One only has to experience about a decade or so of life to come to the realization that it can be a battle. My 2018 was full of battles. I fought battles all year long, and what's amazing about all of them, is that there wasn't one battle I lost! None. And if you're still reading this, you can say the same thing.
Did you have to fight for your health this year, like I did? I battled a disease I didn't even realize I had until it was too late. Through clean eating and drastic changes to my lifestyle, I unfortunately needed to finally give in to my doctor's decision to go through a life-altering surgery. Through the journey, I learned how important it is to listen to my body and how to take care of it. I also learned that I do have the discipline to eat in a healthy way, and I eventually came out the victor in the end! Did you battle with your health too? I know some of you who are winning this battle, one day, one pound, and one healthy decision at a time. You're winning the battle like I am!
Did you have to fight through grief and loss this year, like I did? Some of us stared into the face of Death itself while we clung to a loved one, only to find them eventually gone. We are wounded and tired, but we are still standing. And our standing means we can encourage others when they are left all alone. My grief has led to a new chapter in my relationship with my dad. I reluctantly took on the challenge of growing closer to him after my stepmother died. I didn't know him well growing up, and as adults we grew further apart. Now he's a widower and I get to care for him. It's a battle every day to walk in forgiveness toward him, also realizing I need forgiveness when I make mistakes. Are there decisions you need to make now after a loved one has passed? Are you battling depression and emotional roller-coasters? You're not alone. Reach out for someone to fight the battle with you.
Did you have to fight for your reputation and a broken relationship this year, like I did? Relationships can be messy because we are all broken and scarred. But the devastation of betrayal and back-biting is painful. If you fought for your relationships this year, you are not alone. Do not compromise your beliefs, but continue to fight for what is right. You will come out the winner in the end. I was blessed to have people praying for me--while also protecting and defending my character. It was a humbling and wonderful thing to experience. And as a result, I didn't battle it alone.
And, perhaps, like me, you had to fight to defend your faith, like I did. I am proud to be a Christian, but this year all I wanted to do was hide under a rock. Personal attacks can shake the core foundation of who you are, if you let them. The Bible says in Ephesians 6: 10-13:
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm."
I am encouraged about this and I hope you are, too. I am encouraged because God knows life is a battle. He tells us this from His word that He wrote for us so long ago. I am encouraged that He knows where our battles come from--the schemes of the devil. The devil wants to see us destroyed and his goal is to steal our joy, rob us of peace, and eventually convince us to end it all. In other words, he wants us dead. But we have won! We are alive and have the opportunity to encourage others.
Did this year bring you challenges through broken relationships, insecurities, a health diagnosis that feels overwhelming, loss of a job, betrayal, fear and sadness and many other negative circumstances?
Please know that you are not alone! And if you're still reading this...you've won!! Keep fighting!!
I am an author and speaker who loves to show my passion for Jesus and people through my writing. Words are powerful!