Remember Aron Ralston, the guy who went hiking alone and got stuck between some boulders, pinning him into a hidden rock crevice? What an amazing story. The dude went through such physical and emotional trauma. He even spent some time grieving his situation with a tearful goodbye video to his mom!
But then, something wild overcame him, something instinctual – his will to survive kicked into high gear and he mustered the courage to whittle away at his arm with a pocketknife until he freed himself and was eventually rescued.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right? He straight picked up his mat, sans forearm, and walked.
Makes me think about all the times I’ve been sitting in something, maybe some sort of emotionally painful situation, and its like I’m waiting for my “mat” to turn into a magic carpet and begin moving itself – leading me up and out of this suffering. Whether it be a physical or relational healing or anything I find my mind continuing to agonize over, I begin feeling paralyzed in it.
But the truth is, I am able to move.
It may take unpacking a few heavy loads of obligation, perhaps releasing some baggage of shame or possibly letting go of something I’m clutching onto that is preventing me from movement – but I must not stop laboring – my will must survive in order to move my weak heart towards the healing she so desperately hopes to grow into.
This is what fighting for life looks like.
You know what happens when you don’t fight? You don’t move. Stagnant living; the place where unhealed, and infected wounds fester. Growth happens here too, but in the wrong direction.
While being treated for Leukemia, my daughters fight was to remain healthy and hopeful while the chemo was doing its job. My responsibility, fighting alongside her, was to create a culture of health and an environment of hope so she didn’t have to work as hard.
Her will was to survive; my will was to help her fight for survival, which meant setting the atmosphere, controlling the climate, feeding her nutritious foods and establishing myself as a protective guardian over her mind, body and spirit.
This is what fighting for another persons life looks like.
We cannot move their mat for them, but we can fight alongside them. We can help clear any fog of confusion they are sitting in, move away any debris standing in their way, or simply just sit and listen – feeding them with truth, encouragement and help promote an environment of hope around them.
Many of us will never have to fight like Aron Ralston did that day in the canyon, but at some point, we will all be faced with a fight – for hope over hopelessness; for unity over division; for love over animosity; for survival over destruction.
But first, we must be willing to fight.
I used to have a bully continually come up on me in the playground. I would see her coming and quickly assume the position: scurry to the ground and lie on my back with my feet up in the air. If I was into jujitsu this totally would have made sense, but the truth is, it was a paralyzed stance of surrender from a weak-willed victim.
Thank God I’m not that same girl anymore. I’ve learned how to defend myself. I’ve also learned the value of defending others. I’ve practiced fighting FOR life, fighting FOR unity and how to guard and defend my treasures, such as family, friendship, hope and faith.
Being paralyzed on your back is not your destiny. It may be your current situation, but it does not mean you are meant to stay there.
Ephesians 6 are my power verses. They remind me of Wonder Woman and the battles that are unseen, but extremely dangerous. They also remind me that I have all that I need to fight them. They help me to believe in the power within me, channeling my inner Diana, Princess to the Amazons, to defend my identity, protect the gifts I have been given and to guard the truth that has set me free.
That chapter in Ephesians is yours, too. What picture does it paint for you – what woman appears in your head while reading about the armor? Maybe its SheRa, or Catwoman or even Lara Croft?
Believe in this girl. You are able to do great things. You are able to fight against anything that threatens to crush your spirit, steal your joy or destroy your relationships.
Because the only difference between being able and being capable, is putting a “cape” on it.