“Prepare to have obstacles. Persevere anyway.”
Who said this quote? I knew at one time, but cannot remember his name, only that it is a large black man who is well respected. Was it Alex Haley? Samuel Jackson? Mike Singletary? Anyway, the author conjures up images of strength, wisdom, courage, and is basically a big strong dude who can bat away obstacles with a raised eyebrow.
I, however, am a 120-pound woman with a fear of rodents (all types, even furry hamsters). I am not always sure if I can persevere in the face of obstacles. Sometimes, I lose courage to stand up for what I believe in; I lose strength to say the truth, and I lose stamina to keep on going. However, as a parent, a worker, a friend, a daughter, a sister, or a partner, I need to keep persevering against the obstacles. I need to hold fast and not notice the rats in my way as I live the life God intended for me.
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers” (by yet another awesome author I don’t recall). To me, that means God is on our side; he wants us to succeed; he is pulling for us, he does not just cheer us on, he is right there in the battle with us! (But we gotta talk to him, and then forget about our fears and get on with it)
Sometimes life IS a battle, whether you are the gladiator-type or not. I am not just talking about getting the little darlings to shut down and go to sleep at bedtime. Job searches are all-out war with our ego, our fears, our hesitance to keep on calling, talking, researching, and networking. Teaching and modeling to our kids how to handle their stress and frustrations in productive ways rather than either exploding or brushing them under the carpet is a huge challenge when we are barely hanging on ourselves and want to bury in the bedcovers all day after a terrible eHarmony date, stacks of overdue bills, car breakdowns, or broken vows. Our extended families can really get a groove on with the guilt trips and cause me a boundary issue or two.
And marriages and partnerships… “When it comes to living and loving, what’s required is a willingness to jump in with both feet and be creative as you go” (Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge, p. 211). Successful relationships require that we be willing to fight for them- not fight each other- fight FOR each other. Fight for the union. Jump off the cliff together to figure out what is needed to persevere. Trap the rat and kill it together.
This is a battle. I know! When my boss/friend/sister requests that I fly across the country for their planned event the very weekend my partner and I have set aside for each other, I have to summon up my inner Mike Singletary/Richard Dent/Lawrence Taylor, block the guilt trip and persevere with MY priorities.
But how, how, how, when we are not 23 years old and full of youthful dreams and (unrealistic?) hopes as we start our adventures/relationships/lives? One answer- God. Divine love is the ultimate re-energizer, rejuvenator, healer, re-creator, teacher (I will need to learn how to lovingly refuse people who present obstacles), and so much more. When we put our trust in God, obstacles still exist (the rent still needs to get paid after all), but our battles become anthills because we know what to do. We are following God’s will, not our will and we are out of God’s way.
God gives us exactly what we need, we just need to ASK. OUT LOUD. ON OUR KNEES. EVERY DANG MORNING BEFORE WE BRUSH OUR TEETH.
God- help me to be the person you want me to be today so that I can live the incredible life you have planned for me with the love, delight, trust, enlightening, playfulness, beauty, bravery, companionship, service to others, loving support, and so much more beyond my wildest dreams. Thank you for teaching me and guiding me every day to live in your light on your path for me. I know you are taking me to fabulous new places to accomplish amazing things with you. Thank you!
May God have mercy upon you today and love on you dearly as you learn about and love others. Just remember: With God’s help, nothing is impossible and we CAN move from darkness to light. You have much to offer the world, keep giving your light and see what light reaches you!