Sorry for this week.
I fell so short in so many ways.
Please forgive me.
I hope you know that I’m doing my best
and that I love you very much.
If I had to write a letter to my family about the last five days, that is what it would say. I tried to write a funny, light-hearted little blog about the start of school and how I am rejoicing with moms everywhere…but I felt God asking me to be honest and share this instead. I have spent most of the holiday weekend lamenting my not-so-stellar week; asking God to forgive my shortcomings and give me the strength to do better. To be better.
I’ve already written a blog about how tough football season is for me. Every year at this time, I go a little crazy… not the good kind of crazy either. The hard to live with kind. Every August, it’s the same: the adjustment to being “in-season” is rugged. I get crabby. And negative. And less grace-full because I’m tired and it’s hard (impossible) to juggle everything.
Proverbs 24:10 says “If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.”
Every year, I fail under the pressure of football season. My strength is too small. I get overwhelmed and crabby and negative every.single.year.
But this weekend, I felt more inadequate than I ever have before. It was like a dark cloud hanging over me that I couldn’t shake, reducing me to tears on many occasions. No matter what I did, that cloud stayed over me. Finally, last night I got angry. Angry at the circumstances and people around me that were contributing to my feelings of inadequacy. Misplaced anger at its finest. I had to apologize for my attitude more than once, which is humbling to say the least.
And the hardest part is that I’ve been chasing Jesus as hard as I can and clinging to his strength but STILL falling short. It’s so frustrating. So discouraging. So overwhelming.
I am NOT telling you this to get sympathy.
I am NOT telling you this looking for more help. I have a fabulous network of friends and family who are more than willing to help me when I come unglued.
I’m telling you this because I believe there is power in being honest about my struggles, so that the light of Jesus can be seen in my life. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God and not ourselves.”
I am a fragile clay jar. A tired, worn-out, fallen-short, clay jar. Trying to let my light shine.
And failing. This morning I did what I know I have to do when I reach the end of myself: I got on my knees and began to praise and thank and pray to my only Source.
I had a revelation as I was ugly crying on my knees and it was this: Sometimes it’s not so much about the falling short (even though I do), or the strength being too small (even though it is), it’s about spiritual attack.
Ephesians 6:11-12 reminds us, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in the dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
This is one of those times. I am under attack.
Because I am letting my light shine. Because my hubby is letting his light shine. Because as a family we are intentionally SHINING THE LIGHT OF JESUS and satan is not thrilled about it.
He never is. He never likes when people decide to get all vocal and passionate about sharing God’s life-changing truth with others. In fact, he hates it. And he FIGHTS it with everything he has to stop it.
So he’s been the cloud hanging over me: taunting me that I’m not enough, reminding me I never will measure up, and shouting at me to give up because I’m a failure and I am not worthy of sharing God’s truth. He’s launched a verbal and physical assault on all fronts to try to silence me, attacking every weakness I have. I can’t even list for you the number of things that he has attacked this weekend but it includes a terrifying, perilous situation for one of my kids, added financial strain, migraine headaches, an unreasonable amount of conflict coming from outside sources, and sleeplessness. It’s almost funny the number of things that have gone wrong… almost but not really.
Because it was working. I wanted to quit everything and hide in a closet.
Until in his mercy, God revealed to me what was really going on, which gave me the grace to get up and start to fight back. Friends, I was fighting the wrong battle, trying to overcome the things in my life that I could see were going wrong and it was going nowhere. Instead, I needed to be fighting what I could not see: satan and his scheme to take me down.
There is a sign hanging up in our family room from Judges 6:12 that reads, “The Lord is with you, Mighty Warrior.”
And He is.
He is with me. He loves me. He is full of unfailing love and faithfulness for me, because I am his child. His love never fails, even when I do. His strength is sufficient. His grace is enough. His love knows no end. His power is greater than any other power. Victory is already His, which means victory is also mine. That’s truth.
I will not give up. I will not give in. I WILL WRITE.
I will put on my armor (Ephesians 6) and stand in the battle because the God of the Universe is with me, and he is Mighty. I will press in and keep praising, keep thanking, keep praying for his help. I will overcome.
My dear and faithful friends, I don’t know what your week was like. I don’t know where you are in your faith journey. I don’t know if you are being attacked, like I am, or if you are flying high. I don’t know what battle you are facing, or if you are discouraged or want to give up…but I do know that victory is found in the Lord and we must keep clinging to him for strength.
The Lord is with you, Mighty Warrior. Keep your chin up.
If you need prayer or need encouragement for the week ahead, please email me and let me know. Let’s do this faith journey together.
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Indeed, Abudant Lifer! You got it ALL right! You are getting deeper in the Word, so you are primed for more attacks – expect them evermoreso as a proportional response to your faithfulness in Christ. “Brother Yun”, the author of “The Heavenly Man” was a radical Christian in the house churches of China who suffered prolonged torture and imprisonment for his faith said, “when people malign you, rejoice and be glad. When they curse you, bless them in return. When you walk through a painful experience, embrace it and you will be free! When you learn these lessons, there is nothing left that the world…(satan’s influence) can do to you. I saw the bullies as God’s instruments of blessing as His chosen vessel to help purify me and make me more like Jesus.”. From Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven”. Satan will take every opportunity to make you feel weak and under attack with no power to defend…because of the ways he devises to try and enter in…to make you feel inadequate, unworthy – a failure. Satan will work overtime to bring darkness over Light. You were so right in describing the “dark cloud” that sought to block out your Light. In these instances, “people” were not maligning you, or cursing you, rather “you” were doing this to your ownself which is even more challenging…satan trying to enter in to create lies and self-doubts, weakness and imperfections. But YOU WON with God’s help! You were under attack and you chose to pray and ask forgiveness. On this, the season of back-to-school and football, it’s the perfect theme: God always wins. He is the best team player. He is the best cheerleader. At the end of the game you won’t win a trophy, but you will gain a crown. #lovedyourtruth BTW, as a direct response to your last post, I am now studying the Gospel of John. Thank you for your Bible seeking devotional urgings. #letsdothistogether…in His name we are called.
I was listening to a Joyce Meyer CD – and maybe you’ve heard it – but I loved the illustration. When we receive Jesus as our Savior, His Holy Spirit takes up residence in us. We have the power of God in us – the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and healed people and kept Jesus sinless. But that Spirit does not just take us over. We have mighty faith – but He does not force us to use it. Instead, we can think of them like muscles. We all have muscles – but some have more developed muscles. It is our job to develop our own muscles. So with our faith. We build it up as we decide to use it. God gives the faith – but it is our decision to decide to believe. To believe He is good when things are not going our way at all or our health is bad or our finances are dismal. The hard part is that we must make our decision to trust when the situation says to panic. So I think part of the answer is to practice the presence of God – remind ourselves all the time that He is with us – and then when the bad hits, we remember He is close and it is easier to decide to believe.
I really like Joyce Meyer. She says it like it is and she is usually right on!
It’s so true… we have to do our part to develop our faith muscles. That “workout” is rarely ever fun. This is just one of those times I get to build my faith muscles!
Love you Drea. Hope you are well! Thanks for commenting and sharing that with me.