Sunday, February 23, 2014

Victory Not Defeat

It's 9 p.m. Sunday evening. The house is immaculent - a deep cleaning that has left even the smell of fresh in the air. Everything is put away. Groceries have been bought, the fridge is stocked, meals for the week are already planned and lunches are packed for tomorrow. There's a sense of accomplishment, but more than that is the feeling of starting the week ready and prepared. 

Before you start to drape me with the cape of Super Woman I should warn you the day was a near defeat. (Plus I have to give credit where credit is due and thank my wonderful Super Man for his magnificent efforts in all of the above.)

This morning I sat in Sunday school, deeply moved by our continued series on prayer, focused on the conviction of the Holy Spirit to commit and dedicate my life to prayer, determined to see that God receive the glory in all things, and yet somehow haunted beyond what I could even bear.

Today my mind felt like a literal punching bag. There I sat, beaten up by memories, overrun with feelings that I thought had been dealt with, digging up every fault and flaw that could render me useless. From the outside no one would have guessed what internal war had a grip on me. Inside I was literally dying, crushed in spirit by the lies I was sold as truth. 

How could I? What if I had? What about? Did I? Was it? If only? Could it? Why this? Why not? 

I couldn't make sense of anything. Nothing seemed rational. It was all spinning inside me, tormenting me with thoughts and feelings that I couldn't dare share. 

Left blows knocked the wind out of me. Worthlessness. Fault. Guilt. Struggles. Pain. Heartache. 

Right hooks took me to my emotional knees. Desperate. Seeking. Hurting. Indifferent. Unwilling. Alone.

I tried to silently cry for help. "Lord, deliver me from this attack..." 

The teacher asked what makes prayer difficult. Someone said the guilt from not praying causes you to think you don't deserve to go to God. I was sitting there battling the very feeling. 

God did not send His Son to pay the ransom for my life and cover my sins with His blood for me to sit in continual defeat. No. This was a war of spiritual proportions. I knew the enemy couldn't claim my soul. That's already been bought by blood. But somehow he was assuming victory over my mind and I knew I had to convince myself that this - even ALL of this - is under the blood too. 

I never intended to share this personal struggle with you. It was all I could do to get through it myself. Then I found myself in a conversation with a young soul weighted down in a similar state this evening and I knew I wasn't the only one. 

There's always a battle raging. There's an ever-present war being waged against us. Then there are days like today when it's so overwhelming and so consuming that it shakes the very core of who we are, rendering us paralyzed and useless. The vicious attack leaves us more than just defeated. It brings near death by making sure we believe we are who the enemy says we are. Nothing. 

It is only by the grace of God that I was not left in this tormentous state today. The true heart and mind gripping grace of God that reached down to deliver my thoughts and feelings. The unconditional love that held me captive in His embrace while releasing me from being bound by the enemy's attack.  Those are the only accomplishments I can claim. His victory over my mental and emotional defeat. His redemption over my flaws and failures. That is the only reason why today ends in victory and not defeat.

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