Trouble surrounds me, chaos abounding; My soul will rest in you.
I will not fear the war. I will not fear the storm. My help is on the way, my help is on the way.
(Always, Kristian Stanfill)
I wish there was a pretty way to say this, but there isn’t. The battle is real and friends, we.are.in.it.
This isn’t a fun post to write. I’ve wrestled for a week with how to share in an authentic way, baring our scars, sharing our wounds, showing our fears yet claiming the truth.
It hit me last weekend, late in the night as I was sitting in the emergency room for the second time in as many weeks. Daniel brought me a “bug-out” bag with toiletries and change of clothes since I had just found out Prissy was being transported to another hospital for observation and such. It had been a long day and an even longer night. He held her hand beside the hospital bed and I just looked with tear filled eyes and said, I’m really tired of being under attack.
It was the first time we had acknowledged it but it felt like saying it out loud brought a bit of freedom. This can’t be normal life. There are too many pressures, too many pains, too many surprises to think this is normal. Or maybe, the battle is our new normal?
I remember waking up on Monday morning and thinking, I cannot be an adult today. seriously, can someone else be an adult for me. I just want to go back to my parents’ house, curl up in my bed and pretend like I’m not an adult.
My honest, gut level response to attack is to evaluate what we’ve done to set us up, drop it and pull back, bringing relief from the enemy. Is it fostering? Is it adopting? Is it Wellspring? What do I need to do to get relief, fast?
Well, I’m sure it’s any one or all of these things… but each of these are where we believe the Lord has called us and each of these are worth fighting for. What’s a girl to do?
Look for Jesus.
Two months ago I sensed the Lord say to me, You will not be shaken. That’s always fun to hear. Why would he say that? Why would I need to hear that? Probably because I would be faced with attack that over three weeks would make me feel like many things were failing, that he was not seeing and that I am alone on a battlefield. In the midst of the battle, I need to remember his words; and despite what life feels like, I can know that we will not be shaken.
There have been many people over the past month that have loved me well, engaged my heart and the painful things that I couldn’t understand. Many have prayed as we’ve invited them and I feel like we’re coming up for air. What I want to share is two-fold.
First, I invite you to pray with us. We need you guys to continue praying that God would give us strength, grace and perseverance every day. Secondly, I want to share some of the things I’ve learned so that as you walk through your own battles, maybe you can find hope.
One of our pastors shared last week in the sermon series “Battle Lines” about being under attack. I wasn’t able to attend but I was able to watch it later in the week. It had a powerful impact for me and I want to share some of the key points. I hope this is legal…
Some of you are in the fight of your life – the hour of darkness – and considering exchanging the most precious things in your life for things that will alleviate the spiritual attack… don’t make concessions.
It is easy in the midst of a battle to want relief, to feel weary and wish you could give up. Don’t make concessions.
I am reminded of the scriptures in Isaiah God gave us at the beginning of this journey with the girls, So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
The battle is in believing God is for me, that he is with me…. it’s not for the breakthrough… it’s for the believing.
In one of my struggles I entered some significant disappointment that made me question if God even sees me. If what I’m praying for, believing for, hoping for doesn’t happen – what does that say about me? Am I worth it to God? Have I done something to deserve this? Is God even there?
There are many things I will never understand this side of heaven. I can’t even begin to list some of those questions. But one thing I’ve learned is that I have often confused having hope in God with having hope in an outcome. Once I shift my hope to believe that no matter the outcome, God’s heart towards me is good, I can rest in his promises.
The tactic of the enemy is to go after your relationship with God. Yes, he uses all the things around you that you love and hold dear, but ultimately, he wants us to question if God is who he says he is.
In the sermon he went on to challenge me to “Look beyond the hour”.
“The hour of darkness is not meant to prove us but is meant to reveal Jesus.”
There’s really not much I can do about the attack, but I have full control over how I respond. My hearts desire is that my response to the disappointment, the pain and even if one day I experience suffering, that it reveals Jesus.
John 12:27 in the Message says: “Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.'”
Friends, October was not fun. I feel storm-tossed. We’re a bit weary. But Lord willing, we’re still standing! I don’t think you could find a happier girl to see the month of November begin. As I sit and reflect on the things that have felt hard, I cannot help but be thankful for God’s grace, for your faithfulness to pray and all the many ways I can see he is fighting for me.
Hope is rising like the light of dawn.
There’s too much at stake. The battle is real. But it’s worth fighting.
To hear Pastor Jeremy’s sermon, feel free to watch “The Hour of Darkness” at this link http://www.destinyworshipcenter.com/battle-lines-series/
2 thoughts on “The Battle… is real”
Abby, you are so right on point! I feel horrible that I didn’t realize how crazy of an October it was you. I’m sorry! But please know you and your family are a constant in my prayers and thoughts! Jason and I talk about you often! He is smitten by the pictures I show him! I know it’s not an easy road, there are so many constant Goliath’s, so reading this is very refreshing to me! It’s very comforting to me! Thank you for being so open, raw and real! xoxoxo
Oh Abby, your vulnerability is so beautiful. It breaks my heart that you are experiencing such attack. I can certainly relate to your new normal as it has long been mine. But, like you, I have found that the Jesus I have come to know in the process is far more precious than the absence of struggle. God’s glory is shining brightly my friend. I am praying and sending you huge hugs from Alabama.