I entered this year determined to be a conqueror and it was not an easy mission. Along the way, there were great pains and significant losses; but here at the end of another annual cycle, I am still standing strong -- Refreshed, Refined, Refocused.
I asked myself, "How do you keep bouncing back from major setbacks?" It's like watching a boxer who appears to be the only one who doesn't know he has lost the bout. With every blow, the viewers feel increased pain watching as the seeming loser is too stupid to stay down. Oh... I think I just gave away part of my secret strategy.
When it comes to accepting defeat, it is okay if you are not as observant as spectators. Fight until every ounce of faith is spent and every ounce of hope is drained. You might find that the wall of defeat is made of convincing tissue paper; and tearing through will be easier than the preceding fear of impact.
Finally, remember the awesomeness of the God who stands in your corner as both a coach and a cheerleader. When the blow of opposition suggests that it's over, He reminds me that I was built to handle this and then some. He assures me that even if I never swung back, my challengers would be defeated from the fatigue of throwing punches.
So that's how I did it. I ignored the spectators. I used every ounce of faith and hope. I was not convinced by pain and loss. I was not afraid of the weak wall of defeat. And, above all, I had a great God who reminded me to not fumble the victory already in my possession.
Now as the referee administers the count on 2008, I throw up my hands in celebration and, in the tone of the conqueror I am, I say... NEXT!