I look at satan’s affronts as acknowledgement that I’m living in line with Christ’s will. Why else would the Liar work so hard to throw me off track, if not to distract me from honoring God?
Yesterday was one of those days.
As my novel progresses and I receive feedback that it’s achieving God’s purpose (to help readers see how deeply He loves them), I find my soul fighting a heavier burden. I wake up depressed (if I was lucky enough to sleep), easily agitated, and can’t concentrate on my writing. I know that these negative weights are not from God. Instead, they’re signs that I’ve allowed subtle whisperings of the devil to penetrate my thoughts.
After struggling through a deluge of mental raindrops yesterday, I pulled out the big guns this morning. I opened my Bible, used God’s Word as a weapon, and came out with guns blazing!
I also pulled out my old prayer journal from last year. I haven’t written in it for months, but it inspires me when I see all of the answered petitions. Reading the journal, I was reminded, once again, that satan doesn’t just throw us a single blow and then walk away.
In August of last year, the Liar was on a rampage in my family. He can be cunning and he knows just where to hit, and when.
I was on disability and our income had been slashed drastically. My husband, always diligent with paying the bills and big on having an emergency fund, was concerned over upcoming expenses.
On August 29, I knew something was looming. I wrote a long excerpt about having a burdened heart. At the end, I said, “I’m so grateful for my incredible husband and our marriage, and I’m thankful for our trials and speed bumps, which are opportunities to draw closer to you [God] and make us stronger.”
The next morning, I crashed into the speed bump (in this case, it was an eighteen-inch curb, which destroyed my tire and front axle). After receiving a $700 quote to fix the car, the weight Ed had been carrying over our financial situation became towering. Suffice it to say, it was a very bad day.
Satan knew our weak spots. He knew the importance of financial security for Ed, and he knew that I’d been battling terrible uncertainty about my own personal value, since I wasn’t contributing monetarily (I’d mistakenly placed much of my worth in my income over the years; not at all what God wishes for us to do).
My August 30th journal entry, following the car mishap, illustrates the way the devil attacked our weak zones, using financial insecurities to tear us apart.
In the forthcoming writing, you’ll notice references to “my dream.” That is my dream of blogging and writing, which was torn down that day when we allowed satan to whisper lies into our minds.
The parts about “we work as a team,” refers to my two sons and me. Ed was often away on business and the boys were staying at the house. There is also a line about a boy taking his life. Sadly, a local teen had just committed suicide a few days prior, and we were grieving over the loss.
Here is what I wrote:
“Proverbs 29:11, ‘A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.’
I am a foolish woman married to a foolish man.
This is how I’m feeling about what happened today:
‘MY PAIN – A Poem to my Husband’
You tore out my spirit, you made me feel trapped
You believed in my dream, then pulled it right back
You think you are stronger, cuz you make the money
But I keep our home life, as sweet as pure honey
You hate that I’m doing, what warms up my heart
You suck out my spirit, and rip it apart
You count all your value, in the money you make
But lose it right now, and how long would it take?
How long would it be, ‘til you crumble inside?
‘Til you reach out for others and learn that they lied?
Your money’s all gone, along with your meaning
And so are the people, on whom you were leaning
Our God would remind you, that naked and cold
Is how he molds heroes, to be mighty and bold
But only our God, would quite feel that way
Because everyone else, would happily say
“You do nothing for me, I do all that matters
The words you are saying, are meaningless chatters”
I don’t understand, how it’s easy for you
To shrink and demean me, as if it were true
As if I contribute, no joy to your life
And only add burdens, by being your wife
I made a mistake, it cost us some money
I wish I were perfect, and made your life sunny
So I’m a “free loader”, lie around and get fat
But joy’s in this house, when it’s not where you’re at
We work as a team, when you’re not around
And when you’re not near us, great laughter is found
You think you’re off working, while we sleep all day
I can tell that you’re blind, by the things that you say
You can push me down hard, and make me feel small
But all that you’re doing, is preparing your fall
I’ve found my true value, I know who I am
I’m a daughter of God, my Lion; my Lamb
He loves and adores me, He paves out my way
And I know that you’ll find, your true meaning someday
You look at a boy, who just took his life
And you wonder out loud, why there’s trivial strife
But then you look sideways, and count up the money
It seems your perspective, is really quite funny
So a big seven-hundred, is the debt that I cost us
But it’s your strange reaction that truly has lost us.
Reading this journal entry today was a vivid reminder of how the Liar can tangle his way into our lives, our thoughts, and our marriages. I was writing words of bitterness and hurt over how Ed had reacted to our damaged car. And Ed, through his worry, had allowed the situation to overcome him.
Thankfully, Ed and I didn’t let ourselves fall too far, but we definitely tripped a lot harder than we should have.
As Christians, we can’t let the jerk below us steal our joy or cause hostility between spouses. Nor can we give him the power to throw us off the trail we’re walking with God.
Remember friends! We’re in this together. Through good times and bad. God didn’t intend for us to walk through life alone. When we stumble, let’s pray for each other and remember that the Creator has given us the authority to keep satan at bay! 🙂