Are you exhausted, at a loss for words and answers? Are you just going through the motions? I guarantee you, you are not alone. My word for you today is, don’t give up! If you’ve ever watched ESPN you most likely have heard the famous speech from Jim Valvano, a former college basketball coach who died of cancer. During an ESPY Awards, before his death, he spoke the words, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” Those words would become The V Foundation’s motto as they set out to find a cure for cancer. A seemingly impossible mission. A mission that requires a “never stop fighting” attitude. An attitude Valvano lived out until his death.
I think back to when I first accepted Jesus into my life. It took a trip halfway around the world for me to experience my salvation moment. I wanted to quit so many times leading up to that trip. I made so many excuses. One afternoon as I talked it over with my dad he asked me one simple question, “Do you want to go on this trip or not?” I hesitantly said yes, and my dad said, “You committed to this trip, so do it.” In the moment I didn’t know why I wanted to go to Liberia, Africa, but God had something special in store for me. Because of the encouragement and challenge from my dad, I didn’t give up. That trip not only led me to Jesus, but it ultimately helped mold me into the man, husband and father that I am today.
We need other men in our lives that speak life, that hold us accountable, and that challenge us to do the things we don’t want to do.
I believe that God has something special in store for you, right around the corner, so don’t give up!
In 2015, I went through the Strong27™mentorship program as a protégé. It was an important season of my life as I prepared for my wedding later that year. I was looking for a mentor who could help guide me through this new season. A man who would ultimately help me become the Godly husband I desired to be.
As my wife and I approached marriage there were some difficult family issues that we were working through. As I shared with my mentor Lou, it was amazing to hear that he had experienced very similar issues five years ago. It was incredible. Not only could Lou relate, but he was able to give me real-life advice and insight. It was God-ordained. Lou challenged me to have the hard conversations, and most importantly Lou held me accountable. I had yet to learn what it meant to fight for my wife, and Lou taught me just that.
I can honestly say, that if I had not had those hard conversations and fought for my wife, my first year of marriage would have been dramatically different. It’s a fight that continues today, almost three years in. Your relationship with God, your marriage, your career – these things don’t come easy. They take work, they take sacrifice, they take a “never stop fighting” attitude. So don’t give up, you have what it takes.
When Lou and I first started planning for the year ahead we settled on a set schedule for the year. Every other Thursday, 5:00 AM at McDonald’s. It was the only time that worked. The sheer thought of waking up at 4:30 AM every other week for a year seemed crazy, and quite frankly, not fun. I wasn’t even sure if McDonald’s had enough coffee to keep me awake at that time of day. But I stayed committed, I went to that first meeting at 5:00 AM, and I went to the next 23 meetings at 5:00 AM. Because of that commitment the mentorship blossomed. We went from acquaintances to great friends. Now, we don’t go two weeks without catching up via text or over a cup of coffee.
In order to become the Godly leader you were called to be, you are going to have to do some things along the way that you don’t want to do. But trust me, the reward is great.
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.” Psalm 37:5
God has great plans for you and he IS greater than your circumstances. Keep fighting for your relationship with Him, keep fighting for your marriage and for your family. Continue to grow into the Godly leader you were called to be. Don’t give up, don’t ever give up!