Small Victories

I haven’t posted in a while, so I thought I would share this short word of encouragement with my friends in the blogosphere.

For the last year or so, I’ve needed to wear my breathing mask 24/7. The last month or so has been more difficult. Even removing the mask to transfer in and out of my wheelchair left me gasping for air. (That’s obviously not the encouraging part:-)

But a strange thing happened to me a few days ago. Mary removed my breathing mask to get me out of bed around 6:30 that morning. After plopping me in the wheelchair, she then pulled the breathing machine over and started to put the mask on me. I stopped her. I was breathing just fine on my own. It felt so good to breathe without the assistance of a machine. I made it to 11:30 without my breathing mask – five hours!

I’m thankful for life’s victories, even the relatively small victories like breathing on my own for five hours. It’s the small victories that give us the confidence to believe for bigger victories. It’s the small victories that build our faith and hope. It’s the small victories that give us the strength to press on.

I’ve had ALS for 24 years, but I’m still believing God for small and BIG victories. I hope that you are, too.

He’s a big God!

“Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57).





About Bill Sweeney

In 1996, at the age of 36, I was diagnosed with ALS. The neurologist gave me 3-5 years to live. 24 years later... :-) I'm completely paralyzed and unable to speak. By God's grace and the great care of my wife, I'm still here. I live to encourage and give hope to others going through difficult times.

Posted on September 14, 2020, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 177 Comments.

  1. Warm hugs to you, Bill for your unwavering faith & commitment to share the optimistic reality our lives always have to offer us. ๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Small bricks are more like bricks, we sometimes need them to build towers.

    Every victory is significant in their own way. ๐Ÿ‘ More wins for you Bill.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bill, thanks for the reminder to look at the small victories in life. Your attitude encourages me so much. You could give in to discouragement. Instead you are dedicated to encouraging others. I’ve learned that bringing encouragement to others results in joy–sometimes for them, but always for me. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you continue to journey forward with your earthly limitations. But oh, how your spiritual life seems more and more vibrant.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Dear Bill, You came to mind this week, now I know why. Your powerful post brought tears to me eyes. For one reason, because it was wonderful to hear from you and your news, and for the second, for your encouragement. I do believe God wanted me to read your words to remind me to keep my eyes and heart attuned to the small victories that I can so easily ignore. What a blessing on both levelsโ€”your breath, the Breath of Life in us, and for Godโ€™s victory!

    I havenโ€™t been posting as regularly either but all the special people God has brought into my life through this space (this precious place He has allowed us to connect with our brothers and sisters throughout the world) are always with me. A family brought together by our Amazing God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, our Amazing Savior. ๐Ÿ™‚ May His Righteousness, Peace and Joy (Romans 14:17) continue to reign in your life and rule in your heart, and in your beautiful wife, Mary. Your sister, Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Deb. I am also thankful for this blogging neighborhood, especially during this pandemic. Regardless of where we live in the world, there’s no social distancing here ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s good to hear from you. Your brother, Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I will do that and your encouragement is appreciated. My husband lost a sister to ALS in ’97. A very difficult battle for her. I would help with all day Wednesday and she would ask me to sew something for her. Shorten a curtain, fix a blouse, or whatever she needed completed. She also asked me to finish a quilt that she had started for her youngest daughter. All the other children she had were given their quilts and she could not finish the last one. I managed to get it completed for her wedding day as it was all hand done. A big request but it was granted to my sister-in-law. Also my dad’s lady friend after my mother passed was a courageous lady with ALS and a cousin. So I am very aware of this disease. God Bless you.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It is so amazing that when I need to hear of your patience and perseverance the most it is there. I get so discouraged with my limitations that I just have to work so hard to keep positive. My polio for 72 1/2 years has really slowed me down. I am usually not in pain so I am so thankful for that. I simply can not get around very good and it takes me forever to accomplish a small task. With just reading your posts I am grateful for your success in breathing better and I am encouraged to just keep going. Have a wonderful day and enjoy this awesome fall weather.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. What a tremendous blessing! I’m so glad for you. Thank you for sharing. God cares about the little things that are important to us! Never despise the day of small beginnings, right? Praying for more breath for you!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Eventhough we’ve never met, you and your wife have touched my heart and soul with your wonderful and uplifting blog posts. You truly are beautiful people. โค๏ธ

    Liked by 3 people

  9. That is wonderful news, Bill. My uncle died with ALS back in 1952. I was only 7 years old at the time, so do not remember anything about his symptoms, but have since learned quite a bit about it. I am so pleased for you for this not-so-small victory. God bless you abundantly with ever-increasing victories.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Hi Bill,

    Each day is another victory over our Earthly struggles.

    Praise the Lord!

    Gary

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Love your testimony, Bill! And we think wearing a face mask is distressing! Love and blessings from Marla and Walt

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Amen! Praise the Lord, that is so awesome and such amazing good news!!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. “Itโ€™s the small victories that give us the confidence to believe for bigger victories.” Amen, my friend. Thank you for living it, sharing it, and being it, Bill.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. So glad for your โ€œsmallโ€ victory Bill and your continued presence here. Nothing the Lord does is small and of little consequence but I know you know that already. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Glory to be to the only true and living God. I am rejoicing with you. five is the numb of grace. God’s grace is sufficient for you and all of us. Thank you Lord for this BIG victory in Jesus name.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Praise The Good Lord!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Thanks for taking time to share what it means to be thankful. I forget way too easily. God bless you along your journey. One day we will meet in His presence.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Great news, Bill! And great post! Iโ€™ve read through all the comments and have found, once again, that you are exceptionally witty and a great comedian, as marked by a few of my Likes. The number five is the Biblical number of grace, so thereโ€™s a little hint. What a blast it must have been to breathe without your mask. But Iโ€™m a tad confused. If you could not breathe without it for so long, how were you able to suddenly breathe without it? As Linda said, there are actually no small victories, but there are ongoing victories. As another one of your readers said, many โ€œsmallโ€ victories or miracles happen in our lives daily. The difference is whether we acknowledge them. When we do, we acknowledge HIM, the Author of such victories and miracles, which means He is in our lives and blessing us always. It is a matter of where we focus. You have mastered this, at least from my perspective. I love your great faith and of course, the great faithfulness of your infinitely better half Mary. (You really married up, Bill.)

    Itโ€™s also kind of cool that while the rest of us are forced to wear silly masks for no reason (though I will only wear a bandana, and every time I do I must look like some cowboy dude about to hold up a stage), you get to go without a mask for a while. Hereโ€™s hoping that keeps up.

    Blessing to you guys. Thanks for your incredibly awesome witness.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. OK, OK, I’ll stop complaining about the face mask. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Bill, you are a breath of fresh air – pun intended. You give us all so much to be thankful for.
    A Christian talk show host in Detroit always closed his show by saying, “Remember, if you have air in your lungs today, He’s the One who put it there.” You’re like that man – always reminding us to appreciate the “little” (and big) things.
    Blessings,
    Annie

    Liked by 4 people

  20. What a testimony you are Bill to the Grace, love and power of God.
    And what a treasure Mary is.
    I was sharing your story with a friend last week. She was so encouraged by you and Mary.
    Love and blessings to you both.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Sounds like your first pinkie move to me ๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Celebrating with you, Bill and Mary!! ๐Ÿฅณ
    Praise the Lord! ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 3 people

  22. 5 hours was a blessing from God.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Thank you God for even the smallest of blessings, especially those for Bill.
    I pray you will have longer periods of breathing on your own as time goes by.
    You are such a blessing to all of us.

    Liked by 4 people

  24. My little niece was living with my parents some years ago when asthma took her to be with Jesus. My Dad has related, with tears, how she had asked him, “Grandaddy, when I get to heaven, will I be able to breathe?” I can imagine her like a newborn baby when it takes that first gasp of life-sustaining oxygen, except that the exhilarating breath of eternal life was the climax of her spectacular second birth into the waiting arms of Jesus! Thanks for sharing, Bill. Bryan

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Thanks, Bill, great to read your encouraging messages. Know God is using you and this is the reason He has kept you on this corrupt earth for these last 24 years. You will certainly get a well done good and faithful servant. Blessings, Ron

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Dear Bill, I cant add to all the accolades here but I will say that the Lord really blessed us, those who love you. It may seem selfish but we so appreciate you in Christ’s body here.
    Because you are broken, you are a valuable vessel to the Lord and us.
    Sending warm embrace to you and beloved Mary…โค

    Liked by 3 people

  27. It was so good to see your post! Thank you for sharing your victory. โค๏ธ

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Your a great man Bill! Blessing to you and your family!

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Bill, I loved hearing that you could breathe without your mask! Breathing on your own is a huge victory and I know it had to feel so good. I’m praying for more and bigger victories for you as well. Thank you for acknowledging God’s’ work in your life and sharing it with us. It is an encouragement to me and I know you encourage SO MANY others as well! Love you & Mary so much and pray for you both all the time. (I had to laugh at the part about Mary “plopping” you in the wheelchair.)

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Bill, I have so much respect for you. I could not endure as you have. I am not in your league. Shoot, I’m not even in your universe!
    Blessings, My Brother.
    Walt

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Hey Bill. After all those days with your breathing mask in, what freedom you must have felt, immediately, and for the five hours. God does give us little miracles, little breaks at times, I do believe.
    He is a wonderful Father, Who gave His Son for our Salvation, Who gave Holy Spirit to each Christ follower, to empower us to live through all trials that come our way.
    The Triune God enables us, and empowers us, until we meet Him in Glory.
    George.

    Liked by 4 people

  32. Actually two weeks ago now, so sorry, my days are all jumbled up.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Whoa Bill, 5 hours!? That’s Awesome! God bless you and Mary always dear friend. I needed this….my mama had a Stroke last week. She’s ok but her speech took a hit. My dad is her caretaker and needs prayer too. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ‘

    Liked by 4 people

  34. It was good to see a post from you, Bill! What wonderful news about your small victory.

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Oh I have been wondering about you. I am so very happy to hear that you are doing fine. I stand in agreement with your for your victories. As I know personally that God can and does heal us. I would dance with joy for you.
    So very lovely to hear from you. Be blessed!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  36. Awesome! What a victory! Thanks for sharing, and God bless!

    Liked by 4 people

  37. Oh wow Bill! Yay! We celebrate small beginnings ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘
    And we ask more Lord please, more ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ˜€
    A big hug to you and Mary โค๏ธโค๏ธ
    Beth ๐ŸŒท

    Liked by 4 people

  38. I love the way you can celebrate the small victories, Bill. You don’t let them bypass you while waiting for something grander. You are such a blessing to us all, and this is one of the reasons–your unstoppable attitude of gratitude!

    Liked by 5 people

  39. Bill- I was missing your posts full of Encouragement & then today I open my email & there you are on a day that is sad for me..Terry passed away 2 years ago today. Your blog has gotten me through many rough days! Your Spiritual Giving & Sharing is beyond wonderful! I am so happy to read your breathing is easier! You are the strongest & most positive human I know. Xoxo Pamela (Young)

    Liked by 5 people

  40. Praise the Lord! Bill, the Lord makes you a fresh breath of air to us. Much love and blessings.

    Liked by 4 people

  41. Wow. I am glad you were able to. All thanks to God. I pray for perfect healing and recovery. ๐Ÿ™
    Do take care. Hugs
    God loves you. โค

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Such an awesome testimony of God’s hand upon you! May God continue to keep and bless you!

    Liked by 4 people

  43. Blessed by your testimony. If anyone deserved this little touch from God. You did….

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Bill, you and Mary are such an amazing inspiration! Hearing from you is a balm to my soul and boon to my spirit. I am hoping WordPress has finally fixed my ability to post comments and that you will actually see this. I am thankful for each and every post you write. Thank you for your love for Jesus it is beautiful!

    Liked by 4 people

  45. Dear Bill, Thank you for posting. You won’t feel it, but I kiss your feetsies! Gratitude comin’ at you.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Just goes to show you Bill that the Lord knows just what we need and when we need it. I believe the Lord knew you needed something to latch onto that would bring hope alive in you. Isn’t that just like our Heavenly Father to show up when we aren’t expecting Him to?

    God is so good to us that even the small victories are worth shouting from the mountain top!

    Praying for more good things to come your way my Brother.

    Liked by 4 people

  47. You are such an encouragement! Thank you for your post. My daddy passed away from ALS January 2010. He was sick for a year but Doctors could not diagnose him with anything until he was in the latter stages. He died 8 days after his diagnosis. I miss him every day. But I know he is with Jesus now and i will see him again one day. I will be praying you have many more hours without your mask!

    Liked by 4 people

  48. What an amazing thing! God has the most awesome ways of letting us know He’s here with us!

    Liked by 4 people

  49. Reblogged this on The End Game Counts and commented:
    A worthwhile read … when life seems hard

    Liked by 3 people

  50. Bill, the fact that you see the Lord in the small victories, as well as the large, is a testimony to you being a man full of faith and faithful. Someone who can see God even when He doesn’t seem clear. Thank you so much for this reminder. It’s a true holy pause to consider how our very big God works in the smallest of details for our good and our growth.

    Liked by 4 people

  51. I’m echoing all these great comments Bill. God does delight in our delight over the little things that are really big things

    Liked by 5 people

  52. He is a big and great God! Glad to hear of your small victory, praying that your victories continue.

    Liked by 5 people

  53. Thank you for that encouragement. Sure puts perspective on any challenges I think I have. I love that the Lord is at the center of your encouragement. Praying for more such miracles.

    Liked by 4 people

  54. I remember back in 2013 when I was just coming off the ventilator and how freeing it felt to breathe without it for several hours at a time! What an incredible accomplishment, a great feeling of freedom, and a huge miracle and kiss from our God. Thank you for sharing, Bill.

    Liked by 3 people

  55. Praising God for this victory!! What a great encouragement for all of us to keep asking, to keep believing. God bless you Bill!

    Liked by 4 people

  56. AWESOME!!

    Liked by 1 person

  57. ….And here I am, complaining that I have to don a simple Covid mask every time I enter a shop! Thank you for sharing Bill, we have so much to be thankful for! Big and small things that we often take for granted. When I looked at that picture you posted, I saw you – whether itโ€™s here or in heaven, doesnโ€™t matter- it will be a miracle either way – Salvation is a miracle just like any other- but itโ€™s the best one yet!
    I started reading your blogs when my friend and Co-worker was diagnosed with ALS at 75yrs old. Meleney was a fit and active lady. She passed away within a year of her diagnosis, sept 2019, and I believe sheโ€™s now safe in the Fathers arms and in her new heavenly body.
    I canโ€™t imagine how long & trying your journey has been – for both you and Mary. I pray for strength, hope and courage as you continue faithfully on the road ahead๐Ÿ™โค๏ธ

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Janet. I’m sorry you lost your friend. You’re right, salvation is by far the greatest miracle. It’s one that we should never take for granted. Our twenty-four-year journey with ALS has been long and difficult. But God’s grace has been sufficient – barely ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  58. Bill, you are such an encouragement to all of us … every time you write, you speak to our hearts. This morning, when I read your words, I sensed a conviction in my heart that I don’t always look at the small victories in my life/family. When finished reading, I told the Lord how grateful I was for this amazing thing that happened this weekend … I had almost forgotten about it … because it was “too small” to mention. But the Lord brought it back to mind. THANK YOU!!!!! We take whatever we can from you, Bill!!!!! Praying!

    Liked by 5 people

  59. How wonderful, Bill!

    I remember reading about the “lost boys” (some 20,000 children between the ages of 8-12, orphaned by the brutal Sudanese civil war). In small groups, w/o adult help or supervision, w/o defenses, they walked 1000 miles through the African bush to safety in Ethiopia, then a refugee camp in Kenya. Many died along the way. Roughly 4000 eventually emigrated to the US.

    When asked by sponsors to explain how their journey was even possible, one of them responded to the effect that “In Africa, God is big.” Truly, God is greater than our adversity. May He continue to watch over you and Mary both.

    Your friend,

    A.

    Liked by 6 people

  60. What a wonderful gift from God!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  61. How wonderful to not have to use your mask for 5 hours! Small victories are very special. I am thanking God for your time without the mask. Thank you for encouraging and inspiring us. Have a blessed week!

    Liked by 3 people

  62. What encouraging news! God is answering prayers. I pray you have more and more days of breathing on your own and for longer and longer time. You and Mary are continually in my prayers. โ™ฅโ™ฅโ™ฅ

    Liked by 3 people

  63. Victorious is our Lord! Keep sharing! So much hope in this post! God bless you! ๐Ÿ’œ

    Liked by 5 people

  64. What a blessing to read of your “small” victory — it is a wonderful gift to breath on your own. Whether it was one minute or several hours and whether it was machine-aided or on our own, each breath that we take is a gift from God. Blessings to you and your beloved wife. God is Great and He is Good!

    Liked by 3 people

  65. Hi Bill, that is so great to hear! Actually any time that we hear from you is great but rejoicing with you is always a plus. Iโ€™m so glad you shared that with us and five hours is a considerable amount of time! May our gracious Lord continue to grant you and yours His grace, peace, joy and blessings!

    Liked by 4 people

  66. A small victory is a HUGE MIRACLE. God loves to surprise us. You are in my thoughts and prayers every day.

    Liked by 3 people

  67. ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ˜€

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  68. God is in the miracle making business ๐Ÿ™‚ Praise to him for your hours of easy breathing!

    Liked by 3 people

  69. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚Now pick up that chair and walk.
    -2we1ve

    Liked by 3 people

  70. God bless you and continued prayers for many more victories, large, medium or small!!!!
    Sally Cecil…..

    Liked by 3 people

  71. Bill, when I take time to think about it… and I do from time to time, I realize just how many ‘small’ and ‘not so small’ miracles take place in our lives. Take care… think of you often. Diane

    Liked by 3 people

  72. Your messages always remind me of so many lessons all in one swoop! So happy for your 5 hours! Praying for Many more miracles like that for you!

    Liked by 3 people

  73. Brother Bill – your words have a way of dispersing my personal pity parties so quickly! Thank you, thank you, thank you sir for sharing and for always deepening my perspective and challenging my thinking in godly ways. And to Mary – you are AMAZING. Together, your journey exemplifies what God intended marriage to look like, through thicks and thins, highs and lows, ups and downs, in sickness and in health. Love yโ€™all and youโ€™re in in my prayers.

    Liked by 4 people

  74. There is no such thing as a “small” victory ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

  75. Yes, small victories do encourage and build us up.
    Blessings to you Bill.

    Liked by 3 people

  76. Its amazing what we take for granted. Little victories are some time the biggest of all!

    Liked by 3 people

  77. iloveyouwithmywholeheart โ™ฅ๏ธ

    Liked by 3 people

  78. That is awesome to hear, Bill! I pray for you daily and ask the Lord to give you strength and take away pain. I am encouraged and blessed by your words, your faith, and your testimony of love for the Lord through all the suffering. Asking the Lord to continue blessing you and your family with great victories! God bless you all!

    Liked by 3 people

  79. Bill, every day you are one of God’s miracles. Thank the Lord; you had some unassisted breathing time. My prayer is for those times to extend for you to days, not just hours. Many blessings to you and your wife. Richard.

    Liked by 5 people

  80. How wonderful ! Praises to our God for blessing you .

    Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: