Surviving the unexpected things that alter our lives can be very difficult, but it is something you have to choose. You have to decide early on that you will not give up no matter what happens. Instead, you will find a way to move forward and survive.
I wake up every morning to assess where I am mentally, which determines how I start my day. Lately, to be real, it has been a struggle emotionally because I feel so sad and angry at how things are going. So I have had to pump myself up by laughing, exercising, and, most important, encouraging myself in the Word of God. It has also led me to express my feelings in a healthy way.
Yesterday morning started with some dark feelings, so I did all of the things listed, and I felt a surge of light take over the emotional darkness. I encouraged myself by writing this poem:
I can do this!
the diagnosis that rearranged my life.
Which caused the emotional pain I feel inside
Despite the uncertainty that each day brings
I can do this because Jesus strengthens me.
2 Peter 1:3 says, “By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.” I have learned that I have to search those things out and use them. Our loving heavenly Father already knew where I would be during this season of life. He also knew that on some mornings, I would feel dark. So through knowledge, I have learned how to chase the darkness away so that the light can shine brightly in my life. But I have to choose to move forward. I have to decide to survive.
Surviving also means choosing to walk in reality. I firmly believe that it is hard to have faith for something to change that you refuse to accept in your reality. I have seen people die of cancer because they refused to believe it was in their bodies. I have seen people lose limbs who refused to believe they had diabetes. I want to be able to speak to the mountains in my life because I see them and call those things that are not where I want them to be what I want them to be. So, I have changed my diet to help my body heal, and I am using wisdom as to how much stress I put on my body, etc.
Also, in order to choose to survive, there must be an element of hope and expectation of something better in your future. The Word gives me that hope. I find promises of healing and deliverance that are before me regularly. I speak these things and live as if I believe they are true. I plan for a future free from the bad stuff in my life and write them down. I daydream about the days ahead where I am free from what is bothering me today.
And there must be joy. All of the things I do bring the joy I need to have the strength to face and enjoy each day. For example, while I was taking care of my daughter Bridget in her city while staying in a hotel, I was so tired and stressed. My body has not been responding to stress and continual fatigue well, so I found ways to find joy. I fixated on beautiful portraits in the hotel. I found beautiful landscapes at red lights and marveled at their beauty. I smiled at everyone I came in contact with while checking on how their days were going. These things helped increase my joy, releasing the stress in my body and thus giving me strength.
And we cannot do any of this on our own. Our heavenly Father is right in the battle with us, with the Holy Spirit helping and comforting us as we choose to move forward towards surviving.
“Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.”
Psalms 63:7,8 NLT