It’s been a while since I’ve last written something! Over the last few weeks, I have found myself (once again) in the middle of this whirlwind of life. How I was ever able to write once a day is beyond me. The schedule of a full-time wife, full-time mom, full-time student, full-time employee, and full-time individual becomes a lot of chaos when one thing trips you up.
My absence started with a low. I honestly can’t even tell you what triggered it but I found myself in a spot in my life where I felt like I was stuck. I felt like I was at a place where I felt that what I had was as good as it was going to get. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m overjoyed with my life. But something changes when you realize that there’s not much left to change – it’s the daily grind. Get up, go to work, come home, do housework, go to bed.
But, not long after I found myself at that point, I found a way to reconnect to real life – and not necessarily in a good way; but not in a bad way either. A way that was able to grow my faith and the faith of the kids.
See, M has taken a liking to shows that deal with spiritual practices. I’m not talking prayer and worship songs – I’m talking chants, Ouija boards, spells, etc., etc., etc. Now, at first when it was limited to the show Super Natural, I didn’t think much of it. But then she let it slip that her mom has taught her how to read palms – or “tell the future”. She has also started the habit of throwing salt on her brother when he was “annoying” or “irritating” or anything of that nature. There were also small things happening that were just throwing red flags that we needed to address and see what was going on.
Now, I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with any of these things, I just personally do not believe in them. I have sat down and watched shows like this and had zero issues and even done research on things like the Ouija board and other things but it was more for education or understanding than to form a belief or adapt to a practice. However, when you are not spiritually mature and you begin to dabble in these things and you start to practice some of these rituals, you begin to open yourself up to a world that you know nothing (or very little) about.
When I heard some of these things come from M’s mouth, I was shocked. I knew her mother is known for saying “I’m not religious; I’m spiritual.” but I never thought that she would try to push her daughter to become the same.
M&M have been raised in faith. They have attended Sunday School and church with us, and they chose to be re-baptized since they understand what it is and what it signifies. They are no strangers to these conversations and they know what these types of things can lead to – or at least we thought they did. It becomes almost surreal when you see these types of things coming from a child… your child – and they don’t even realize how much it goes against what we know they believe. How do you sit them down and tell them “This is not what Christ wants for you.” without giving them the impression that their mother is full of “it”? (I don’t agree with her beliefs and I personally do not feel they are “right” but I cannot judge and I cannot force her to believe. She is entitled to believe and practice what she wants)
We sat M down one night before supper and asked her a few questions. After some discussion, we realized that what she was doing was more-so out of curiosity (because she saw it on TV) than for “practice”. We explained to her about the dangers of opening herself up to things like that. She began to see quite quickly that “spirits” and “angels and demons” are nothing to mess with. She didn’t realize that what she was doing was something her mother wanted her to do; it wasn’t what she believed and what she wanted.
Ephesians 6:10-12 tells us “Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in hearts.” That’s really what it has come down to.
But it’s not just M that struggles with this, it’s me too, it’s probably Shane as well. I get so wrapped up in things going on in my life that prayer and daily readings seem to be a chore more than they seem like a pleasure.
There was a time during my valley where I wasn’t praying. Not because I didn’t want to, but because in that moment, I didn’t know how. But it became quite clear (and quite fast) that if I didn’t pray, I was prey.
My Armor of God became weak without prayer. I felt myself being tested in ways that only those evil forces would test me. They put the blinders on and make it feel like God was testing me instead. I had become the prey of all that could be considered “evil”. Satan knew that my armor was cracked and he managed to find a way in. He was as sly as the fox. My faith became a little unstable and my view of Him became foggy for a brief moment in time. But He didn’t turn away from me. Instead, He guided me back to where my vision became clear, my mind was put at ease, and my armor was repaired.
I never realized how much I prayed until I didn’t. A day or two had passed where not much prayer had been said. But, one morning, Shane woke me up about 3:30AM telling me that he was on his way out the door for work. He leaned down for a hug and immediately I wrapped my arms around him, my hands interlocked and I began to pray “Dear Lord, thank-you for blessing me with this man. Thank you for blessing our marriage. Please lead us and keep us on a path that is only pleasing to you. In your name I pray, Amen.”
It was the first heartfelt prayer I had said in 48 hours. It happened so quickly that it almost felt as if it wasn’t me doing it. That day was a really good day. My head was clear and my heart wasn’t heavy.
On Sunday, we heard a sermon that revolved around the power of prayer and how everyone has a story behind them but we are forgiven by His death and resurrection.
Because of that experience, I now remind myself “Pray or be prey.” I have so much to thank Him for and have so much to be happy and excited about – He deserves ALL the glory; in prayer and in conversation/blogs/etc.
I will not be prey.