I feel like I’m fighting the air itself as it pushes out of my lungs, crushing my chest with the weight of the universe. I’m sweating, crying, yelling with frustration as I shove against a hundred year old tree, willing it to move an inch for me. I’m laying on the floor of the boxing ring. I’m bleeding. I can’t breath. I can’t fight anymore. I’ve lost.
I’ve never won a battle on my own. I’ve never defeated the invisible enemy that renders me immovable. I will never be victorious on my own. I’m not made for solitary victory. I’m destined for failure. Alone, without the gospel and the Lord, I am defeated.
You know those moments when you’re smiling wide, looking at someone you love with the only emotions that are immediately tangible to you are positive? Joy, excitement, peace, strength, and love? Those moments of bliss when you think “This is the reason I continue to fight.”
I’ve had a lot of those recently. I’m hyper aware of my joy and blessings in this chapter of my life. Most of my classes seem difficult, yes, but interesting. I have a job that fits well with my schedule and allows me the freedom I desired. The relationships I’ve held close and prayed for have been built to stand strong. I feel connected to and loved. The gym is becoming a happy place for me, an escape. I find joy in hitting the next mile time and the sheen of sweat on the back of my neck is something I crave. The weather is doing great things.
Most importantly, my relationship with the Lord is flourishing. His all-consuming, unceasing, reckless love is tangible and real.
I believe we all all have an enemy like that. Maybe yours is a tree that you can’t move or a mountain you can’t climb. Maybe it’s a ring that keeps knocking you down and you feel so broken, so bloodied, so bruised that you’ll never be able to stand again. Maybe the air is poison to your lungs and every time you breathe you’re afraid you might die.
For me, this enemy is called anxiety. It’s something that I can’t grab or kill. It’s just out of my reach. It has no reason, no beginning, no source. It’s uncertain, untouchable, and pointless.
I may be able to pin it on mistakes and pain from the past. I may be able to blame our current social climate. I could say “the bees are dying,” “our president is an idiot,” or “the significance of human life is decreasing,” and while these all definitely contribute to the anxiety, they are not the sole cause.
Medicine has not been ruled out. It’s helped me in the past and I’m sure it could help me again. But while I’m surrounded by such blessings and opportunity, I can’t help but think though this is an enemy I will never defeat on my own, it is one that is as minuscule as a fly to my God. It’s possible it will never fully go away. It’s also possible I’ll wake up in the morning and that unexplainable weight on my chest will have disappeared. Either way, I’ll continue foreword.
I have never and will never win a battle on my own. I am defeated and I am broken.
But I am not alone and God is victorious.
I am not defeated, though you cannot see it
I have never won a battle on my own
I find strength in weakness, I find hope believing
God is for me, who can bring me down?
So take me one more round
I’ll just keep fighting
One more round
You’re messing me up but I’m still here