Life can be brutal. This is a knowledge I’ve learned all too well. For me, I don’t think I can ever say there’s been a time in my life when things were easy. Molested at the age of eight, struggling with random weird ailments which my doctors failed to understand, diagnosed with lupus when I was seventeen, fibromyalgia when I was twenty-one, Crohns when I was twenty-five, life has more often than not been cruel. Almost dying on five separate occasions, not to mention undergoing countless hospital stays, tests, procedures, and surgeries, I learned just how challenging life can be. In college I struggled with depression and even went through a time where I contemplated the merits of suicide. Truly, life is hard. But if there’s one thing all this has taught me, it’s that I’m more than my suffering and the cruel circumstances life has continually thrown my way. I am a survivor.
Maybe it simply shows just how stubborn I can be, but I refuse to quit. Even when I considered committing suicide, I could never go through with it because in the end, that would have been giving up. I refuse to let evil win! I am a survivor.
I daresay anyone reading this is a survivor. I know many of your stories. Life has beaten you up, torn you down, and thrown you for a loop, and yet you’re still here. Yes, you struggle with doubts, discouragement, and even depression, but you’re still here. You are a survivor.
I wish I could easily explain why life is so hard and some people seemingly have all the bad luck, but there’s no simple explanation. Sure I can give you the theological answer, but truthfully, that doesn’t make dealing with problems any easier. Sometimes, life is just hard, and it’s not fair. But that doesn’t make you any less of a survivor, and that’s a big deal.
So many people give up on life. Even if they don’t commit suicide, they stay at home or hide in the mundane and they become a shell of who they could be, and that is definitely not surviving. It’s barely living.
I’m going to shock you with something, and I pray it doesn’t offend you. You live with a chronic illness. So what? Yes, it’s a big part of your life, but it doesn’t make you less of a person. Your life has meaning. You’ve been through difficult times, but that doesn’t detract from who you are. If anything, it makes you better than you once were. You’ve been through so much, and yet you haven’t let it destroy you. You are a survivor!
It’s because of this we can be more than our circumstances. Life may sometimes knock us down, but it doesn’t get to win. Because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, we have the victory! Yes, sickness is hard. It steals our time, our energy, our money, our freedom, and sometimes even our relationships, but it doesn’t determine who we are as a person. Sickness doesn’t get to win!
God has never given up on you and He never will. Through His grace, we can overcome every obstacle life puts in our path. He gives us the strength to carry on when we’re weary and the courage we need to never give up. He is our sustaining power.
Maybe you don’t feel like a survivor at the moment. I think we’ve all had times when we’ve given up in one way or another, but it was simply that – a moment. You get to decide what you do with your life, and you make this choice every single day. If you are alive, then your life has a purpose. Don’t waste it!
Choose to fight. Walk in victory! Be the survivor!
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” ~ Romans 8:37
© July 9, 2015