The Phoenix is well known in our society as a mythological creature that rises again from its own ashes. This concept tends to resonate with us on a personal level as life tends to be cyclical, causing us to rebuild our lives from the ground up, whether by our own accord or a ripple effect. We post quotes and memes about the Phoenix as encouragement to ourselves to keep going, but no one ever said that this concept of rebuilding was easy or painless.
The Phoenix rises, over and over, but nowhere does it ever mention that the Phoenix doesn’t remember. While likely a very wise creature, I cannot imagine a Phoenix truly being content with a perpetual cycle of rebirth. I wouldn’t be. Starting over is full of pain, regret, and loss. No one ever starts over because their lives are perfect, we start over because we have made a mess of things , find ourselves broken, or we are a victim of circumstance. Sometimes life just happens.
In my case, all of my “rebirths” have been because of my own bad choices. I have been the queen of broken. I have had a habit of making terrible decisions, even with the best intentions. My goal is to let this be the last time I need to rise again from my own ashes and repair the broken life I had inadvertently created, again. I am done making my own decisions while ignoring God’s word, and the counsel of those I trust. And like the Phoenix, while I have learned so much over the past two decades, I am exhausted and at the end of this “life cycle”. I am about to have to start over again and this time, I am doing it right.
Growing up, I had a habit of playing the victim. I felt like gaining sympathy would somehow encourage me, and help me cope. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we all need someone to talk to on occasion and vent to, but we can’t stay there. I stayed there for years, and it took me a long time to figure out what I was doing to myself. Victim mentality will only fuel self-esteem issues, lack of trust, and lack of confidence in yourself. The very first step when starting over is to remove the word broken from your mindset. Grieve your losses and move on. Staying broken keeps you in victim mode. You cannot be an overcomer, and a victim.
I have done a lot of soul searching over the past several months being home on medical leave, and there is one thing that keeps popping up repeatedly. It is extremely important to speak life in to your situations. We have to stop living in the pain of the past and look to the hope of our future. If you’re in my shoes, and are expecting a miracle for an illness with no cure, then you have to act different. You have to have a different mindset because miracles do not happen in the natural, they occur in the spiritual.
Honestly, I am not really concerned with what the doctors say. All I know is that my God gave me too much drive and too much ambition to be stuck in a bubble. He didn’t bring me this far to leave me here, no matter what the prognosis. God WANTS his word to be fulfilled in our lives. He WANTS to help us. The Bible states over and over that our thoughts shape our reality, and the power of life and death resides in the tongue. There is no middle ground. You are either speaking life, or you are speaking death in to your own life. Changing how you think is the very first step to changing your life.
Early Christians noticed parallels between the Phoenix and Jesus. It ended up being used as a symbol by the church for The Resurrection. Jesus rose from the dead to show his divinity. It wasn’t enough that he died, he had to rise again. Death had no power over Jesus Christ and that same spirit lives inside of us. As followers of Christ, we are not bound by natural laws, nor are we bound by a diagnosis. Take the broken out of your mind, and start again tomorrow as a new creation. (2Corinthians 5:17)