If you had to choose one word to describe yourself, what would it be? Of course I’d love to use words like fun or adventurous or daring to describe me. There have been many times I could accurately say broken, scared, or alone. But if I had to narrow it down to just one word that depicts me throughout my life it would be this: survivor.
I am a survivor.
The path I’ve walked is not one I would recommend for anyone else. It’s been full of pitfalls, bad decisions, and painful consequences. But standing on this side of the ravine after crossing through dark valleys and crawling through dry deserts of life, I truly am thankful. I’m thankful that I survived the trek out of the depths of life gone wrong. I’m thankful that I won’t be going back. I’m thankful for what I learned and how I’ve grown along the way. And most of all, I’m thankful that I can understand where other people are and help them as they struggle to rise above real life.
The problem with being a survivor is that people think you don’t need help.
They say, “You can do it. You’re strong.” I say I’m a survivor because I have to be, not because I’m strong.
They say, “You don’t need me. You’re doing fine on your own.” I say I do need you. More than you will ever know.
They say, “You’ll be okay. Just keep fighting.” I say I don’t want to fight anymore. I am not a warrior.
Many survivors stand alone in their battles. They long for the company of warriors who will stand beside them and fight with them. But that isn’t reality. They survive because they have no other choice. They can’t give up. They can’t give in. They do what they have to do to get through another day. And with each new morning they wish a cavalry would come to save the day.
Some of us may never hear the battle cry of the rescuing cavalry. Some of us may never have even one loyal warrior to stand beside us in the fight. But that doesn’t mean we have to stand alone.
Strength to rise above real life does not come from within. It comes from God. And He stands with us.
We can’t produce armor to protect ourselves from the battles of life. But God gives us armor and powerful weapons.
We can’t heal ourselves from wounds that are inflicted. But God will mend our brokenness, heal our wounds, and make us stronger and wiser in the process.
We can’t blame God for the fights waged by people. But we can wield the weapons of prayer and His Living Word and unleash God’s power.
We may not be warriors. We may not feel strong or brave. We may not know how to enact a battle plan. And that’s okay. We aren’t called to lash out or charge the enemy. We’re merely called to stand. Stand in God’s strength. Stand for His truth. Stand our ground and not let the enemy trip us up. Just stand.
My friend, you don’t have to stand alone. If you’re suited in God’s armor then His army is standing with you. He is standing with you.
And my armor is on. I’m ready to stand with you too.
“Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand.” Ephesians 6:10-11 (see Ephesians 6:10-18 for the full armor of God)
May I pray?
Lord, there’s a big difference between being a survivor and being a warrior. I pray for those of us who feel alone, scared, and unequipped for life’s battles. May the truth of Your Word bring us the protection and hope we need. May we suit up in Your armor and be filled with Your strength and power as we take our stand today. Bring us the confidence of knowing that You and Your army stand with us. And we stand together in sisterhood. Amen.
Q4U: What one word would you use to describe yourself and why?