In the world today, strength is often portrayed as something loud, something excessively tough, and something that is physically sturdy. Strength is aggressive, dominant, and boisterous. That’s why I struggled to find the kind of strength I needed to get through my current dilemma. How do you show strength when it requires of you the very opposite of what you think it stands for? Where do you get that kind of strength? The strength that asks instead of takes, that backs out and surrenders, the kind of strength that pleads you to retreat. Where do you find that strength that tells you to lay it down and give up?

          Growing up I was taught to fight for the prize. To hang on til the very end until every single opponent conceded. When that happens, I get the top place, become number one and in turn become a recipient of my well earned reward. In the games that I played whether it be on the Xbox, sports, or board games,  that was how it happened. I persevered and like clock work, I get my just desserts in the end. When I was young, I was told that people get a fair turn on their behavior– If you did well, you get a good prize. If you did poorly, well, expect a poor prize. But growing up, I learned that not every fight was fair. That there are battles that cannot be won no matter how hard you try and sometimes, there are wars that result to no victors. Although one team may have sounded the trumpet, both sides come home with a loss. A deuce.

 

          Grown up life I reckon would be so much easier to stomach if battles of the heart were black and white.  Winner takes all and losers get nothing. But why is it in love, the rules of the game have no clear cuts. Equations don’t add up ( Ex. Two become 1; 1+1= 1). Good intentions don’t result to good actions ( Ex.  positive intention + positive action= negative reaction). And your investments don’t seem to have returns. Why doesn’t the laws of science, math, physics, commerce, chemistry,  and even gravity apply to the world of love? This is how unnerving it is- even if you pay for the cost, cash at hand, you still don’t end up getting your purchase. Even gambling has got nothing on love! Even if all your cards shows a winning hand, you go to the bank only to find out that you’re not able to cash out. Sports got nothing on it too. You think you’ve won over an opponent by doing those jabs, those hard upper cuts, and a K.O. only to find out you were left in the blue corner shadow boxing. Worse case scenario: the prize you’ve paid for, the hand you want to cash out , the medal you trained so hard to get is awarded to some random passer- by. I have learned the past couple of weeks that the hardest battles are not necessarily the ones that require you to win. Sometimes the hardest battles are the ones that ask you to accept a deuce- or worst– you are left with no choice but to throw in the towel even if you don’t want to.

 

          It all came rushing back to me yesterday. As I was walking by the beach alone while my mates were chilling elsewhere. It just hit me again like a ton of bricks. The pain of a battle lost. I tried my hardest to keep a strong face but as you know, loss has its way of creeping into your being and punching the air out of you. I look around and see a sea full of people enjoying life, just prancing along merrily loving their own happy time. God help me. Why am I alone in this? I was wondering aimlessly waiting on someone, something to keep my hopes up.
 

It’s quite lonely in the battlefield to be honest when you are up against you, yourself, and just unfair circumstance. But every now and again, as you look up,  you see another soldier like you, fighting the same battle. The kind of battle that is won not by might or strength but of quiet stillness. You’d recognize this kind of soldier from a mile away. It will not be because they look tough, mightily displaying their abominable strength but you will identify with them due to their humble posture of kindness.
 

Sometimes, the eyes just give it away. A fellow soldier can tell by the look in someone’s eye. The look of quiet strength- the kind of strength that is not won through fist fights or hearty smack downs. This particular soldier shows his strength in his ability to surrender. Thank goodness, I saw him. I knew in my spirit this soldier is going through the same thing as me. I can tell because like me, he wears his heart on his sleeve.

 

          It’s quite comforting to know that others like him have gone before me. I look at him  and I see his small yet consistent victories. Seeing this soldier brave the same path I am facing gives me that push that “hey– if he can do it. Maybe I can too.”

 

Soldier to soldier, If he’d let me- I’d tell him

 

“Continue to walk bravely. Don’t doubt yourself and be sure of your strides. Leave visible clear footprints because you never know who is following the marks you have left behind.  There is strength in your  silence. Like me, I know you are loyal and you would’ve stuck to win that battle til the very end.  Not only because the prize was worth it. But because that’s just who you are. you stick to your word and you follow through. In that time of battle, i know you were tempted to settle. To settle for a prize less than what you know you deserved. At the end, isn’t God so good that he found a way for you to get you out of that battle. You’d have to agree that it became a cycle. A consistent push and pull but not at all a permanent victory. But you know what? I’m sure looking back you realized God’s goodness in the delays, in His “No”. God was faithful I bet.  He took care of you and showed you that it’s alright to retreat– to surrender the barracks.  Hear him out! He wants more for you. He wants you to have a prize that puts you in the highest regard. A prize that is proud to be won. A prize that will not keep itself hidden and heck, if it could talk it would shout off the rooftop to tell the whole world how you’ve won it. A prize that can protect you and care for you in times of great need.  A prize that has integrity and owns up to what it has promised. A prize that is aligned with your convictions. A prize that appreciates and values your love. A prize that can reciprocate and affirm you in times of doubt.  A prize that can be trusted whole heartedly- without a shadow of a doubt that it will not break under pressure. A prize that doesn’t doubt your capabilities as well. A prize that will stand its ground at times of temptation and out right fends threats that can ruin it for you. A prize that can be your rock-  Spiritually. Emotionally. In life and in everything. A prize that is honest .  And above else, God would want you to have a prize that chooses to be with you– that keeps itself beside you amidst all that’s happening around you.

 Because it knows that together your greatest dreams can be accomplished.

That together, your love can fuel passions and bring purpose.

 And that being together is not a hindrance to the lives you want to achieve.

 

Do not short change yourself, soldier. God is faithful. He will illustrate his perfect ways in his perfect time. Be relieved. That not winning the battle means God does not intend you to win that prize after all. God is that great that he intervenes even if you were fighting for what you think you wanted. But his ways are not our ways. His plans our not our plans. He will make things new.

 

They say that love should be the easiest thing you clothed yourself in. Just as God illustrates his love for us, that is how true victory is supposed to feel when we clothed ourselves with our prize. Chin up, you got this. Fix your eyes on God for it us not our battle in the first place, but its His. He will deliver you the victory soon enough.”

 

 

Taken originally from https://naughtybutnais.com/2015/10/27/a-different-kind-of-strength/

more photos and other related materials found her original site. Come see them. :)

 

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N B N is currently residing in the coolest little city in the world according to Lonely Planet- Wellington, New Zealand.

Published by N B N