Last week I had the privilege of attending a leadership training session led by Dr. Jay Strack, President, and Founder of Student Leadership University. As a motivational leader, his Christ-focused training was filled with wisdom, humor, and practical advice. I took notes, highlighted the material, and left the session inspired and focused. But there was this one phrase that went into my soul like a hook: always embracing a spirit of nevertheless.
Have you ever fallen hard, been hit by a truck, or suffered an unexpected emotional blow? I have. In fact, I have experienced all three of these events in the past few weeks. When the fall, hit, or blow occurs it takes your breath away and leaves you somewhat paralyzed by what just happened. I’ve noticed it seems to take a second for your mind to catch up with what’s happened to your body or soul. It’s like in the movies when everything goes into slow motion because it’s impossible to see or understand all that’s happening in regular time.
Nevertheless, in all 3 situations, I got back up.
This theme resonates deeply with me because I have faced many hard, dark, and lonely places in my adult life. My book, that God-willing someday I will finish and share with you, is titled Called to War. Part autobiographical and part inspirational, it’s a story is about faith and transformation. Framed metaphorically in militaristic language, I explore how the very thing you run from becomes the very thing you embrace because a journey with God transforms your heart, your eyes, and your walk. In the middle of the battles we all face in life, this book tells my personal story of surrender to self, while learning to sacrifice for others.
And now I also realize another thread throughout the story and my life is learning how to embrace a spirit of nevertheless.
I am in the middle of a new battle these days, one that often overwhelms my heart and consumes my time. Once again, my book is back in the proverbial drawer, where it waits until today’s battle recedes so that I can resume writing. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, my blog has largely been put on hold too. Sometimes I wish my life was easier, gentler, less filled with warring and battles. Yet, I know that I’ve been transformed for the purpose of rescue and restoration. I’m thankful that previous battles have taught me how to worship, how to overcome fear, and frankly, how to war.
Despite the falls, hits, and battles of life, we all have to get back up again. Learning to embrace a spirit of nevertheless can become an anthem if we focus more on the goal than the process. Songs help this process – at least they help me! For instance, I Get Knocked Down (the real title is Tubthumping) by the British rock band, Chumbawamba. It’s a drinking song, but I often hear those lyrics pumping through my head when something hits me unexpectedly:
“I get knocked down, but I get up again.
You are never going to keep me down.”
Another song that always helps me get back up is Rachel Platten’s Fight Song. Whenever I hear this one it gets cranked up all the way:
“This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.”
I don’t know what tomorrow holds for this war I’m currently fighting, but I do know I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me. Falls might happen, trucks may hit me, emotional blows may come, but NEVERTHELESS, I’m getting back up!