I literally left everything that I worked for on God’s altar to follow Him to–“wherever.” That was in 2000, and “wherever” happened to be 2000 miles from my “home.”
Now, this wasn’t an easy, smeasy letting go. I didn’t simply hear, listen and obey, and walk in peace.
My release required explosions (more than one) and a bit of medical drama (too many to mention). And, the kindness of the Lord amid it all.
Yet, the biggest turning point (explosion & medical drama) happened on February 12, 2000.
While riding a snowmobile in Island Park, Idaho, I drove the “sled” full-throttle into the guide wires of an electrical pole at the end of a trail.
After midnight. In a blizzard.
The explosion resembled Fourth of July fireworks (so I am told).
I was blown out of my snow-boots, had my helmet ripped off of my head, and was then catapulted over the tops of some trees. (I do nothing small.)
Needless to say, I survived. (YAY)
And, God performed many miracles that night. (Some big ones.)
But, more importantly, He got my undivided attention. (Many YAYS!)
After months of sitting at His feet (because I could do little else), God nudged me to let go (the white knuckled, finger-prying kind of nudge), and let Him lead the way (knees and heart trembling). He lead me to resign from my teaching career (but, what about the benefits?), sell my business (but, I didn’t want to) and leave everything (including my condo) that I had worked for in my flesh to follow after Him. (Did I mention, an amazing network of support, family and friends?)
So, I did!
And, fifteen years later, I can say this, “It has NOT been a fairy-tale.”
There was no romance, turned marriage and family. No pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. No abundant wealth in the worldly sense.
Instead, there’s been more near death experiences. I lost all of my savings. I had several years of health crisiswhere I could not get out of bed. I live below the US poverty level. I fell in love and my heart was shattered. I’ve been ostracized from fellow believers. Was told my relationship with God was weird. (Oh, and that I was weird!) And, God called me to live amid dysfunction that challenges my health and peace near daily.
But, let me say this! I would NOT trade a thing.
Because the devil made me do amazing things through it all!
Yep, you heard me! (Now, you are agreeing that I am weird, right?!)
Considering that nothing, NOTHING, touches me, you, without going through the hand of God, then, it must be good! God said to count all (of life) joy (James 1:2). That must mean the attacks from the dark side.
I mean, look at Job (a man far more righteous than me). The attacks came at him in all directions, and he gives us a picture of trusting God through great despair. Job walked by faith, and not by sight. (2 Cor 5:7) And, the devil helped to solidify his trust in God’s hand and ways.
And, I wonder if Job realized what God has revealed to me through the hardest and darkest valleys?
The antics of darkness cannot touch us, our faith, our trust, our peace, our joy, if there is nothing in us that communes with him. The attack will only have a hold on us–a stronghold, if we give him a place to play.
God uses the devil to expose anything in us that is not submitted to his authority, his healing, the Truth.
From what I’ve experienced, the antics of darkness brought me to the end of myself. More than once.
There was a time (a long time) where I felt and stated, “woe-is-me, the-enemy-is-attacking-me.” (I’ve heard this from many of you, too,)
Those words reveal a lack of trust in the sovereignty of God. This is part of his process to sanctify our soul. That, right up there, is pure self-pity. A spirit that plays for the dark side!
My deepest healing took place during the last few years. God walked me through the darkest alley, inside and out. The brightness of his Light shined upon my heart, revealing wounds that gave access to the enemy’s attack. Those festering places I’ve yet to yield over to the Truth–the Healing Balm of Gilead.
He showed me that when we remove the “playground” (wounds) where the enemy is entertained, then the attacks have no hold on us.
This doesn’t mean that the attacks will end. (And, for that I am thankful.)
It’s the attacks, the pressure cookers, the fiery furnaces, that seep through to our core and disrupt what needs God’s touch. His Light. It’s the attacks that expose the kinks in our armor, holes in our heart.
God uses the darkness to reveal more and more of what needs to go. I am thankful for each red flag of fear, anxiety, despair, doubt, …all of which point to an area of my life that needs more of God.
I want nothing left that’s familiar ground for the darkness to steal my joy. It’s only when those familiar spirits are revealed, exposed by the Light, can they be presented to God on his altar to be burned away.
But, it’s also the attacks that show us how far we’ve come. They strengthen us to walk out this life, all for the glory of our Lord!
When the healing is complete, those little demons will have nowhere else to “play” inside of us. The “playground” has been closed.
Amid the circumstances that are far beyond my control, I can, I will and, now I DO, walk in the peace that surpasses all understanding that guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7