The focus for the show today is centered around the title, “What Has Been The Fight Of Your Life?” The theme was enough to spark serious thought, but as I read further, there was something about it that felt familiar, something that caused a small tugging at my consciousness that spoke of a connection. Finally, yesterday morning it came to me. I had written a blog nearly three years ago with almost the exact same title.
My blog from November of 2003 started like this: Don’t ask me how I’m doing today because I just may just tell you I’m in the fight for my life.
I don’t detail what was going on in that particular blog that caused me to feel that way. It was probably just too painful and personal at the time. I will, however, summarize – now having learned that sharing my story may in some small way help someone else that is dealing with similar issues.
So, going back to November of 2003 …
The realization that my marriage was in serious trouble had hit me full on, which, in itself, was frightening enough. But when I also realized that I had neither the knowledge, support or strength to even begin to figure out how to get it back on the right track, I was terrified.
A few months earlier, I had made the decision to start counseling to finally work through the trauma I was still dealing with after being raped 10 years earlier. Dealing with the intense anger I still felt for one man certainly didn’t make life any easier for the man I was living with and caused further deterioration in our relationship.
My sister in law was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I had recently lost a close friend at the hands of a drunk driver. All of that – combined with working in a highly-competitive and stressful career, plus raising two small children – proved to be extremely overwhelming.
Nothing seemed to help, and I was on the brink of giving up. But I have a praying mama who eventually reminded me the only way to get through it was to rely on my faith and the scriptures that supported it. And I did – heavily. I wrote:
Jesus said that in the world, you will have temptations, tests, trials and tribulation. But He went on to say, “Be of good cheer because I have overcome the world.” The good news: Jesus has defeated Satan and hell for us, and He hands victory to us on a plate. We only have to receive by faith what the Lord has done. The Word says to fight the good fight of faith.
I also tacked quotes all over the house to reinforce the benefits of leaning on faith during challenging times. A few of them being:
“Great faith is the product of great fights.”
“Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests.”
“Great triumphs can only come out of great trials.”
“If you don’t have a test, you can’t have a testimony.”
I wanted to win that fight. And I did, meaning I survived, and I got stronger. Unfortunately, all of the situations mentioned above didn’t end the way I wanted, but what we want isn’t always what God’s plan is for our lives. And I believe deeply in His plan, versus mine.
But keep in mind that winning the fight doesn’t always mean winning the war. Trials, tribulations, challenges and problems will always be there sometimes to challenge us to grow in other areas. Sometimes because we failed the test we were supposed to learn and have to take the class over again.
My biggest challenge remains relying on faith in situations that feel beyond my control. Something will happen, and the haze of depression will start to roll in and bring with it the feeling of being overwhelmed that looms like a cloud and renders me incapable of seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
So now, three years later, even though the times may be few and far between, I will still plant my feet, put on the boxing gloves and ready myself for the fight while the small voice inside my head screams just one question at God, “I’m here … AGAIN?”
And I get mad realizing that I am, once again, in the fight of my life – when what I should be doing is remember the lessons I learned before: Letting go, relying on faith and just standing while God works it out.
The lyrics from “Stand” by Donnie McClurkin illustrate it perfectly: “What do you do when you’ve done all you can, and it seems like it’s never enough? And what do you say when your friends turn away, you’re all alone? Tell me, what do you give When you’ve given your all, and seems like you can’t make it through? You just stand. You just stand. Stand. Don’t you give up. Through the storm, through the rain, through the hurt, through the pain, don’t you bow, don’t bend, don’t give up, don’t give in. Hold on, just be strong. God will step in, and it won’t be long.”
But, of course, that takes faith … not a fight. Well, repetition is the mother of skill. When unwanted situations repeat themselves in our lives, there is something we have missed. There is a blind spot in our consciousness, something we cannot see and don’t know yet.
So, I must take the test again (and again and again) until I get a passing grade.
It’s like all those things your mother or father tell you that you don’t want to hear. So you don’t listen, and then what happens? You end up learning the hard way that your mother was right. And once you become a parent or mentor yourself, you realize that your mother or father was only trying to make you a better, stronger person without having to experience the pain.
Well, life is the same way. So when unwanted situations continually repeat themselves in your life, don’t fight them. Lean on your faith so that you get the lesson, pass the test and grow into the person God has put you on this earth to be.
Well, I’ve fought the good fight and learned – yes, the hard way – that faith is indeed the heavyweight champion.
And that is my testimony.