But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? ~Psalm 56:3-4 (NLT)
Fortitude is defined as mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously (Dictionary.com) It can be further interpreted as:
Standing up for what you believe in even if the odds are stacked against you.
Chasing your dream when no one is there to support or encourage you.
Remaining focused when there is nothing but negativity coming from the voices around you.
Believing God for breakthrough when the last minute is approaching and darkness is trying to envelope you.
Fortitude is something we have had to deal with in every area of our life since we were old enough to recognize feelings of disappointment, betrayal, or anger. Fortitude has gotten us this far and will take us even further as the journey of life continues with its twists and turns. Fortitude is the strength you had when you didn’t know you had it because you never needed to tap into it before.
Let’s be honest, our current 2020 mental state has gotten a workout that none of us could have ever planned for all at once. With sudden deaths, a pandemic, public lynching and killings, a total disregard for life, blatant lies and racial discrimination, and overall broken systems whose band aids are coming off one by one. 2020 has greeted us with a jarring smack in the face of the brokenness, inequalities, injustices, arrogance, and supreme attitudes that have existed for years, regardless of how hidden it was in various seasons. There is a whole lot of finger pointing, petty name calling, and unnecessary rhetoric around what we all can clearly see is broken. Mentally, it is taxing, disheartening, and for many downright frightening. However, if you look back over your life, I am sure you can think of an experience or two where you have had to be more mentally astute than you previously were.
Fortitude ensures the tumultuous season submits, so the mental awareness is open to viable solutions.
Fortitude prevents meltdowns from lasting longer than the time necessary to get it out of your system in order to refocus on lasting contributions
Fortitude envisions the end goal of peace and harmony and works backward to identify steps to make sure that is achieved
Fortitude recognizes peace and harmony may not result in everyone being hand in hand but can result in respect for human life again being valued and retrieved.
Disappointments in life come as small as an unexpected response or as large as a full out betrayal. So many emotions to deal with including negative self-talk, fear, anger, hurt, and even rage. Some may argue that negative self-talk is mental, but it comes from a place of emotion. It is the hurt feelings that causes one to say they are not good enough. It is the relational betrayal that results in the lack of willingness to trust. The emotional scars are deep, have multiple levels, and they fuel the mental state. The emotions cause the meltdowns and the pity parties, but it is the mind and the will power that pops the balloons at the pity party and escorts all those negative emotions out of the door. It is the emotions that needs to submit to the mental wisdom of experience and guidance. The two are most certainly interdependent and must have a foundation to fall back on when the emotions are in full effect.
Fortitude recognizes the importance of a foundation that is mentally sound, spiritually connected to God and allows past experiences to be the measuring rod.
Fortitude acknowledges the need to work through emotional situations as they arise but refuses to wallow in pity and self-loathing or even offer applause.
Fortitude recalls being stretched in the past in order to achieve an emotional foundation that is stable, feels the moment, but processes from a place of mentally sound.
Fortitude can remain steady and consistent when in a crowd or forced to reckon with things alone with no one is in sight or can be found.
Being purposeful comes packaged in a lot of ways and with a lot of synonyms like determined, disciplined, intentional, and focused. The thing that all of these calls into existence is an actionable plan. Without an actionable plan, you do not know what you are being purposeful, determined, disciplined, intentional or focused about.
Pray and Listen – Whenever a plan involves prayer and listening, you cannot go wrong. Yes, it may change, but you will always be right on track!
Write the Goal – What is that you want to do? What do you want to achieve? What is the vision? What is the expected result?
Write the steps – What are the things that must be done in order to achieve the goal?
Celebrate – Always celebrate your accomplishments, large and small to mark that accomplishment in the history of your mental and emotional record. Remember that feeling.
Father help me get out of this spiritual rut and feeling of stagnation so I can again feel close to you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
I will reclaim my passion and desire for God and make it part of my every day, normal existence.
I will read God’s Word every day and journal what God is speaking to me in the scriptures
I will pray before every major decision I make (and work my way to praying before all decisions).
I will spend time listening to music so God can minister to me that way too.
I will speak life in everything I do and speak with positivity.
When I have done each one of these things at least once in the same day, I will celebrate the accomplishment and mark it as ‘Day 1’ of reclaiming my spiritual connection to God. I look forward to not breaking the chain of accomplishment.
Fortitude combines mental and emotional stability for a purposeful plan of strength.
Fortitude recognizes the work for readiness and is ready to commit to eliminate the negative stench.
Fortitude allows the clarity of the season to compel one’s mental capacity into overdrive for solutions.
Fortitude trusts God completely in order to incite wise and well thought out revolutions.