A friend suggested I read about Stockdale James Bond, especially about his stint as a POW of the Vietnam war. The words I read were amazing to me. Words to focus on while going through a tough season. Prevail.
Here is what the he said upon reflection:
“I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”
I have said that often about the various trials I have been through but the one I am going through now is proving to be the most traumatic of all. Not just for me but for every member of my family. It is both difficult and extremely sad.
Stockdale went on to say, when he was asked about who died during captivity. He replied: “Oh, that’s easy, the optimists. They were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas. “And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, “We’re going to be out by Easter. And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”
And then finally, the most important part of all, which you might want to read ten times to yourself. This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end -which – you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
Very wise words from someone who understood brutality and longsuffering.
My situation is no where near what Stockdale experienced, a POW for 9 years, I think, but to keep focused on the prevailing in the end, and faith that the end is a better place to be having gone through the trial, well, what else is there?
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