under attack

today it was easy to wake up at my sister's and be with family.  it was like having one last string of stability to hold onto before really moving forward.  i woke early to take one last load to the storage unit and we headed to Chicago around lunchtime.  

Chicago has become our destination for relaxation, a change of pace and a couple great meals.  we always hit the sauna while we are there, and we always return feeling rested.  this trip had a different vibe, however.

the wicked one met us there and filled my mind with fear, doubt, worry and anxiety.  he brought arguments out of things that shouldn't have been antagonizing.  he succeeded in making me question my life's direction, the quality of my marriage and my position as the woman of my own family.  it was devastating to know that all of the comfort i had felt only 24 hours before was now gone, and in the middle of my emptiness i was faced with this evil.

but this is where that evil one likes to prowl.  

the devil meets us when things are going well, because that is when he knows our guard is down.  he weasels his way into conversations and moments and presents them as threatening and doomed-to-fail.  he speaks false words over us and tells us that we are never going to make it; that God's plan is not for us.  he comes to steal and destroy our happiness, and he can use anything to do it.

in this case, he used a discussion between my husband and his best friend, who happened to be in Chicago and was leaving soon after we arrived.  we met for dinner, and as a casual talk about him living in California grew to actual dialogue about us possibly moving there, i heard the wicked one telling me that this was the first step towards my family falling apart.  
i heard the lies come in waves:

"your new house will not stand... your husband does not want to stay there... 
your husband will leave you... your home will be broken..."

when i presented this to Thomas he was naturally upset.  

(let me rephrase that... he said "you're crazy.")  

but he eventually comforted me and reminded me that we chose the house and neighborhood that was perfect for our family, and that this frivolous talk of California was just that -- a talk -- and i had nothing to worry about.

many of you do not know that i struggle with insecurity, anxiety, fear of abandonment and the belief that i'm not good enough.  i struggle to accept God's forgiveness and grace so much that i still feel like i'm being punished for past sins.  because of this, it was all too easy for the wicked one to come to me in this moment and tell me that 'my past is the reason my husband would leave me for California; because i'm not good enough and his friend is more important than his own wife.'

and that is what happens when we let our guard down.  we do not need to put a wall up and leave joy out of the picture, but we do need to put on the protection of our faith and understand what is truth and what is a lie.  this first day in our desert was a wicked one, entirely because i lost sight of God and took wistful chatter for more than it was worth.  

today, i learned that if i hold tight to God's truth, armor up, and focus on my promised land, i can and will stay out of the devil's snares.  he is relentless and wicked and this journey is already exercising my faith to the fullest.  

are you feeling "under attack" in any area of your life?

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