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Overcoming despair is my podcast today. Gloom, Despair, and Agony on me. Oh, how those words brought back a lot of great memories. I use to watch a TV show with my mom and dad back in the 70s called Hee Haw. It was a show with country comedians and musicians that would perform various skits. One of those skits had two performers singing the song Gloom Despair and Agony on me. Then they would say something funny about their trials and tribulations. They would repeat the song until another funny story. It was one of the funniest skits, and it makes me laugh today thinking about it.
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The beginning of 2021 had not been kind to me. Nope, not one bit. Most people could not wait for 2020 to end. I, for one, would not mind going back. Yes, this is me, the guy that is always talking about moving forward. I am that guy, but I would gladly rewind the clock and go back a year.
BOP, POW, ZOINK!!
Why do you say? Well, I’ll tell you. It seems as if life had put me in her crosshairs since the beginning of the year. I had taken blow after blow after blow. Every time I overcame one punch and thought things were getting better, she threw an uppercut. Hit me right on the chin. It had been so bad I began to feel despair. The words to that song flooded my brain, Gloom Despair and Agony on me. I knew I had to find a way of overcoming despair.
Despair is defined as loss of hope; a cause of hopelessness. It is what I was feeling just a few months ago. People have called me a lot of different things in my life. The one thing no one has ever called me was a quitter. So I fought on with every weapon I had. I was not losing ground but, I was not gaining any either. Overcoming despair was my goal.
So as I continued to take punch after punch, bad news after bad news, I began to wonder what was coming next. Luckily I do not ever take on these battles alone. I have my family, my friends, and God. On one particularly bad day, I went to bed, and as I always do, I picked up a devotional guide, Feeding On Jesus by Jennifer Arimborgo. Jennifer is a wonderful person who is a missionary in the Amazon Jungle in Peru. Her website is feedingonjesus.com.
The devotional I turned to that night was Isaiah 35:4, “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.'” I immediately was lifted out of my despair. God knows when you are feeling hopeless and places hope in front of you.
Life Ain’t All Sunshine
I knew right then that everything was going to be okay. In the words of Rocky Balboa, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. It is not how hard you hit it is how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward” I knew I had to take the hits and keep moving forward.
I cannot control what life throws at me. Neither can you. Two things I can control are my attitude and effort. I can focus my thoughts and not give in to despair. I believe and have faith that things will turn around. Some situations are too big for you and me to handle. These are the ones I turn over to God.
There have been several times in my life that I have sailed through troubled waters. Each time God has sent me a sign to tell me he is there and everything will be all right. I am lucky I have this great team of family, friends, and God. Together we can get through any storm. Because of them, I have been able to persevere through the difficult times in my life.
Better Times Ahead
Even though the beginning of this year had been a struggle for me, I knew there were better times ahead. The years to come will be filled with difficulty but also with much happiness. Whatever life wants to throw at me in the future, I am ready for it. I have God by my side. In the end, the good times will far outweigh the bad.