We all have something in our lives that keeps us hopeful; something that reminds us that we’re not alone when the times get rough. ESSENCE reached out to our community to ask, “what inspires you?”

Each week we collect stories of what inspires our community. Here is what two community members shared:
Ellicia wrote:
“My inspiration comes  from my boyfriend of six years. He inspires me to be the best. He always tells me that it is not good to hope, he tells me to own it. He tells me that what ever good I may be wishing for, speak as if I already know the good is going to happen. He is a very positive person and I truly appreciate him for it.”

Jae wrote:
“My inspiration comes from my story. I say that cancer was my disease, but “pretty girl blues” was my problem. Diagnosed at the age of two, the doctors thought I would not live to celebrate my 3rd birthday, but God had a plan for me.

This disease causes me to hide deep in my pain. Questions would arise. How would I cope? How would I handle what life have dealt me? Can I continue to hide “the secret”? So I asked myself, “Why do I feel so blue, and how can I change the way I am feeling”

This story may seem personal, but because of my adversities in life I will continue to reach out, encourage, uplift, listen, understand, and help those in need. My faith and trust in God makes all the difference. I am thankful for my family, friends, and most of all angels that watches over me. Today, at 43 years old I am blessed with a wonderful husband of 15 years that appreciates, understands, and accepts me for me…”

Read more of Jae’s story, here.

Tell us what inspires you. Log on to the ESSENCE community page here.