I am surrounded by ragged, hagard soldiers of the Cross. Jesus Christ has seen fit to put me in the middle of a group of family and friends who have overcome seemingly impossible odds.
Indeed, these warrior souls have not only lived to tell their tale, but inspire others who are just as lost in the muck and mire of our lonely planet as they once were.
I have shared my story in bits and pieces in my blog, regarding the chronic pain I have suffered for 35 years. Regarding the depression and bitterness I have endured, continue to endure. Concerning my suicide attempt in my early 20s, and the miracle of my deliverance from taking over 60 pills that should’ve killed me.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg. There is my mom, who is overcoming a severe eating disorder that should have killed her.
She is a miracle.
My daughter has a genius-level IQ, and graduated early at 16 years old, only to fall in with the wrong crowd and become a drug addict. She left home for years, and we had no clue when or if she would ever come back. She fought her addiction, however, and is now a Registered Nurse, and the mother of two amazing children, my grandkids.
Certainly, she is a warrior princess.
My son has struggled with a stutter since he was in Middle School, and almost killed himself over the incredible darkness and loneliness he experienced. Today, he works part-time at the same Christian University where I serve as a faculty member, he is going to college, studying occupational therapy, he has his own Christian heavy metal band and he plays drums on the worship team at church.
Clearly an overcomer.
My sister, Annette, was a raging drug addict and trapped in a relationship so brutal she was literally almost beaten to death. When she went to a women’s shelter, one of the workers there told her she had never seen such empty eyes. Every bit of spark and life which I saw growing up was gone, nearly decimated by drugs and abuse. She conquered both her addiction and the abuse, though, leaving her husband and forging a new life with her kids and grandkids. Today, she is the Activities Director at a nursing home, just as full of life as when we were children.
No doubt she is more than a conqueror through Christ.
My Uncle Aaron is a minister of the gospel, and works with drug addicts. He was one of those people whom everyone knew would die from his addictions one day. It wasn’t a matter of if, but when he would die. He raged so hard against the light for so many years, only to come screaming back to life, giving it to the devil every chance he has.
Undoubtedly a soldier of the Most High.
There is my good friend Christy, who, like my sister, was trapped in an abusive relationship and a slave to drugs. She managed to get clean and leave her husband, only to watch her son pass away before her eyes in his early 20s, just a couple of years ago. The heartache she has suffered is beyond beyond compare, yet she has a house full of people who depend on her everyday. Not only this, but God is leading her towards a ministry which will help women like her and my sister used to be.
Unquestionably, a bright and shining light in this dark world.
Finally, there is my cousin Rick and his wife, Lisa. Rick was in prison on drug charges when both his young sons passed away within nine months of each other. While I cannot fathom this depth of pain, they somehow made it through, and are now ministering to other couples just like them, who have lost children.
You may be in the midst of a battle which looks unwinnable, but my family, my friends and I are here to tell you: all things are possible with God!
I’ve said this before, but some days the best we can do is not give up. One day we run, the next day we crawl, and on the third day we simply stay put, but we never quit, and we never go back.
Overcomers are born in heat of the battle, so keep fighting, and you will make it through!
These stories and more are contained in the pages of my book, “We Whom The Darkness Could Not Overcome,” available on Amazon.com.