You are the One who has given me every good thing in my life. You are the One who has given me not only the hope of salvation, but of Heaven, Lord. It was You who led my ancestors through many challenging days, through death and right into Your arms, Lord.
I would like to ask one thing, Lord. I'm tired. I'm so very tired today. I don't know what else to say. I don't know what else to do. I just pray You give me strength. Give me the courage and tenacity to continue living for You in these difficult times. Allow me the spiritual brawn to lead my family to Your gates, Jesus.
Nobody else looks at you as critically as YOU do. Others see your assets; all you see are your liabilities. Your faults and shortcomings. Others are younger, thinner, smarter, more talented, wittier and better looking, right? Well, the good news is God doesn’t judge people the way we do. He looks right into your heart, and sees the kind of person you are on the inside. With God, lambs become lions.
The dark cloud of depression can be emotionally crippling, can it not? We keep swallowing all that vile bitterness, not wanting to burden anyone. Suffering in silence. Sometimes our friends and family are aware and sometimes they’re not. Some interpret our depression as laziness, while others see it as a serious lack of motivation. Well, maybe it’s laziness, maybe it’s age, maybe it’s chronic fatigue, but maybe, just maybe, it’s depression.
I'm here to say I feel ya, but I'm not giving in. I'm not gonna quit, and you can't either.
It’s the first day of the work week, but I'm not experiencing your typical "Monday Blues" today. I have no clue what's wrong; it's as though a dark cloud of sadness, almost an anxiousness, has moved into the duplex next door. Sometimes—for me anyway—stress, depression, anger and even anxiety unwillingly invade, like watching black storm clouds roll into my spirit. As I am helpless to chase away a thunderstorm by sheer will, so this feels in my heart.
But my family and I are born fighters. We surrender to God alone; never to darkness, never to defeat.
The tattoo on my right upper bicep (and on my daughter’s calf) says, “No fear of the future, no regrets of the past.” Granted, this is a mindset which is hard to attain, and even harder to maintain. It's a goal both she and I strive for every day. I'm closer to it than I was a year ago, but not as adept as I will be in a year. It’s totally doable, though. I know this because I've witnessed the joyful faces of those who have gone through terrible agony. There is a terrible sadness, hidden away, which has forever altered their lives. But not destroyed them. So follow the advice of that great theologian, Han Solo, who said, “Laugh it up, fuzzball.”
Man, life is a fantastic journey, to be certain, but sometimes the darkness seems too heavy a burden to bear. You feel you can't make it through another day, and yet you do. How many times have you prayed the same prayer, but to no avail? You are stronger than you think, and God has placed within you the strength and resolve to make it through anything this life can throw at you.
Being around those who are terminally ill is always awkward for me, but Hollie put people at ease immediately with her goofy sense of humor and her contagious laugh. She was all about laughing through the pain, smiling through the fatigue, pushing herself as long as physically possible, resting a while and then getting up and doing it all over again. We lost Hollie to cancer on Monday, June 19. Rest in peace, my friend. See ya soon.
Is something holding you back from loving with all your heart, and if so, what are you afraid of? Since telling stories is what I love to do the most in this life, allow me to give you access to a conversation between my wife and I, from nearly 30 years ago, that, up to now, nobody else but her and I were privy to. It’s difficult for me to be so vulnerable, but I feel there are many people who are holding back in life, terrified of being hurt. As far as I’m concerned, however, life is a beautiful, amazing, breath-taking adventure, and I'm all in.
My son not only conquered a spirit of fear, which he fought for years, but remains a true gentleman; hard-working, kind-hearted, sincere, warm and funny. The cynicism and sense of entitlement some of his generation have chosen has never worn off on him, and I could not be more proud of him.