Here we are at the beginning of yet another new year. Some have great anticipation and excitement for what might be, but many others are weighted down with what has been: they have been told they aren’t enough; have listened to negative voices; have experienced painful relationship breakups; have been diagnosed with a disease; deal with chronic pain (physically or mentally); suffered unemployment; have lost a loved one; have endured great heartache…and perhaps have lost their way. Another year can feel just like a repeat of the same, but it doesn’t have to be.
I know first hand how life can feel like nothing but struggle. I’ve endured physical abuse, heartache, divorce, deaths, insurable diseases, career failures, friendship betrayal, chronic pain, emotional torment, control and manipulation and more, but because of God, have overcome all the obstacles thrown at me to live a victorious life. Through my difficulties arose principles that guided me and helped me fight the good fight. I call it the FIT Life Formula: a foundation in faith, insights into self-improvement, and tackling the tough stuff.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 NIV
This isn’t some pie-in-the-sky idea for me; it’s real and allowed me to overcome extreme adversities. Regardless of what you are facing, you need to defy your diagnosis in order to conquer it. Allow me to share what I learned.
Define Your Diagnosis
First, we must define our diagnosis. This sounds simple enough but trust me it isn’t. We have settled for the world’s view of things, and we often quickly accept our lot in life without seeking the Heavenly Father, our Great Healer. At this step, you must get honest with yourself and know what negative attitudes you are holding on to. What fears are lurking in the recesses of your mind? What false beliefs have you accepted? What barrier is preventing you from moving forward?
Identify Your Intentions
Secondly, we have to identify our intentions. Life is full of obstacles, many of which we will have no control over. What we do after a diagnosis or life pain is what matters. Do we deny it or blame others? Do we brush it off with sarcasm and justification? Or do we look it head on, facing it with courage and determination? Be deliberate and intention!
Accelerate Your Actions
Next, get ready to accelerate your actions. This often requires us to think outside of the box and go to extreme measures. Are you willing to do whatever it takes? Going against the current can be scary, but we have the power of the Holy Spirit within us. Lean upon your inner strength to keep you focused and confident.
I’ve mentioned faith, and it is a cornerstone of this entire formula. Even though I have conquered two incurable diseases (praising God!), I live with residual consequences. The war was won but damage was done. I have come to rely upon what I call the Healing Trinity, and it may change how you approach your circumstances and how you pray. The Healing Trinity consists of your professional partner (medical doctor, pastor, counselor, financial planner, personal trainer…depends upon what you are overcoming), you (yes, you must do your part), and God. All three are at work through any situation…or at least they should be. If you are told to stop eating salt but do not, you can’t expect to miraculously have your heart disease cured.
Lastly, do not try to handle life’s difficulties alone. I can attest to how lonely this path can be. I was taught to keep personal traumas private. I learned from my mother, who learned from her mother. I failed to understand how giving blesses both parties. When we don’t allow others to give, we prevent them from receiving a blessing! I am a very independent person, so one of the hardest lessons was allowing others to help me.
A caution here: be selective with whom you select to support you. Be sure you have realistic expectations of them. Some people are incapable of caring for anyone but themselves. Just because you need them doesn’t mean they will respond favorably. I learned that the hard way, too. Better to have a close circle of friends than a large group of acquaintances!
Defy YOUR Diagnosis
I just watched the movie, Breakthrough, telling the true story of a young man who falls through the ice and is pronounced dead after a 45-minute attempt to revive him. Spoiler alert (although it doesn’t matter because the story is amazing)! He is brain dead, but when his mom comes in to see him, she doesn’t say good bye but rather calls upon the Holy Spirit to breath live into her son…and He does.
As my pastor T.L. says, “the very spirit and power that brought Jesus back from the dead lives within each of us.” Defying our diagnosis means we put 100 percent of our trust in Him. I didn’t know how I would beat two incurable diseases; I just knew I could because with God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26). I had to do my part and put my faith in the One who made me.
Are you willing to define your circumstances differently, identify your intentions, accelerate your actions, have faith, and seek support? If so, you are embracing a part of my FIT Life Formula that will help you overcome any obstacle. My prayer is that in 2020 you will defy your diagnosis, live victoriously, and be a standing stone of the great work God has done.
For the full story and extended FIT Life Formula, pick up a copy of the book, Defy Your Diagnosis.
I would love to share my story with your organization, club, church group, or company. Contact me at (623) 582-1578.