How do we keep a belief in goodness when the darkness of the world feels like it’s closed in and completely snuffed out all the light? How do we have the audacity to hope when everything seems out of control and we only feel desperation? Is it even possible to continue to believe in love when our hearts have been shattered into a million little prickly shards and scattered into the depths of the wind?
Just as quickly as I fell head over heels in love with him, he broke my heart. I’m talking crushed into dust and ignited into flames kind of heartbreak. All the hopes I had for my future vanished in an exquisitely pain-filled moment of rejection.
All I was left with was question after question. Was I a fool to continue to believe there was goodness in the world? Was I unwisely asking for future heartbreak if I continued to have hope that love existed in the face of such acrid disappointment?
There’s no doubt in my mind that it would have been easier to give up and turn back, to banish hope, to embrace bitterness, and to close my heart to love, but instead of doing these things because I was hurt, I decided to take Jesus as his word. Even though he says we weren’t called to live an easy life (John 16:33) for some reason we continue to be surprised when the hard moments come, as if he has given us a gospel of rainbows, glitter, and unicorns instead one filled with truth.
And the truth means the hard moments come. You know the moments I’m talking about. Those moments where nothing feels certain, everything feels unsteady, and you find yourself at the end of everything you thought you knew are what I have come to call The Warrior Moments. When we’re faced with a Warrior Moment we have a crucial choice to make: will we turn back and let fear run the show or will we pick up our swords even though everything feels unsteady and warrior on?
My Warrior Moment led me on a solo sojourn to Paris. I desperately needed adventure. I ached to be some place where love was tangible. I needed to be surrounded by beauty and grace. I prayed my way through ancient chapels of France, begging Jesus to show me what life to the full even means (John 10:10). As I sat beside the Seine River and scribbled in my journal, I pleaded that he would unfurl his purpose for all the pain and suffering (2 Cor. 4:16-18). He tenderly reminded me day in and out while I walked the uneven cobblestone streets that he always brings beauty from the ashes (Isa. 61:3) and even when everything feels unsteady, he is rock solid (Matt. 7:24). In a gracious exchange for saying yes to my Warrior Moment, God showed me who I am, but even more importantly, he began to show me who he really is.
All because I dared to rise up instead of shrink back and say yes when I was presented with The Warrior Moment.
When The Warrior Moment comes – and it always does – you will more than likely find yourself at the very boundaries of the person you always believed you were. Sometimes clinging to the edge of uncertainty feels too frightening to face. But what we don’t realize is that when we are at the end of ourselves is when we have been handed a gift. If we are willing to put our heart in God's hands and let him lead us, give up the security of everything we thought we knew in exchange for real, life-giving truth, and be open to the fact that he has good things planned for us, we can truly begin to experience life to the full.
Maybe your Warrior Moment won’t send you across the Atlantic Ocean to a foreign land, but I know you’ll have a Warrior Moment of your very own. We all do. Most of us have more than one in our lifetime. Whatever your Warrior Moment involves, it’s crucial that you show up and say yes, even if you would love nothing more than to retreat. Because ultimately the question to ask yourself when you’re faced with The Warrior Moment is this: What will you miss out on if you don’t warrior on? What will the world miss out on if you aren’t willing to warrior on? Life to the full doesn’t just fall into our laps (although it would be lovely if it did). Just because an abundant life is available to everyone doesn’t mean it’s something we will all experience. To actually have an abundant life requires an active participation with God, along with a heaping dose of cooperation, trust, faith, and surrender.
It’s not called a Warrior Moment for nothing, friends. An active participation in your life while faced with hurt and pain requires tremendous courage. Cooperation, trust, faith, and surrender takes the bravery of a mighty warrior, especially in the beginning. But as we begin to learn the heart of Our Father and gain understanding that he wants good for us more than we want good for us, over time it becomes easier to trust him when he leads us to the Warrior Moments (Isaiah 30:18).
So, how do we keep a belief in goodness when the darkness of the world feels like it’s closed in and completely snuffed out all the light? How do we have the audacity to hope when everything seems out of control and we only feel desperation? How is it possible to continue to believe in love when our hearts have been shattered into a million little prickly shards and scattered into the depths of the wind?
By knowing that the pain is extending you an invitation to enter into your Warrior Moment. And when you press onward instead of shrinking back and say yes to your Warrior Moment, you won't step out alone. The greatest Warrior of all goes before you (Exod. 15:3), and he will never leave you (Deut. 31:8).
Warrior on, friends.