There are days my pain is so relentless I don’t even want to get outta bed. For many of us, there’s no escaping our prison of pain. So what do we do? The answers to that are many-fold, but one thing I DO know: We cannot EMBRACE our misery; we must rage against it!
One dark day, in pain and ticked off at the Devil, I put on one of my favorite Christian heavy metal bands, Impending Doom, put my earphones in, turned the music up as loud as I could stand it, closed my eyes and started banging away at the keyboard.
What you'll read in this blog was knocked out in about 10 minutes. I present it to you unedited, unrevised. It is the warcry of a tortured and angry soldier, resolving himself to never give up, never give in, never surrender.
If you’re looking for the ugly, vile and putrid in life, it’s there. But if you CHOOSE to look for it, I think you’ll find the glory in this world far outweighs the gloom. Like when you’re taking a walk, and suddenly look up and see one of the most beautiful sunsets you’ve ever witnessed.
For those of us who deal with prolonged issues such as pain, anxiety and depression, it’s easy to begin to question your abilities and worth. Once vibrant, bright-eyed and energetic, we slowly become hollow, dull-eyed and exhausted. But God is calling out of darkness, into His marvelous light. Laughter and love, not tears and anger. Joy and hope, not sadness and despair.
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.
I’m going to share with you my whole reason for being; the entire reason I'm on planet Earth. My life's purpose rolled up into one paragraph. Here it is: never give up. Never, never, never give up. Never surrender to the darkness which tries to swallow you whole. Never quit. Not tonight, not tomorrow, and not ever. Keep fighting, until you draw your last breath. Keep reaching for the stars, keep breathing, keep laughing, keep loving. Just keep on, and never quit. Life is worth it.
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.”
I’m tired. So very tired. Although I have yet to discover the secret to boundless energy, I've decided to surround myself with those who do. You may not remember it, but long ago, before life beat you into submission, you used to run and play. You laughed and drank water from the garden hose and tied a towel around your neck as a cape to help you fly.
Yes, you did, you just don't remember it.