"Waving the white flag is not an option." -Alicia
We're trudging through the heat of the battle--trudging onward till we drop. There is no looking back. There is no going home. We are in this for the long-haul.
We will fight until the war is won. We know there will be casualties along the way. We've seen some already, and they have broken our hearts. We only pray that we, and our families, will not be one of the casualties.
What are we fighting against?
What will we win if (when) victory is ours?
Peace. Salvation. A better existence.The opportunity to live with God again.
Satan is the master of cunning and evil. He is doing everything he can to rule and reign over us--to all the ends of the earth. He doesn't want us to follow God. He doesn't want us to be happy. He doesn't want us to experience true joy. He doesn't want us to feel peace. He leads us astray. He makes promises he won't keep. He will fool and trick us until we have nothing left but despair and emptiness. He will help us lose everything, and then he will leave us to fend for ourselves.
He targets our weaknesses. He uses trickery to create weaknesses so he can target us even more. He also leads us to target each other. How does he do all this? Through media. Socialization of sex. Our children. Our fears. He creates uneasiness. He creates doubt. He creates fear. He is the author of chaos and confusion.
He has no mercy.
And he is relentless.
My life has become a series of battles. As I have grown and gained experience, and especially as I have gained stronger faith in God, Satan has worked tirelessly. Sometimes, he has given me breaks of peace and composure (so he could sneak-attack), and I've let my guard down. It is then that he comes back working double time. As a result, I have lost some battles. But I have won more. And I have resolve. I am not losing this war. I will fight for the rest of my life. I will stand strong like Moroni and defend "in memory of [my] God, [my] religion, and freedom, and [my] peace, [my family]" (Alma 46:12).
This morning I studied my patriarchal blessing. As I studied, I was struck with how prepared I am to fight this fight. God has given me everything I need. It's amazing. As long as I use my agency the correct way, I will win. That's not to say it won't be hard. It will be hard. It will be exhausting. I've seen it firsthand. There have been many days when I didn't want to and didn't think I even could go on. But I can. As long as I have perception, perspective, hope, and faith, I can go on. I can do anything with God by my side, lifting me up, and giving me angels to strengthen me.
I was instructed in my patriarchal blessing to find joy and happiness in this life, and that my attitude and understanding are the foundation of living a happy and healthy life. As I pondered that, I realized that true joy is a state of mind. Life could be awful all around me, but I can still find joy. I can hold on to that joy and make life amazing. It's the little things that count.
Sometimes I struggle with my relationship with Ben. Even when he is being wonderful, I'm still recovering from trauma. And I honestly don't know when/if the full onslaught of the trauma will come back. I don't know what he will use his agency for. I don't know if he will start lying again. I don't know if he will keep secrets and live a life of adultery behind my back. I just don't know. That scares me. I have a lot to work through. Everything I just mentioned is only a small part.
Despite how hard things can be, I can still find joy. I can live a full life, and I can grow to become a great woman who is worthy and ready to live with God again. I'm on the right track. I'm practicing the courage and strength it takes to choose joy in the midst of chaos. Life is journey to find joy and let it exist in you.
The journey is hard. All along the way, Satan has been and will be fighting me. He doesn't want me to be happy, and he certainly doesn't want me to gain eternal salvation. But I'm not surrendering to him. I won't even let it be an option.
For a while, I thought I was fighting this alone. I'm not. All along my path, I've found my fellow-soldiers who were lost as well. They went down other beaten paths, feeling alone or maybe lost or forgotten. Together, we're forming an army. We're fighting Satan. We're becoming more vocal in society.
We are going to win.
We will fight until the war is won. We know there will be casualties along the way. We've seen some already, and they have broken our hearts. But we will fight long and hard, and we will neither let ourselves nor our families become casualties.
"Oh you wounded fallen ones
Close your eyes
Hear the battle drum
The cadence calling us
Oh you wounded broken ones
Still glinting in the sun
Live trying `til we’ve won