There are so many things that I’m thankful for. I could list the usual: family, friends, warm fuzzy slippers and coffee…but those things seem so shallow to me now. Not because they aren’t important, but because my focus has shifted greatly over the past several years.
This morning, as I sat asking myself why I’m thankful, a flood of thoughts came to my mind. I have seen people faced with terrible circumstances who have become bitter in the process, and I have seen others rise above their challenges and become a light and a source of hope to the world around them. Which am I? Which are you?
As someone living with multiple sclerosis, I can remember the very day I sat in the doctor’s office when he gave me the unwelcomed news that I have MS. I went through a full range of emotions in the weeks that followed from denial, to pain, to anger, to peace. It was a shocking blow to my life and something that I never saw coming. I had plans and MS wasn’t one of them.
It’s been a hard road. I have had to learn to adjust the way I do just about everything because even the simplest of things have become challenging. But I refuse to give up. I refuse to let MS keep me from being thankful…or from living.
The questions that I’ve asked myself even just recently have been simple. If I didn’t have one single family member to stand by me at this time, could I be thankful? If I didn’t have one friend to call on for encouragement, could I be thankful? If I didn’t have my warm fuzzy slippers to bring a feeling of comfort to my body, could I be thankful? And God forbid, if I didn’t have my morning coffee, could I be thankful? I’m sure you could ask your own questions here too.
I have learned to be thankful in all circumstances. To look this disease of MS square in the eyes and say, “I am not defeated because of you. I am thankful for each new day I am given.”
We will never understand all the “why’s” in life. It’s time to stop questioning why you are going through the storm you are currently facing and determine to be thankful as you go through. You can be thankful even in the most horrible of circumstances, but it’s a choice; and you can make that choice today. You can stand up (even if only on the inside) and say, “I refuse to be defeated by MS.”
For me, I’m thankful for my weakness; I’m thankful for the difficulties…because they show me just how strong I truly am. Sure, I have days when I lose it and break down in a puddle of tears, but I also have days when I can hold it together. I have learned that strength isn’t measured by the amount of things I can do or how little I cry, it’s determined by the attitude that I have while going through the storms in life.
You are stronger than you think. Square your shoulders back and hold your head up high today because you are STRONG! Find something to be thankful for even in the storm. Have your moment of tears then wipe them away because today is a new day to be thankful for.