Wednesday, November 13, 2013

King Theoden Experience

Please watch this video clip before reading this post. It will make much more sense after you've seen it. I can wait while you watch.:)

Okay, finished? Good.

A few days ago I was King Theoden. King Theoden was possessed by the spirit of a wizard named Saruman. While under his possession King Theoden sat back and grew old and blind to what was happening to his kingdom. His people were being massacred by the enemy; his nephew was driven from the land; and his own son had been killed, yet the king listened to the spirit controlling him. Once he was freed by Gandalf, the blindness disappeared and the dying old man returned to a healthy king. All of that was good, but King Theoden had to come to grip with what had happened in the meantime, the destruction that his actions or lack of actions caused. He had to grieve his only son and realize that his spiritual imprisonment caused it.

I was being controlled by a spirit as well. It was the spirit of jealousy. I was blinded to the truth in my relationships, I felt old and sick, and I had no idea that it was killing my relationship with two very precious friends. Unlike Theoden, a good wizard didn't come and drive the spirit out of me by force. By the Holy Spirit did break through all the noise of that spirit and reveal it to me. Then He told me to take authority over it. I could have been like Gandalf and tried to do it in my own strength. I know that I do not have the power to drive out spirits, except in the Name of Jesus. It is sort of like the part of the scene when Gandalf reveals that he is a white wizard, which is the most powerful one. I went from just plain old my strength to His by commanding the spirit to leave in the Name of Jesus. The spirit didn't like it and tried to hang on, but it couldn't when the Name of Jesus was spoken. It had to flea.

Once the spirit of jealousy was gone I had my eyes open to what had been happening. What I saw broke my heart. I saw the truth and it grieved me. I had to make apologizes and I had to hear the hurt that I caused one friend in particular. It hurt, but I needed to hear and know the truth. I thank God that unlike Theoden's son, my friendships are not dead. I had to grieve the pain caused and the damage done to the friendships, but God can and is restoring our relationships.

This was not an easy post to write. I felt I needed to write about this, but I wanted to do it in a way that honored my friends. I didn't want it to cause anymore pain. It was also unpleasant because admitting something like this is not comfortable. But the Lord gave me a verse a little while ago, and I have blogged about it before. Isaiah 61:3 "To anoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified." The last part is the key for me and in this situation, "that He might be glorified". I knew I had to share this with you, because I believe that God will be glorified from this.

I do ask for your prayers. It is hard to not remember past hurts that I caused, but I need to learn from it and move forward. That is hard, because satan wants me to focus on it and be destroyed by that. It is also hard because I am a processor and I am replaying the scenes over and over in my mind. But God wants me to grow in Him and to let Him heal the pain caused. He wants me to focus on Him and the relationships that He is restoring. He wants me to learn from the past and focus on the now and making sure that I am walking in Him.

Thank you for reading this post. I hope that in some way it was able to speak Truth to you. I hope that you will pray for me and my friends. I believe that God will be glorified! Amen!

Friday, November 8, 2013

I Nearly Lost the Battle!

The last two days I had to take off of work. I probably should have taken the two or three before them as well, but hindsight you know! I just keep thinking, "if I can just make it to the weekend I'll be okay." Well, I didn't make it. Instead I lost it! That decided my need for a couple days off for me.

My mind and heart were having an epic size battle of distorted thoughts and crazed emotions. I felt like I was going crazy, and I needed to just take care of me. Over the last two days I have prayed, cried, journaled, and slept. That last one is a big one because I haven't done much of that lately! My emotions ranged from anger, to sadness, to hopelessness, to fear, to loneliness, and much more. My thoughts were traveling along the similar crazed path, jumping from one ridiculous, and even destructive, thought after another. I was battling and losing.

Today, I realized that I couldn't even look up, not even up at myself in the mirror. I was downcast and starting to realize that I was going to sink into a deep depression soon if I didn't do something drastic. So I did. I picked up a book full of Scripture and teaching about the mind - I think I mentioned it before. ;) I hadn't read from it in a few days and in a way I am glad. I am glad because today's reading was from the chapter "The Mind of Christ", and I so needed to read that today. I practically devoured the Scriptures mentioned in the chapter, and stopped and prayed many times along the way. It was like the collection of the Word in the chapter was feeding my spirit, my mind, and my heart, well actually it was.

I saw so much Truth spilling off the pages, and I knew were I had gone wrong. I realized that I was putting my faith, my hope, and my need to have the gaping holes of my heart filled in the wrong hands. I was expecting people to do what only God can do. I was expecting to gain life, freedom, wholeness, and joy from relationships and I was failing. I was failing because that is never how it was meant to be! Relationships are vital to our development as individuals and bring happiness and companionship to our lives. But people weren't made to heal us and restore us. Placing that sort of responsibility in their hands was simply unfair of me, unfair to them and unfair to me. God is the only one who can heal, restore, give hope, increase my faith, and fill the gaping holes with His love.

The realization of what I was doing and how wrong it was stopped me in my tracks. It was like doing a complete 180 and knowing that now I was seeing clearly because I was turned toward the Light. Earlier today I reached out for companionship. I vowed that if it didn't come I would not get upset. I wasn't sure that I could keep my promise, but when the "no" came I did. I stopped and focused on Him and did something I have never done before. I picked myself up off my bed and took myself to a movie. That might now seem like a very "spiritual" way to address the situation, but it truly was.

I realized as I drove home that even if no one chooses to walk this life with me God does. He is with me always, and I can, in Him, go out and do life on my own, if need be. I want friends, I need them, but I can't expect them to be for me what only He can be. I can't expect them to be for me what only I can be for me. I can't be it for them either. I am truly sorry for putting on others the burden of trying to fix me! The only one who can carry that is God, and even though I don't always like the way He does it, He does a very good job!

Will there be times that I put my faith and hope where it doesn't belong? Yes. Will there be times when I am lonely and sad? Yes. Times when I am angry? Yes. Will I fight more battles with my mind and emotions? Yes. I pray that with each time I will learn more quickly than the time before, what I am doing and turn to Him. I hope that I will be able to be quiet enough to hear His still small voice. I covet your prayers and support as I know that today is not the last day of even this battle. Tomorrow, satan will probably try again. He never gives up because he truly doesn't get it that he's lost. But he has, because Jesus won the victory over him and all of his plans and devises, and I have Jesus in me so I can rest in His victory!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Battlefield of My Mind

A few weeks ago I couldn't take it anymore. Every word spoken to me, every action taken by someone send my mind into a battlefield. Words spoken to me became slights and attacks. Words not spoken were even worse! My brain was shouting at me things like, "if she was really your friend she would have said this or that". Actions were bad as well. The way a person looked at me, the way a person stood, were just two ways that my mind started to tell me what people meant about them. I truly felt like my mind was warring inside me and that I was losing.

A friend stopped me on the way out one Friday and linked her arm in mine and asked the question, "how are you doing?" I almost lost it, right there in the school hallway. I wanted so badly to just breakdown and weep, something I had done a lot for two weeks already. The difference was someone else could hear my crazy thoughts. I shared with her what my mind was doing. Her advice was to read Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers.

I had actually just given another friend a copy of a devotional version of the book, because I knew God told me she needed it. I actually thought for a moment about asking for it back, but I knew she was supposed to have it, and that I needed the full book version. The problem was I didn't have it. When I got home, I texted my Mom to see if she did, but she didn't. I slipped into my comfy clothes ready to start the weekend, but my strong NEED for the book wouldn't let me rest. I jumped online and tried to find it. I could have ordered it but it was Friday so I wouldn't have gotten it until Monday or Tuesday. I knew I couldn't wait that long. So I looked it up on Walmart and Target's sites, but none of the local stores that it. Then I remembered the Christian bookstore in Matthews. I changed back into regular clothes and jumped in the car. I went right in and grabbed the book. It felt like I had won a victory.

At home again, I changed back into my comfy clothes and climbed into my bed and started reading. For the first time in weeks my mind was battling, but this time the right way. The Scriptures in the book were speaking straight to my mind and were battling back against all the lies and junk that I had been listening to and believing. Each chapter spoke (or speaks since I'm still reading it) to a battle that I was experiencing. After reading each chapter I felt relief and wondered if there might be a chapter that didn't fit me, so far they fit.

Sometimes I have no idea how much of his lies I have listened to and started believing until the Truth speaks. It is truly amazing how much our minds can get messed with before we realize that it is even happening. Why? I think it's because my voice and satan's voice are so loud. They shout in our minds, in our situations, and even in our relationships. His voice is a still, small voice. I let my mind listen to everything else but Him. Silence is the answer. Listen to Him and shut off the volume to any other voice. The only way to win the battlefield of my mind is for my mind to be on Him and the Truth of His Word. Not always easy, because as I mentioned it is hard to hear His voice over the others. A battle needs to be fought with a plan, a strategy, therefore I need to use a strategy when I feel my mind being attacked by the enemy, or even me, I need to get silent. I need to spend time listening to His voice in the form of His Word or His direct speaking to me or even His speaking to me through others.

It's time to follow that strategy. The enemy will fight back, he has no idea that he's already lost the war, so he keeps up the battles. There will be times I retreat because I think I can't continue the fighting, but God will help me regroup and get back in the battle. Because just like another of Joyce Meyer's titles "The Battle Belongs to the Lord".

Friday, November 1, 2013

Isaiah 61:3

Last night I was lying in my bed and crying out to God. I was asking Him why. Why I have to go through the emotional struggles? Why I had to experience the rejections in my life? Why I have had to struggle with my weight? Why I had to loss my voice and not be the talkative person I used to be? Why? Why? Why?

My last question was a how. How can my life glorify you? How?

I feel asleep when the tears were spent and with a sense of calm. I thought it was odd that I felt so calm considering my heart wrenching experience. My sleep was also calm, no dreams, no waking up in the middle of the night.

I did wake up very early though, around 3:30, and my first though was "spirit of heaviness". I think God was telling me that I had a spirit of heaviness. It fit. As I was becoming more alert I started to think of the verse that the phrase comes from. Piece of the verse came to mind but I couldn't put the whole thing together. When I finally climbed out of bed, the kittens will only wait so long to be fed, I got online to find the verse. It immediately popped up when I searched for it. Isaiah 61:3.

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.

Did you see it? I knew so much of this verse from memory, but I didn't not remember the last part. "that He might be glorified". I still can't look at my life, my struggles and see how He can glorified, but this verse says that He is glorified when He transforms. I understand the ashes, mourning, and heaviness part, and I know that He is transforming my life. Even though I can't understand how He is going to be glorified I know He will be. I am looking forward to the beauty, oil of joy, and garment of praise, and I am looking forward to seeing Him glorified.