As so many of you have reached out to me, begun to share your stories and your hearts I have been overwhelmed with love for you. As you’ve shared your pain and your freedom, your overcoming, and your growing, I’ve felt that surely my heart would burst with love. I have been rendered awestruck by your bravery and tenacity. And I can’t help but wonder, if I feel this way about you, how must God feel? I know that for so many of you, the battle has been long. You’ve been fighting for health or victory in one area or another for what feels like forever. Some of you feel like, “What’s the point in even continuing to fight?” Many of you look around and you wonder, “What am I doing wrong?” You realize that for others the battle wrapped up years ago, but here you are, still in the heat of battle. You feel like such a disappointment, such a pathetic beaten down excuse for a soldier. Can I remind you today that there is no shame in the victory that is long, drawn-out, painful and hard-fought? It’s a victory just the same. If today you got out of bed in spite of the pain, invested in another when you felt you had nothing left to give or smiled when you thought you had no smiles left- you’re still in the fight. We all want that quick and easy win. But we learn so much about the weapons and strategies of war, we become such fierce and mighty soldiers when we battle for victory over time and space. I honor your courage today. I have a friend with a four your old son. When he isn’t listening to her instructions well or she wants to be certain that he has understood her she says, “Brendon, look at my eyes.” I have often wondered what it is he sees in his Mother’s eyes that communicate so effectively without a spoken word. I think he must see primarily love; this person is for me, I can trust what they say. They won’t hurt me. I think he must also see fierce intentionality. I am called to parent you, to raise you up to be the man God called you to be. I intend to do that job well. Does he also see the same woman who kisses his boo boos and sings him to sleep, the gentle voice he heard in the womb? Today, I want you to look up into your Heavenly Father’s eyes. I think primarily, you may see love- God the Father, who sent his son to die on the cross as your ransom. He is for you. You can trust what he says. You may also see fierce intentionality, the eyes of the one who is raising you up to be all that he created and called you to be. Maybe you’ll also see the one who has lovingly picked you up and dusted you off each time you fall. With eyes locked on his I want you to hear me. You are not failing God. You are not failing your family. You are not a failure. You are not a disappointment, a hassle, a freak or the worst thing that ever happened to the ones you love. You are a treasure. You are brave. You are strong. You are an over comer. I know it’s taking longer than you thought it would. I know it’s harder than you thought it would be. Don’t quit. 2 Corinthians 4:16 (ESV) So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. Even if your outer self is wasting away!!!! Or your outer life, if everything is falling apart- Don’t lose heart! God is doing something. Our inner selves are being renewed day by day. You all are so brave. So strong. And your story isn’t over yet. This isn’t how your story ends. This is just an amazing testimony in the making. Keep fighting, brave ones!