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Weekly Encouragement

Spiritual Wellness in Life – Perseverance

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me – the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.”  – 2 Timothy 4:7-8

Spiritual wellness isn’t always just in the workplace; it’s in every aspect of our lives. But sometimes work takes over life, and we forget why we are really here.

Reading this passage of scripture reminds me of the last several years of my life when I had devoted everything, just everything, to my career in order to be successful and then watched it all go down in flames. I had lost sight of myself, my family, my life and my faith and all for what: the success I had built up in my mind, success on the same caliber that I saw my peers were achieving?  I may have been fighting the good fight but for all the wrong reasons.

My fatal flaw was losing faith.  I lost faith in myself, in the plan that God had for me, and I shut myself off from Him. All that perseverance from the last five to six years was for naught. The race I was trying to win had been derailed. I had lost the fight. I stopped listening to Him, and I fell…hard. I was broken. The light in my heart was fading, the burden on my shoulders was unbearable, and I was suffering so deeply from the pain. I didn’t know if I would ever recover. Fortunately for me, God is forgiving, put out His hand to me, and helped me up, so I could let Him heal me. All I had to do was reach up with my hand and place it into His.

And that is what I did…

Over the course of the next year after this horrible incident, it was all I could do to get up in the morning and move forward. But I did. I was so exhausted by the end of the day that I could only just sit quietly, night after night and talk to God. I had to learn how to listen to what He was telling me. I was angry for what had happened, but He had to remind me that yes, I had been fighting a good fight, but not the right one.

One evening after all of this had happened, I remember asking myself, “When was the last time I was truly happy?” The answer came to me almost instantly. The answer was when I was helping others. When I was helping others. The answer was so clear. How could I have been so blind? Once I finally figured this out, the light in my heart started to flicker, and the burden weighing so heavily upon me started to ease.

This was the fight that God wanted me to be on. This was the race that I needed to win. It wasn’t about money, success, fancy cars or big houses. It was about using my talents, the gifts that He gave me, in order to help others. But how was I going to do that? What talent did I have to share? The answer was easy. It was through words. My writing was what I needed to share. I had been doing this already, for what seemed like forever, but now was the time to share it with the world. I finally listened…this is what He had wanted me to do all along – share my writing abilities with those who needed it; share my voice with the world. I was finally going to be back in the race. But this time though, I would remain faithful, and I would run it to the end.

And the best part about all of it, the very best part, is that I’ve embraced my family again, found my life, and restored my faith…in everything.

The race that we are on is different for everyone. So what about you? Are you fighting the good fight…the right fight? Are you remaining faithful to Him? Sometimes we get so caught up in life that we lose sight of what that fight really is…the fight for what God wants. Staying focused is difficult, believe me, I know. But rejoice in the fact that you’re not alone. Remember why you’re here–for Him. Remain true to this, for it is what He wants for you. Stay in the race, keep the faith, and you will persevere.

And the prize, well, that won’t just be the accomplishment, but rather, it’s for finishing the race and remaining faithful to the end so that when He returns, He can bestow the crown of righteousness upon us.

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