17 March 2010


The following is something I wrote with great difficulty a while back. I've struggled with whether or not to share it, but I feel like it's the right thing to do.

The time during which I wrote this is not a time that I'm proud of and it hurts me to admit that Satan came, with my permission, into my mind with such strength and power.

I learned through this one more time that I am nothing and that it's only through God's daily, hourly, minutely, secondly assistance that I'm able to withstand Satan. I was getting just a little too comfortable. Knowing I had it all figured out a little too often. Maybe even feeling a smug about it. And, since I had been ignoring all of the gentle warnings God was gracious enough to give... He lifted His protecting hand from me for a while and let Satan have his way with me.

It was terrifying. I felt like I was 2 people living in one body. Two people who hated each other fiercely.

I have never before in my life been so aware of the reality of spiritual warfare. And I hope to never be so aware of it ever again.

God is so merciful to shield His children from such things.

My hope in posting this very personal experience is that God will be glorified, someone else will be helped, and I will be further humbled in God's service.

I am forever changed by the second chance God gave me through this experience.



If it hadn't been happening right here inside of me, I wouldn't have believed it.

I, who had so recently been preaching contentment and self-denial, found myself longing.

I, who had so recently cast bitter judgement on those who wanted it all – both the spiritual and the temporal, found myself looking at my lavish blessings through narrowed eyes.

I, who had so recently said that I had nothing of importance to tell except the story of a Savior, ached and yearned to tell a story of my own weaving.

The origins of these desires must have harbored themselves within me so long that I put them to bed there, comfortable with the place they lay. Sleeping. Waiting. Monstrously alert to my building weakness.

A stressful day here, a sleepless night there, the general busyness of life laid open a wound in me and at the smell of fresh blood, the monster stirred and woke. Creeping toward my vulnerability and inviting a bait of new thoughts whispered into my consciousness.

Wouldn't it be easier if...

You wouldn't have any more worries if...

Only my own mind could play such cruel tricks, knowing the only things I've wanted most. And now I would be forced to come to terms with one of the shallower, paler of these.

And so my thoughts began down that path, never making it much farther beyond the surface-level shininess of it all. I could taste the thrill of it every tiny possibility. But mingled somewhere in that thrill was a drop of bitterness, something that made me draw back.

The fact that it took me several days to understand the meaning of that bitterness is sickening in and of itself.

One night as I struggled against the lingering heaviness I felt, wondering why among all the people in the world who seem to have it all I should be the one whose conscience had to be incorrectly wired to make it impossible for me.

Oh, it's not impossible.

The words were nearly audible as I lay in my living room floor wrenching sobs from my core, guilt gnawing at my guts.

You can have it all, child.

My ears perked up. Really? I thought.

But at the expense of your family.

There was no vagueness in that whispered message. If I marched onward to the bright lights of my desires, I would be going alone. No one I loved would come with me.

There. It had been made clear to me. All laid out on the line. I crumpled into a more miserable heap and resolved to make a change now that I could see what I would lose.

The next day was better.

The next day it was back.

Would it really be that bad if...

What harm is there in...

It wouldn't hurt anybody if...

And so the war continued.

Wounded and weakened past the point of rescuing myself, I became prey to the creeping shadows of worry and depression that seem to stalk me, waiting for me to stumble. As my worries escalated, so did my fantasies of a different life – an alternate reality I'd created for myself, a place of escape.

The very things you fear could come to fruition, you know. I could take away this life. These things you vowed to hold dear.

No! That's not what I want... please, no! Please don't take me from the ones I love!

Would it be so very different? Taken away by one thing, taken away by another... it's all the same. Your life would be over and those lives around you would be forever scarred.

To that I had no response. There was no argument to counter that.

Utterly beaten by the workings of my own mind.

Riddled with guilt at the wretch I now saw clearly.

And in absolute awe that a God whose name is too sweet, too perfect to rest on human tongues, still called to me.

An hour later found me rocking my baby girl and weeping over her as I considered the mercy that was being offered to me once again at the feet of Jesus. I held her warm body close to mine and knew she and her brother and their daddy were what mattered in my life. My tears, I found, had fallen onto her sweet sleeping face, gently reminding me a final time that my mistakes could become her pain.

And I knew I would do anything, give up anything, forfeit all other dreams and desires... just to spare her pain at my faults.

"I hear the Savior say, 'Thy strength indeed is small. Child of weakness, watch and pray. Find in me thine all in all."

Crisis averted.