Well I’ve made it 90 days.  I didn’t believe it was possible.  I didn’t think I’d find anything that would make me feel normal after I ditched my prescription drugs.  I didn’t think I’d be doing as well as I am after 90 days either.  I have enough energy to function whereas before I could barely muster enough to get out of bed in the morning.  I had no desire to get up and be miserable about everything in my life.

Today though I didn’t feel anything like that.  I got up today and I did what I wanted.  I like who I am.  I’m anxious of who I will become.  On Friday I was out scooping feed bunks by myself and about halfway through the job I stopped.  I looked around at the farm I’ve called home all my life and I stopped and stared.  First at the silage silo which was used by my great grandfather to store feed for his cattle.  Then at the old cottonwood trees which though they no longer have all their major limbs are still alive and continue to stand guard next to the old entrance to the farm.  Then I stared at the old farmhouse.  It too no longer looks the same as it did when it was built circa 1906 but it stands firm; reinforced following its share of tornado near misses, heavy rain, blistering heat, and bone-chilling winters.

As I stood there, reflecting on these objects that have withstood the test of time, I was filled with a great sense of consolation and hope.  As a person I too have endured my own storms and wicked extremes.  And yet I have survived each one of them.  They left their mark on me no doubt and I have scars to show for it; some visible, the others lie on my heart.  Because of them though I am wiser and stronger.  I have achieved victory after defeat.

Through my trials I have been purified.  This is what Catholicism teaches.  This is what lies beneath the surface of it for each human being to discover.  Christ’s victory was supreme not only because he conquered death and resurrected, but because he achieved victory after defeat.  In our human lives, the sweetest accomplishments are those in which we succeed after failure.  If you are downtrodden, take courage knowing that your rise from the ashes will justify your trial.