Don’t Give Up by Marlena Lewis
The basis of my story is to tell someone that is facing some of the same circumstances that I am going through is that they are not alone. We all have struggles in our lives that seem like we can never get past them, but if we can learn to trust in the Lord, he will help us. I tell my story of feeling helpless at times and not knowing where to turn. When I looked back over my life I began to think about my spiritual family life. My parents never gave up on thirteen kids. I have hope and confidence now that I can do the same for my life.
Review Written by Quiniece Sheppard
Hope in a dying world! Marlena Lewis shares her story of struggle and triumph in her book titled “Don’t Give Up”.
The title itself is encouraging. Marlena Lewis gives an encouraging word to her readers telling them not to give up and to persevere through the hardships and trials. It is a book that offers hope and encouragement to those who are suffering.
Don’t give up and look to Jesus who is the author and finisher of your faith. It’ll get better after while. Great book and I recommend it to those who need a little bit of push to keep going no matter what.
Excerpt: Don’t Give Up
I grew up in a small town about twenty miles outside of Selma, Alabama. A place of great historic moments; some of which changed African American lives forever. Nobody’s family is perfect, and being the tenth child of thirteen kids, I don’t think I need to discuss any further the matters concerning poverty, verbal abuse, and what today’s society would label as physical abuse. I mean, back then, anyone could give you a whooping for something you did wrong, and you would straighten yourself right up and think twice about your actions in the future. But today, we see spankings as abuse, and parents nowadays will not touch their children out of fear of punishment and being seen as a child abuser. What can I say…spare the rod and spoil the child.
In struggling with trying to adapt to military life, marriage, and being separated from my only child, I have learned that God has never left me, and He has really kept me from losing my mind. Yeah, we often feel like something good is about to happen any day now with all we have going on in our lives, but we have to remember to keep our eyes on the prize. The prize is not all the stuff that distracts us every day, but it is Jesus; our Lord and Savior.
Some supernatural strength kept me going when I did not have the energy, or the will, to keep going. That power was Jesus and my prayers to Him. He heard them, and in the midst of the tears, He would tell me to keep it up, don’t give up. He had so many more challenges He wanted me to endure to increase my hope and faith in Him.
I cried out, “Jesus is this it?”
“No, Marlena. This is only the beginning.”
Just when I thought I could not take anything else, and after serving about twelve years in the military, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I was in the Army reserves serving part-time duty at a center in Rockville, Maryland. When I initially started feeling ill, I was in the field at Fort Dix, New Jersey, preparing for my unit to depart to Iraq. I had been there for about two weeks, when all of a sudden, I started feeling very fatigued and my body started hurting all over. At first I just thought it was just the normal field stuff that you get while out training. I tried to shrug it off because I was a soldier, and I did not want to appear weak to my peers.
After about a week, I was still feeling bad, and I knew I had to get checked out. Initially, the doctors there were not sure what was going on with me, so I was put on bedrest. Shortly after that, I left New Jersey, and went back to my normal reserve duties. Still feeling bad, I could not figure out what was going on, so finally I went to the doctors on the military base and told them all about my symptoms: fatigue, pain all over, and just feeling numb. The doctors did not think a whole lot of it because everyone that comes in the clinic has some of the same similar systems.
Now, since this diagnosis, a couple of years later I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic pain syndrome, and a host of other things. I do not go to the doctors anymore looking for answers. I have learned, during this whole crisis, to just focus on God. When I say that I have learned to cope with this feeling of constant pain, it is really true. I listened to a message by T.D. Jakes and it was titled, your problem serves a purpose.
Don’t give up; as it is so easy to do so when you are hurting and feeling all alone in your situation. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I found my light in God, and I stand firm on His Word and knowing that He will never leave me nor forsake me. Look to God in all things, and take back your life. Live every day doing something great for yourself, your family, and for others. It will definitely relieve the stress, and it gives you a sense of belonging.
It took well over a year for me to realize that this was not the end for me. Sometimes when the devil attacks, we cannot see that it’s him until after we are waddled in his mess for a while, and we finally hear the message that wakes us up. I was out of it spiritually, and I guess you can say I was disappointed; but I knew this was not God’s fault. He comes to bring us peace and joy, and by His stripes, we are healed.
I chose to always rise again. I made myself a promise that I will never stay so low that I cannot pick myself back up. That is the key to life and overcoming anything that comes your way. We all fall down, but the key is to get back up; because once you get back up, then you can fight and win. Satan hates to see us get back up, because when we do, we are fifty times stronger than when we went down.
Never give up on yourself, no matter what you may be dealing with. God hears us when we cry, and He loves us. But He cannot help us when we give up. His Word says that faith without works is dead.
We have overcome!
Just Believe and Never Give Up!
( Continued… )
© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Marlena Lewis. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
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About the Author
Marlena Lewis grew up in a small town outside of Selma, AL. She joined the military shortly having college and retired as an Army Veteran in March of 2012. She has worked in the Government sector for over 20 years. She now works as a Government Contractor on Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. She has been married for over 18 years and has one son.