Finding Hope in the Worst of Circumstances

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by Joe MacDonald |

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No one likes to feel out of control of their body, but those of us affected by chronic illness know that when the disease rears its ugly head, we may struggle to find a sense of power. As the father of two sons with hemophilia, I understand how the storms can be overwhelming. We’ve often fought to find respite from internal bleeding episodes or the pain of residual damage from constant pounding on joints.

When these chaotic moments present themselves, we do our best to weather them. Until the moment passes, we hold our loved ones, keeping one another safe.

I equate dealing with internal bleeding to rebuilding after a hurricane. Sometimes we’re unsure which direction to move in because so much devastation surrounds us. We struggle to envision a life outside of picking up the pieces after the storm. An inability to move forward and grow doesn’t help us. Sometimes we need to sit with our feelings before we can begin cleaning up and surveying the damage.

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The most important thing is to not surrender to the devastation for too long. Catastrophe looms large, but it cannot defeat us. We must stand up and reclaim our power so that we can serve our loved ones. Depression must not defeat us, because our presence in the lives of those we love is essential. We must respond to our purpose, which motivates our lives, so that we can sort through the ravages of disease.

Several years ago, when we faced the worst of times regarding my younger son’s hemophilia, my family felt submerged underwater, fighting to make our way to the surface. In our struggles to reach the top, we sometimes felt separated and far apart.

But we discovered something in the horrible parts of our story: Love calls us back to one another.

We never let the storm gain absolute control of our lives, as we recommitted to one another. The hemophilia storm loomed large, but not large enough to overwhelm our love for those we hold dear. It will not defeat us no matter how hard it rages.

As my family and I tackle my son’s bleeding disorder, we find ways to discover hope, even in the midst of our most significant battles. Our refusal to surrender to the complications resulting from hemophilia makes us stronger as individuals and as a family. As long as a spark of strength, a flicker of light, remains, pain can’t win. Believing that something better awaits us allows us to overcome the worst of circumstances.

One of my favorite Scripture passages reminds me that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14 KJV). I attempt to hold tight to these words to remind myself that even in the worst of times, I have worth and a purpose. A cheerful reminder of who we genuinely are can speak volumes, especially when we face our deepest struggles. When the storm rages, having a few key phrases that recall our purpose can help us to regain our footing, even when all seems lost.

This week, I challenge you to find phrases that lift your spirits and pull you out of destruction and into the power of hope and resilience. When we find our favorite writings, let us commit them to memory so we can refer to them when things take a dark and unfortunate turn. Hopefully, the practice of developing lifelong mantras will serve as a healing tool, allowing us to grow as we continue to battle the raging storm of chronic illness.


Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, Bionews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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