Life can be hard. That should not come as a surprise, and yet I find myself shocked at how difficult some days can be. I know how deeply wounded I have been, and yet I am surprised by how much scar tissue I have. I remember battles; I remember winning and losing. I remember struggling, fighting, crawling forward toward the light with everything in me, and falling backward, and yet I sometimes find myself beating myself up for losses.
I am writing this to remind you (and me) why we fight, and why we fight forward.
I don't believe that all of us get fair chances. Life doesn't work that way. Some of us are born with a bad family, or chemical imbalances, or broken bodies. So it isn't what we accomplish that matters nearly so much as the work we put in to accomplish it. There are days when I feel like I was lazy and unproductive, but did laundry, homework, some socializing, and maybe even a blog post. There are other days when it takes everything in me to get out of bed and do only what I absolutely must. The good days outnumber the bad ones, but that doesn't mean the bad ones don't happen. And when they do, I really believe that it counts far more that I crawled through my day than it does when I can effortlessly glide - but chose not to run. I fight forward because I will overcome.
I will overcome, and I will be able to offer comfort and empathy with the conviction that I am telling the truth. When I say that no mistake - no horrible battle - is ever wasted, I mean it. Someday, someone will come into your path that needs to hear that their fight can be won. It's happened to me enough times that I know that's just how it works. Trust me. I waged war on self-injury for a solid twelve years; I battled depression for slightly longer. But, I am free. I am not only free because I was given freedom through glorious salvation, but I have defended that freedom with my whole self. Because of those years of constant warfare, I want to and am able to stand with others who have their own fights, and I know I'm not the only one. I didn't win this thing on my own.
And, yes, the war is won; but there are still battles. There will always be battles; there will sometimes be a new war. But I've learned something: battles are not only won by immediate victory; battles are won in the quiet determination that the battle is not over. And that is how I see courage: it is not just charging into the battle, but never giving into the enemy. Courage is holding on to the edge of the cliff until you can climb up. Courage is trusting the hand offered to you. I will be courageous, even on days when all I can do is believe I am worthy when I feel anything but.
For as long as I live behind these walls, for as long as my soul is bound to this body, I will fight battles, and I will lose some of them. But I will fight. I will always rise. And I am not alone.
Be brave. You can win. You will overcome.