from the things you cherish most like visits with your mother, holding and hugging on your grandchildren , or just having a family dinner with all of your children and their families. When you already deal with so much it appears this could be the final straw, but there is HOPE. There are ways to combat the negative vibes and help you to keep moving forward.

Finding things to do when you are isolated can be a bit daunting but start discovering the things you enjoy that you never thought you would have the time to do. For example, if you are crafty come up with some new projects like make an iron-on with a positive saying for yourself, a family member, and/or a friend. Maybe you have always wanted to learn how to make and embellish cards so why not have some fun and learn. In this era of computers there are hundreds of how-to videos your can learn from.

Just one of many beginner classes online

Another great way is to stay as active as possible. Get up and get outside there is so much you can do such as go for a walk, sit outside  and have your morning coffee, start a vegetable garden or take pictures of all the beautiful flowers that are in bloom. You can also keep active by using your computer and finding things like yoga online or work with a yoga instructor of your choice via skype or zoom, this can be a win-win because you get exercise while employing a yoga instructor that is out of work. Right now, is would benefit all of us to get creative with ways to stay active. Staying active also has a positive affect on pain. It has been proven that exercise helps to reduce pain while keeping us in better shape and I know this firsthand. Plus, it gets the blood flowing and oxygen intake up which helps boost our mood. We can all use a boost.

Yoga- Cobra
Heading our for a walk

If we stop thinking of this “quarantine” as a punishment and reframe our thoughts, we can all benefit from this “negative” situation. One positive of this “quarantine” is we get more time with our families which allows us to slow down and reconnect. Have movie nights, play games together, or watch a concert together. Get the dialogue going. We can also learn to use different online apps such as Skype, Houseparty, or Zoom to connect with our friends and family. It is a fun way for everyone to come together. You can even celebrate birthdays and anniversaries this way. We recently did this for my granddaughter who turned 8. My family all got on Houseparty via their phones and/or computer and we were able to sing Happy Birthday to her. We also got to see her blow the candles out on her cake and open her presents. She was so happy and was excited to see everyone. It was a great way forher everyone to still get together and make her birthday special. We all would benefit from finding new ways to stay connected.

Staying upbeat and joyful is not possible if we loose hope. God does not want us to be unhappy and lack hope. Nope, He want us to seek Him so that He may bring us joy and fill us with Hope. He wants us to keep moving forward so that we may share with others what a wonderful loving father we serve. He wants us to tell a better story. By His grace and mercy, we are saved!

Published by Denise Rogers

I am a wife, mother, stepmother and grandmother who enjoys spending time with family and friends, crafting, gardening, and I am learning to live with being disabled. In 2017, after my 8th thoracic spinal surgery, I lost all feeling from the waist down as well as losing my proprioception on the right side. This has made it difficult to stand without assistive devices and made it, so I am having to relearn to walk. Plus, I have another uncommon condition called Chiari Malformation Type 1 which also creates balance issues as well as many other health issues. Because of the Chiari and the spinal cord injury, I have been left with severe nerve damage which causes a great deal of pain (5 and greater on pain scale) as well as spasticity, muscle spasms, and allodynia (burning) in various areas of my body. I have endured 8 surgeries on my Thoracic Spine and will probably need more as the drain that was placed will eventually clog and require replacement. Currently, I have a spinal to pleural cavity shunt, which drains the CSF from my arachnoid cysts into my pleural cavity. Professionally, I am a retired Health Care Professional with over 26 years of experience. I have worked in the Public Health realm as well as in Long Term Care and Acute Care. I have a B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work. It is my hope that through sharing my personal trials, experiences, and triumphs that I can help others keep moving forward. No matter what life throws at us we can always tell a better story. I know that God is with me and because of this anything is possible. His promise to be by my side every step of the way helps me to keep pushing on even when there are setbacks.

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