The onslaught of fiery arrows has been fierce these past few days, as I have struggled through more physical, emotional and spiritual pain. I am exhausted from the daily battle against the whisperings of Satan. He’s a crafty one. Or as my sweet friend, Beth, said Sunday on the phone, “Oh, that Satan’s just a mean ol’ thang.” No one puts it quite like Beth.
It is hard to fight those whispers. To choose to look at the good rather than the bad. Satan is always prowling about waiting for just the right time to launch his attack…
He floods my minds with doubts of God’s love. Doubts of Brian’s love. After all, how could Bri still love me after all of this… this ugliness and brutality, this pain and suffering that have changed me in so many ways? And how could God love me and allow this to happen? Doubts of my friendships creep in. The loneliness of isolation and the lack of physical presence is hard. He loves to remind me of promises made but not kept, of people who have abandoned me in my pain, of words spoken and failure to follow through, of those who began this journey with me, but turned another path when they tired of my struggle. He wants me to focus on my sin and become discouraged. To see my failings as a mother, wife, daughter, friend. Satan longs for me to be self-consumed, because when I only see myself I cannot see my Savior.
And so I fight. I preach truth to myself. I beg for a daily mind transformation. A mind that believes God is faithful and loves me no matter what. Eyes to see my Brian’s heart for me, that he is there for me because he loves me, not because he has to be. I remind myself of how many are praying for me, encouraging me, lifting me up… of the close friends who are faithful to visit and call and write. I remind myself of my own failings to others when my expectations of them become unreasonable. And I preach the gospel to myself daily. I am redeemed, new, forgiven and guiltless. I fix my eyes on Him, because He alone is my strength in this battle.
When Satan brings his onslaught, it is a mighty thing. He is bringing all the power of hell against me. But as my daddy reminded me the other day, we are promised that when we submit to God and resist the devil, he will flee from us. Think about that y’all. Because of Christ, we have the power to make the devil flee! My armor is on… the full armor of God. And I stand for battle. Daily.
Sure, there are days where I have no strength left for the fight. That is when my friends step in, and they pick up “the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God” and place it back in my hand, reminding me of His truths. There are times when others hold my “shield of faith” for me, because my arms are too weary. And I hold on to faith, because faith will always point to God and His promises.
There are days when my feet, shod with the Gospel of Peace, are afraid to move. But they still stand firm, because that Gospel of Peace, it promises me I have a future and a hope. My helmet of salvation? That can’t be taken away from me. Ever!
I wear my belt of truth proudly, knowing that the truth is what frees me to fight. If I am not immersed in truth, I will fall prey to confusion and be crippled by spiritual doubt. If I do not live as a theologian and know and stand for truth, then I will fall for anything.
I wear his righteousness. My breastplate. And that is impenetrable, because Satan cannot stand against the atoning work of Christ. When I delight in Christ alone, when I glory in His victory, it is then that Satan flees.
And I pray. I pray for strength to put on that armor daily and fight. I pray for eyes to remain fixed on Him.
And I praise. I praise Him for the victory I know I have, because He has already won.
Yes, y’all, that Satan is a mean ol’ thang. He loves to divide, to whisper, to destroy, to subtly move in and work against me. But God, my God, is for me, and I fight. Even in my weariness, I know that as I bow in submission to my Father, I resist the devil, and he is running.
And that is a sight for my mind’s eye to behold!
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