This one comes to us from Juliette Alvey.

Moving through life can feel like a series of battles. You get through one just to face another. You win some, you lose some. We use battle language with all sorts of issues: cancer, depression, or just getting the kids dressed and in the car. Some battles last for what seems like forever, going on and on. How do battles end? They end in death or victory, and victory does not mean you are not left bruised and broken.

The most recent battle I’ve been facing is moving 4,000 miles to a new home. Everything in me fights change: leaving the familiar and entering the unknown. Packing up three kids along with all of our junk, leaving belongings that didn’t fit on our moving container, and saying goodbye to friends does not come naturally. Trying to establish roots in a brand new place where we have no history feels like a battle. I’m in survival mode. I know I’m going to win the battle eventually, and someday it will feel like home, but right now it feels like the unknowns have the upper hand. Where are we going to live? What car will we buy? Where will the kids go to school? Where is the bread in this grocery store?

It was driving back to our friends’ house from said grocery store when God reminded me that I am not facing this battle by myself. The song “My Blood” by Twenty One Pilots came on, in which the singer is telling his brother that he will go with him to face any fight. The lyrics say, “When everyone you thought you knew deserts your fight, I’ll go with you. You’re facin’ down a dark hall, I’ll grab my light and go with you, I’ll go with you…” 

Even though the song is a secular one about brothers, on that night drive, I heard my brother Jesus singing those words to me. The repetition of “I’ll go with you, I’ll go with you, I’ll go with you…” was his voice reassuring me over and over that he is facing this battle with me. The last verse says, “If you find yourself in a lion’s den, I’ll jump right in and pull my pin.” Not only will he go with me, but he will go with me to the death. There is no fight too big for him. 

The next morning at church, we sang “The Lion and the Lamb” by Big Daddy Weave. The chorus says, “Our God is the Lion, the Lion of Judah. He’s roaring with power and fighting our battles. And every knee will bow before you.” It was at this moment that I was reminded that he doesn’t just go with me, but he fights battles for me. And he has the power to do it. The chorus continues, “Our God is the Lamb, the Lamb that was slain. For the sin of the world, His blood breaks the chains. And every knee will bow before the Lion and the Lamb. Oh every knee will bow before the Lion and the Lamb.” A roaring lion and a lamb that is slain? How can that be? He fights our battles for us and loses for us. This is the mystery of the cross. A battle where the loser is also victorious. What appears to be weakness—a man being put to death—is actually victory because he doesn’t stay dead. It is where all of our battles are won singlehandedly.

This “dark hall” that I’m facing, starting everything from scratch in a new place, is overwhelming and scary, but Christ grabs his light and goes with me, then dies for me, and then tells me the battle is won. I hear him saying to me in the dark, “Stay with me, you don’t need to run, stay with me, my blood.”