The Defeated Warrior

It is hard to accept defeat. To admit that after years of fighting, the battle has been lost. The smoldering ashes are left as a reminder of what was the battlefield. It is time to pick up the pieces, to start rebuilding. But how do I do that, when it is not the physical body that has been wounded, but the very heart and soul of my being that have been shattered? I have lost the two men in my life who I had always depended on, for so many things. My older brother, and my father.

 My brother’s death was horrible. I can’t believe that he got cancer and, after all that he went through to fight it, he still died. I also feel defeated. For four years or so, I fought as well. I fought in prayer, through research, through countless hours of trips to Massachusetts,through cancer rallies and benefits. All of that time and energy spent, to lose the battle. I feel as a defeated warrior. My brother was the object that we could not win. Defeated by a disease. After years of hoping, now left hopeless.    

What hurts my heart is that I knew the day that I found out about the cancer that my brother would die from it. A deep sense of foreboding came over me. I prayed to God, and heard nothing. Silence. But actually, it was not silence. It was that God knew my brother’s destiny, He knew the days of his life. I did not want to hear that, so I blocked it out. Pretended to ignore God’s words, or to rationalize them by telling myself I did not hear from God.

 “Where are you, God?” I asked, knowing all the while that He was still there. I just didn’t want to hear what He had to tell me.   

 I thought, or rather hoped, that our efforts could save my brother. That somehow if we were strong for him, we could actually sustain his life. How absolutely shocking it is to discover that we cannot change what is meant to be.  

 It is so hard to accept destiny, when you have fought against it for so long. To realize that  I would  have given anything, done anything,  just to save him. Then to realize that in the end,none of it really matters. Destiny wins.   

 Why have convictions then? Why strive to do well, to treat others kindly, to live for a greater purpose, when all of those things can be ultimately changed and destroyed in a minute’s time?What logical sense is there in that?   

 I think that is the problem I face. Life is not logical. There are no set patterns. There are no set rules. God’s word is a pattern, yet it can be upset by circumstances. Outside forces can upset our following His word. These challenges are the dilemma for me. If I live my life according to His principles, and still am defeated, how do I continue on? Why should I continue on? What purpose do I have then?  

 I guess the final reason to continue is to show others God’s love and precepts. The only thing wrong with that thought is that I am too defeated at this moment to even care about spreading God’s love.     

So I need rest. I need to take care of myself. Time to settle in, think, and renew. Like the astronauts do. I need a de-compression chamber. I need time to process what has happened.Time to re-group, and look for new goals.

 Ultimately, I know my purpose in life is destined by God.  He formed me, He knows me, He put me here. And so it is my belief in Him that carries me through this time. He can give me the soothing balm that will heal my heart. He can give me the strength I need to carry on, because otherwise, my brother’s life would have been lived in vain. My brother’s fight, and mine, would have been for nothing. And I can’t let that happen. I feel defeated by the battle to save him. But I should feel honored to have fought with him, and for him. The fight is what is important. My brother’s life was important enough to fight for.   

 And I know there are others who feel the same way. Somewhere there are others who have gone through similar battles, and now must pick up the pieces that the war has left behind,and carry on. We carry on now for the memory of our loved one. We carry on for a testimony that we did not give up easily. Life is too precious for that.Today I may be a defeated warrior. But in time I know that I will once again pick up the sword and fight. It will take many hours, days, maybe even years. But I will get the warrior’s fight back.It is instilled in me. I do not know if it is in me because of God, or my ancestry, or any number of factors. But in me is the will to fight for what is right and true. I believe that my brother would do the same, had the situation been reversed. He would have fought for me. He would have done what he could. That is love. And that is enough for this defeated warrior to carry on.

Love is the ultimate purpose. And I plan on living for it.