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  • Writer's pictureJulie Nicole

Why You Can't Quit

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

Life can be hard, and at times it can feel like we're the underdog in the ring with a heavyweight champion and we're getting pummeled, and all we want to do is throw in the towel. Well, today I was reminded of why we fight and must never quit. No, I didn't watch the rerun of Rocky for the 19th time or hear the Eye of the Tiger song, but during a conversation with a car salesman while getting my oil changed I met a different kind of "Rocky."

But before I get to my story let me offer a little backdrop for any deprived souls who may not be familiar with the infamous Rocky story. In the first movie, Rocky Balboa was this underdog Italian boxer who gets the chance of a lifetime to fight a heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed. After 15 rounds Rocky is elated that he didn't get knocked out and says to his coach:

"Cause I was thinkin', it really don't matter if I lose this fight. It really don't matter if this guy opens my head either. Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood."

This story of a boxer who refused to give up in spite of overwhelming odds, so inspired Americans and people from around the world that Sylvester Stallone went on to create six Rocky series films that spanned over a total of four decades. To this day you can go to the steps in Philadelphia where Rocky Balboa did his victory dance from the original film and find people from all over the world imitating the Rocky pose with their hands held high in the air.

There's something about a fighter who refuses to give up against all odds that inspires us all. Well, today I met a different kind of Rocky. He may not have been a boxer, but he is a fighter through and through and his victory certainly inspired me.

It was an ordinary day that collided with what I like to call divine interventions with God's little soldiers. I took my car in to get an oil change at the dealership. I've been going here for a few years and I always stop in the office of one of the car salesmen that works there to say hello. We'll call him "Dre".

So, I poked my head into Dre's office to chop it up a little bit while I waited for my oil change, but I saw he was with a client so I said a quick hey and went back to the waiting area until my car was finished. I was paying for my service and just getting ready to leave when he walked by.

We said hello and I asked the typical, "How you been?" question that we all ask and expected the usual, "Good, and you?" response. But instead of the robotic answer most all of us give, he smiled real big, raised his hand above his head, (and since he's like 6'10 or something giant like that, it was way up in the sky) and said, "Man, I've been like way up here!"

And since I had been kind of like way down here lately I was really curious to know what had him floating in the clouds.

"Ever since you prayed for me that day, things with me and my wife have been amazing," he said. "It's unbelievable how great things have been going for us. Every day is like bringing home shopping bags of blessings, and if a problem does arise, it's solved within like 24 hours."

This hadn't been the case a couple years ago when I first met Dre. In fact, things were really bad in his marriage. He was in the throes of despair - the point where he wanted to throw in the towel after two decades of marriage and call it quits. I remember each time I saw him he would share little bits and pieces of some of the problems in his marriage.

From the conversations, I could tell this wasn't a man looking to bad mouth his wife or secretly have an affair. It was evident he truly loved her and his family, but he was tired. And I'm not talking about the kind of tired from fighting for something for a year or two. I'm talking about the kind of tired that comes from years and years of fighting something and seeing no change. This was the kind of tired he was. If you've ever been in this kind of fight then you know how badly you feel like quitting at times.

I had been in this kind of battle and so I understood this man's despair. He was still fighting for his marriage, but he was weary. So one day in his office I suggested we pray for his marriage. With bowed heads and clasped hands we prayed and agreed that God would help them. After that prayer it had been almost a year since I'd had a chance to talk to him.

So I was shocked when I saw him today. He was like a new man! He couldn't stop smiling. "And God has restored everything as if there was no time lost," he said. He shared with me how at one point he had started selling and giving away things in preparation for what he saw was an inevitable divorce. "But God has blessed me with a new car, a new house, and even a gold chain that I had sold."

"But the key is every morning she and I pray together and do our devotional. We don't miss a single day. And now that we are working together instead of against each other, it's like we are soaring in life. I never realized life could be this great. And I told my wife about that prayer you prayed." Dre pulled out his phone and this proud husband and father , beaming from cheek to cheek showed me a picture of his beautiful family.

"Look at this," he said. "All this would have been destroyed if I had given up."

I couldn't help but feel so much excitement that God was able to use me to lift up a prayer for a family in crisis, and then get the chance to see them on the other side of victory. I also couldn't help but wonder, What if he had given up? What if he had gotten divorced? He never would have gotten the reward.

"It was like 10 or 15 years of God putting me through the fire in my marriage where I had to just keep standing," he said. "But now every day it's like shopping bags of blessings...."

"You have no idea how you have encouraged me today," I said. Little did he know of my own 10 year battle that I have been privately dealing with. And much like him there are days when I feel in despair, but something deep inside of me keeps saying, "Don't quit. Keep fighting."

"There's a reward if you keep going," he said. "I had to be the one to break the generational cycle of divorce and infidelity in my family. My son needed to see something different. That's why I couldn't quit. The reason the enemy keeps attacking you is because he knows once you get to the other side of this there's a great power inside of you that's going to be unleashed and you're going to open the eyes of the sheep."

"God is always right there beside you," he concluded. "When He exhales you inhale."

When he said this I was reminded of a story I had just recently heard of a man who had a visitation to heaven. He said he was taken into a room that was a library, and in it were books filled with the pages of people's destinies. There were angels reading these books and some were pointing out to God that certain people were not following what was written in the book.

It was then that God would send these angels on assignment to cross paths with certain people in order to have a divine conversation with them to help them get back on track and complete their God-given mission in life.

As I sat there in his office feeling encouraged and blessed I realized that this was one of those divine crossings. God had used me years ago to come across his path in order to encourage and pray for his marriage, so that the four lives in this family wouldn't be taken off course.

Now, years later reciprocity was coming my way and God was using him to encourage me in my own walk, where I had begun to question whether there was ever going to be a reward on the other side of my battle. He assured me that yes, there was not only a reward and victory on the other side of the battle, but an overflow of blessings and restoration that is beyond our expectations.

Right now you might feel like the underdog in the 15th round of a fight, but I assure you if you'll just go the distance the fight will be worth it. Not only will you get the victory in knowing when the bell rang you were still standin', but there are other "bums from the neighborhood" watching you and they need to know that it's possible to change and to win if you just keep fighting.

Now go get 'em Rocky. You got the Eye of the Tiger.

Risin' up, back on the street Did my time, took my chances Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet Just a man and his will to survive

So many times, it happens too fast You trade your passion for glory Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past You must fight just to keep them alive

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight Risin' up to the challenge of our rival And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night And he's watchin' us all with the eye of the tiger

Face to face, out in the heat Hangin' tough, stayin' hungry They stack the odds 'till we take to the street For the kill with the skill to survive

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the dream of the fight Risin' up to the challenge of our rival And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night And he's watchin' us all with the eye of the tiger

Risin' up, straight to the top Had the guts, got the glory Went the distance, now I'm not gonna stop Just a man and his will to survive

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the dream of the fight Risin' up to the challenge of our rival And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night And he's watchin' us all with the eye of the tiger

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