I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

It's Not The End

It looked like another one of those underdog, feel-good sports movie. But hey, it had a woman hero this time, along with Morgan Freeman. Who doesn't like Morgan Freeman? That’s all I really saw before I checked out Million Dollar Baby from the library. I missed any hype there might have been when it was first released. I was just ready for a movie night, and it looked interesting. 

Instead, it was infuriating. So infuriating that, though it’s been years since I saw it, I’m still ready and more than willing to climb high on a soap box about it. (If you don’t know the story, you can find a summary here.)

Hilary Swank’s character was a fighter. They built that up throughout the movie. She worked hard. She overcame hurdles. She fought her way to what she wanted to accomplish…until an unexpected blow turned her life upside down, paralyzing her.

Unimaginable. Heartbreaking. Life-altering. I get that. I truly do.

But what happened to the fight in her? Wasn’t that part of her more than just physical? Wasn’t it something deep down inside the character they’d worked so hard to develop? And what happened to the coach who pushed her to be the best she could be? Giving up was not the brave thing to do. It wasn’t. 

Her story didn't have to end there.   

I have a paralyzed friend, a quadriplegic who has been through so very much. But through it all, she’s been such an amazing influence on so many people. Her life isn’t easy, but she fought hard for it. A car accident changed the course of her life, but it didn’t make her worthless. Far from it. Instead, it put her in a position to reach people she normally might not have had much time for.

She is loved. She is adored. She is special.

Her life is worth living.

I know of a family who lost a son, Aaron, in Afghanistan. It devastated them. Even now, over four years later, the fact that he’s gone breaks their hearts as well as all those of everyone who hears their story. A horrible blow, one they’ll never totally recover from. But they’re fighting, and they’re making a huge difference. For example, in an effort to reach kids like Aaron's, his sister founded an organization called Operation 300, which puts on adventure camps for kids whose fathers have been killed in the line of duty. It’s an amazing program, putting strong Christian men in these kids’ lives as mentors and teaching them about the heart of a warrior. It's making a difference in the lives of other families like Aaron's, bringing hope and healing. 

And then there were the Twelve, or eleven really. Three years they dedicated to Him—left their families and homes, their lives to become disciples, to be mentored by this new teacher. Only to see Him die—tortured and murdered before their eyes. Everything they believed in, the core of who they’d become—it was all gone. Talk about a horrific blow.

But their story was not over. 

Sunday was a’comin’. The stone was rolled away. The tomb stood empty. And their lives got harder. Oh yes. Much harder. But they fought the good fight. They did the work God had for them. And they ended up making an impact on the world around them and countless generations to come.

You’ve probably been dealt some blows of your own. They may have left you reeling, hurt, damaged, unsure of the future. But your story isn’t over. Not by a long shot. Don’t give up. Keep fighting. Look up. Have faith. There is a plan for your life--a plan for good. Don't give up too soon

You're worth fighting for, worth dying for. There is HOPE! 

His name is Jesus.

*I drafted this blog post last week, and ironically enough, author Katie Ganshert just blogged about something similar with a slightly different perspective. You can check it out here, but keep your eyes sharp for the spoiler alert.

What did you think about the movie, if you saw it? What kind of stories get you up on your soapbox?

~ Jenness Walker


  1. I saw the movie shortly after it came out, respected the acting, was infuriated at the "family's" demands & hated the conclusion. I love what you present here and your inspiring examples. I just went to site, hoping to find a post, and was VERY pleased and encouraged to read this. Well-done. It's definitely added a pick me up to a day that needed a bit more than the usual dose, and blessings your way.

  2. Never saw the movie, but this post is awesome! Thank you for reminding me that Sunday is a-coming!

  3. I haven't seen the movie, but I've heard it referenced. I'm not so sure I want to see it now...I prefer HEA instead of infuriating endings.

    I think those past hurts can be channeled into future healing if we allow ourselves to acknowledge the emotion and go through the process of grieving. When I was dealt a life-rocking blow, my pastor reminded me we don't have to forgive instantly--it's a process. Releasing those hurts is a process, but I love that we can cling to the Hope of the cross and keep our eyes fixed forward instead of looking back. Great post, JP! <3

  4. I didn't see this movie when it came out but almost watched it this weekend. Now, I'm glad I didn't. Loved this great, upbeat post reminding me Sunday is coming. I have a difficult meeting tomorrow with a lot at stake. But no matter what the outcome, I will still have Hope.

  5. I haven't seen the movie, but I loved your post!