Ok, so I may go silent for awhile. Those of you who were praying, keep praying. This week, we go finally for help.
Am I expecting miracles? Hmm...
No. I don't expect by the end of the week to be on cloud nine and all problems fixed. That only happens in romance novels after some great calamity that people just barely escape from. (One day, I am going to write about how fiction writers have wronged us.... )
Yes. I expect God to work. He told me He would. So I believe Him. Despite all my troubles with people, and fears because my "trust muscles" have been damaged, I still believe Him. I know His voice. It quiets me, and I believe God will work.
But real change takes time to be worked out into a life. So I am not expecting instant miracles. Not like instant coffee. (And really, who likes that stuff anyway?!)
I listened to a talk today as I drove. It was about the weapons of our warfare. Talked about a few. Resisting the devil. Rejoicing. Love. Meditation. Prayer.
Five. I think people like five since David picked up five stones. Imagine if he picked up ten... pastors would never get through their sermons!
But it was a good reminder. I am very aware that this next week will be a spiritual battle. The battle we fight is not simply with habits, but strongholds. With shadows. With the forces of evil. I know that. So it is good to be reminded to resist.
Rejoicing. That's hard at times. Hard because life has hurt so much. People have hurt so much. It is hard to rejoice in pain. But I am remembering back to the death of my first daughter and what I learned then. I can rejoice in the face of awfulness when I focus on what I know about God. I know He is good. I know He is hearing my pain. I know He loves me. And I know He is working. He said He would. So I rejoice, but it is not the happy chatter of an excited child, but the deep clinging of a heart to God.
The battle is not against my husband. At times it is easy to feel that because so much of the anger is aimed against me. And loving is tough. It becomes tougher as the years go by and the wounds and scars pile up. But I have been called to love. I doubt there is much feeling of love left. But my will is stronger than my feelings, and I can choose to act in love. The interesting thing that I have learned is that my feelings are intricately tied to my mind and will, and eventually will tag along, even if they are dragged.
There is a balance here, as in all life. To chose to love does not always mean one stands and keeps getting pummeled. But even in how you chose to get out of reach of damaging words, actions can be done in love. I am not sure that I am an expert at that balance. I hope to learn it more.
Meditation. To be honest, when dealing with spiritual battles up this close and personal, at times it is even hard to open my Bible and read. Thankfully, God gave me two things as a young adult - an outstanding memory and the desire to learn His word. I reacted to deep pain as a young teen by voraciously reading my Bible in hopes of finding hope. It took me a few years to make that hope mine, but by then, I knew my Bible. I also memorized. Lots. Like entire books. A few of them.
I am incredibly thankful for that today. When it is hard to focus enough to read, what I know comes back to me. I will take time this week to read more, to listen more, and hopefully to memorize more. To walk alone and let God speak to me through what is hidden in my heart.
Prayer. Ok, let's all do this one. I need help here. I pray. But this is also incredibly difficult, up-close, painful, and hard for me - not the praying, but the life in general right now. So pray with me this week. Pray that I get my "praying legs" under me again. Like sea legs. That I get used to it. Focused prayer rather than the meditative prayer that I am better at, the quiet discussion with God throughout the day.
And let's see what God will do. He is quite capable of battling strongholds. He is also quite capable of healing wounds.