When you believe | MHAM Blogging ChallengeLast Updated:
The first time I heard “When you believe” was while watching the animated movie, Prince of Egypt. It sent chills up my spine and brought tears to my eyes. That visceral response has never changed.
In the context of the story, this song is a celebration of an oppressed and misunderstood people who are finally released from captivity in a most unusual and unlikely way. The events surrounding their deliverance were beyond belief, miraculous. When the Israelites finally realized they were free, they were unable to contain themselves. Singing, dancing, shouting, even the little ones got in on the fun. No one held back in fear anymore. Hope, and the fulfillment of that hope, had erased their fear.
Now we are not afraid…
That’s what true hope does. It’s so powerful that even in the face of good reasons to be afraid, hope stands stubbornly, refusing to budge. Hope gives us courage to stare down our demons and say, “no more”. In Recognizing hope, I stated that we need a little delusion to keep us mentally healthy. No one would ever push through if they saw the challenge for what it really is — overwhelming, insurmountable, with the odds stacked against us.
although we know there’s much to fear…
- 37 million people in the U.S. have Migraine.
- Over 1 billion people are affected worldwide.
- Migraine is the 7th leading cause of disability worldwide.
- An attack can be more disabling than paraplegia.
- It is highly stigmatized.
- Migraineurs are often blamed for their illness.
- Job discrimination is common.
- There are no drugs designed to prevent it.
- No one knows what causes it.
- There is no cure.
- The economic impact of Migraine is over $31 billion every year.
- Yet the NIH allocates less than 1% of its annual budget to research Migraine.
We were moving mountains long before we knew we could.
Every day, billions of men, women and children face the day knowing Migraine could strike with little warning. Migraine might steal a few hours or the entire day. It might take our jobs, our friendships, or our marriages. Yet, we still make plans. In a few days a tiny band Migraineurs will make their annual pilgrimage to the AHMA patient conference. These brave men and women have defied the odds.
Life is a risk.
Just two days ago I was sharing some information about Migraine with a nice store clerk. When I told her about my planned trip to D.C., she asked, “Won’t the air pressure on the plane set off a Migraine?” A stranger was worried that I would get sick. Her concern surprised me, as did her understanding of triggers. That was a spark of hope, evidence that all our hard work is paying off.
I explained that it a lot of things might trigger an attack this weekend. So why do I risk it? Every day I wake up is a risk. I might sleep too late or wake up too early. There might be a thunderstorm, or fumes and loud noises from road construction. A random stranger might be wearing strong perfume. I might walk past an invisible cloud of cigarette fumes. My hormones might take a nose-dive. Anything could set off an attack. I can’t hide from all of it all the time (although I’ve considered trying!).
There are too few of us.
A few days ago, I shared my excitement with my husband, “Teri says there are 50 people registered for the conference!”
“You’re flying to D.C. for a conference of 50 people?” he questioned. The tone was very clear. Why waste time and money for so few? He may as well have said, “That’s all you’ve got?”
Yes dear, that’s all we’ve got. Miracles have happened before with fewer people.
I remember a Bible story from Sunday School that symbolizes our fight even better than Moses convincing Pharaoh to set the Israelites free. It’s a little obscure for those not raised going to Sunday School.
Gideon was a farmer and a coward. When God found him, he was hiding out in an abandoned wine press, threshing wheat. When he complained about the strength and oppressiveness of the enemy, God called him out, challenging him to do the impossible. Gideon was skeptical. He was small without any experience in battle. So he questioned God again and again. Reluctantly, he agreed to gather an army of 32,000 men. To his surprise, God pruned the army down to just 300. He was asked to drive out an invading army with just 300 farmers.
What a joke. Yet they defeated the invaders, bringing peace a safety to the land for decades.
Christian tradition is full of such stories.
- Joseph, sold as a slave and imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, won the Pharoah’s favor to become 2nd in command of Egypt and save all of Israel from famine.
- Moses took on the most powerful leader of the known world and won.
- David killed the giant, Goliath with a sling shot and a single stone.
- Esther saved a nation because the king who would destroy them loved her.
- Daniel survived a den of lions.
- His three friends survived being cooked alive by a fire that killed anyone who walked near it.
- Jesus changed the world with a band of 12 social misfits.
My faith tradition offers many examples of unlikely people, in impossible situations, beating the odds. These stories, and others like them have inspired small groups of people do the same again and again. I have no problem believing that 50 sick people can change the hearts and minds of the world. It’s been done before with less.
Who knows what miracles we can achieve?
The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge
is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.
#MHAM, #MHAMBC, #migraine, #clusterheadache, #chronicmigraine