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Be grateful

Last weekend my faith group and I visited a women’s prison and were blessed that several of the women opened up to us and shared the details of their daily lives. Between walking in a prison for the first time and learning about the realities of life there, I had a lot to take in on an early Saturday morning! When I went home that afternoon and thought about how I’d spend the rest of my day–getting lunch with my mom, taking my dogs to the park, going on a date–I realized how lucky I am to live in “the free world” (as they call it). The simple freedom to spend our time however we please is something we take for granted.

Only after you see how things could be worse can you appreciate how good you’ve got it. I also realized this past week how much I take my good health for granted. I was doing pull-ups at the gym Monday when I felt something pop. For the rest of the day, my neck hurt pretty bad. It scared me for sure. (No worries, though. After a few days my neck was fine.) But I realized how an injury can affect not only your physical health, but also your mental health. I was worried I’d have to see a doctor, that I wouldn’t be able to participate in an upcoming triathlon and other races, and that I wouldn’t able to run around and play with the girls I babysit. Health problems can affect your whole livelihood.

The good news for me is that I do live in the free world and I do enjoy perfect health. But many people aren’t so lucky. We must remember to be compassionate towards those imprisoned and those who feel imprisoned within their own bodies or circumstances. Use your strength, outer and inner, to support those who aren’t as strong right now.

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