'Never stop fighting!'

I think we can all agree 2020 already has been a hard year. Even before the coronavirus caused so many of us to shelter in place for weeks, 2020 was shaping up to be difficult. 

For me, 2019 wasn’t a walk in the park either, so the new year was just a continuation of confusion, difficulty and even sadness. To top it off, this last weekend was the one-year anniversary of my aunt’s suicide.

I thought after everything I had been through – both this year and last– I was prepared to tackle the emotions the anniversary of my aunt’s death would bring. So when my crankiness settled in, and I found myself answering loved ones with a short temper, I was surprised to find I was not immune to new or old difficulties like I thought. I walked around the house depressed … until I passed the fridge. 

Though I live alone, my fridge looks like a dozen children live in my house. Every inch of my fridge is covered with photos of my eight nieces and nephews and the drawings they have made for their Aunt Meme. Front and center is an art piece colored by my, then 8-year-old niece, Layla, and given to me last year when I was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. 

The drawing is a heart-shaped floral wreath and on top, my niece wrote, “Never stop fighting!” My young niece, unfortunately, is not immune to difficult things either. She colored this after visiting me in the hospital where she asked over and over if I was going to be OK and only left for the night after I assured her I would stay right here and not leave.

We all face difficult seasons, times of uncertainty and bouts of depression. I felt it this last weekend, but Layla’s drawing reminded me to never stop fighting – fighting for my health, my family, my friends, my relationships, my job, my education, my life. The list can go on and on.

But we don’t enter that fight alone. God is by your side and is your hope when life gets weary. He will strengthen and sustain you during the long and troublesome times because though you may grow faint, he never does.

You may be walking through some difficult times, but with God by your side, you still have fight left. My niece reminded me of that. 

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:28-31

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