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ms and fighting spirit

Patiently Awakened

One of my favorite gospel songs is “Stand” by Donnie McClurkin. There’s a verse that says, “after you’ve done all you can, you just stand.” My spirit reacts to this song each time I hear it. It satiates my soul. I love music and believe it is a gift. Music has the universal power to heal. Everyone has a song they can relate to. This is one of mine.

There are many occurrences in life that are beyond our control and our scope of reasoning. Trying to understand these things would be unfruitful and frustrating at best. Many of us with MS and other chronic illnesses will attest to this. We wonder why these things have happened to us, and there is never a satisfactory response. Maturity is teaching me that every question does not have a definite answer. I have also learned that wondering “why” ultimately leads down a path where doubt and fear reside — and I have no desire to occupy either of them.

I take each day as it comes and, truthfully, sometimes all I can do is get through each moment. This is OK. As long as I don’t give up, I am making a valiant effort. That is all any of us can do, not  being privy to what the future holds. Comprehending this helps me live in the moment and appreciate the gift of life. MS is a difficult illness to bear, but life itself is never easy. There is always a battle of some sort.

There are moments when my MS engulfs me. You can probably relate. I have learned to allow myself the opportunity to process my feelings and temporarily sit with them. I am human, and there are times when I feel weak. It is during these times that I turn toward my faith and think of the serenity prayer, and ask for the strength to properly employ it in my life.

Stand in the face of adversity

The fact that I have MS and congenital heart disease cannot be changed. I can live intentionally, having the courage to show up and show out in this fight, and can choose to stand. Physically when and while possible, and spiritually at all times.

Prayer, solitude, reflection, positive affirmations, and gratitude reveal that there is a purpose in my pain. To clarify, by no interpretation am I saying that I deserve MS. You don’t either. It is not a matter of what is deserved. I am stating that for me, my strength and true character are being revealed in the midst of my illnesses. I have the desire to persevere. I am much stronger than I ever imagined. My spirit is resilient and I refuse to permit MS to break me. My hope will not be usurped. MS cannot win.

I say from the bottom of my heart, when you feel like giving up, just stand. When your tears flow like a river, just stand. When you are overwhelmed, just stand. Faith can move mountains and hope can save the soul. God has a plan for your life. Turn to Him and ask for discernment and strength. We never stand alone.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Note: Multiple Sclerosis 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 other 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 Multiple Sclerosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

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Teresa I. Wright-Johnson is a married Multiple Sclerosis Warrior and Congenital Heart Disease Survivor. She was born with a heart murmur and an Aortic Valve Defect. Teresa has endured multiple open heart surgeries and cardiac procedures. She was diagnosed with MS in November of 2014 and is under the care of an esteemed MS Specialist. Teresa knows there is a calling on her life and she fully embraces that. Teresa uses her illnesses as opportunities to further rely on her faith, walk in her truth, raise awareness and educate others. She believes that she is purposely on purpose. Teresa offers a solid background in Criminal Justice and Social Services. A graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and a retired Sr. Parole Officer for the State of New Jersey, Teresa uses her life to empower and inspire others. She embodies community service, is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc and is active with several other organizations. Teresa aspires to be a light that shines in dark places. Teresa is an author, poet, inspirational speaker and a community activist. She enjoys writing, reading, listening to music and spending time with her family and friends. Teresa acknowledges the unwavering love of her wonderful parents throughout her life and her supportive and loving husband Marvin who is beside her through every trial and triumph.
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4 comments

  1. Roseanna says:

    Thank you for your inspiring words.
    I am a woman of faith too and Love Jesus. Got diagnosed early this year with MS. I have had “mild” syptoms but no-one can say for certain how this will play out in the years to come. I was scarred at first, I think in a way, I still am but trusting God in all things keeps me going each day. Im on the worship team at Church. Praise and Worship music is always playing. The go-to song lately for me is “Give me Jesus” from Danny Gokey!..
    ..you can have all this world, but Give me Jesus.
    Amazing Hope we have Found!.. Couldn’t live any other way!

    Thank you again for your encouraging posts!

    • Teresa Wright-JohnsonTeresa Wright-Johnson says:

      Hi Roseanna.

      Thank you for your response. I am happy that this article resonated with you. It is okay and quite normal to be scared at times. However, we know that having faith and trusting God gives us strength to carry on. I wish you the best on this journey and remember that there are many of us on the frontline of this battle. God Bless You.

  2. Karen says:

    Teresa, you are an amazing woman!
    I immediately listened to “Stand” and let the tears flow.
    I have had a tough time the past two years and particularly the past 6 months.You and your words have given me the support to continue on and “stand”.

    Thank you sincerely

    • Teresa Wright-JohnsonTeresa Wright-Johnson says:

      Hi Karen!

      Thank you for your response. I am so happy that you found something in this article that helped you. I am sorry that you are having a hard time. Please know that you will rise and conquer this mountain. Continue to stand and live your best life. May you be strengthened and blessed.

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