Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Spirit Behind the Brooklyn Bridge

(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 6 of Never Give Up! by Joyce Meyer. I've chosen to selectively address the points which impacted me the most. Please know that what we all learn from a study is usually different. Therefore we ask, if you feel like it please share in the comments section what you got out of the reading as well. We're sure you'll lift someone's spirit.)

Brief Re-cap of Chapter 6 The Conquerer's Spirit

Joyce Meyer opens up Chapter 6 with a story of determination, courage and strength behind the men who built the Brooklyn Bridge. John Roebling was inspired to build a bridge that connected New York City to Brooklyn. John and his son, Washington, set out to build this bridge. A tragic accident took the life of John, however Washington was determined to move on and get the job done. Years later, Washington was injured and despite brain damage that kept him from walking, talking and even moving he found a way to finish his work. It took over 11 years, but through the help of his wife, he was able to use finger taps to communicate with his wife and his engineers to tell them how to finish building the Brooklyn Bridge. He never gave up. Joyce immediately says that Washington Roebling had "the spirit of the conqueror." She goes on saying "No matter what you go through in life, if you have the spirit of the conqueror and you really know who you are in Christ and truly believe God is on your side, you do not have to be daunted or overwhelmed by any difficulty you may face." (page 81) To have the spirit of a conquerer, there are six things we must do: resist the devil, start strong and finish well, don't be led astray by difficulties, deal with your difficulties and do it for God. At the end of this chapter, Joyce writes "if you face them (difficulties) head-on and press past the adversities you encounter, refusing to give up in the midst of them and moving forward with the spirit of a conqueror, you will develop the skills and determination needed to be everything you were created to be and experience everything God intends for you." (page 90)

The Brooklyn the past, when I heard someone mention this I have always thought of the New York City skyline, I would think of Brooklyn, I would even hear my mom saying "if your friends jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge would you follow them?" Never growing up have I heard this remarkable story of the spirit behind the Brooklyn Bridge. The love that a son had for his father that he would finish his dream for him, the determination this son had to finish this job even when physically it was impossible, the love and the patience of this man and his wife to learn how to communicate with each other. Now when I think the Brooklyn Bridge I think of what Joyce calls a "Conquerer" and I am more motivated then ever to become a "Conquerer" of autism. My tough days, when all I want to do is crawl back into bed, will still be there but if I remember the six steps mentioned above, I can get through those days that much easier. You know, I had one of those days the other day. I was consumed with worry over whether I should continue homeschooling my son Sean. Sean communicates well, plays pretty good and is getting better and better each month. But we still have our set backs. He can't tell me if someone is picking on him, he has his days where all he wants to do is what I call "scripty play." (This is where he'll become a character from a show and act out the show with props.) Pretty functional I think but then the thought enters my mind. "But it's not what other 7 year olds are doing. He's 7 years old. He's never going to catch up." Now, I don't know about you guys but I know this thought is from Satan himself. Usually, I can get those thoughts out of my head quickly. However, there are those days that I call the "oh woe is me" days where I let it roll and roll and roll and the next thing you know I am giving up. I think about stopping the diet. I think about stopping home school. I think about throwing out the supplements. It would just be easier to give up.

I am so thankful for this chapter. I am so thankful for people like Washington Roebling who didn't give up. I am thankful for his wife who didn't give up on learning how to communicate with him. Even more importantly, I am thankful for Jesus and his determination to never give up even when He had a tough day. (Joyce mentions this as well on page 84) If they can do this, I have to do this. So that one day my son can say how thankful he is for a mom who never gave up, was determined to help him reach his full potential and faced those difficulties head-on. Like Joyce says on page 84 "That does not mean that what he (Paul) endured wasn't difficult; it simply means it did not stop him."

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Nicole, thanks for this great post on being "more than a conqueror". I needed that to keep reminding myself that this is what God says I am, especially when setbacks make me want to throw in the towel or at the very least not have a good attitude. My mom used to say the same thing to me too about the Brooklyn Bridge. Another thought that came to mind about the Brooklyn Bridge was of my friend's husband Matt and all the other people working in NYC who had to walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn, across this bridge to try and make it home safely on 9/11. I really enjoyed learning the story behind the building of the bridge too, that inspires me even more. Thanks!