As we enter what I consider to be the most wonderful time of the year, I reflect on why this season of giving is so magical. Does it really have anything to do with the gifts under the tree, the parties, or the Christmas lights?
Many of us fill our December days with a flurry of activity as we prepare for the holidays. We may spend countless hours shopping for the perfect gifts, give generously to our neighbors and friends, and bake, eat, and decorate more than ever.
For my family, the season is packed with great rejoicing and laced with abundant hope. This is what draws us into the celebration of Christmas.
Evangelist Billy Graham said, “Perhaps the great psychological, spiritual, and medical need that all people have is the need for hope.”
Over the past two years, I’ve realized how much we all rely on hope. Hope for a better tomorrow for our children. Hope for a flicker of light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. Hope for unity within our communities, our country, and our world.
For those of us affected by rare disease, hope is often the breath we need to face another day. We may have to look a bit harder for it, but we tend to value it more than most. As the parent of a daughter with Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, I cling to hope every day.
To hope means to desire with the expectation of obtainment. Those in the rare disease community desire a cure, new treatments, and restored health, with the expectation of obtaining them one day. When we realize a medication isn’t working for us or our loved one, our hope may fade as we face the depths of discouragement. Then, we wait with pregnant expectation that another treatment will come along.
Hope is not a luxury. It is a necessity. We need hope like our lungs need air.
As we cross off each day on the calendar this December, may we all take hold of the hope this time of year offers.
In a world filled with darkness, sickness, and tragedy, hope can illuminate our lives and give us a reason to celebrate. Let’s embrace it as we anticipate everything to come during this wonderful time of year.