"I give up."
"I can’t do this anymore."
We have all had those moments when it seems as if our backs have literally been backed against the wall. We don’t know which way to turn and we surely don’t know who we can turn to. During these times, the easiest thing we can do is simply throw in the towel and wallow in a pit of our own despair.
Maybe you’re in that moment now. Maybe even as you read this, you are contemplating throwing in the towel but in the stillness of this moment, pause. You don’t have to give up now. Not yet.
Recently, R&B singer Ashanti made a week-long appearance on the hit television show “The Real” and gave her account about a moment that changed her life forever. While in the prime of her career she was contacted by the Make a Wish Foundation which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. They had a young girl by the name of Christina who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and wanted to meet Ashanti as her last and final wish. Despite her chaotic schedule, Ashanti realized the importance of granting someone’s last and final wish and welcomed Christina with open arms:
“My mom and I flew out to Seattle. We rented this huge hotel suite for her and her mom and her best friend. I got her a limo and went to her house and surprised her. We ate dinner. I bought her this awesome, cute Tiffany’s bracelet and I had her name engraved in it. And I sat and hung out with her the whole day…It was a surreal moment to be able to touch someone I didn’t even know”
Two years ago, (which made it ten years since Ashanti had visited Christina), Ashanti received the amazing news from Christina herself that she had gone into remission. On the show, as Ashanti fought back tears retelling the story of their encounter, she burst into tears as Christina surprised her by walking onto the stage.
A walking miracle and a reminder that you can’t give up, at least not now.
As I fought back tears during Ashanti’s reunion with Christina, I couldn’t help but wonder, what if Christina had given up in the middle of her fight with cancer? What if she had listened to the diagnosis from the doctors that her life would soon be over? Most importantly, what if she had aborted her own destiny by taking her own life? Thankfully, we’ll never know the answer to those questions.
I remember as a child, one of my favorite movies was Finding Nemo. There was a scene in the movie when Dory gives some of the best advice I have ever heard in my life (yes, I get amazing advice from Disney Movies) that says: “When life gets you down, do you wanna know what you've gotta do? Just keep swimming.”
Christina kept swimming.
I’m not sure if she kept swimming because Ashanti granted her wish or if there was a stillness inside of her that also lies in each one of us that whispers, “No, not yet”. Whatever the case may be, she’s still here and you are too.
You may not be facing terminal cancer or any terminal illness for that matter but perhaps you are facing a moment in time that you feel as if you can’t keep going, you can. Doctors and scientific research told Christina that her life was over but when everything she knew to be true walked out, her faith stepped in.
Maybe you can’t relate to Christina’s journey, but we can all learn a lesson or two from Ashanti and that is to be kind to everyone, you never know if your one small gesture has the capacity to change someone’s life, forever.
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Check out the video below, grab some tissue and know your help is on the way!