knight-321443_1280Life sometimes feels like a battlefield. A constant struggle to make progress in one area only to be blindsided or pushed back by some sort of opposition. A dishwasher pump dies and spews stinky water all over the kitchen floor. A child has a mysterious health issue that consumes your thoughts and steals sleep. Financial gains are erased by an unexpected bill. A misunderstanding leads to heated words and suddenly a relationship is on rocky ground. You get knocked to the ground and it’s hard to get back up again.

Not too long ago, I watched The Lord of the Rings with my youngest son, and after a marathon binge of Middle Earth, I couldn’t help but think about all the battle scenes. Almost from the beginning, characters were being challenged, running, escaping, hiding, preparing to fight, fighting, regrouping, and then tending to the wounded before the next round. Each battle was worse than the ones before it, yet each time the characters were able to rise to meet the challenge, until the final victory was secured and they all lived happily ever after.

As a fiction writer, I’ve learned how to weave realistic conflict into my stories because that is what causes characters to grow and change. And without the tension of wondering if or how the hero or heroine will succeed is what keeps readers turning the page and staying up late to read just one more chapter. Battlefields in fiction take many forms, but they essential to create a memorable and satisfying story.

[Tweet “How to win when life is a battlefield via @CandeeFick”]

In life, I wish I could avoid the battles. Yet, it is in the pressure cooker of conflict that I discover the essence of my character, the Truth about God, and the courage to push forward to the next stage of my life’s journey.

When life is a battlefield, there are a few things that keep me going:

  1. The hope of a happily ever after. Even if it doesn’t happen until eternity, there will be an end to the struggle and a future without pain or heartache or difficulty.
  2. The reassurance that God is both infinitely good and Sovereign. He has a wonderful plan for my life and if He’s allowing me to go through something, He has a reason. The Author of my story has an end in mind and is crafting the path to get me there.
  3. The knowledge that I can be stronger afterward. The battle may prune away misplaced priorities, expose lies I’ve believed, or teach me something about love, patience, or trust, but there is always something good being worked in me as a result of the trials I go through.

Of course, this only works if I don’t run away and pout or ignore the issue, pretending it will just go away. In fact, denial tends to find me facing the same types of problems over and over until I face the root of the issue and learn what I need to. It’s like those annoying video games with tasks to complete before we can move on to the next level, even if we get perpetually stuck. Why? Because each challenge prepares us for the one to come.

My life may feel like a battlefield some days, but I can emerge victorious.

What about you? What battles are you facing? How are you changing as a result?

When Life Is a Battlefield
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