I’ve been struck. Man down. My face hits the ground. Ash rises from the impact and covers my wounds with a bitter taste. The sharp pain engulfs my wounds making me see that my worst can get worse. I hear him laugh. From the corner of my peripheral I see his gray scaly skin as he slithers around me. He cannot come too close to me. His dry voice full of cough and dust says that I am defeated. As I slowly pick my face up from the gravel I pant with determination, “I…am…not…defeated.” He says,”But look at you. You’re down and out” I interject,”But I am not underneath you.” He shrivels and gasps for air. I push my body up from the ground slowly moving inch by inch, muscle by muscle. My knees press into the ground. Then I hear him say, “You’re too weak to rise up. You can’t make it.” I say “When I am weak my God is strong. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” He sinks into the ground. As I step up with one foot and then the other he says “You can’t rise up.” As I look ahead of the journey I say “Who is stronger, you or the God in me?” He says in defeat “The Almighty God” and vanishes in the gravel. I RISE. I SURVIVE. I ENDURE. I PREVAIL. I AM FREE.