Stay the Course
Continuing with effort, finishing something, or pressing through adverse situations in spite of difficulty is termed staying the course. There's virtually no one who doesn't face some type of happenstance in their life where they will need to be bold, courageous, and strong to stay the course. In fact, doing so can actually build character, self-respect, and pride. My hope is that this article will inspire someone to persevere, to overcome and not succumb - to stay the course.
Staying the course can have benefits in the end
Staying the course can indeed be arduous, yet there's favor for you and/or your circumstances by doing so. For instance, high school and college students. The course work, exams, late nights of studying, still balancing employment, a social life...but on the other side, after staying the course, is graduation. There's the time you go through a driver's education course - so much to remember and the nervousness experienced during the driving test…but on the other side, after staying the course is licensure. Or what about striving to rid oneself of an addiction. The detoxification process is hard as the body craves what it's been accustomed to and the emotional difficulty of the rehabilitation period...but on the other side of staying the course is recovery. Also, think of the onerous journey of weight management...on the other side of staying the course is weight loss.
You are still you
Living with a chronic disease - specifically Multiple Sclerosis for me - is not just a major challenge, it can be absolutely dreadful. Some have it worse and some experience fewer troubles as in daily symptoms and debilitation depending on the stage or individual course. It is referred to as 'the snowflake disease' because it affects so many so differently. No matter the degree of your suffering, know that it does not have to change who you are. Do not relinquish your power to it and succumb to its ills. Yes, the nature of MS is that it's chronic and it's course degenerative. Yes, it will be difficult. "Survival is fun," said no one ever - for obvious reasons. But you are still you and you can make it. Bedridden, utilizing assistive devices, stricken with pain, limited to no gross and/or fine motor functioning, numb, fatigued, etc. - a lion is still a lion even when it's caged, correct? Then roar with everything you have until you can't anymore. Stay the course.
Living, not just surviving
In the face of adversity of any kind, you always have the option to just meekly exist. To simply accept whatever life throws your way with no fight, no hope, no 'umph'. Please understand that is not really living...it's just not dying. And there is a difference between the two. Living life, even with hardship, keeps your spirit alive. The alternative will cause you to wither away - both figuratively and, most assuredly, literally as well. If not for you, think of others. Someone may need to witness your 'umph' to inspire them to forge through their trials. More importantly, if you're a parent, your child(ren) will need to see your fight to learn how to handle situations along their trajectories. It's advantageous for you also. Having hope can boost your own confidence and desire to truly live and thrive as opposed to simply existing. Be strong. Handle your business. Stay the course.
The Bible says, in Isaiah 54:17:
No weapon formed against you shall prosper.
A song that inspires me
Additionally, in his song, No Weapon, Fred Hammond sings:
"No weapon formed against me
Shall prosper, it won't work.
No weapon formed against me
Shall prosper, it won't work.
God will do what He said He would do
He will stand by His word
He will come through
Oh, I won't be afraid of the arrows by day from the hand of my enemy
For the snares they have set will not succeed…"
Stay the course
In spite of what comes your way, you can stay the course.
In conclusion, I'll leave you with a 'Dianne original':
Roses are red, but orange they are not... These words I've shared are just food for thought.
So I'll say it once more with no remorse: be strong, persevere, and let nothing hinder you from staying the course!
Do you celebrate your MS Anniversary?