It’s New Years Eve. 2020 is literally around the corner!
A new year awaits. Will it be a good year, a difficult year, a happy year, a sad year?
One thing is certain, none of us really know. As I look back over my life, every year has had highs and lows. Mostly my life has been exciting and exhilarating. Yes, even the past 10 years fall into that category despite my health failing me.
Each year, no matter my circumstances, new and exciting opportunities have always presented and I have had a sense of purpose.
As I approach this new year, I feel like I am lacking that sense of anticipation I usually have. Maybe because I’m in ridiculous pain due the progression of my bone disease.
Maybe because I’m entering the New Year feeling so exhausted before it even starts.
Maybe because it just feels like more of the same lies ahead.
Maybe because everything about my future just feels so uncertain and the reality is I am trapped in a world where I can’t make plans for today, let alone the year ahead.
You Don’t Have To See The Whole Staircase
So, that can all sound rather depressing and if I allow myself to continue thinking along this path I will never dare to dream, dare to hope, dare to have faith that there could be something exciting and exhilarating around the corner.
I love this quote from Martin Luther King Jnr;
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, you just have to take the first step”
That’s it! I just need to step into the 1st January 2020 and take each day one at a time, step by step.
The details, the plans, the hopes, dreams, twists and turns will unravel as I go.
I believe God is ultimately in control. I don’t believe He causes difficult things to happen to us but I do know, by faith, He gives me the strength, resolve and ability to deal with the good, the bad and the downright awful.
It is an uncertain New Year but every New year is like that. Despite the uncertainties I still want it to be a year filled with purpose, filled with love and joy, filled with strength to deal with the difficult times, filled with hope when things seem hopeless.
Looking Back And Ingniting Hope
This year my blog turns 5 and my online support forum will be turning 3 on the 14 the January.
Just before I started both of these ventures, I had a sense of losing purpose in my life due to my health. As 2017 started, I had been blogging for 2 years and was enjoying it but I wasn’t reaching many people. While I wrote for the love of writing, I also wanted to share my experiences in the hope of helping others with chronic illness.
I couldn’t see anything ahead in 2017 apart from pain, more surgery, pain, repeat.
3 weeks into the year, I had the idea to start an online support forum, Medical Musings With Friends . It was concerning me so many people, on other support forums, had such complex diseases that didn’t fit neatly into the particular box that these other forums needed ticking. I had an overwhelming sense that chronically ill people needed a broader outlet where they could share as much or as little as they liked.
I started the forum on the 14th January 2017 and a week later, The Mighty published my first article. I nearly didn’t submit the article because I felt I would be wasting my time, I felt my writing wasn’t good enough. In fact the first submission didn’t work as they had a system failure and I received an email ,3 weeks after I’d forwarded my first article, saying all articles submitted during certain dates must be resubmitted.
I again thought there was little point and was about to delete the email when I suddenly felt, “oh just do it…you’ve got nothing to lose”.
The article was published the next day and resulted in over 1000 likes and countless people reading it and finding both my blog and forum.
The rest as they say is history.
The Purpose Of The Story
My purpose for recounting this story, is so often when I’ve been at the end of my resources and I’ve felt like there is nothing more to life but the circumstances I’ve found myself in….so often that is the moment when amazing things, things beyond my wildest dreams, are about to happen.
In 2017, I just needed to be prepared to take a couple of steps….start the forum in faith that others would join and not be afraid to submit an article for publication. Those two actions turned future years into purposeful and exciting days, weeks and months.
If you’re sitting at home on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, feeling like you can’t see ahead, don’t lose hope. You are not alone. Chronic Illness can feel all encompassing and does place huge limitations on our lives.
It doesn’t have to make us a prisoner though. We do that to ourselves if we only dwell on what we can’t do, rather than what we can do.
Opportunities can present from the flicker of a quiet thought. Listen to your heart. Listen to those thoughts you think might be challenging you. Life can be exciting and amazing, even from the confines of your home.
Don’t be afraid to explore your ideas, even if you are scared and uncertain. It’s those ideas which cause you to feel a little nervous and excited, that are often the ones worth pursuing. It means they are important to you.
See where they lead. You may be wonderfully surprised.
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page
I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women
If you would like to read a little more about my journey, here’s the link to My Story