From the diagnosis of Hep C, we enter into a valley of rough terrain. Transformation from being people to patients, from patients to Hep C Warriors, Hep C Giant Killers to Hep C Hero’s, thus our experience with Hep C changes us from the inside out. It affects not only us but the people around us, and our lives are never the same.

We may think we are hopeless and helpless, but we are not. We have choices to make that affect how we deal with Hep C on every level. Our choices have powerful impact with Hep C. We can choose what frame of mind we have. We can choose to be proactive or inactive, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Yes, there are circumstances we don’t have control over, but we can choose how we are going to respond.  So when you really think about it, our choices are in our control, not Hep C’s.

We can choose what we put in our bodies to help our liver with Hep C. We can choose what we are exposed to. We can choose to be proactive with treatment. We can choose to not allow a depressed mental state weaken our immune system. We can choose to be physically active as much as possible to be healthier.

We can choose to turn from victim to victor and work toward that goal. Our choices make a powerful difference in our lives with Hep C. We can choose, “Hep C lives with me, I don’t live with it.”

Believe me, I know what it’s like to sit and stew in anger, and frustration. (Read My Hep C Story) Deal with hardship and be drug down by disappointment (2 prior failed treatments and failing health). I know what it’s like to have my feelings hurt because of others callous statements. I was in a dark valley that was not going to a happy place.

Being in the dark is depressing, it engulfs us, we feel pressed down on every side, but….we are not hopeless, helpless or alone (2 Corinthians 4:7-12). God’s light is there in our darkness if we only choose to be looking for it.  What we choose. . ., its a powerful crossroad action that points the direction of our path!

I decided to actively look for God’s light in my darkness, not from my perspective, but from God’s perspective. That changed my turmoil into peace, my hopelessness into being filled with living hope. He showed me how living proactive choices could change my life.  And it did.

I want to emphasize, this was not self-help, or anything I did on my own power, but by total reliance on Christ to show me a new way to live from the inside out. It begins with a personal relationship with Christ and nourishment, and guidance from His Word.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  2 Corinthians 4:6

A rich nugget from “Streams in the Desert” states this truth, “We are destined to fight certain battles, and we think we can never be victorious and conquer our enemies.  Yet as we enter conflict, One comes who fights by our side. Through Him we are “more than conquerors.” (Romans 8:37).

Joni Eareckson Tada points to the light of God’s truth which says, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it. He was afraid and said, How awesome is this place! This is none other than the gate of heaven.” Genesis 28:16-17

Joni points out, “That’s the sort of awe we should have about the place we are in right now. In reality, everywhere we go and everyplace we rest is “the gate of heaven”. . . if only we had eyes to see.”  That’s where our choices matter, what we gaze on matters and what we graze on matters.  May the “Son” be in your eyes today!

This entry was originally published on Life Beyond Hepatitis C, February 29, 2016. It is reprinted with permission.