From a precious sister in Christ, Terrie:
This picture was in my newsfeed this morning, intended as humor, but it struck a chord with me. Maybe it strikes a chord with you, too. As believers, we are expected to react to the tragedies and trials in our lives according to the Word of our God, and of course, that’s exactly what we should be doing.
Sometimes, though, it’s not that easy, is it? Sometimes, those Living Words can feel just like typed words on paper. Sometimes, our spirit does not absorb what our eyes are reading, and what our mind already knows. Sometimes, we are too ashamed to admit to those closest to us in our faith walk that we are stumbling on two broken ankles. We may even find ourselves beginning to just go through the motions, so no one knows how frail our faith has become. We are smiling and praising on the outside, but inwardly, we are screaming.
I know, because recently, it happened to me…
Just before my ninth year of walking on the narrow path, “The Event” happened in my life that knocked me so far back, I began to wonder if I had ever been on the path at all, or if I had just been deceiving myself. I turned to my wiser sisters, who encouraged me, prayed for me, and directed me to the Scriptures that held the answers to my dilemma. At that time, I couldn’t find the words to tell them how disconnected I felt, no matter how much encouragement was coming my way. I spent almost two months saying “HalleluYah!” and “Amein!” to my brethren, using only my mouth, and dying inside a little more each day. I was smiling, but still screaming on the inside.
- I backed into a dark corner, where my enemy and my pride wallowed together in a pity party, each feeding the other, while my spirit was starving. It got harder and harder to smile through the internal screaming, and so I gave in to the isolation instead….
I was ready to chuck everything, from my Bible to my marriage, right in the river. But I have come through the fiery furnace, most of the way, at least, and am already beginning to give thanks for this core-shaking event.
Day after day, I awoke to a feeling of desperation and to the wetness of tears rolling down my face. “The Event” was my first conscience thought in the morning. Even in my despair, I knew that my God was the answer, and I cried out to Him often, even if the only words I could form were “I need You!”. I hung Scriptures all over my house, and spoke them aloud often. For a while, I would feel the strength and peace to get the day started. Without fail, though, “The Event” would seep past the guard on my thoughts, and I’d find myself weeping again. Or fearing. Or playing the “what if” game. Little by little, shame would creep up on me.
- I was ashamed that my faith was shaken.
- I was ashamed that even though “The Event” happened to me, my reaction to it was every bit as sinful as “The Event” had been toward me.
It was not unlike being caught in a whirlwind. I was spinning out of control, and more scared than I have ever been in my life. My days ended much like they’d started, with tears on my face, wrong thoughts in my head, and my enemy laughing…
I knew that my Father hadn’t let go of me, but was unsure of exactly what was happening. And so, I cried out some more. Finally, in a fit of tears, I told God everything I was feeling. I even confessed my anger toward Him for allowing “The Event” to happen to His own daughter! He patiently waited for my tantrum to be over, and whispered one Word into my spirit…Pride. I understood then that in order to give “The Event” to Him to work for my good, I had to let go of it. Pride kept it clutched in my hands…
- ~Pride is the most common crack in our armor, a place for our enemy to take a foothold (See Eve’s story). Whether his foothold becomes a stronghold or not is up to us!~
With this new understanding came the beginning of my journey back to the Narrow Path. I began to see how “The Event” could be used by both my Father and my enemy.
- My Father could use it for me to bear fruit in the future. That is HIS will for my life.
- My enemy (who is really YHWH’s enemy) could use it to tarnish my testimony. That is his will for my life.
The choice as to what role “The Event” will ultimately play in my life, which is truly a choice between life and death, is mine to make…
Like I did nine years ago, I will choose life. Every day. This time, with a plan to combat the wiles of my enemy and those of my second enemy, my own pride…
- I will choose the Narrow Path, which is lit by the Word of my God.
- I will forgive freely, as I have been forgiven.
- I will think on the things that are praise-worthy.
- I will repair my armor by keeping my pride in check. No stronghold can be taken without first having a place to take a foothold.
- I will remember that when I pray for “Whatever it Takes” sometimes whatever it takes will hurt.
- I’m going to let any hurt propel me closer to my Father, who will reveal what the hurt can teach me about Him.
This time, if I start to hear the screaming on the inside, I will seek wise counsel in honesty, and be accountable for my own faith. I will not be backed into a corner, alone, ever again!
Has this new knowledge instantly changed my every emotion connected to “The Event”? Oh, if it were only that easy, who would need a Savior? This new knowledge has, however, instantly changed how I will REACT to those emotions. YHWH’s way, or the enemy’s and my own ways?
I share this private “Event” from my own life because I see so many prayers requests on a regular basis. Reading between the lines, I see that many of you have had “An Event” in your own faith walk that has shaken you, too. Oh, it may be different than mine, but the side-effects on you and the pressure on your faith has been the same. I share because I know how hard it is to admit that we’re sliding down a slippery slope, and that we can’t see how Abba could bring good from “The Event”. That would be to admit that we don’t trust Him!
I beseech you, friends, if you are screaming on the inside
- RUN to the throne…Yell, kick, cry, shake those fists if you have to, He already knows what you’re feeling!
- When you’re spent, ask Him to change you, through and through. He is so faithful!
- Next, connect with a believer or two whom you trust, and be brutally honest with them. Ask them for support in prayer and to hold you accountable as you wander through the briars on your way back to the Narrow Path. Stay connected!
Every day, life and death are set before us. Making the choice is an action, not a feeling. The “Events” and our reactions to them are going to show us where we are truly standing, on the Solid Rock, or in Sinking Sand…
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