True Warrior

It is easy to get discouraged when faced with an insurmountable task. When those dark times come, impossibilities weight the mind with the fear that they’ll never be surmounted. Questions and confusion lurk like terrible shadows, casting a pall over the soul. Fear, at one time a remote abstraction, becomes tangible, even touched. It is during those times when the darkness is so black that the memory of light is forgotten, and hope is lost.

I’ve been there. Challenged. Chained. Denied. Scattered. The more I’ve tried to excel, the farther away that success seems to be. It is in those moments that I am irrelevant–that the deepest desires in me burst out of my hand, onto the floor, through the drain, and disappear. I suppose any person with a song in his heart knows what I’m speaking of.

It is a hostile enterprise, to live in this world, to go on hoping and believing and moving and changing and doing good for others in the face of violence and hatred, when the country we call home is split, where we can no longer walk the streets in safety.

Does a newborn have any chance at a free life? In this country? In this world? If not, if I resign my hope, then I forfeit who I am and my character. But I get the satisfaction of satisfying my cravings–of quitting. Didn’t Jesus say that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak? If I quit then I experience a pleasure, a very intense one.

But I lose every shred of character given me–traits to bless others, to inspire them to not give in, to not give up, to not quit. Forgive me for speaking truthfully, but the truth is we are not alone. We are not an island. We have each other. God has given each of us a heavenly desire to use our skills and talents to lift and support those around us. I cannot quit because my life is not my own. I belong to others. I belong to God.

So I look around for these true warriors. Men and women of resolve. Who refuse to forsake their self-worth. And who do I see first?

Christie, my wife. She is shamelessly brave. Even as I try to bury my dreams under the haystack, Christie is working tirelessly to validate the pitchfork in my hand–not to bury my good hopes, but to expose them.

She works a tough job. She’s a first grade teacher at an impoverished elementary school. She’s 31 weeks pregnant today. This pregnancy has tested her–morning sickness into the third trimester, heartburn so intense that she can’t sleep at night, chest pains, shoulder pains–all of these that made her bedridden for two straight months. Last Thursday she came down with a virus that kept her up all night, throwing up 10 times, before she was admitted to the hospital at 5:30 a.m. so they could replenish her fluids with an I.V.

She is the most loyal, inspiring woman I’ve ever known. She is my courage. She inspires me to keep hoping. Even when dire, even when lost, even when I’ve lost everything, to keep fighting. To keep hoping. Even at the insurmountable task of believing in faith that people can still hope, still do good, still encourage, still believe that we as a society can do good, elevating each other into His arms, Christie is my encourager. She is the truth behind my dream.

Christie is a true warrior. This blog is just for her.

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