Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Being Strong, and Choosing Hope

Occasionally I've had people say to me, "I could never go through what you have, I'm not strong enough!"  Or, "You are one of the strongest people I know."  I've never quite known how to respond to these types of comments, but I've usually tried some form of response that goes along the lines of a quote I once read, "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have." 

Though there is truth to the quote above, it's not all there is to finding one's strength.  I have watched and learned from my mother, the strongest person I know, and after seeing her incredible strength through a trial I don't know that I could endure, I've come to the conclusion that being strong is not just an accident of genetics but a combination things.  Being strong comes from the trials that have led up to where we are currently, and a blending of choices- choosing hope, optimism, and choosing to have faith in Jesus Christ and His ability to strengthen us.  "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." -Philippians 4:13

My mother is the strongest person I know.  She has MS and faces trials on a daily basis that would make anyone want to give up in despair. I am impressed and strengthened to watch her determination each day, through every new trial she faces.  I am inspired and motivated in my own life when I see her finding joy and choosing optimism in an incredibly difficult time.  My mother is part of the combination of things that bolsters my strength and enables me to face this latest trial with a smile on my face, peace in my heart, and hope and optimism for the future. 

"Hope... is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances.  It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn.  It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father."
    -President Dieter F. Uchtdorf      

Strength also comes from the goodness of others.  I and my family have been the beneficiaries of countless good deeds from those around us.  The generosity of friends and family through letters, emails, packages, texts, donations of food, babysitting, time, energy, and money have been overwhelming.  My love and hope, my feelings of optimism are increased every time I receive a selfless offer of babysitting or someone dropping by to clean my bathroom or drop off dinner or getting a letter in the mail or a note on Facebook, the examples are endless.  My husband once said that he can look back in our lives and see God moving in different events to get us through and to where we are now.  He and I look at our lives today and see God moving through each person and each event that blesses our lives on a daily basis.  We are very fortunate to have the network of friends and family supporting and strengthening us every day.

I write this post because I have felt deeply the need to thank those of you supporting us through this time in our lives.  Though it is a difficult time, it is not an unhappy time. There is hope and joy surrounding us every day.  I know we have a lot of friends and family out there helping us, I feel the prayers and fasting from people's efforts near and far, and am incredibly grateful.  It's been a humbling experience to need the help of others and to have it given so willingly and in such abundance.  These words don't seem to adequately represent how I feel, but they will have to suffice:  Thank you, so very much, for all of the love and support sent our way.


  1. Thank you Tessa for your inspirational and motivating post. I feel very blessed to have such a wonderful daughter. Watching you face your trials and deal with the uncertanty of the future, helps us all overcome and deal with our own adversities. YOU make me stronger. I love you so much.

  2. Tessa, I am Linda Danielson from Paradise. I remember you from when you lived out here. I believe my daughter Lindsay is about your age. Last year I was diagnosed with Amyloidosis, AL of the heart, kidneys, liver, thyroid, bones, nerve and probably parathyroid. I was literally dying in front of the doctors. It is an extremely hard to diagnose disease. I had high dose Melphalan and then autologus stem cell transplant. The medical profession says my survival chances were extremely grim. For whatever reason, the Lord saw fit to preserve my life, even though I tried to die 6 times in the hospital. I am a walking miracle to be here right now. I know I am living on borrowed time. I appreciate your wonderful, positive outlook. I too have tried so hard to keep a positive, grateful one. Each day is a gift. I have learned so much about Christlike service from many people. I have learned the power of specific prayers and having an "army of faith" when so many fasted and prayed for me. I love the talk by David A Bednar in Oct 2005 Ensign on Tender Mercies. If you haven't read it lately I would suggest you do. I think you would really appreciate it. Give my love to your sweet mother also. My prayers are with you and your family. May it be the Lord's will we win the fight! You are inspirational, keep the faith. Love, Linda Danielosn.

  3. I found your blog from Shawni Pothier's blog linking to it. You are absolutely beautiful and radiate such light. I so appreciate your hope and faith as it has inspired me through a difficult time in my own life. My prayers are with you and your family.

  4. Tessa what you said above has touch my soul in away I can't begin to try and explain. I have just spent last 2 hrs reading your blogs from start to finish and have cried like a little baby ;( you truly are a amazing mother,wife,daughter and friend. I have been battling not cancer but life in the past 2 years has been very rough and trying at times ( I guess I should start a blog) releave some built up stress get everything off my chest and I want to thank you for reminding me that our heavenly father has a plan for our lives through him anything is possible ! I needed that now more then ever I've been having hard time understanding the plan he has for my future but because of you I no longer question his will ! I guess what I'm trying to say is I didn't have hope like you do but you have brought back my
    hope my trust in our father words cannot express the way I'm feeling right now thank u from the bottom of my
    heart ! You are strong,you have faith and hope and
    won't lose your fight with cancer I know that I can feel
    that !

    I will be coming back to read your updates regularly the reason being is that you have inspired me in away that lifts me so high again thank you and god bless you I'm praying for a fast recovery

  5. Tessa! I haven't seen or spoken to you in years, but saw you on facebook, then went to your blog! You are beautiful! Thank you for your example and inspiring words! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! -Lindsay Danielson Francom