Hello Friends! It is my earnest desire to be as real and open with you as possible. Not at all because I like making myself vulnerable (believe me, I don’t), but because as scripture says in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “[The Lord’s] grace is sufficient for you, for [His] strength is made perfect in weakness.” So I humbly and vulnerably admit to you that I am weak. Any strength I have has been given to me from the Lord. Any accomplishments I achieve are only through His power. On my own, I am utterly and hopelessly nothing. And I am thankful for that. If I had to depend on my own strength to face every day, I would be telling you a much different story, one wrought with defeat, humiliation and darkness. But as it stands, by the grace of God, I am victorious and I will continue to be victorious no matter what the enemy throws my way.
Now it’s confession time. I have struggled for months, for years with depression and anxiety. I have lived in fear of … seemingly everything. And sometimes those fears have grown so big and so out of control/all-encompassing that I can’t even name them. I can’t honestly tell you what it is that makes me feel the way I do, but just that I feel afraid and hopeless as if there’s a dark presence constantly around me whispering to me that I will never be good enough, that I will never find rest, that no matter how much I try to accomplish, there’s always more I should have done. My mind is filled with words like failure, disappointment, worthless, hopeless, rejected, alone. And the more they swirl around in my head, the more exhausted my spirit becomes. It’s hard to get up in the morning. It’s hard to do anything. I don’t want to seek out relationships because they’re too exhausting and I run the risk of letting someone else down. I feel utterly worthless in every aspect.
Last night I picked up my Bible and I opened to a verse I’ve read many, many, many times.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Although we are human [mortal, finite beings, flesh and blood], we do not wage war [spiritual war] with worldly [fallible] weapons. We use God’s mighty [infallible, perfect, victorious] weapons [the Word, prayer, worship, praise, fellowship, the Holy Spirit] to knock down [destroy, demolish] the enemies strongholds [the lies he has slowly ingrained in our minds as truth]. With these weapons, we conquer [we are victorious over] the rebellious thoughts [ideas that do not line up with the truth found in the Word] and we make them [force them to] obey Christ.
As I read these words over and over and over again, claiming their promises as my own, slowly my heart found peace. My mind began to calm, focusing on my Savior as I began to consciously recognize the things I’ve thought were true about myself were all lies and that through the love and grace of my God, I AM victorious over the one hoping to keep me in bondage to those lies.
This is an attack I’ve been expecting. As we take steps forward for Christ, the enemy is threatened and he will do anything he can to stop us from spreading the word of God. He knows our weaknesses and he is sneaky and conniving. Just as God has many wonderful plans for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11), the enemy too has plans for us (John 10:10).
Please friends, if you find yourselves under attack, do not give into the lies. Take hold of the promises found in scripture. You are a beloved child of God and you were created on purpose (Psalm 139:1). You are a treasure (Exodus 19:5). God doesn’t make mistakes (Psalm 139:15-16). He has plans for you and they are GOOD. He knows your every thought and He sees your every need. He will take care of you. He wants to take care of you (Matthew 6:31-33). He wants to heal your pain and restore you to wholeness (Isaiah 53). Nothing bad comes from Him (James 1:17). If you are struggling, that is not punishment from the Lord. He is waiting with open arms, ready to embrace you and walk with you through the valley into the light (Isaiah 43:2, Luke 15:11-32).
As I said earlier, one of the most powerful weapons we have against the enemy is the Word. I encourage you to get into the Word. Read it. Memorize it. Meditate on its truth. And when you’re being attacked, speak those words over your life. Nothing scares Satan more than the Word of God and the name of Jesus. James 4:7 says, “Resist the devil and he will flee.” Make him run in fear. Teach him to be afraid of you. You aren’t fighting alone. You have God on your side and He’s already defeated the devil. The enemy stands no chance against you. Walk with confidence even when life is rough.
I also encourage you to reach out to a friend, a parent, a pastor…whoever. Find someone to confide in. Don’t try to carry your burden alone. We aren’t meant to go through life without each other. Fellowship is part of God’s plan. Don’t be afraid to talk to a counselor either. That’s what they’re there for. I’ve found my times in counseling to be some of the biggest blessings in my life. They’re equipped with tools to help you change your thinking and get it back in line with the Word of God. They’re there to help.
Finally, if you, like me, struggle with negative thoughts, go to the book store and find the book Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. I’ve read this book multiple times and am beginning to read it again. It is a wonderful tool to help you restructure your thought patterns and recognize when you’re being attacked. Please, please take the time to read it.
As for me, I know I have a journey ahead of me. It takes times to break strongholds and change distorted thinking. But I know I am walking in victory. I know what the Bible says and I know how God feels about me. His plans for me are good. I am committing my heart to His good plans and trusting Him to walk me through this valley and into the light.
Father, I come to you now broken and in need of your healing. I am desperate for you. You are the Lord of my life and I am placing my heart in your hands. You alone are the Savior of my soul. You want me to live in victory. Your word says in John 8:32 that we will know the truth and the truth will set us free and in verse 36, if the Son has set us free, we are free indeed! God I thank you for freedom. I will not be slave to the lies of the enemy. I know the truth found in your word and I claim it for my life. You have come to give me abundant life with overflowing joy. You have come to save my soul from sin and death. Your good and perfect love for me casts out all fear. In you, I am a new creation. In you I find life and purpose. In you, I am made whole. You have called me by name, commissioned me for a purpose and I will not let the attacks of the enemy keep me from that purpose. I plead your blood over my life now, Jesus, protecting me from the enemy. Remove the blinders from my eyes that I may see you clearly. Release me from my past pain; I will not let it hold me back anymore. Strip me of my desire to please the world. Tear me away from my earthly passions. I know none of it matters, yet I struggle not to fall right back into those old habits, seeking the world’s approval and storing up treasures here on earth. Burn those desires out of me. Change my focus. Teach me, Lord, to store up treasures in Heaven. My heart cries out to you. I need you Jesus. I need all of you. I long to see your face, to feel your arms wrap around me as you hold me close. I want you to change me, mold me, make me more like you. I am your servant, humbly admitting my dependence on you. Take me, Lord, and use me for your glory alone. I am yours. Lord, thank you. In the midst of my struggle, you are with me. You are my light, my salvation, my guidance, my provision. Thank you for hope and joy. Thank you for your promises. Thank you for vision and ambition. Thank you for family and friends to keep me accountable and encourage me to stay strong in the faith. Thank you for your Holy Spirit, my helper. Thank you for allowing me times of struggle to keep me humble and remind me of my need for you. Thank you for using these times of weakness to show me your strength. Thank you for holding true to your word even when I fail you. My heart abounds with love for you. Jesus, I am eternally yours. I thank you and praise you for your work in my life. In your precious and holy name, the name above all other names, Jesus, I pray all these things. Amen.
Photo by Savio Sebastian. Thanks Savio.