I’ve had a hard week. I’m adjusting to working more at my church/being away from home, it’s that “time of the month”, and I have a ridiculous amount of activities on my calendar as my kids near the end of the school year. My anxiety has been at a high while my patience and ability to prioritize and focus at a low. What I thought was a few hard days has proven to be a full on attack by the serpent himself.
The Bible calls him “crafty” and I have to give him that, he is unparalleled in his ways of deception. Not only did he pull off a sneak attack, he used my mind and body against me.
You want to work in God’s house? Who are you? Why would you think you’re good enough to be given such a privilege? You know, people aren’t going to like this. They won’t like you. You should just quit before you disappoint them all.
You struggle with anxiety? Let me fill your calendar with good things. You will feel like you can’t miss any of them so you will obsessively rework your schedule trying to fit it all in. Then when you figure it out, I’ll add something else making it impossible for your to be at everything and intensifying your mom guilt. Oh, and your kids will get sick, causing you to rework your schedule and already miss days at that job you just took.
You think you’re just a little emotional because of hormonal changes in your body? I can work with that. You’re going to have food cravings and be bloated so I’ll whisper in your ear how awful you look and how disgusting you are. I will make you loathe the body you claim was made in God’s image.
If all that's not enough, illness will hit your family. You will learn you're allergic to wasps when they sting you and your arm and hand burn and swell for two days. That new iron supplement you're so hopeful about will come with new side effects. Your hedge of protection has been removed and I will come at you in every way I can. But you will be too overwhelmed, too weak, too dumb to know its me.
The devil is a real jerk. He’s not above using anything against us that can turn us away from the Father. He will use your physical and mental health against you. He will use your calendar and circumstances against you. He will taint the gifts God has given you, making you question God’s goodness and shift the blame to Him. He will come after your job, your marriage, and your kids.
He came after my kids. That was a low blow, Satan, even for you.
Last night we went to the park to play and when we were leaving, my oldest son got separated from us for three painstakingly long minutes. If you’ve ever been in a situation like this, you understand how long three minutes can feel. I couldn’t see him, I couldn’t hear him. He couldn’t hear me calling his name. In those three minutes my mind raced with a million thoughts: Where is he? How do I get to him? How do I keep my two other kids safe while I look? What if he’s gone? What if I don’t find him? What if he’s hurt? What if…
When I finally could hear his sobs and screams I didn’t know if I was relieved or more horrified. I had never heard him cry like that. Was he just scared or was it something more? Was someone trying to take him? Was he hurt or hit by a car? This is Mother’s Day weekend and I have failed in the most horrible way at being a mother.
The devil repeated those words to me for the rest of the night, even after we were all safely home and tucked in bed.
You. Are. A. Failure. You can’t protect your children. You are weak and pathetic. Don’t you see? I’m the one in control. Why are you even trying, don’t you see all the evil around you? You teach them about a god who loves them, but where is he? You teach them about a god who rescues and protects but do you even believe that? I’m waiting around every corner ready to feast on their souls, ready to show them my power and what I can do. And the best part is, you will think it’s all your fault. You will wallow in guilt and shame. You will put it on yourself to try to save your children because you will doubt your savior’s ability to do it himself. Who is this Jesus? He’s as weak and pathetic as you are.
Stop. STOP. Stop the lies. Stop the guilt trip. Stop it. You, Satan, are the one who is weak and pathetic. You are the one who stalks innocent children hoping enough trauma turns them away from God. You are the one who waits for someone to be at rock bottom and then kicks them in the gut. You think you have power but the lies you believe about yourself are just as delusional as the ones you make me believe. You want to come after my job? Take it, because I work for God, not man, and certainly not for you. You want to attack my mind? Try. I’ve learned to be honest with my husband, my friends, a counselor, and whoever else I need to expose your plan. You might get me to believe your lies but they see right through them. You might wear me down, you might make me doubt, you might win some of the battles against me but nothing you do can take away my Father’s love for me. I am chosen, redeemed, and a conqueror through Christ. Romans 8:31-39 tells me this.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You thought you had me. And if you had just bombarded me, you might have worn me down. But you got arrogant. You thought you could use my greatest gifts against me. You thought my child was your pawn in the twisted game you play in my mind.
You were sorely mistaken though. You want to come after my kids? Prepare for battle. I will fight like you’ve never seen and I’m bringing the God of angel armies with me.