Step by Step

Forming new and better health habits does not happen overnight, but step by step. With health issues and chronic disease, often you may feel like it is one step forward and one step back with little to no progress over frustratingly long periods of time. Sometimes you get bogged down in the day to day struggles, whether it is dealing with your own health struggles or that of a family member and watching their struggles, while feeling almost helpless to help. Looking at the bright side of things and trying to be upbeat around them might seem like you are making light of their struggles (or that others are making light of yours).  Having a good balance is hard.  It is a frustrating situation.

Enter thankfulness. Thankfulness is real. It gives perspective. It can acknowledge the ongoing struggles without belittling them or giving in to them. Watching my children with their health struggles, big and small; short-term and ongoing; I deal best with them when I remember (or am prompted) to thank God for his blessings. I still ask for healing — for complete healing — but also need to balance that with acknowledging and thanking him for the blessings he is lavishing upon us. It sounds strange to be thankful as the Bible tells us to, in the midst of our struggles. Is it even possible? Yes. We may have to ask God to show us, to open our eyes and hearts to the blessings we can truly be thankful for when the struggles, particularly painful and ongoing struggles, are overwhelming.

I cannot at this moment think of anything much worse than the Lyme disease that two of my daughters have struggled with, one for several years. Without going into the details, it is like taking all the worst dreaded diseases and mixing them all up and dumping them on a young girl, plus the medical field giving her no diagnosis and no hope, and accusing her of making it up and faking it.  But God always give hope. God gives strength to the weak. God keeps his promises.  It may seem like a little thing to daily say a prayer and to include thanksgiving.  But it will keep you going, will give you perspective, and will keep you from becoming overwhelmed.  There is always something to thank God for.  Make thankfulness a new or renewed habit, taking it day by day, step by step.

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