Only a month ago or so the media was abuzzed with news of the passing of one of the greatest showmen of all times; Robin Williams. His was such a vibrant personality, one that brought joy and laughter to masses of people everywhere (I for one will never forget Mrs. Doubtfire). Yet, in the midst of all that Robin packaged and served to the rest of us was a lonely soul imprisoned by fears, inadequacies, worries, health issues, addictions, and quite possibly, a host of other consternations that we will never be privy to. Though the chatter concerning this beloved actor has significantly dissipated, the forces he had to contend with remain with us.
His was certainly not a unique situation. I have found that no matter how balanced, focused and determined we are, every now and again life has a tendency of taking a chunk out of our joy and peace of mind. I have been disappointed many a times and then I have been devastated. It’s hard, but I’m sure not foreign, to describe the array of emotions that tend to awash us during those seasons. Feelings of absolute loss, numbness, at times fear, sadness, anger, and of-course, resentment. Learning to effectively navigate the vicissitudes of life is a necessary skill that everyone of us at some point in time will be forced to cultivate. It is the difference between living a life perpetually trapped in a state of depression or in the shadows of suicidal ideation and living the “trampoline-effect”, i.e., the continual capacity to bounce back.
When the idea to prepare the accompanying podcast to this blog, This One’s For The Fighter In You! emerged, I was in the thick of an emotional roller-coaster ride related to some very heart-wrenching and devastating news I had just recently received. Here I was, diligently awaiting a resolution to litigation proceedings in a case involving a corporate giant and thousands of dollars, that had lasted four years. I had earnestly prayed and fasted from the start, even having a few close allies do the same, while all the while honoring my obligations throughout the process. In the end (at least, at this point in time), I lost. I was angry. I started thinking of all the other times I had committed to doing things the right way, the godly way, only to come to the end of those processes seemingly with the short end of the stick. I felt hypocritical as I considered the energy and time spent on a weekly basis telling others through my blog and podcast posts that they were guaranteed to experience true success, if they practiced embracing and living their lives in sync with the principles detailed by our Master Designer in our Manual for Living. How could God have allowed this to happen to me? Why didn’t He defend me when I was in the right? Sufficing to say, I had no interest in communicating with Him for a few days.
As the week rolled on and the resentment diminished, I found myself thinking about King David, considered the greatest king to ever rule the nation of Israel and the only man to be dubbed by God, “A man after my own heart”. I thought of how he suffered tremendous horrors, rejection and fears and was on the run for a significant part of His life from his predecessor King Saul, who wanted to destroy him. Why? Simply because God had made a promise to this young shepherd boy that one day he would become king. But O, how he suffered. Still, in the midst of all of this, David loved and served God faithfully and because he never gave up on life and never gave up on God, in the end he came into his expected promise and was made to rule in Israel for 40 years.
I recently had the privilege of sharing my platform with dear friend Anita Johnson, on the accompanying podcast segment to this blog. If I had ever met a born fighter, she is the real deal! She shared candidly about surviving an emotionally debilitating divorce and how it took her almost eight years to begin stabilizing her life, only to be hit with a devastating diagnosis of cancer immediately thereafter. Anita pointed out that throughout the experiences, it was the following constants that kept her going:
1. Having a Vision for her life and endeavoring to keep that picture of her preferred future before her, especially when the pain (physically, mentally and emotionally) became unbearable;
2. Accessing Information that kept her mind centered in truth. She shared that the “power of knowing” is always the game-changer;
3. Having the Support of her family, both her biological and Church community and remaining submitted to her spiritual mentors/covering; and,
4. Anchoring her Trust firmly in the Master Designer and His promise to never leave or forsake her, even in the midst of trouble.
What do you do when life throws you curve-balls? If you haven’t had one thrown your way, look-out, it’s only a matter of time. You have to be ready both mentally and emotionally to deal with life’s challenges that will inevitably arise, but most importantly, you have to be boosted in your spirit man. It takes a well defined and secure relationship with your Master Designer to anchor and preserve you in those moments of extreme testing. If you are currently walking through the test of your life, be it a physical ailment, financial dilemma, or mental anguish, stay strong. Look to the Designer of your life for the help you need, find your support system and go get the necessary information that will help you navigate your process. Finally, and no matter what, make the decision to “Never, never, never give up” (Winston Churchill). You will discover that there is always hope if you assume this stance. Remember, a quitter never wins and winners never quit.
This powerful interview segment with Anita Johnson, This One’s For The Fighter In You!, may be accessed via the Podcast Series tab or the Podbean Podcast page. If you are currently faced with a life crisis, online resources are available to provide you with information on dealing with a number of concerns; including depression, stress, and suicidal ideation.