Fall Out Boy released a song a few months back that I completely resonate with. It’s the perfect gym anthem, it’s a great song to wake you up without the use of caffeine, and its simple lyrics are quite possibly some of the most motivational ones I’ve ever listened to. (I’m also obsessed with the REFIT® workout, by the way.)
If I can live through this
If I can live through this
If I can live through this, I can do anything.
What’s your this?
Is it something you’re going through right this very minute? Something buried deep in your past you’d rather forget but never will? Something you only recently overcame?
We all have a this. (I’m sorry to break it to you, but if you haven’t had a this yet, someday you will. But believe me when I say THIS: you can also overcome it!)
I have a this. And it’s probably not what you think.
Last week I shared about the day that I was healed. It was nothing short of a miracle, the moment God completely took away every shred of extreme exhaustion, muscle fatigue, and weakness that I’d been dealing with for several years.
Being sick was hard. Being sick with something doctors couldn’t diagnose or solve was harder.
But the year 2011 was hardest. 2011 was my this.
To understand my this, though, first you have to understand my before this.
Once upon a time in a not-so-faraway land, it was 2010 and I was feeling quite princess-like. I moved back to my hometown after a few years away and was glad to be near my family again. I had a new college degree, the closest friends I’d ever had, a new guy in my life who was the living, breathing example of everything I’d ever wanted, and my acne was even starting to clear up! I was happy, healthy, and bursting with hope. Things were very promising, and I fully expected to live happily ever after.
Within a year it was a whole different story. My family, like every other, had issues. While one of them was getting in trouble for underage drinking, another – my 82-year-old grandpa, to be specific – was getting kicked out of rehab for…overage drinking, if you will. I was so ashamed.
The degree was starting to feel like a waste and, because I didn’t know what else to do, I found myself in grad school…and I hated it. Really, I just wanted to be a mom, but it wasn’t exactly something I could aspire to like becoming a marine biologist or publishing a New York Times bestseller.
Most of my friends lived 2,000 miles away, the ones who didn’t seemed to be migrating away in droves, and I was incredibly lonely.
And don’t even get me started on the guy. Or the acne. (One of them disappeared and the other didn’t. Go ahead and guess!)
I felt like I’d been run over by a truck – and I just about was one day, literally, when the guy who’d recently ghosted me almost ran me over in a parking lot and didn’t even notice because he was too busy staring at his new girlfriend in the front seat.
There is not a more perfect metaphor for my life that year than that.
Unseen. Rejected. Nearly plowed right over.
I’ll spare you the depressing details (mostly because I’m a private person and, hello, this is the internet!), but the very worst-case scenario events that my anxiety-prone heart feared became realities, and I was watching, shell-shocked. Confidantes who had earlier laughed at my irrational worries now dropped their jaws as they saw them come to life.
My heart was broken. My spirits were crushed. I felt so not good enough in every way possible. After dealing with rejection my self-esteem took a huge hit (and, let’s be honest, it hadn’t been sky-high to begin with).
Don’t get me wrong, there were a few blessings in there! I eventually started a new job that was an answer to prayer. I had four living grandparents (three of them who, thankfully, avoided alcohol entirely) and one of them celebrated her 80th birthday. It got up to 60 degrees that Easter after the most brutal Minnesota winter I’d ever endured – literally and figuratively.
But, man, it was a rough year. I was broke and broken. I had no friends, no job, no money, no husband (or fiancé or boyfriend or even just friend), and very little hope. I also made the painstaking decision to quit grad school halfway through the program because I was doing it for all the wrong reasons.
And then my car died, too.
Along with my laptop and my DSLR camera.
Not even kidding. All those things died, for completely unrelated reasons.
2011: The Year Everything Died.
So I also had no MBA, no car, no computer, and no camera. The only thing I added to my life that year was anxiety. The rest of my life seemed to be in the red. I felt like I was grasping at straws and watching every one of them slip through my fingers.
2011 was my this. It was a nightmare. No year in my life has ever (or ever will, I believe) be as rough as that one.
I’ve certainly faced my fair share of challenges since then, but none of them have compared to the multitude of challenges I faced fresh out of college, all at once.
But, as the song says, if I can live through this – if I could live through 2011 – I can do anything.
I lived through it. Barely, but I lived! And I’ve been able to overcome a whole lot since then that I never thought I could. All because I’d already made it through a number of trials I thought were insurmountable.
When you look back and see what you’ve survived, it really gives you a different perspective. It gives you the courage to keep going, because if you survived that? That horrible, awful, unspeakable thing? That thing that shall remain unmentioned? That absolute nightmare? Or even that middle school crisis that seemed like a nightmare at the time? You can survive anything!
I’ve survived more than most people are aware of, especially in recent years. Most of us have. And if we’ve been able to get through our thises, we can get through whatever we’re facing right now.
Believe me when I say that if I – a weak, wimpy, shy little scaredy-cat – can overcome what I’ve overcome, you can overcome what you’re facing, too.
What’s your this? I’m here to tell you that you’ve got this! And, more importantly, God’s got this. Don’t give up!
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.