Today I looked in the mirror and saw a woman, scarred from the years of struggling with severe depression and the pain of a life she had never planned for. The lines on her face told the stories of sleepless nights and darkened days filled with the anger, sadness, pain, and anxiety. One line telling of past abuse and heartbreak, one of when she went over the edge, one for every time she fought with someone she loved, one for the past addictions that will always haunt her, one for every tear she has cried knowing she is infertile, and one for every day she fights to not lose control again.
Here I stare at this woman, looking back at me with her scars and lines that make her look aged, but there is something else. Looking closely…deeply in her eyes, I see a fire raging within. A fire that is there to tell the world that she has not given up, she has not been broken, and she is not done fighting. There is a silent and defiant smile that tells a side of her story that the lines do not reveal. The story of how she survived and came out stronger than ever before.
Though her struggles have been nearly unbearable at times, never was she alone. For it was written in God’s word: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10 NIV, and “…never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5 NIV. It was in His kept promises, that she survived, and because of His unfailing love and strength that that she has the fiery will to fight through it all.
God’s promises are there to remind us all that we are not alone and even when times are at their bleakest, he is there. Challenges help us become stronger as people, and they also help us grow our relationship with God if we let them. Seek Him in all aspects of your life, rather the path you are on is easy, or it is obstructed by obstacles that appear impassable. Without God, I would not be here today, and it is through my relationship with Him that I continue to move forward. Never give up; always keep your eyes on God.