Monday, March 11, 2013

So things went south for a bit


I feel like I'm waking up from a bad dream or a serious illness.

The last couple weeks, because of the tremendous responsibilities related to our move and my husband leaving for his trip of a lifetime, I went from keeping my head above water to fully sinking. Yeah. It was not awesome. I was so overwhelmed.

Then, I slowly began to realize this was not just the usual "I have so much to do" meltdown. I was totally under spiritual attack. I have some experience here, some familiarity with what this feels like, for me. I'm sure it's different for everyone because we all have our weaknesses, those vulnerable spots in our hearts where the Enemy knows his lies might just work. Of course I don't really see how I may be agreeing with lies at the time. I don't really know when or where I start to let go of the truth about who I am and who God is.

But I started to recognize the fruit of spiritual oppression.

The life-sucking, poisonous fruit.

Being under attack, for me, feels like an unusual weight on my soul. It feels like something I want to call depression, a sort of sadness that I can't escape. I don't want to get out of bed, but I have to, and so I drag through my day in exhaustion and irritability. I don't have any joy. I don't feel strong or clear headed. Bad ideas - ones I would never consider in my healthy life under the light of Christ - seem fuzzy and appealing. It feels like complete misery. And naturally, I'm tempted to soothe this misery with the wrong things.

For a few days there, the enemy made relentless work of planting all sorts of unhealthy cravings in my heart. As if satisfying them would have made a difference. As the Bible makes clear, Satan's only goals are to deceive me, steal from me, and destroy me. There was in fact an element of physical pain, this pressure in my chest that hurt. Day after day, I wondered what it was. I lay on my bed and winced from the burn.

The closest word I could find for it was grief. It felt like the physical pain you feel when someone you love dies, or a relationship is lost. When I asked, in my spirit, why I was feeling this sort of pain in my chest, I heard the surprising answer: God was filled with grief watching me suffer this attack. Oh my goodness, I thought. Of course! He lives in my heart. My God who loves me as his daughter was grieving my heart's struggle! He hurt because I hurt. Though He was allowing this onslaught to take place, and though I know He had his good reasons for it, He was suffering too simply watching it happen to me.

I imagine I felt a fraction of that same kind of grief the day I watched my two year old son's broken leg be hurriedly cast in the ER without any pain medication. I knew it was best for him. He screamed the whole time, and I had to turn away to cry my own tears, those a loving parent cries when her child is suffering. God loves me so much more than I love my children. And He knows what's best for me. I'm the two year old in this situation.    

And I wasn't thrown into battle without some weapons. I knew a couple of things still. One, that it is never wrong to be tempted. Satan can and will place ideas in my head and I have the choice in how I respond. And I knew God promises a way out. Satan doesn't have the power to make us do anything. God always provides an escape. I also knew, from past experience, that Satan always always always wants us to hide. He is the Prince of Darkness; exposing darkness to light is one quick way to break its power. After the grieving Holy Spirit urged me for a few days, that was one good choice I was eventually able to make: I used a literal lifeline and phoned a friend.

Okay, I emailed a friend, because I couldn't bring myself to call her, to say what I needed to say out loud. So I brought my darkness into the light of Christ; I typed out all my struggles to someone I knew would have God's eyes for me, and it worked. That weight on my soul started to lift, the power of the oppression was so clearly breaking. Two days later, God provided another chance for me to share my struggles with a friend. And the light flooding in from these two Godly women was so healing. God used them to love me, to blow a clean wind of grace into my heart that pushed all the cloudiness away.

I've once heard it said that a true friend is one who knows who you are and speaks it to you when your memory fails. I sure hope you have a friend like that. Because we all fail to remember who we are, and whose we are, when the battles come.

I'm clearer now. And it's a good thing, because on Tuesday, I'm speaking to a group of MOPS ladies; it's the Spring Tea, and I'm giving an invitation to receive Jesus for the first time. I'm sure that's part of why Satan made a go of kicking me when I was down. My fatigue and stress from our current circumstances left me like a weak little lamb most easily picked off by the wolf.  

Good thing I have a kick-ass Shepherd. I totally just said that.

He counseled me and gave me enough strength to reach out.

He positioned other believers to speak truth to me and stomp out the embers of lies.

And he gave me a powerful reminder that I'm pretty darn helpless on my own.

{If you think of it, please pray that the Holy Spirit would BRING IT on Tuesday morning. Thanks.}



  1. Wow! You just spoke this truth to me on a day when I really needed it. Thank you! Prayers for you tomorrow!

  2. A kick ass shepherd, I'm saying amen to that!

    And I'll be praying for you, praying even now that you would be filled with his spirit and his words for tomorrow. And that God would use you to stir up his good things in those who hear your words.

    And also, praying for peaceful sleep for you tonight!

  3. Thank you so much for your honesty with this post. I've struggled with some of these very very very same things. Just hearing someone whose faith I admire speak about it was so good for me. Such a comfort to know that my struggles aren't so great that Christ can't handle them- and I loved being reminded that being tempted isn't the sin. And just everything you said- thank you for it all.

  4. love love love you. i KNOW that pressure and that attack. too well. The enemy has seen me as a pretty easy target lately while I deal with grief and sorrow. Thankfully my hubby can recognize the attack when I cant see it right in front of my face. We are in the battle too, but making it with HIS strength and power. praying for you you so much, Also...I love that you said it...He is TOTALLY a kick-ass God. :)

  5. what a radically amazing post... you've literally shone light into a rather dark part of any persons life... we've all had our struggles and its humbling that you would speak such truth about it... we should not be ashamed when we feel weak... it makes me think of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10... thank you for a beautiful & real post... May God Bless you!

  6. Dude. Just read this. I was praying for weren't kidding about being under attack. Love you.

  7. experiencing so much of the same lately.

    i reached out to a couple of friends last week. the light spilled into the dark places. it is good to have friends you can be your ugliest self with, and who see who you really are in Christ. they are rare, but oh so good.

    i was suppose to speak at MOPS this Thursday night... same topic. i used a prior commitment as the reason to get out of it, BUT if i wanted to i could have rearranged my schedule...could have shared about our Savior, but it's hard to see in the dark.

    i pray for God's grace upon grace to cover us both (and all the readers here, who relate with these words). i pray for God's TRUTH to be magnified in our lives, and for the peace of Christ to reign in our hearts.

  8. I love what you wrote. I was in a very similar place recently, and finally realized it was a spiritual attack...that's when it began to lift. Once we see the truth, and recognize that it is Satan's work, we can pull out of it. It's only when he deceives us into believing that his lies are the truth that he can keep us down. No more of that! :) Blessings to you.

  9. Praying for your comfort and continued renewal. I hope that you are doing well. I am so excited that your husband will be back sometime in the next few days. Cannot wait to read about his journey. Take care, Leslie!