I have always heard the statement that "happiness is a choice". This week in a book I was reading the statement was made, "Not only is happiness a choice, Hope is a choice as well." I am not sure why it stuck with me and I keep pondering it. Maybe because there are so many things in the world around me that seem hopeless. I also think there are times when it is hard to be hopeful. I do think that statement may just be right though - if we give up hope then we might as well just give up.
In the summer of 2000 we put everything we owned into storage and began building a house that Sean said we would be living in by fall. After a month of living with VERY generous friends, we ended up in a travel trailer out here at our property. No running water or electricity. I cooked everything on a grill, we showered at the public pool, basically our life sucked at that point! It was then that I found out I was pregnant. And people don't believe in God - oh trust me, he is alive and has a HUGE sense of humor!! :) I became very ill while pregnant, so the assumption was that once the baby came I would be alright. Well, I wasn't.
The years went by, we kept working on the house, while all 5 living in a two bedroom apartment. Hey, it was cramped, but at least we had water and electricity! My health was really bad though. We eventually figured out I was allergic to tons of stuff - gasoline, cleaning products, molds (which had been in the travel trailer and ended up in the apartment as well), perfumes, clothes dyes, pesticides, processed foods, etc... All of those things caused a Vago Vasal near syncope reaction - basically my blood pressure dropped and I became very dizzy and nauseous. I didn't know that right away - it was 4 years and about 16 doctors later that I finally found an internist that would listen to me and not just assume me to be crazy. He is still my doctor today and I love him dearly. I admit I was a basket case the first time I saw him. He looked through that and continued to do tests until he found the problem. I am grateful for that.
Anyway, back to hope! All those years, even in the midst of severe depression and debilitating anxiety - I was not willing to give up hope. I knew God wanted me to live an abundant life and I knew there was an answer - so I never gave up seeking it. I went and spent 3 months with a doctor in Missouri doing NAET - it is a natural way to treat allergies. It helped me some, but I was still reacting to tons of stuff after returning home. I went to a homeopathic doctor named, Dogmar Uhl - I should have been afraid of the name alone! She did "emotional healing" and basically I spent about $1000 and 10 hours screaming on a mattress over a 2 month period. You think I am joking? She had a full size mattress and she would sit beside me and we would talk about my illness and when I felt a negative emotion she would have me scream, bang on the mattress, sometimes kick, etc... All that came out of that was a very sore throat! I saw about 10 different medical doctors that all wanted to put me on antidepressants. I took them off and on and was a zombie - but still had my allergic reactions, I just wasn't as excited about them. :)
My point to all of this is - today I have my life back! I praise God for all He has done, and I am extremely grateful each day for being able to get up and do whatever I want whenever I want - that is a gift. I often encounter people that seem resigned with their circumstances. I was NEVER going to just resolve that I would be sick the rest of my life. I can promise you that if I hadn't found the answer yet - I would still be seeking it, all the way until my death. I was never going to give up hope that I could be well again. I think hope is a choice, whatever the struggle is, marriage, jobs, family, health. By choosing hope, our eyes might just be open enough to see the answer when it comes along. I HOPE so, anyway!