It’s been a while since I wrote last. I wasn’t going to come here tonight, but I had to. It’s rare, these days, that I get a free minute to do anything that’s “mine” like writing or singing or cooking or sewing… all the things I love to do, but that get choked out in the midst of all that is “life” right now. But today was a fairly free day, and I couldn’t let it slip by.
Especially after yesterday.
Believe me when I tell you it wasn’t anything spectacular. In fact, when someone messaged me to ask how my day had been, I had to answer honestly. I mean… not that I am a dishonest person at heart in the first place, but you know how it is. Someone asks, “How are you?” The most common response is, “Good! And you?”
So, yesterday was a wreck. Nine hundred things compounded on top of the other nine hundred things I was already dealing with and I almost cried. ALMOST. Yes, I seem to be going through another “no-tears” season that has lasted longer than I thought it would, but at least it’s not uncharted waters. But it’s still a story for another day.
I won’t go into all the details of my massive derailment, but suffice it to say, I’m sure it’s nothing uncommon. Well, not if they were all broken apart, and maybe offered one at a time. All together, the uncommon can break your back, metaphorically speaking.
I was sad. I was angry. And I was tired. And it didn’t help matters any that I’ve been battling some things in the spirit that have had me tied in knots for untold amounts of time. I’ve spent the last few weeks, in the early, early, EARLY morning hours, just worshiping God, listening to amazing worship music, and praying. I should have known. That’s always a good sign there’s a battle brewing somewhere in the spirit.
I want to stop right here and step away from my story for a minute, and tell you that no matter WHAT you are going through, or WHO you are going through it WITH, your battle is never with them. It might feel like it, but it’s not, and here’s why…
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
I think, even in the midst of some crazy stuff, this was likely one of the most important principles I have ever learned from the Scriptures, and I would recommend that you put this boldly on a note card and stick it up somewhere highly visible. Believe me, you’re gonna need it.
Now, back to the story…
When I get to a place of “melt-down” I am generally very quiet. I clean a lot. And I won’t even be in the same room with any of my devices. Everyone in the house knew exactly where I was in my head, and it creates a sort of eerie calm. You know the kind. Like right before an F-5 tornado. Or at least that’s how I would have been several years ago. There are so few times that I get to that point of needing to defrag, I’m not sure my family has adjusted to the fact that I’m not the same “Mama” I used to be all those awful years ago.
These days it’s just a quiet contemplation, a hateful word every now and then, and a whole lot of internal combustion that bubbles over as nothing more than silence. Which I try not to be, because I always want to create a space of calm and love and joy in my home, no matter what.
But we ARE our own worst enemy, right?
So, I’m contemplating my lack of worth to God, the apparent failure of my many gut-wrenching prayer nights, and how the Kingdom might just be better off without a faker like me. Like, how could I be useful to God, or useful to the Body, if I wasn’t even useful in prayer? If I couldn’t hold myself together under the pressure I was more than familiar with? How could I be ANYTHING God could use with failures #1, 2, 3, 4, etc., etc., etc., and so on??
I immediately recognized the suicide demon rising up, but that’s a road I will never again travel. I put that monster away with a quickness. But the point is, one small thing, compounded with a dozen, or two dozen, or fifty, can chip away your armor if you’re not careful! You see, satan is smart enough to use tactics that have WORKED in the past, or at least “almost” worked. He will hammer away at those, simply because they are quick and easy and common. Kinda like serving up hot dogs and French fries when you can’t think of anything to cook for supper. It works. Let’s do it.
Anyway, in the midst of all this, I started to overhear a conversation my son was having on the phone and, as Mama’s so often do, I wound up in the middle of the conversation. And even though I was considering a life of solitude, and laying down any marching orders God had given me, I opened my mouth to reply to my son for something he had said and Scripture came out.
He went on with his conversation, a room away, and I leaned on my kitchen island, with faint words echoing through my head. I can’t say exactly what was going on at that moment. Actually, I was still in “SELFISH” mode, really (cause let’s be real… unless it’s spiritual and the center of your prayer-battle, anger, bitterness, sadness, and all that, they are just symptoms of flesh getting bigger than it should). I was thinking,
“Well, I don’t know why I just said that.”
Then, my son came through again, and this time, asking me questions, and once again, more Scripture came to mind. Encouragement. Reproof. Correction. And this time as my son left the room, and me, leaning on the kitchen island again, God spoke to me as clear as day.
He reminded me that the gifts and callings of God are without repentance. That man cannot give them and man cannot take them away. Women either, turns out. We can get selfish and flesh-minded enough that we CONSIDER laying them aside. We might even feel justified in that, somehow.
But as I played over the conversations I’d just had with my son, God pointed out that our concern is not with flesh and blood. It’s not a he-said, she-said faith. It’s not about HOW I FEEL!! In reality, it’s about Jesus Christ, and Him crucified…
“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)
Furthermore, we are called to be WITNESSES… men and women alike…
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
“And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” (Acts 5:32)
I have to say, this round of emotional flesh and fodder has had one of the most profound effects on me of any experience of my life. Was it an epiphany? It sure seems like it. But this I know…
I will never be able to lay aside the mandate to witness, as this is what he calls those who are filled with the Holy Ghost to do.