Darkness settled in.
It’s not the first time, and I know it won’t be the last, I tell myself.
Instead of wearing warmth and joy, my bones are clinging to darkness.
Why do I enjoy these garments of pain? I know better. I know each and every time the enemy shows up to harass me, and I give him my joy so willingly. Instead of removing the heavy chain mail of the past, I opt for shifting my weight and adjusting the heaviness until I can just barely manage to walk.
For a full day, the darkness consumes me.
Call a friend, text someone, reach out. But I can’t.
I can’t put a name to the darkness that is swallowing me up. I don’t know how to explain what I’m feeling. Old images of painful memories are coming to the surface and I can’t stop them. I can instantly feel like I did in those moments: helpless, scared, angry. Won’t anyone defend me? Won’t anyone come to my rescue?
And as the memories and images replay over and over in my mind, I begin to get angrier. They are images of those who have bullied me, hurt me, left me, abandoned me, hated me, slandered me. Clearly my heart has not forgiven them.
I begin to accuse: Weren’t you supposed to be there for me, God? Weren’t you the one that told me you’d be with me always? Where are you? Look at how my enemies are positioned, laughing at me and hating me? How can you allow this to continue? I feel unloved and unwanted yet again.
In my mind’s eye, I am on a cliff, that is stretched out across a huge abyss. All I can see for miles is desert and drop-offs. There is one clear path, but it begins to crumble underneath me as I walk. Panicked, I begin to sprint, only to have the rocks fall faster and heavier to the openness beneath me.
And as I sit in darkness that is all-consuming, fearing the end of myself, my mind transitions to the book of Psalms. David is a master at crying out to God. He is so persistent, unafraid to scream at the Lord, begging for answers and wondering of His existence.
The mirror shifts to me. I am David.
I want to know NOW where God has been. Why are all of these old memories here again, taunting and hurting me even as I have moved forward? Why is this allowed??
So I reach for my Bible in the stillness of the house. I am alone, yet I know that I’m not.
The darkness is still here.
And in the recesses of my mind, I know the Lord says He is too.
I open to book of Psalms.
I journey to Psalm 94, unsure why. I am just looking for hope.
Any shred of light to take me out of here, out of the darkness that surrounds me…
Verse 14 begins to bring me comfort.
“For the Lord will not reject His people; he will never forsake his inheritance.”
As I move further through the psalm, I see Him providing protection and confirmation.
“Judgment will again be founded on righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it. Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers? Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.”
And then verse 18 happened:
When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me great joy.
He heard me.
In the darkness, He heard me.
He saw what was happening in my mind, with my feet giving way to emptiness, and gave me a direct Scripture to combat it.
Tears coat my face. When did I start to cry?
I make an instant choice to accept His answer, and I repent of my selfish focus, for allowing the enemy to use the past to remind me of who I was. I accept His consolation. His comfort. His joy.
And the warrior in me, though loving the chain mail, begins to shed the heaviness. I peel off layer after layer until there is just me.
The daughter of the King.
The one He died for.
The one He rose again for.
The one he defends in the darkness that I can’t see.
The one that He loves.
The one He watches over constantly.
The one He never forsakes.
I accept the TRUTH.
And with my new Spirit armor, I walk from room to room, declaring my home a sanctuary of His peace, His love, His joy, His presence. I rebuke and cast out anything that isn’t from Him, and explain that it isn’t allowed here. ANYMORE. EVER.
A peace rests on me. I didn’t know to ask for it. I didn’t know how. I just know it came.
I try to re-imagine the thoughts that just haunted me, but they are gone. Mist and fog replace the concrete memories.
He has come for me. He defended me. I sense joy in my heart again. The veil is lifted.
The Lord is the Lord of my Home, my Heart, my Marriage, my SOUL.
So, this morning, when the enemy brings to mind some past experiences to condemn me, I fight back. I’ve put on my new armor in Ephesians 6 which is so light I can’t even tell it’s on, and my voice is ready for praise.
The power of Jesus and HIS NAME is something I cannot forget.
Demons do exist. They shudder and tremble at the name of Jesus.
Do you ever say it out loud? Do you ever scream it in response?
JESUS conquered death and all that is coming for Christians, because He is the VICTOR.
There is power, strength, deliverance, mercy, grace and joy in HIS NAME.
THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES.
Darkness has no place in the light.