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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Next Day...

I still have no answers.
I still don't know what's coming next or how to fix all that is wrong. But I know one thing. I can't quit.
I have a daughter I love more than words can ever describe. I need to be there for her and somehow I need to overcome all this.
I need to remain faithful.
But there are times when remaining faithful simply means not quitting. It doesn't mean moving the chains forward. It doesn't mean finding some extra gear and bursting through the darkness. It doesn't mean snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Sometimes winning is reduced to simply not losing yet.
Sometimes the greatest act of faith in God is choosing to not bellow out the anger you have for Him when your world is devastated. It's also not singing some mind-numbing "praise and worship" song and letting your eyes glaze over as the world spins apart. That's lying to yourself and it's not healthy. Sometimes, the biggest measure of faith you will ever see active in anyone's life often in a narrative like the following. Sometimes you meet someone who is going through the darkest hours known to man. You watch them as the sun sets and darkness creeps in and swallows them whole. You can't see them for the pitch blackness that has ensconced their life. You see nothing, you hear nothing. The night grows long and hot and you worry that the darkness has won because you can't see them anymore. You pray, you worry, or some of you -the ones who simply don't get it- mock and jeer and curse the darkness as a sign of their lack of faith. The clock ticks until it stops ticking. You feel each breath. Then when the seeming eternity of the night begins to slowly fade and something resembling light begins to break on the horizon, you peer at the spot where the person was. There is a shape. Bent, broken, battered. Fists closed in anger. Face stained by tears. The greatest act of faith you or I or anyone will ever know is the faith it takes to simply hold on. To see the night all the way through. To question God and get no answers but to know that this makes Him no less God. To scream until we fall silent. To cry until we dry out in exhaustion. To ache in our souls with no reprieve and to know that enduring the ache doesn't make us stronger -as the spiritually out of touch would have us believe- it means we already are strong. Strong enough not to quit when quitting would be easier and less painful. The next day brings no relief from the ache, no respite from the lonely grind of failure or remorse or shame or doubt. It simply brings another day to not quit. Those days add up. One day victory will arrive and the story we tell won't be one of glamorous "overcoming" and star-making success. It will be simply a story of being the person who "set their face like flint" kicked, screamed, doubted, cried, bellowed and then fell silent.
...but refused to quit.
And made it through to the next day.

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