Shadows and Light!
I shot this photo at the beach one day. It reminds me of happier times.
This picture is a stark contrast to where my heart has been lately. Instead of feeling filled with light and reflecting it like this picture, I have been in a spiritual and emotional funk. Depressed, actually. How I got here, I don’t really know. It wasn’t sudden. Perhaps it is this long wait in my battle with cancer. I want to take action, yet delay after delay wears me down.
I’ve been chomping at the bit to go to battle, fight cancer, and see God glorified with my healing. I’ve wanted to be a light to others around me going through a similar battle. I want to be on the other side of this – victorious. Instead, I am forced into a holding pattern as I wait. Wait for test results. Wait for doctors to decide the next stap. I hate waiting.
That’s where it started. That’s the foothold the enemy used when I wasn’t paying attention. My disatisfaction with my circumstances was the crack it needed.
Depression and I are acquaintances of long standing. Depression is my enemy and one I have battled for most of my life. I am well familiar with its tactics. It is stealthy, slithering in silently like a snake. It’s tongue testing the air, zeroing in on my heart. It whispers dark and hopeless images into my mind, as it coils ever tighter around my soul. Yes, I know my enemy well, yet once again I was caught in its trap.
If left unchecked, depression will crush me. The images and perceptions my enemy paints continue to get darker, until I can no longer see the light – the truth.
Whispering reminders of my failures, it calls me worthless. Taunting me that I’ll never change. It even gets me to say these things in my heart to myself! Bombarding me until I am weak and confused. It whispers, “Why try? You’ll only fail again. You always do.”
Guilt and shame are its fangs. Despair and defeat its poison. Its lies are camouflaged in half-truths. My enemy invariably starts its campaign with guilt. I failed to do something I set out to do, like getting up to have alone time with God or some other requirement I have placed upon myself. I fail, guilt enters followed by shame. I fail again, and soon resentment, frustration, self-loathing and finally despair enter each time I falter. The coils of the snake continue to wrap around me as I listen to it whisper, poisoning my heart.
I begin to believe the lies.
Snakes love the darkness. At least this snake does. It doesn’t want me to see my peril until it is too late. It hides in the darker recesses of my mind. It waits patiently to ambush me, prepared to strike. It pulls me away from others, separating me from help. Its only object is to kill my hope, steal my joy, and feast on my soul.
It all starts with my thoughts. My mind is where this silent war is waged. This is where the battle must be fought. If I don’t, I can slip into a sort of sleep where I am numb and cannot see or think clearly. I am to take every thought captive and examine it and bring it before God – bring it out into the light.
Lie: I always fail.
Truth: I fail sometimes. More than I want to fail. But I do not ALWAYS fail.
Lie: God must be tired of your constant failures. Surely He is disgusted with you.
Truth: God loves me and His love for me is not based on my actions. He chooses to love me. He knew I would fail sometimes, but He still loves me. I am His daughter, and nothing can ever separate me from His constant perfect love.
Lie: You’ll never change
Truth: I have already been changed. Behold, I am a NEW Creation in Christ. Am I perfect? No, but I am redeemed and God is changing me every day.
Exposing the lies to the light of truth, and holding onto the reality of who I am in Christ is hard work. It is so easy to get sucked back into the darkness if I am not wary. Yet, I am not expected to fight alone! I remin myself that I am not fighting a losing battle – My Father has already won! I fight a battle where God alone outnumbers the enemy every time – and He’s on my side. I cannot lose!
Today, I am fighting my way back to the light – back into warmth and life. It is a daily battle, but one that must be fought. I am so grateful that My Father does not allow me to fight it alone. He is HERE! Closer than my very breath and He FIGHTS for me. He “protects me from trouble and surrounds me with songs of deliverance”. (Psalm 32) Darkness cannot stand in His presence. The snake flees in terror at the sound of My Lord’s mighty roar. His roar calls to my heart like a call to war, awakening me from my sleep, breaking the enemy’s hold and freeing me again.
Light comes in and sweeps away the darkness.
Joy follows; hand in hand with Hope.
Pease surrounds me like warm sunshine.
Thank you, Jesus!
Blessings my friends.