I created this post days ago. Trying to come up with a perfect opening blog post for my new website. Little did I know how God was about to work in my life. He is always good and he is always working for our good. Trials and difficult circumstances are always great ways to see how God works and moves. Even if there isn’t necessarily “relief” or an answer right away. If you stop and look and pray and listen, you can see it.
10This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. b I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
In context, this isn’t written for or to us. However, it does give us an idea of who God is and what he will do for us. God has plans for our lives, plans to glorify him, plans to share his word with others, plans to be shining lights and examples to others! Every trial, every painful, difficult situation, every circumstances of our lives are ways we can show others how much God loves them!! There are no exceptions to that.
Wednesday my small business was hit with some difficult and worrisome news. We lost our largest customer. Not only is this a hit to our financial pocket, it’s also a hit to our ego. They found someone else that could do the same job, faster and cheaper than us. Ouch! It’s difficult not to take that personally. My husband and I have worked on this business for 15 years. We’ve sacrificed time, money, sleep, for this business. To hear someone say “you’re not good enough” is a sucker punch to our stomach.
I cried a little. I started to spiral into a depression. I reached out to my church friends and community and asked for prayers. They all gave me prayers and scripture to focus on. I love my church family!! Then I remembered something. Something that kept me from wallowing in my misery and self doubt.
Last year I was co-leading what our church calls Freedom groups. It’s a small group focused on a specific workbook that takes you through all sorts of strongholds in your life. It teaches you how much God loves you, has forgiven you, and how to let go of all those chains that bind you up. Spiritual warfare is par for the course. Last year was extraordinarily brutal for me and my family. So much so I didn’t lead another group since then.
That was a year and a half ago, and I decided to lead a Freedom group this upcoming fall session. The group hasn’t even started yet, but the spiritual warfare has! It’s coming hard for me and my co-leaders! I knew that was going to happen, which is why I stepped away from other things where I knew I would be more vulnerable to attack. I didn’t expect the attacks to come quickly and so hard though.
There I was, being sucker punched, ready to wallow in self pity and self doubt. Then I remembered last year and how hard it was, but i still got through it. God gave me wonderful friends to help me through all of it. He pushed me hard into his word and I learned to rely on him for all things! It wasn’t easy, but I survived! And now I was prepared for this attack with the word of God and the knowledge that he was beside me in the fire!
So I brought out Ephesians 6 and started praying the word of God over myself, my husband, my business, my family and everything else that I’ve been surrendering to God’s plan.
I prayed this prayer to put on the Armor of God
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
So I prayed. I read the bible. I prayed some more. I didn’t beg God to fix it, I begged him to help me to accept it. To rely on him during this trial, because I knew he was where I would find comfort, peace and strength. And then I woke up the next morning and I wasn’t depressed. I wasn’t sad, despondent or so scared I couldn’t move. It’s still worrisome and I am concerned what will happen to our business, but I’m not in pain. I feel secure in whatever God has for us, his will is so much better than anything I can come up with! I know he’s got me. I know that the spiritual attacks will keep coming, but I can block them with the word of God! I have my shield. I have my belt. I have my sword! Write in HIS word!
You are so worthy of every praise I could ever breathe! I am so grateful for your strength, your love, your peace of mind, and your understanding Lord. Thank you for leading me and guiding me through all things! Your will, Father, not mine!!
In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen!