The fight to fight on
Amanda Teo // September 11, 2018, 3:28 pm
Broken relationships. Uncertainty. Work pressure. Inadequacy. Illness. Debt. Bullying. Injustice …
We all have our battles to fight.
It’s not a matter of comparing whose battle is more prolonged or severe, each struggle is as real and personal as someone else’s. We spend hours wracking our brains for solutions to problems at work and work for years to pay off seemingly insurmountable debts. We plaster on smiles through the day, but weep through the night over a broken relationship.
With each waking day, we wrestle to find restoration, acceptance, identity and hope.
Sometimes the fight gets too exhausting. We feel lonely in strife and forget the meaning behind contending. We have given our best time after time, but to what end? It feels much easier to throw in the towel or bury the burden — keeping our arms up and our heads high have become too onerous.
However, I have come to know that when I reach a stage where it is too difficult to push through the pain and fend off thoughts of inadequacy and grief, it is exactly the right time to buckle down and fight to fight on.
In 2016, I came face-to-face with a monster called anxiety.
It happened mostly because of the pressure I was imposing on myself at work. Anxiety was my battle to fight through, and it’s one I’m still fighting today.
It started with this intense need to prove myself at work and meet difficult KPIs so that I didn’t disappoint. But a battle against anxiety and stress always feels like a futile fight. After some time, I’d give in, cry myself to sleep, and wake up to face the same monster staring at me and whispering over and over again, “You’re a failure.”
From failing to meet sales targets, to overlooking minute details in event planning, it seemed like I didn’t have things under control. Even though I’d already given my best, it wasn’t enough, and I’d be plagued by feelings of inadequacy.
… the key to fight on is found in first letting go.
During such moments of tired desperation, thoughts of just putting my work aside and not caring about it, or quitting my job would flood my tired mind. There have been times so despondent where I simply ran out of capacity to give my best.
In those moments of complete defeat, all I could manage was a desperate plea: “Lord, help me. I don’t know what to do anymore.”
Looking back, I found resolve to fight when I laid down my anxious thoughts, offered up prayers and petitions, and presented my requests to the Lord (Philippians 4:6).
When faced with battles in this life, the key to fighting on is found in first letting go. In admitting that I am weak and lost, I found myself made strong in God (2 Corinthians 12:9-11). I intentionally chose to let go of every self-condemning thought, and found confidence to keep fighting from a position of rest and strength in His presence.
I had to give up every fear and doubt, and rise up in joy and authority to speak God’s truth into my situation. Whenever the Devil’s lies would lurk in my thoughts, my husband would often remind me, “Give honour to what is worthy.” It is about choosing to give thanks and praise to God – who is for me – and not to dwell on the words of the evil one.
When we let go of our own ambitions and hopes, we allow ourselves to trust that the Lord’s ways are higher. I’m not here to prove my worth at work, but to simply work unto the Lord, with excellence and in faith. When we recognise our place in this universe, we’ll come to know that our God is sovereign over all.
“Give honour to what is worthy.”
I used to want to escape all the time.
But now I’ve found the power of simply sitting at His feet and feeding on His word — aligning my heart to His truths. I’ve come to realise that no matter how difficult our circumstances may be, sometimes the only way we can push through our struggles is when we find strength in the waiting.
“Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” (Isaiah 40:31)
You might have been fighting your battle for weeks, months, or even decades … but maybe all you need to hear today is this: Trust and rest in the Lord. You are more than a conqueror in Christ, and He is fighting for you. Lodge yourself in the love and promises of our Father.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:26-28)
This article was first published on Selah.sg and is republished with permission.