So many times I have said, “I give up.” Yet, I never could quite follow through. Something inside of me always refused to ultimately quit. Emotions led me to a place of despair, but I would always start up again when my feelings subsided.
Persistence is just one of the essential elements that allow us to Be Victorious. Persistence is, simply, the refusal to give up, and sometimes that’s all I had.
In my health journey, which really began in early childhood, many unknowns led to constant frustration. Chronic depression plagued me and gradually worsened with age. When I became a parent, persistence finally awoke in me as I realized that depression was not a legacy I wanted to leave my children. So, I began researching, seeing different doctors and exercising more. I played around with different eating plans and different medications and vitamins. Very gradually, answers came.
A Victorious Life
The way to a victorious life over depression and general ill health came largely through the role persistence played, lessons that anyone can learn to apply to any situation.
- Root out the root cause. Our culture likes to treat symptoms, and true wellness continues to evade us because we fail to dig out the root cause. Through a lot of research and digging, I finally discovered that the root cause of most of my health problems – including depression – was an undiagnosed food allergy and several intolerances. Once I started addressing this root cause, health like never before became the norm for my life.
- Realize that no one can be persistent for you. Not my husband. Not my pastor. Not any doctor. Only I could push through in my life to discover what I needed to in order to be healthy. Once I quit relying on others to find answers for me, the answers began to come. This does not mean others don’t help, but the persistence must be your own.
- Review your motivation regularly. For the first twenty years, I was just miserably depressed half the time. Eventually, I wanted health because of what it would do for me and the happiness it would bring. God changed my motivation to wanting to be healthy in order to be a good wife and mother and even more so to glorify him. Motivation provided fuel for my persistence.
- Remain in Christ. For as long as I can remember, I have felt a pull toward studying the Word of God. Gradually, I learned to not just read the Bible but to apply it to my life. I learned that my physical and mental health was intimately intertwined with my spiritual health. True health and wellness comes through Christ and relying on him. As I learned to focus on his will for my life, I discovered that a healthier life existed within the path he directed me down. In other words, my focus determined my reality.
- Remove emotions from decisions. For over 20 years, depression ran my life. How I felt mentally determined my every action. In other words, I was miserable most of the time. Gradually, I learned that even when I was tired and weary, I could put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. When I learned to make plans and then let the Lord direct my steps, I learned that I could make right choices outside of my emotions.
Throughout this journey, I remained driven to discovering the root cause for my ill health. Turns out that the concept of a root cause exists for most areas of life in which we struggle, and my struggle to victory in the area of physical health really created a template for discovering victory in other areas as well.
While so many people supported my journey, no one could be persistent for me. Persistence led me not only to victory with my physical and mental health but also with my spiritual health too because I learned to rely more and more on Jesus to bring my health and wellness.