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My husband pulled the car into the church parking lot. I said something. He responded. I started feeling edgy. He doesn’t want to be here, and neither do I. Complaints started rising in my heart and mind.
We stepped into the church building and no one greeted us. No one. I tried to make eye contact with some people so I could smile at them and hopefully engage in some kind of greeting. No one looked my way. No one.
Eventually, the pastor started preaching but, by then, my thoughts were already making the descent into the pits of sadness. I worked hard at keeping my mind on what the pastor was saying but instead, No one cares if you’re here. You haven’t made friends now, you’re not going to. I wrote down the next point off the PowerPoint.
No, I don’t want these lies. God, help me out here.
I re-read the passage of Scripture we were studying but then, You haven’t been a good enough friend your whole life so no one contacts you now. I shifted in my seat, wiped my eyes, and wrote down the next sermon point.
God, give me something here. Let the pastor say something that will let me know You’re hearing me.
I tried to concentrate on the words again. Let’s see, he said something about the disciples. Yes, that makes sense. Okay, listen.
Why should you listen? Even if you go to that women’s Bible study, no one’s going to care that you’re there. They don’t know you and they don’t want to know you. You’re stuck in this little town with no connection.
And in that moment, I made a decision. I started doing what I knew to do.
Lord, right now, I choose to put on the belt of truth. Your truth and only Yours is what I will cling to. Remove these lies and let me stand strong in You. As I put on the breastplate of righteousness, guard me from unrighteous thoughts and protect me by Your righteousness. Protect my heart from what is attacking it. I put on the shoes of peace knowing that it is Your peace that calms my heart. Let me rest in Your peace. Right now, I lift up the shield of faith. My faith is in You. I will hunker down behind You as You fight this battle for me extinguishing the fiery darts the enemy is hurling at me. I’m putting on the helmet of salvation. You told me there is no condemnation because I am in You. I refuse self-condemnation and condemnation from the enemy. I stand saved because of You. I lift up Your word as my sword. Wield it through my heart as only You can. And I pray for the saints. This man who is preaching Your word. Other people, who even now, are speaking Your truth. Protect them.
I took in a deep breath as a reminder that God’s Spirit had just cleansed me once again from the attacks of the enemy. I stood as we sang a song based on Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” Tears trickled down my face for a totally different reason than earlier.
God had done what only God can do. He met me where I was in a moment of weakness and protected and fought for me.
I pray that when the enemy attacks, you will run to God and allow Him to rescue you. He is our lifeline.
Pictures credit: my own