Friday, October 14, 2011

i'm a fruitcake

I wasn't sure I would ever publish this post.  I started writing it last week and it's kinda sat here.  Then I got an email from a friend who I'd confided in recently.  She was passing along a blog post she'd come across about a very real, yet difficult to put our fingers on, reality.

Spiritual battles.


It's true.

Despite the movies that Hollywood puts out there depicting evil, not everyone believes in good and evil.  Sure most of us agree that bad things happen.  And sometimes bad things happen to good people.  Actually, very often bad things happen to good people.  But are the movies just 'good entertainment' or is there some truth to it?

I'm a firm believer that we live in a physical world with a very real spiritual element to it.  I can't remember who to give credit to, but I've heard it quoted that we're not physical beings with spiritual natures, but spiritual beings with physical natures.  In other words, we're spiritual first.  Our spirit is who we really are.  Which is a good thing because with what's happening to this body of mine physically (a-hem), at least I can cling to the knowledge that my spirit will exist {unchanged} forever!    

What about the belief that spiritual battles exist?  I never used to give it much thought, but over the years I've grown more and more aware of this very real happening.

There is an enemy.  He wants to harm us.  He is out for no good.  He is evil.

There is a Friend.  He wants what's best for us.  He loves us.  He created us and wants to protect us.

The very character of the enemy is to create pain and suffering.  His mission is to remove all good in the world and eliminate any and all glory that God may receive.   He hates God.  And wants God to be small and he wants himself to be big.

God is BIG.

The enemy is small.

But if we don't keep our armor on, we're in trouble.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.                 

Ephesians 6:12-13

There it is.  This is not a physical struggle.  This is a spiritual struggle.   

Friends, I have been in a spiritual battle of late.  I share this because I want to be transparent here.  I want you to know that I'm human.  I have struggles.  I am someone who falls short.  I'm a mess and always have been!

I've been battling vertigo for the last couple of months.  And then I started experiencing anxiety around very regular, day-to-day activities (grocery shopping, going to church, meeting up with people).  I'd even feel anxious just being at home!  I've never been an anxious person.  I've never had vertigo.  I've had multiple appointments with an ENT, tests and more recently, an MRI.

As you know, our adoption of James is in its final leg.  We have seen God's mighty hand so many times through these months -- not just in our lives, but in the spirit of that sweet little boy I'll get to call my son.

There is no question in my mind that glorious, miraculous, mighty, powerful displays by God are something the enemy would like to cloud.  He does not want, for one second, God to receive the glory He's due for redemption efforts like James'.  He, frankly, would love to foil our plans to adopt James.  Or make me feel like a basket case who's ill-equipped to raise my current four, let alone another child with special needs.

But I know otherwise.

I know that God's Word says that with God anything is possible.  And that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Boy, have I felt his MIGHTY HAND on me over the last week.


In the last two weeks -- just in the last 10 or 14 days! -- I didn't know what was going on with me.  From what others describe, I likely experienced two panic attacks.  Once going to church (shortness of breath, heaviness on my chest and sweaty palms).  Then I almost didn't get through my MRI.  Suffice it to say, I prayed non-stop and sang 'Amazing Grace' off and on for 30 minutes.  I have never been so panic-stricken in my life.

I felt like I was losing it.  I was not Heather.  Period.  I was not myself.  And I didn't know who I was becoming.

Then a dear, sweet friend spoke truth to me.  I told her what had been going on over the last couple of weeks and the horrific experience that was my MRI.  She said she thought I was under spiritual attack.  That with all that God's been doing in my life, in my family's life, it made sense.  I burst into tears.  She and the other friends who were there prayed over me.  And I felt this immediate lightness.  I felt hope.  I felt empowered.  Because I know that once the source of suffering is identified as the enemy, I have the power of God on my side and He would ultimately have the victory.

Starting one week ago today, I have spent time praying and literally on my face on the floor asking God to take this from me.

I found these verses and they spoke to me in my time of need:

 5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
   “God opposes the proud
   but shows favor to the humble.”[a]
 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:5-11

I don't know what else to say, but it. is. gone.


No vertigo.

No dizziness.

No lightheadedness.

No anxieties.

No tightness in my chest.

No shortness of breath.

No sweaty palms.

No mistaking what just occurred in me.

The Holy Spirit intervened.

The enemy retreated because, frankly, it's not much fun to battle against God.

Listen, I know how weird this sounds.  I have been there.  I have been privy to these kinds of conversations over the years and thought, 'That person's a fruitcake.'

Perhaps you won't read this blog ever again, but call me a fruitcake then.  :)

1 comment:

  1. I don't think you're a fruitcake. Our son, Henry, had a problem biting for awhile after we adopted our daughter G. He almost got kicked out of school. We changed his diet, saw doctors, took away toys, everything. But the day that he was given as a "last chance" at school I emailed a bunch of folks to have them pray for him during school. I broke it down into 15 min intervals. He was prayed for by at least 3 people during the entire 3 hours of preschool the next day and he hasn't bitten or hit or even stolen a toy from a kid since. Sounds sort of hokey, I know. But apparently, God's love and Sovereignty covers the minutia of Moomyhood as well.



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