“Suffering creates patience and patience builds character and character builds hope.”
It is easier to find things to be happy about when things are looking up and everything is going our way. However, when we are faced with a chronic illness, especially as our strenght diminishes looking and finding lovely things around us, which reminds us of brighter days and better tomorrow’s, is not always an easy feat.
I love the word lovely…it means beauty beyond compare. Something that is worth loving and fighting for. In the Bible Queen Esther was described as lovely. this is the same word I would use to describe the love of my life- simply lovely!
Lately, as I have once more been confronted with declining health, I started thinking about this word which unfortunately is not use very much in our society. the power of this word led me to think about the loveliness of God in my life through the years. Now more than ever, I wish to again hold on to that loveliness and beauty as I find myself being torn yet again about knowing what needs to be done from a doctor’s perspective while being terribly unhappy as a ‘impatient’ patient that needs to submit herself once more to the medical scrutiny and becoming a test subject to determine my full health issues and get back on track.
As I gear up for an extensive week of testing which involves, poking, prodding and a bit of educated guessing I really have to focus on the lovely things in my life to get me through this rough patch where I may become worse before I am better; or discover another bad problem which I am not ready to accept or deal with just yet. All the while trying to maintain my composure, hope, faith, and a daily routine especially as the new school year is about to commence with all of its challenges and demands.
When we are down and troubled we as humans sometimes just want to quit and give up . But this is the time when we need to persevere the most.
How do we persevere in the midst of trials and hardships?
We do so by finding the lovely in our lives. Looking for lovely is akin to remembering someone we love deeply and is no longer present or near by.
I am sure you are all aware of what I am referring to. when you love someone wholeheartedly, everything reminds you of that person.
Similarly, when you are down and trying to hold on conjure up those images of people and places which brought great joy and comfort. Think about all the situations in the past which seemed bleak yet; you were able to overcome through perseverance. Look around at the beauty of a sunset, or the colors of the changing seasons, or the calmness of a wintery scene. All of them are beautiful in their own unique way and serve a purpose.
Appreciate the changes that are inevitable as the seasons. Look forward to new discoveries, new beginnings, times of rest and pruning as we welcome the unexpected changes and surprises. Me suddenly having a mini stroke and pulmonary embolism certainly was out of the blue and unforeseen but I am learning to embraced it as a way to enhance my patience, since this has always been one of my worst traits. As the above verse came to mind, I guess in order to achieve patience one must suffer. I got a disease that makes me slow in more ways than one. But, patience is not the end goal rather than living a life full of loveliness and hope as my character is further enhanced and stripped of things that make me less than lovely and keep me from my work of helping others. So as I undergo further testing and evaluation, I will meet friends that remind me of beautiful things, I will cherish the love of the man I love, talk more with God and appreciate His goodness in my life even as I write this. Then use what I learn to take the next step in my journey in life with Parkinson’s disease.
all rights reserved – Maria De Leon MD
(inspired by Bible study of same name )