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Broken Crayons Are Not Useless

garden, broken crayon

Sherri Journeying Through

My son and his family were preparing to move. Was I willing to let them go? Yes. Did I want them to go? No. But that was my selfish desire. I have realized that the harder I try to hold on to what I want, the less I allow God to intervene, not just for my good, but for my best. In the process, I have learned not to hold on. And in some instances, I actually do that. In other instances, though, it can be very hard, especially for a fixer. And I am a big fixer.

I want everyone to be happy. Smiling. Content. But that’s not reality. The reality is that it is not up to me to fix everything; it’s not up to me to make everyone happy. 

I realized yesterday that I tend to coddle people. I also realize the world’s happiness has not been made my burden. I am accountable only for myself in how I react to the circumstances that this world throws at me, such as how I will deal with having Parkinson’s disease, what the financial burden will be, and choices others around me will need to make regarding my health. On and on my list goes.

But how I choose to deal with what life throws at me is what matters. Will I choose to smile, knowing that my God is bigger than all of this? Or will I whimper and whine?

Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I want to be strong in every way. I want to support others. Sometimes we need to give “tough” support, the kind that says, “Enough! Get up, live your best, and be thankful that God has given you another day!”

Whether it’s another day walking slow and stiff or another day with the ability to weed my flowers without pain, I want to give it my best.

Sometimes we feel like a broken crayon. No longer valuable. No longer pretty. But broken crayons are still usable and make beautiful colors. We just need to let go of what is keeping us down and give it to God. Let us be usable, like a broken crayon that God is using to complete a beautiful work of art in our broken lives.

***

Note: Parkinson’s 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 another 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 Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Broken Crayons Are Not Useless appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Finding Hope for Today

 

Sherri Journeying Through

Sometimes you can feel as if you’re at the end of your proverbial rope. You’re holding on as tight as you can, hoping the blisters on the palms of your hands won’t become totally unbearable and you let go.

I was thinking about all that’s going on lately in the world: tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and tornadoes.

As if that weren’t enough, the likelihood of people diagnosed today with a terminal disease isn’t just likely, it’s a given. The likelihood of people diagnosed with a chronic illness isn’t just probable, it’s going to happen. There is pain and sorrow eating away at our society day by day, and there is no stopping it. Our hope is being challenged left and right while our faith may feel as if it is rapidly dwindling. Is there hope? Can we hold onto our faith and make it to the end without giving up, without giving in?

It is believed that King David of Israel might have had Parkinson’s disease. If that is true, then couldn’t it be possible that some of the other diseases we live with today could have been around during King David’s time? Diseases and illnesses such as breast cancer, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and so much more likely played a part in history. After all, according to Christopher G. Goetz of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, the “shaking palsy” was first diagnosed by physician James Parkinson in 1817, who described it as a neurological syndrome. Earlier texts, including some from India around 1000 B.C. and some ancient Chinese texts, describe symptoms of what might have been Parkinson’s.

If Parkinson’s disease really did play a role in King David’s life, then it is probable that those diseases from long ago still exist to some degree today. Couldn’t it be more than likely that Parkinson’s is one of those diseases referred to when the Apostle Matthew wrote, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages … healing every disease and sickness.”

***

Can you imagine what it would have been like as a person with Parkinson’s disease to be healed on that day? The day of healing every disease and sickness? To be walking down the street one minute, mistaken for a drunk with uncontrolled limbs, slurred speech, and constant tripping? You stop near this man who claims he can heal you and you think, “What have I got to lose?” 

You get yourself in line and you wait. 

And you wait. 

And you wait in a line longer than those in high-security status at the airport. 

You consider turning around to go home, but then you see him. The one who everyone’s talking about. 

You remember the other day when Aunt Martha told you she saw him heal a man with sores all over his skin. And her sister, your Aunt Mary, saw him heal a man who was blind, with some spit and some dirt. 

So, you keep waiting, just a little longer, because you feel hopeful.

He sees you. You’re hard to miss due to all the awkward movements you make. You get to where he is, sitting on a rock and he is waiting for you. As you approach, he stands and offers his rock for you to sit upon. Before you can say anything, he stands behind you and gently puts your head between the palms of his hands. You feel a warmth permeate your entire body. Your body relaxes. Your movements calm. You can’t put into words how you feel, you can only say you don’t feel the same. Something inside happened from your head to your toes.

Were you healed? Could it be?

***

If people were healed way back then, why not right now? Today? Why not be hopeful? 

Healing today may not look the same as it did back in Matthew’s time, but it happens. Sometimes it is our perspective or our attitude that needs healing. Perhaps it is our faith that is restored and healed after being tested by the trials of a chronic illness. Perhaps hope is healed after despair rips out our joy and leaves a deep dark pit inside. If your faith began dwindling because of your circumstances, isn’t the gift of renewed faith and hope healing in its own way?

Why not be healed? Why not be hopeful? Hope enables us to live through today’s sicknesses and diseases while expecting something better for tomorrow. Hope tells our heart that help is on the way. 

So, why not be hopeful?

***

Note: Parkinson’s 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 another 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 Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

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When You See a Rainbow

storms

Sherri Journeying Through

To see a rainbow, you need sunlight and raindrops. Like glass prisms, raindrops break sunlight into different colors and reflect that light to make a rainbow. Some say that rainbows come after the storm. While that is true, it is also true that rainbows can appear during a storm. 

What is a storm? It is different for everyone. It can come as a literal storm of hurricane proportions, a tsunami, an earthquake, a tornado. Look around. Storms of the literal sense are raging everywhere around the globe. But storms can mean other things. They can take the name cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, bankruptcy, infidelity, death, grief, and so much more.

According to the Bible, after God shut the floodgates of the Great Flood, he told Noah that he would put a rainbow in the sky to serve as a reminder that never again would he destroy the entire earth by a flood.

The rainbow was and still is a reminder of God’s patience toward a fallen world. It reminds me of His faithfulness, mercy, grace, and peace. The One who fights for us in our storms hung up his bow in the sky and promised humanity that never again would He send a flood to destroy the earth. He didn’t need the reminder. We did.

When the storms in my life threaten to take me out to a raging, wild sea that causes me to fear for my life, it is sometimes easy to feel God has forgotten me and has left me to drown. But then the skies part just a teensy-weensy bit, and what do I see? Raindrops. Millions of raindrops and one humongous, beautiful, gorgeous rainbow.

You can’t view a rainbow unless the sun is behind you. The light has to break through the prism of raindrops so a rainbow can be seen. And so it does. The light of the sun breaks through those raindrops that have been pounding hard upon us, trying mercilessly to break us down and leave us feeling hopeless. When the light passes through those drops of rain, it bends to create a beautiful rainbow.  

How many times have you seen a rainbow, awestruck by its beauty, and seemed to feel better? Because the raindrops are always “moving,” the way we see the rainbow is constantly changing. And as two people cannot occupy the same place in space at the same time, everyone sees a different rainbow, our personal promises.

There may still be clouds of illness hovering above. Death, sickness, and hopelessness may be having a field day with us or someone we love. There may be rain pouring down into our lives, but if we look, we will find a rainbow. There, we will find peace.

***

Note: Parkinson’s 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 another 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 Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

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The ABCs of Parkinson’s: ‘F’ Is for ‘Fear’

fear

Sherri Journeying Through

Editor’s note: A continuation of the “ABCs of Parkinson’s” series.

“You have Parkinson’s disease.”

“What exactly does that mean?” I asked.

While I waited for a response to my question, my thoughts covered a multitude of fears in a minimal amount of time. I sat and listened to my doctor’s explanation, which began sounding like background noise. I answered no to the question of whether I had any questions, when in fact I had multitudes but didn’t want to hear the answers for fear of what they might be. I was loaded with a sample starter of Mirapex (pramipexole) and something else I can’t remember for lack of paying attention. Then, I said thank you, scheduled the next visit, and left. 

“It’s gonna be OK,” my husband tried reassuring me later at home. But, how did he know what OK looked like and if I was going to like the picture?

I know as well as the next person that fears are normal. They can be both healthy and destructive. I know fear is common among people with Parkinson’s disease. As I began learning more about PD and acquiring information about the disease, I saw that fear was not only a real part of Parkinson’s but something that was rarely ever mentioned, let alone discussed. Were we supposed to be brave on the outside while we were shaking like crazy on the inside?

I had a professor in college who said it’s not that we fear the dark but that we fear the things we cannot see in the dark. I suppose you could then say — as a person with a chronic disease — that we often find it easy to “live in the dark,” as this disease manifests itself with things we can’t see. Things we didn’t know would be coming. We aren’t so much afraid of Parkinson’s disease or having it. It is safer to say that we fear what Parkinson’s could, can, and will do to us. 

My edition of Merriam-Webster defines fear as “a reason for dread … taking the form of terror, horror, panic, alarm, dismay, consternation, and trepidation.” Yep. I’d say those terms fit. 

Fear can be my greatest enemy in this journey with Parkinson’s disease. It can cause anxiety at every level. Honestly, dread, terror, panic, dismay, and consternation have all had their heyday with my mind when it comes to this disease.

At times in my life, I have felt powerless because of this disease. I have experienced moments of terror when an intense, overpowering fear has swept over me and consumed my thoughts with the what ifs. Panic has seized me in the most unexpected moments: seeing a person in a wheelchair, a woman who shuffles into the store in front of me, an older man who drops his coffee mug because his hand is shaking. There are reminders all around that cause me to panic and be reminded that this could be me in five months, or two years, or six days, or …

I have been dismayed and at times have lacked the courage and the power to fight this monster. I have felt paralyzed by the confusion of what to do next, helpless in this new battle I was chosen for, and afraid that I may not know how to fight well, or may not have the necessary weapons.

What do you do with that feeling of helplessness and dread? What do you do when panic consumes your life and leaves you exhausted and powerless?

I can’t accomplish much of anything when I’m feeling overwhelmed, and my mind is confused and cluttered. Eventually in my struggle, I remember and believe that the God who made me will not allow this trial to consume me, nor will He leave me defenseless to fight it alone. Some say that religion or God is for those who are weak. You can call me weak.

There is comfort in knowing that I don’t face the battles of this disease alone. The unknowns. The what ifs. If I truly believe what I write, then I can step out and do what often seems impossible to do in the darkest valleys: face my fears. What makes that possible is faith. And it is faith that gives us hope.

***

Note: Parkinson’s 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 another 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 Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post The ABCs of Parkinson’s: ‘F’ Is for ‘Fear’ appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Source: Parkinson's News Today

Accepting the Invitations You’re Afraid to Accept Can Be Worth It

Sherri Journeying Through

Several years ago, my youngest son discovered the camera, and through its lens, he discovered a whole new world.

On one particular day, I was feeling down and he asked why.

“I don’t know,” I replied. There was no real reason. Some days are just like that when you have Parkinson’s disease. It comes for free with the experience of having the disease.

“You wanna come with me to take pictures?” he asked. That was unusual, as he usually went alone to do his assignments for his photography class.

“No, I’ll stay here.” No one else was home and I wasn’t going to go with him and make him miserable.

“Are you sure?” Rarely did he ask someone to go. Even rarer was the second invitation. I was tempted but replied with the same answer.

“Come on. You’ll feel better,” he said with a slight grin and cocked his head in an attempt to cheer me up.

I smiled inside, my outside smile refusing to work. Thanks, Parkinson’s (sarcasm intended). “You go ahead. I’ll be fine,” I answered.

And so he went off to get a few things from his room and as he went out the front door, I went downstairs.

As I got to the bottom stair, I turned around and went back up as fast as I could. Yes, I did want to go. I did want to feel better. But most of all, I never wanted to regret turning down that rare invitation of spending time with my youngest son. I opened the door, hoping against hope that he was still there. The car was gone, but he was running up the driveway!

“Can I still come?” I asked.

“Yeah, I just forgot something.” I thanked God, put on my shoes, grabbed my camera and my coat, and got into the car.

That day, we took pictures of moss and birds, pictures in blues and greens, squawking geese and floating ducks. We saw thunderclouds, rusted cars, and nests hidden in the limbs of trees. We climbed over barbed wire fences and stepped in mud holes. We heard blaring guitars in the middle of nowhere and froze in the icy cold air of an Idaho winter. We chased a hawk as it teased us while soaring above in serpentine circles with the air currents over a meadow of frozen wheat stubble. And then, like the moss and the squawking geese and the iced stream, he spotted it.

With blues and grays, pinks and yellows dabbed with gold, there it was, the picture of the day. The sunset sang out to both of us at the same time. And as we both grabbed our cameras to capture the moment, we noticed the tree, framed before the sunset. It was a magnificent picture and moment. A glorious moment.

And I thanked God. I thanked Him for all things good and not so good. For moss on trees and squawking geese. For barbed wire fences and mud holes. For floating ducks and iced-over streams running through snow-covered meadows. For bird nests hidden in limbs of trees and little birds on bare treetops huddled together to keep warm. For the freezing cold and that silly, playful hawk. But most of all, I thanked God for my son and that he forgot something and ran back up the driveway.

“Come on,” he said, “You’ll feel better.” And he was right.

An invitation that wouldn’t quit. A glorious afternoon. Time spent with my son. Parkinson’s? Worth it.

***

Note: Parkinson’s 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 another 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 Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

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Source: Parkinson's News Today

Finding Fulfillment in My Life

fulfillment

Sherri Journeying Through

I think I have lived long enough to learn (although it’s an ongoing process), that as hard as I may seek, no one or nothing but God can fill the hole inside my heart. I believe I was born with this hole. Broken at birth, so to speak.

I have sought friends and things, both consciously and subconsciously. A husband, no matter how loving, can’t fill this hole, nor a child, no matter how loved, can fill the deep chasm that cries out for fulfillment and wholeness.

I stumble often and again, consistently and constantly, telling myself that just a hug, just an “I love you,” or just some extra patience extended toward me will go a long way to filling me up. These things I seek, these things I long for — I tell myself they will fill a little bit of that empty space.

But, they don’t. And having a chronic illness can often make that hole seem so much darker and so much deeper. I feel fractured and damaged. I feel incomplete, as if a part of me is missing.

It isn’t anyone’s fault. There is no blame to hand off. It is a case of trying to fill a hole made intentionally by a God who wants me to realize He put it there and only He can fill it.

When I stop and recognize that truth, slow down enough to dwell on what that really means, I begin to drink His love, His forgiveness, and His sovereignty. I begin to experience His blessings of fullness and a beautiful new wholeness.

I find myself setting others free from the impossible expectations I have imposed upon them, and in the process, I free myself. I may have been born into this world broken and in need, but I will leave whole and not wanting for anything.

***

Note: Parkinson’s 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 another 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 Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s Disease. 

The post Finding Fulfillment in My Life appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Source: Parkinson's News Today

Sometimes Grace Hurts

faith

Sherri Journeying Through

Steven Curtis Chapman said it best:


”I don’t even wanna breathe right now
…I don’t even wanna be right now
I don’t wanna think another thought
…I don’t wanna feel this pain I feel 
[but] right now, pain is all I’ve got.”

It was a hard day.

I waved goodbye to my son, his wife, and my two grandchildren as they drove down the street. They were heading north to a new home, new jobs, a new life. Twelve hours away instead of 12 minutes. My two grandchildren — one 5, the other 1 — I had watched almost every day. All day.

I helped those little ones learn to walk. Eat with a spoon. Drink from a cup. I sat in that rocking chair over there and rocked them to sleep. Sang them songs. I read to them the story about the pants with nobody inside of them, by Dr. Seuss. I held them when they were sick or well or when they just wanted to be held. We jumped in puddles, planted flowers, played games, went for walks.

I sat at that table over there and played games with “Boo.” We colored, we painted, we had tea parties. Then my son announced a new job opportunity and you can guess the rest. That’s why I stood outside on that summer morning, waving goodbye to a car filled with oh-so-precious ones.

I went to the rose garden later, and everywhere I walked, I heard Boo. I saw her chasing blackbirds. I heard her excitement upon finally seeing the elusive jackrabbit we’ve been tracking for months.

The next day, I worked in the garden and watered her row: larkspur, bachelor buttons, poppies. She was so proud of her little garden. I worked out there all day. I worked until I couldn’t move. I worked so I didn’t have to think. I watered the ground with tears.

The following day, I still couldn’t move because I moved too much the day before. I had lost mobility and gained pain. I sat on the couch and worked on pictures and cried. My grandchildrens’ smiles fill my digital albums; I could almost hear the giggles behind those smiles.

The next day, I felt like I was locked in a blackened room — hopeless, lost, empty — weeping for lost things. And it felt like my heart was breaking in two. The crack in my heart a week before was now a massive crevice. The strength that held me together became jello.

God, how am I going to do this? I whispered through tears I hadn’t spilled out so hard in so long.

My head told me those two little ones were not mine to hold onto. I was not even their parent. Can a grammy love her little grandchildren so much? Yes. She most definitely can.

I sat on the bathroom floor. I cried more and through the tears, whispered, God, I lived for those kids.

They were my daily dose of laughter, love, smiles, hugs, and joy. God used those little ones to bless me over and above in so many ways never deserved. I viewed them as little disciples, and we talked about God everywhere we went. In everything we did.

How I found the energy to do it every day, only God knows. I napped when they napped and again when they went home. I fought through the pain within my body and never refused to hold them or change diapers, even when I didn’t think I could stand the pain another minute. I was determined not to let Parkinson’s dictate my life, but my body was screaming to let go. My heart was screaming to hold on. My head was saying it was time. Time to listen to the body. The disease that strives to claim more ground with each passing day was doing its job. It was time to let go.

The grace of God intervened. Sometimes grace hurts. That still, small voice that you can hear because you’re not busy making incessant chatter. The comforting, life-giving voice of God.

God, I lived for those kids, I had whispered through tears. And before I could go on to the next thought of despair, He whispered back, “Live for me.

Uncontrollable sobbing became controlled. The tears dried up as a tiny ray of sunshine, a tiny grain of hope took hold deep inside my heart — the crevice began to close. A few more tears fell, not from grief but because of grace. The grace of God. The trustworthy grace of a merciful God.

I don’t know what living for Him looks like in the days ahead as I live this life with Parkinson’s disease, but as I live for Him, I will trust Him completely. I’ve been through too much in my lifetime to do anything less.

As I said, Steven Curtis Chapman says it best: “Even when I don’t understand, even then I will say …
 You are my God, and I will trust You.”

Through losses, heartaches, pain, diseases, we can trust Him.

***

Note: Parkinson’s 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 another 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 Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Sometimes Grace Hurts appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Source: Parkinson's News Today

Look for the Pockets of Hope

hope

Sherri Journeying Through

If you’ve flown on an airplane from here to there and the weather was bad and visibility nil, you likely didn’t see much more than a layer of dark, gray clouds. However, every once in a while there is a little hole — a pocket — in which to view the earth below. Under that dark canopy are homes with people and cars driven by other people who are bustling down deserted roads. People who are hurting. People who are rejoicing. People who live with — and without — hope.

I think about being on the other side of that cloud cover where I have often stood under dark, gray clouds and looked up to see a little pocket of sunshine coming through the sky. Sometimes the rays have been so amazing that I often have felt a multitude of angels could come right there and then through that ray of brilliant sunshine. I have stood there, looking upward on those gray days and felt the warmth stream down through those little pockets of sunshine and upon my face. Something happens inside of me. My hope is restored.

I have focused on my surroundings so often that it can be hard to lift my head. However, I have a mighty God who sits enthroned up there where the sun still shines. He looks down below and sees and knows our state of mind and the condition of our spirits. That is why He gives us little pockets of hope, rays of sunshine that shine down upon us with their brilliance in our darkest moments. They encourage us to take a deep breath and focus above and know that God is still God and He is still in control. The little pockets of sunshine encourage us to keep going.

It’s not hard to look around and see chaos. We search within and can often find despair because of the trials in our life: our diseases, broken relationships, financial worries, and more. God looks around and sees a plan set into motion for our good. He sees wounded and weary spirits in need of hope and healing. We look up and see clouds that hide a clear view of who God is. We look up and fear the storms that are pressing in on us. He looks past and sees the rainbow He’s about to stretch across the sky. We see the now — He sees the tomorrows.

It can be difficult to find hope in the hard times. It can be hard to find sunshine in the storms. But, as the winds of broken dreams and the rains of helplessness beat against us and wear us down, that’s when He does it.

He reaches down and gently parts the gray skies, sending a brilliant ray of light that spreads over the chaos around us. A ray of light that is captivating — luring even — as we stand there and soak up the warmth He is pouring down upon us. Amazing hope that builds up our faltering faith. Hope that gives us the strength to press on through the storms of this life.

That is why I write. To hopefully show you that there is indeed hope for those who are weary, for those who are hurting. To offer a little something that might make you smile — laugh even — as you journey through this hard life.

God has given me countless little pockets of hope on the darkest of days, and I have learned to look for them in the hard times. They are there. I have seen them. The trick is to look for the light and not focus on the dark clouds hanging overhead.

Lift your face from despair, from fear and hopelessness, and look up — up to Him — and He will give you those little pockets of hope. Hope that will break through on even the darkest of days. That’s a promise.

***

Note: Parkinson’s 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 another 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 Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

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Source: Parkinson's News Today

I Will Fear No More

fear

Sherri Journeying Through

Often when I am tired, feeling sorry for myself, or in need of encouragement and truth, I pick up and read my Bible. Sometimes I am inspired to mix up the message (hopefully without mixing up the meaning), and in doing so, it becomes much more personal.

The following is a “mixed-up” version of Psalm 23. If you’re having an especially hard day today, I hope it encourages you in your journey with Parkinson’s disease or whatever shadows you’re facing.

In the valley of the shadows of this disease, where darkness threatens to consume me, causing an uneasiness and anxiousness about my life, I will fear nothing. He will lead me to green pastures and quiet waters, and it is there I will find rest.

Though the darkness clamors around me relentlessly from every side, clawing at me for what little that remains, still I will fear nothing. It is through the darkness I am renewed and restored.

In the coming of the night, though my body trembles, my heart shakes, and I question whether I will make it through to dawn — still I will fear nothing. A rod and staff stand positioned ready to comfort and protect. I am not alone.

In the deepest of the dark, when my mind dances as a winter storm pulling from its chains and playing the game of what-ifs with my weakened state of mind, yet again, I will fear nothing.

When my night journey threatens to consume my soul, laying me twisted, contorted, and vulnerable before the world, still I will fear nothing. Instead, I will enter into a glorious feast and those who taunted and teased will stand watching, hungry, and humbled.

For the dark of the night will turn its ugly face to the Light of the morning. And it is there — there.

I will feel no more,
I will see no more,
I will fear no more,
for there will be no more
shadows,
no more darkness,
no more disease …

… in the Light of that morning.

***

Note: Parkinson’s 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 another 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 Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post I Will Fear No More appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Source: Parkinson's News Today

Becoming Childlike … Again

changes

Sherri Journeying Through

I was watching my 3-year-old grandson this past week. He was having a difficult day. There have been several adjustments in his little life lately. Daddy’s job is taking him away for five months straight. We can understand time, but a 3-year-old wonders where daddy is at the end of the day.

My grandson is also in potty training. He’s transitioning between naps in the afternoon to no naps. He’s joined a preschool twice a week. Changes can be traumatic at any age.

Having a chronic illness can envelop many and various changes. Some changes are good for us, some are needed, some are tolerated, some may drive us crazy. Just like the changes a 3-year-old may go through.

With a chronic illness, changes can include anything from needing naps regularly after going at life with strong with 14 to 18 hour days, to modifying our diet to ‘creamier’ foods (yum yum). Changes also can include relearning to wear diapers (ugh, the thought of  even the possibility) and maybe joining a support group once or twice a week (not to be confused with joining a preschool).

It seems like the roles reverse when we reach a certain age, don’t they? After we live a “full life,” we become like little children once again in so many ways. But one thing remains constant. No matter which stage of life we are in, we find ourselves in need of love.

For whatever reason, sometimes we don’t know how to receive or give love. As adults, we’ve had a lifetime of opportunities to learn this but can still struggle. Jesus once said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” That could include giving and receiving love. Unreservedly. Unconditionally. Uninhibited. Freely. The older you become, the less your opportunities to become like a child.

None of us wants to think about such things in regard to growing old only to become like a child. But all of us probably wouldn’t mind dwelling on being loved.

The other day, my 3-year-old grandson just about knocked me off my feet – literally. I was looking out the front window when he surprised me by running up behind me and wrapping his arms tightly around my legs. He said, “I love you so much, Gammy!”

You know what happens when that happens? You get hugged and you give a hug back. And because it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, you turn around and pick up that little boy and hug him again and you get hugged again, too. And changes keep happening in our lives — some expected, some unexpected. But through the changes, one thing will remain constant, and that’s love. Pure, unconditional, unrelenting love.

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Note: Parkinson’s 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 another 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 Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Becoming Childlike … Again appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Source: Parkinson's News Today