Battling adversity: a testimony of spiritual strength

Battling adversity: a testimony of spiritual strength

Are you down on yourself? Do you feel defeated because luck wasn’t on your side during a particular day? Or, are you simply feeling like you aren’t strong enough to take on the many upcoming trials in your life?

First of all, life wasn’t meant to be easy all the time. As a follower of Christ, I can tell you with full confidence that your journey on this Earth is a test of faith and perseverance. When you lose a particular battle, it is not game over because the fate of the war is the only result that truly counts.

In 2010, I was a freshman baseball player for the Litchfield Purple Panthers. We had a game scheduled, but the weather was way too chaotic for us to be able to play – or so we thought. Despite rain beating down on us in forty-degree weather, we were forced to take the field and play ball. In the first inning, a pop fly was hit down the left-field line and I was the only player who had a realistic shot at catching it. I sprinted toward the ball at full speed. It ended up in my glove, but it came with a price. I slid through a giant puddle of water that was hidden beneath the grass, drenching myself from head to toe. As I picked myself up, I was shivering so badly that I felt like a wind-up alarm clock ringing on a nightstand. When we came up to bat in the next frame, I was due up first. The pitcher we were facing had been desperately struggling to find the strike zone. On the first pitch, I was knocked face first into  the mud after getting popped in the toe with a fastball. Yet, I refused to come out of the game and limped down to first base. It was a long day, but I reached base three times and we came away with a convincing 12-0 win.

In 2012, I was preparing to run a mile for Presidential Fitness Test Week. I was an absolute wreck. I had a stomach bug and I just came down with a headache. As my class was getting ready to start, my teacher came up to me and asked if I was feeling alright. I said, “No, but I’m still going to run.” Right from the whistle, I felt like there was a giant band tightly pressing against my forehead. I was shaking with chills and my legs felt numb. Once I crossed the finish line, I collapsed and laid in the grass with my hands pressed over my head only to find out that I had missed the presidential mile by three seconds. I was devastated. However, I picked myself up and came back next year with vengeance in my eyes. I decided to run cross country and it paid off in a big way. The time to beat for presidential was 6:07. Fully healthy, I finished my senior year redemption mile in 5:24 – which is still the fastest time that I had ever recorded to this day.

So, as you can see, I am a very positive and determined person. I’m not perfect but I know that I am playing on the right team. I was raised in a family of walking angels, and they taught me what it means to be a true champion. If you are feeling like your life is hard and your losses are weighing you down, just remember that things could always be worse.

Two years ago, my grandmother was diagnosed with ALS – an uncurable disease that strips one’s ability to talk and eventually leads to death over time. A year into the ordeal, she had to spend all 24 hours of her day trapped in a hospital bed – without being able to move a muscle. The doctors requested hospice care, but she loved her life and family way too much to give up her fight. She didn’t care about the status of her physicality because she knew that an angel’s strength stretches far beyond the human imagination. As a result, she shocked the world and lived six months longer than expected. In triumph, she went to join my other guardian angels in paradise on October 29, 2018.

Don’t let Negative Nancy ruin your motivation to achieve your dreams. The only person that can stop you is yourself. A Major League Baseball season is 162 games long. Nobody has ever gone undefeated during their journey to a championship. Even if a game results in a blowout, your season is never over. Regardless of what the scoreboard of your life says, give it everything you’ve got. You won’t gain strength from a workout without experiencing some pain.

Smile and have a blessed day! Life is a marathon, not a sprint. You got this!