Discourage:  to deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; dishearten; dispirit.

Most days, I have great hope.  I don’t have unreachable expectations that I will get well overnight. I don’t even have expectations that I will be completely healed one day.  But I do have hope that I will continue to heal and improve.  

Then I crash.  As I did several days ago.  The pain flares up.  Nausea takes over.  And I become discouraged.

I still believe Hansa was amazing and today, as I am improving, eating again, back on my supplement routine and able to get out of bed, hope is trickling back in.  
Chronic illness – no matter what kind – is a rollercoaster, not just physically, but emotionally, mentally and sometimes spiritually.  

What’s the key to maintaining hope on the difficult days?  From where does encouragement come when I am throwing up and crying in pain?

In the movie “City Slickers”, Curly the cowboy (Jack Palance) tells Mitch the city boy (Billy Crystal) the secret to happiness is “just one thing”.

For Mitch, that one thing was his family.  For many, we would say the one thing is God.  I think for me the one thing encompasses more than just a single word.  Family – yes – they encourage me everyday.  God – yes – He gives me hope every day.  Love, joy, faith – intangible concepts – all things that give me hope each and every day.  

The bottom line is this: I can’t identify just one thing.  But I can tell you that my hope, while momentarily stunted by a downturn in my health, is not in being well.  

I am grateful for the good days.  And I pray for more of them.  I want to encourage anyone going through challenges to stay true to the things in your life that are meaningful – the things that hold real promise.  Don’t let a bad day, a bad moment, keep you down.  

Find your one thing – or however many things that give you hope – and cling first to that.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 


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