HOPE — Having Obedience to Persevere and Endure

HOPE — Having Obedience to Persevere and Endure

Patiently Awakened

I was thinking of writing about another subject a few days ago and then, as usual, life happened. I learned of the passing of a former colleague recently. I did not know her well, but her spirit was infectious. She had been fighting colorectal cancer for 12 years. As I reflected on her spirit, her determination, and her love of life, it was evident she never gave up hope. She used her illness and her voice to advocate and inspire.

There are many who are fighting, or have fought, the greatest battles of their lives. Those of us with MS and other chronic illnesses understand. I realize that the recurring theme in our lives and our stories is hope. Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen. We hope for the best. We hope that our situations improve. Hope allows us to move forward, truly believing that, regardless of the outcome, there is meaning to our existence and a greater lesson in our agony. Hope is one of the strongest emotions.

There is a strong correlation between hope, positivity and catastrophic occurrences. It seems those who are optimistic and positive in their attitudes and approach fare better in the midst of traumatic events. How many people do we know who have seemed to beat the odds? They have exceeded all expectations. This is the story of many of us. Several things in life are beyond our mastery. We cannot control our illnesses. Yet, at times, we can control how we process and react to them. Just as our physical bodies need food, our souls need hope for nourishment.

Hope is a necessity of life. It is facile to imagine the worse-case scenario. The challenge is in envisioning the victory of whatever situations we may face and having the courage to go on in spite of them. It is fighting when you don’t want to and knowing you will persevere. It also is recognizing that as a result of your persistence, others will glean hope and strength.

I have defined myself as a victor. Even in difficult moments, I don’t allow myself to stay there. I hope the same is true for you. We must live. More than 40 years ago, the odds were against me. Think about the times the cards were stacked against you. Now realize that you are here, still fighting, defying the odds one day at a time.

It is my hope that I will see a cure for multiple sclerosis in my lifetime. It is my hope that heart disease will be eradicated. I am content knowing that where there is life there is hope. We will have moments of great joy and deep despair. There will be periods of procurement and loss. Through it all, we must have hope. I will never give it up. I hope the same applies for you.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”  — Hebrews 6:19

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.

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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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.

6 comments

  1. Steve Johns says:

    People who give out advice about what state of mind and psychological approach others should have or adopt are beginning to really annoy me! I have written numerous times in comments on articles such as this attempting, politely, to point out that others may not be as fortunate as they are in terms of mental illness and its effect on their coping with disease. This kink of article is a serious slap in the face for someone who is struggling to deal with a disease like MS AND depression. What you are implying is “This is what you need to do. Look at me, look at Teresa Wright-Johnson, What’s wrong with you that you can’t just choose to be this positive?”. Someone who has clinical depression does not choose this and cannot simply snap out of it and be positive. Depression, in as many different levels of severity as there are ways people experience MS, is a common problem for people with chronic disease I am sick and tired of hearing this “Just be positive and look on the bright side and all will be wonderful” advice from self appointed self righteous ‘experts’. People who have no idea, or inclination to find out, what others are experiencing, but launch into handing out “Look at me, aren’t I fantastic? You need to do the same.” advice without any understanding of or apparently any care for how this will affect others.

    • Tim Bossie says:

      Hi Steve. Thank you for your comment and your thoughts. It is not our intention at MS News to give off any type of attitude in which there is one way to have hope or a positive attitude. We do understand that there are many people today who struggle deeply with depression and weakened emotional state because of their illness, family situation, financial stress and other circumstances which are specific to that individual. You must also understand that there are those, like our columnists, who struggle every day and can get through that struggle by thinking positive. Does this work for everyone? No. And quite possibly, we should make note of that in our columns. However, these posts are simply to help others and not put anyone under compulsion to act a certain way or feel bad because they can not think the same way.

    • Teresa Wright-Johnson says:

      Hi Steve,
      Thank you for your response. This column is not an advice column. Those of us that battle MS knows that there is not a template that fits all. We are different. Our symptoms, experiences and reactions are different. The articles I write convey my personal experiences with chronic illness and adversity and what helps me to withstand them. Depression is something that I am all too familiar with. I am simply trying to encourage others to hold on and fight while I try and do the same. I will avow that hope and faith are pivotal components of my life and I believe they have helped me to persevere. I don’t know what tomorrow may bring and that is sometimes frightening. MS alone is very frightening. Again, I am living one day at a time, hoping for the best. My hope is that I will always have hope. I understand the struggle and no judgment is intended.

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