I got to know Donna through our mutual enjoyment of a devotional blog called (in)courage (www.incourage.me). I've shared my struggles with OCD induced anxiety and depression with you before. I do well most of the time, but on this one particular day I was in the middle of an "episode".
I was struggling to hold onto God's Truth. My mind was filled with doubts, and the more it was filled with doubts, the more guilt and shame crept in along with downright fear. I was sure God was disappointed in my lack of faith and He felt so very far away. My mind was swimming with negative thoughts and I couldn't push them out no matter how hard I tried.
You may not have OCD or depression, but I'm sure there have been times when you've struggled. Struggled with negative thoughts, or doubt, or fear. Thanks to Donna's reminding...I remembered just who is at work when I am most vulnerable... the enemy (I call him the creep). The enemy is a vengeful foe. He seeks to isolate and destroy us and our minds are his battlefield.
Recognizing who and what we are battling is the fist step in victory when we are struggling.
I'd like to share a letter to me from Donna in its entirety. It brought great comfort knowing I was not alone and helped alleviate a lot of the guilt and shame I was experiencing. In the battle with the enemy...she joined forces with me and I am forever grateful.
"They overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony." (Revelation 12:11)
Yes, dear heart, I experience EXACTLY all the things you describe. In fact, I am in that battle right now just as you are. Yes, it is MUCH harder then to hold onto the Truth, God's word, His promises. As you say the enemy really kicks you with lies when you're down. He does the same to me!!! He is the father of lies, he knows our history, our weaknesses, our circumstances, etc.......he knows right where to shoot those fiery darts, especially when we are down and weakened....he accuses me & condemns me of not trusting the Lord. He has been doing this against God's children for a very long time and his ways are very refined.
The enemy is ALWAYS after our faith and lies to us, accuse us, condemn us, remind us of past failures, current ones, and the worst of all.....accuse God to us, always trying to steal, kill & destroy. This is actually nothing new....he is still doing the same old thing...as he said to Eve in the garden...."did God say?" And of course, as he tempted Jesus in the wilderness!! The enemy came to Jesus when he was weakened from hunger. Also, I have experienced some of my worst times right after a victory or a blessing! BUT, he cannot win!!!!! For greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world, right??? And Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith; the Shepherd and Bishop of our soul!!!
I too feel that God is so far away during these times, but again I KNOW that feeling is lying to me. Yes, it is scary, I know, but that is just what the enemy wants us to feel (fear).....he puts the lying thoughts in our heads and then turns around and condemns us for having those thoughts/feelings. A double whammy!!!
I HATE fear!!! It is an evil spirit!!! And of course, as you know, God's word says that He does not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind!!! I confess that word a lot!!! And our Father does not want us to fear....He says it 365 times in His word (one time for each day of the year)....I love that!
And, of course, as you know I am sure, during our hardest and weakest times the enemy tries to take advantage and seems to love to get into relationships, especially those nearest and dearest to us, and cause pain to all. And during those times it is so hard for us to "see" it as God's word says in Ephesians 6:12 that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers. wickedness in heavenly places. It is so hard because it hurts so darn much! So we cling to God's word - the TRUTH! And KNOW this: Even when we feel our Lord is far from us, I believe He is actually the closest....and He sees, He knows, and He feels our pain.
Bev, it is not only the "illness" that makes us think and feel all these things, but the enemy using the illness! God's Word is in us, strong within us! I confess His word, His promises, a lot during the day, His word telling me who and whose I am. I spend a lot of time in the Psalms, encouraging myself in the Lord, as David did.
I hope I haven't been too "preachy", because if I have, believe me, I am "preaching to the choir" (myself).
I pray a lot for the Lord to open my eyes to see what He wants me to see (thru His eyes, His perspective), my ears to hear what He wants me to hear. On August 17, 2015, I was laying in bed asking the Lord for my "daily bread". I heard Nehemiah....not a book that readily jumps to mind, so I turned to it and as I did so, my eyes went to Neh 13:14, where Nehemiah is praying "Remember me for this, O my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services." I prayed that also and as I did so, I heard the Lord say to me: "I have not forgotten my child." I said to Him, "but I have failed so much." He immediately answered me and said, "Not in My eyes."
He sees us so differently than the way we see ourselves or the way the enemy wants us to see ourselves. Our Father sees us through His eyes of love for us, He sees us as we are going to be. Our lives are like a tapestry....on the backside are all the knots, mistakes, etc., but when it is turned around there is a beautiful tapestry that has been created. That's what the Lord sees! May we see it as well.
Also, I am going to give you my cell number and if you EVER want to call me PLEASE do so. Sometimes just hearing another's voice (one who "gets it" and will listen and pray with you), or just chat....helps so much to know that there is someone who hears, who cares, who understands.
Also, I would like to share with you one more thing as I close: One morning as I was laying in bed asking the Lord for my daily bread, I heard 2 Timothy 4:18 and this is for you too Bev: "The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen". May the Lord bring comfort and peace to you today, my sister. We WILL overcome and see that greater weight of glory!!!
Love & blessings,
I am so thankful that God brought Donna into my life...this is no coincidence...it's a God Thing (no other explanation). Will you pray with me?
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you and praise you that you never leave us alone in our suffering. You give us the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us, as our counselor and comforter. You are right there if we just turn to you. Thank you that you give us/me wise Christian friends, like Donna, who are willing to be prayer warriors and speak TRUTH into the lies that the enemy is throwing at us. May we never grow too busy or too weary to lift a fallen sister or brother with your TRUTH. There is power in Your Word and I am so thankful for that. Help me, in turn, be a light to someone else who is in pain. Help us all to keep your light burning....because in YOUR Light there is hope. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
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