There was a time when your heart and soul declared, “NO WAY I survive this!” Every two steps you took were perfectly matched with five steps backward.
Eventually, your time on the clock ran out, only after your best attempt at an alley-oop fell short like all the others. Amazing how everyone BUT you forgot: God specializes in overtime victories for the underdog! Your will, your tenacity, your determination to never give up, in, or out prevailed.
You won a Life War – a season where the struggle is real, all hell breaks loose TWICE, and we perceive our circumstances as hopeless at best – that is, before we shake up the world (and ourselves) as the Winner!
But here’s something I’ve learned about winning a Life War and making your way home: If you’re not careful, the War you so strategically won will come home WITH you, take a seat next to you on the sofa, and look at you like, “What?”
Triggers. Flashbacks. Nightmares. Old feelings. Panic attacks. All of these remnants of War can make you feel like you’re still in Vietnam, when the War was won perhaps years ago.
Sure, we’ve got a heavy gold medal around our necks, and pieces of confetti stuck in our hair from the victory parade. But if someone were to peel back the layers of our success, pearly smiles, perfect families, fine possessions, grandiose titles, and mega-friends list – what would they find?
A Winning, Wounded Warrior.
Quitters, we take many blows in the Wars of Life. Aside from physical abuse, most of the jabs, right hooks – and bombs – are absorbed by our hearts and our mind. And the mind is the ultimate battlefield, hear me!
Let’s be honest with ourselves: Did we win the War, but our minds are still POWs?
Put down your rifle, take off your uniform, and wash the camouflage paint off your face, Quitter Nation! If you can identify and want to resign as a Winning, Wounded Warrior, here are 3 mindsets you must quit that leave you wounded after winning the war, and tips for replacement thoughts:
1. “I am still at War.” vs. “The War is over, and I can rest now.”
You can take the Warrior out of the War, but sometimes it takes a little work and time to take the War out of the Warrior. Dragging the War with you everywhere, especially to new opportunities for peace, is a self-sabotaging habit – Quit it! Give your new relationship, job, city, surroundings a “fighting” chance by leaving the old War in the past.
2. “The enemy is everywhere!” vs. “I am safe where I am now.”
Trust, I get it. When you were in the War, you couldn’t trust anybody or anything – sometimes, not even yourself! Perhaps you relaxed your guard during the War and ended up in a minefield – NOW there are ALWAYS secret bombs everywhere! Relax your mind, Warrior! Truly winning the War includes winning your freedom from paranoia! Not everyone’s out to get you; not everything’s a trick. Don’t miss out on a good thing by always expecting the worse.
3. “I will never forgive the enemy.” vs. “It is always in my best interest to sign a Peace Treaty.”
Winning a Life War often depends on the outcome of the Battle of Forgiveness. This holds true whether the struggle is to forgive yourself or someone else. Our hunger for (inner or outer) peace will always be fed when we surrender (quit) our desire for punishment, revenge, and perpetual retaliation. A truly free Warrior has freed the enemy within and without with forgiveness.
So, after you walk away from the War with your win, be sure to wash off the War – please don’t carry the War around in your mind.
Sure, honor your scars by telling others your story of survival and victory. Don’t be ashamed of your limp – a limp simply means you had the guts to get back up, and you’re on your way to heal.
But do not neglect to heal your heart, soul, and MIND once you’ve won the War…or think you have :-). There may be one final battle to go, one that is won not through resistance, but reliance on God’s Love to heal and restore.
Then, you’ll not only win – you’ll TRIUMPH :-)!