I understand my last post was heavy, but the sun is shining again! Lydia has now fixed her language of explanation: “Mom and Dad are adopting me a sister or brother!” And she is also making an adoption plan for a toy that she’s saving up for. After she gets enough money, she is going to “adopt” a stuffed animal Chase from Paw Patrol to play with her stuffed animal Skye the same size. Be still my heart!
As we wait for our last trainings, we are reading a book called “Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft.” We are not very far into the book, but we realized that back when we started talking about adoption, we were thinking about an older child (but younger than Lydia). We have no idea the child God has in store for us, nor the age by time we welcome him or her into our family. But we are preparing for any child 0-5, because Lydia is currently 6. I didn’t fully understand all the trauma of an adopted toddler, and I still don’t completely comprehend. But one thing I did learn? The Chihuahua we adopted a year and a half ago is showing similar traits. I almost laughed, but I understand our dog so much more! The barking at the people she doesn’t trust, the clinging to those she completely does. The protecting of her “person” (that’s me, by the way…she’s never far off!).
We have decided to begin preparations for our new child. We have a spare bedroom – always meant for kid number two, in my book. Doug and I have been listing ideas how we can “toddler-proof” and clean out the current guest bedroom. The book encourages adoptive parents in their preparation, validating “nesting” before a new child and making it feel more real. I found this poem in the book, as well, and it spoke to my heart.
Song of the Waiting Mother
I’m pregnant, but my tummy isn’t growing,
And no one ever calls me ‘little mom.’
The public simply isn’t overflowing
With questions that I’d handle with aplomb.
There are no special clothes to mark my waiting.
Nobody stops and smiles as I pass by.
The absence of a due-date is frustrating
And looking at the nursery makes me cry.
When I’m overdue no one will worry.
The phone won’t ring and ring as friends check in.
I can’t induce my labor in a hurry,
My new life as a parent to begin.
Adoption is a worrisome endeavor,
And waiting all alone is not much fun.
To be ‘with child’ a year seems like forever.
Dear God, we’re ready! Please send us our son!
By Christine Futia, 1989
We have a little way to go before our home study even begins, and who knows how much longer until a match is made. It could be fast, or it could take years. The lack of a due-date is frustrating.
In the meantime, I wait. I wait and prepare myself. I wait and prepare Lydia. I wait, as patiently as I can (God help me!). Doug and I are learning. Preparing. And when God says it’s finally time, we’ll be ready.
“Mom and Dad are going to buy me a little sister!” Lydia said eagerly to some neighbors we hadn’t seen in a bit.
“Is that so?” they asked, looking at me with questions in their eyes.
“Adopting. And no, we haven’t matched yet. We’re still doing paperwork.”
And so, I sit in front of the computer screen trying to find a way to announce to my friends and family that we have begun the adoption journey. Since November, we have been applying to various agencies and various countries through them. Each country is pretty strict on the health of the adoptive parents. After getting no after no, we have begun the process through an agency in Minnesota to adopt domestically. As of typing this, we are on the second application, which is the meat of the paperwork and various online trainings.
There are so many unknowns. We have prayed (and still are!), applied, and continually received resistance. A wise friend told me, “God knows who your next child is, and where he or she is coming from. Maybe that’s just not how you’ll find them.”
Mary wasn’t even expecting the child, but when an angel told her she would give birth to God’s Son, she was willing. If it was God’s Son, everything should work out how she wanted, right? I wonder if Mary and Joseph doubted God’s will when there was no room for them to stay. Surely, this can’t be right. But it was actually God’s will that His Son be born humbly, surrounded by animals in a barn.
I have heard heartbreaking stories of moms changing their minds at the last minute. Yet I have heard heartwarming stories of a baby coming to the adoptive family by what can only be God’s intervention. When we got married, I thought I would have kids close together, like my sisters and I. But God had other plans. He is using this unfortunate (in my eyes) disease that is prohibiting me from doing things I always dreamed of. Doug and I have met so many friends from all over the world, and we thought that God was calling us to adopt internationally. We feel confident as we work with this Minnesota agency. I certainly never wanted there to be much of an age gap. Lydia is already 6! Therefore, we continue on this journey, placing our hope in the One who knows the whole story (the end, too!).
I saw the woman in the chair; she was in church again today.
Someone said they’ve sold their house; they’re going to move away.
No! I cried, they cannot go; they cannot move away.
I didn’t get to know her; there’s something I need to say:
Please tell me your secret; I want to sit at your feet,
I need to know how you handle the pain that is your daily meat,
How do you keep on smiling when each day your health gets worse?
How do you keep depending on God when you’re living with a curse?
Every time I see her, her smile comes from deep within.
I know her fellowship with God isn’t scarred by the chair she’s in.
She admits her health is failing; she knows she’s fading away.
How can she remain so calm when I’m running away?
My friend, can you tell me how you can trust the Lord
How can you stay so gentle and sweet when He seems to wield a sword?
You are to me a promise even in the midst of pain
God is near and faithful if I will turn to him again.
When I heard the former poem, it became my prayer. But then this afternoon, Dr. H took my daughter to the park, so I played the piano for a while. I didn’t get through one song until my fingers became super tired. What was going on? My fingers might be out of shape, but when they are tired, I lose feeling and function. I grew frustrated, as my nap that day hadn’t gone well. So I wrote this next poem.
I am the woman in the chair; I go to church every week.
We’ve just moved again, so I’m new, but let me speak:
It’s true I lean on God for everything, and I’m strong because of Him.
I try to get involved, try and find friends in the community within.
But sometimes I want to cry, just cry.
“It’s not fair!” I yell. “Why me, Lord? Why?”
Why is my illness progressing? Why am I losing function?
Why am I the woman in the chair, the one receiving so many assumptions?
Why do I deal with chronic fatigue, amongst so much more?
It ruins my day, my motherhood, and even my simple chores.
But then His calming presence softly wraps around me.
“I’m still here,” He says. “It’s okay. Just be.”
I sigh as I let it all go. “It’s so hard,” I whisper into His shoulder.
I feel His embrace, and it somehow makes me boulder.
“How did you do it?” I ask. “When You walked the earth?”
“By leaning into My Father,” came the reply. “He’ll show you your worth.”
My eyes were suddenly opened to scripture, as I recalled His promises.
I am salt and light, adopted, and redeemed. I am justified, and I am His.
It doesn’t matter what comes next, because He always will be.
Things might be hard, but my God, He lives in me.
So I can be strong and praise Jesus with my everything.
It’s Him I trust, for health and for life. He is my King.
Anna E Meyer
I have heard people come up to me and tell me what an inspiration I am. I shrug, because I just do what I do, and I make do with what I have. But if someone is encouraged because I keep moving forward? Praise Jesus. Paul said, in Philippians 1, “For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I hope I can show Christ in my life. I know that one day I will walk and run again. I remember telling my two year old that same thing, so she stopped and prayed right then and there it would happen soon. My life is hard, but Jesus’ life was harder. So many of the early apostles were tortured and killed, all to the advancement of the church. Everyone knew about it and praised God that they were honored to share in Christ’s suffering. It’s hard to see it that way nowadays. Dr.H is reading a book and discussing it with me. “When Jesus Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty,” by Joni Eareckson Tada and Steven Estes (where I found the first poem). We are not but a third of the way through it, but boy, is it good. After playing a little piano this afternoon, I felt depressed and defeated. But the Lord speaks to me through my writing.
I’m the lady in the chair, and I think I’ve cooled down.
I’m a child of the Most High, so I’ll just adjust my crown.
I read scripture every night as I go to bed.
His Word is comforting, as I lay my head.
I write to my Lord and sing His praises every day.
I now understand that He’s the potter; I’m the clay.
Stealing lyrics, I’ll sing: Take my life and form it,
Take my mind, transform it. Take my will, and conform it
To Yours, to Yours, oh Lord.
I’ll stand with You and drawn sword.
I don’t understand why I’ve got this disease,
But You work through Your children as You please.
Because of my life You’ve reached another,
And I don’t need to know reason any other.
Christ suffered while on earth, as well.
You understand and comfort as You tell
Of all the good things waiting for us in paradise.
You’ve made us Yours, You’ve paid the price.
All I can do is praise you today.
All I can write is how I love you always!
Anna E. Meyer
An hour or two after I wrote the first poem, I sat down to write the one above. I can be angry, and then the Lord swoops in somehow and makes me feel better. By reading scripture. Hearing a song, where the words just speak that day. More writing. There are a lot of things that I, a mere human, don’t understand. My dad always said, “Ask God when you get to heaven.” My daughter, now 5, stops and prays right there that she can find out BEFORE she gets to heaven.
I do not even know how to end this blog post. Maybe I will start writing more. Whichever the case, be blessed, my friends!
DrH and I started praying last year that God would lead us to the right job. Back when DrH applied for med school, he went to a bunch of interviews. After he interviewed at KYCOM (Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine), he turned down his remaining interviews. He just knew that KYCOM felt like home. When med school was coming to an end, he did away rotations to get a feel for the different residencies he was going to apply for. SIU Med (Southen Illinois University) was rated second on his list. After he matched to SIU, he realized that it was indeed a better fit than his first choice would have been. We’ve been seeing God move through our whole journey! DrH attended a recruiting event or two, and had two interviews. Avera in Worthington felt like KYCOM and SIU did when we got there. It felt like home.
Last fall, we started praying that God would find us a house. We started looking at the housing market after DrH signed his contract in December (but housing markets aren’t very good in the winter…). We found a realtor and toured a LOT of homes. The problem is, it had to be made handicap accessible. We were planning on remodeling whatever needed to be changed so that I would have access to every room in the house. A handicap bathroom, especially. It was February, maybe? When we discovered a subdivision that was being built in Worthington of condos/duplexes. These houses are one level and have wide hallways and doorways (as our builder said, “Baby Boomers love them!”). They keep building them, because people keep buying them. So we bought our house just before they finished up with the outside. We were forwarded the floor plan, and asked, “What changes would you like before we start putting up walls?” So we are treating this house like we’re building it! We picked out the flooring and paint colors, we helped design the cabinets, and I get a handicap bathroom! We own everything from the glass in, and we just need to okay it with the local home owner’s association to put something in our yard. That also means we don’t have to worry about lawn care or snow removal! All our neighbors will be at least 30 years older than us, but I am so excited!
When I pray about something as much as we’ve prayed for this job and this house, I think it’s easier to see God’s hand. We actually toured (virtually) one of our future neighbor’s houses, as Jean is in a wheelchair, too. I am excited to get to know my neighbors, and I am also excited to go back to Southwest Minnesota! We’ll only have to make a bigger trip to visit one side of the family, so it’ll be easier to plan and make time.
On September 29, 2017, I was healed of MS. I was able to feel
fine texture with my fingers again. Muscles were firing that hadn’t in more than ten years. Later that week, I had strep throat, and I wasn’t bed-ridden or extra-weak like usual. I could not deny. I praised God for my healing daily. I wrote about that in this blog.
On the night of November 3, 2017, I couldn’t even sleep for the spasms of my muscles. Doug didn’t sleep much, either. I saw the clock every hour that night. I don’t know if I was awake from hour to hour or if I was awake the whole time. Lies had been flooding my head for a few days. I thought about goals I had set for myself that I hadn’t met. Steps I had tried to take, but didn’t actually. Maybe shuffled my foot forward. But I wasn’t even walking toward them. The next morning, I was as weak as I am when a relapse hits me hard. Neither Doug nor I knew what was going on; I had felt fine the evening before. We called in Lindsey, the nanny that wasn’t supposed to be there until later that day, to come in as fast as she could. After Lindsey and Doug helped me into the car, we went to the ER. By God’s grace, there weren’t many others there at 8am on Saturday morning. They checked me out for an infection of any kind. Blood count was fine, urine was healthy, strep test came back negative, chest x-ray looked good, heart was fine. I had totally expected to be admitted. They let me go hours after getting there with the diagnosis of an MS flare-up because I hadn’t been taking my medicine. They didn’t give me steroids or a plan, except, “follow up with your family doc.” I have never been released while I was still so weak.
So why was I a two-person assist again? Doug, who would have been at the library studying all day, stayed home so he’d be there to help when I needed it. Lindsey had to stay later in the day so I wouldn’t be alone. I’m healed, aren’t I? It was a fight. I battled depression a lot of the day. I slept a lot, but when I was awake, I recited scriptures on healing out loud. Over and over. I’d been having trouble staying strong after a matter of hours. I cried out to the Lord that I would keep strength through all of church the next day. Doug posted on a bunch of Facebook groups and contacted family and stuff. “We are declaring for God to rid Anna of MS once and for all and for His help. He has helped every time before, and He will do it again. Faithful is He.” That night, Doug and I knew we needed a miracle. Doug wouldn’t be able to stay home anymore, as his board exam is coming up soon. We have three nannies, but they’re not available to come two at a time.
The next day, I was stronger than the day before. At least I started out that way. I just prayed it would stay. And I went to church, where I received a ton of encouragement and prayer. We stayed in the church even after everyone left, and prayed. We knew we were in the midst of a battle, the enemy attacking us and those we closely interact with. After my afternoon nap, I didn’t need my wheelchair anymore!
I have been carrying around the healing scriptures and reading them. What other explanation is there for my healing this weekend than the marvelous work of God, the Healer, the Lord Almighty? I know I am in a spiritual battle, and I am standing with many brothers and sisters in Christ who are agreeing with me, as I stand with so many of them in their own battles.
If you would, you can stand with me. Pass these scriptures on to some of your own friends when you need a healing yourself. Read them out loud. You could need healing in your relationships, body, mind, or spirit. It is ALWAYS God’s will to heal you. So if you’re waiting for his will…that’s that. It is.
Psalm 107:20 “He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.”
Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
Isaiah 58:8 “Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.”
Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Jeremiah 30:7 “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord, because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.”
Jeremiah 33:6 “Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”
James 5:14-15 “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.”
Matthew 4:23, “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.”
Matthew 10:1 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.”
1 Peter 2:24, “’He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’”
Let these scriptures, read out loud, be the sword you fight with in your own battle. Pick up that helmet of salvation to guard your thoughts, your breastplate of righteousness to guard your heart, the belt of truth so you do not doubt what you have seen and heard. Tie on the gospel-ready shoes which will give you peace, and don’t forget to pick up that shield of faith, which can block the incoming attacks of the Enemy (Ephesians 6:10-18). We are in a battle, my friend. May God be with you!
2 Corinthians 1:8-10: 8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.
I have been looking into spiritual warfare a lot lately. I have also been reflecting on my inward struggles and have decided to draw up a battle plan. My biggest inward struggle is against the depression and anxiety that try to control the rest of me. It has been since I can remember. I am at a much better place than I once was. The biggest current struggle now, is that the serotonin-deprived parts of my brain are trying to convince me that it’s not worth exercising or stretching every day. It’ll tire me out and prevent me from getting anything else done today. It might get better for a little while, but then one slip up, and I’ll be right back where I started. It’s almost Thanksgiving, when we’ll be flying back to Minnesota. Car rides and flights always set me back. Why bother? This is a lie I have struggled with for FAR too long.
This spiritual battle wages because we are given the power to overcome sin’s grasps when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. There is no battle when there is no opposing side. The Spirit of God brings us to life spiritually, but we still live in these bodies of flesh that still have a sinful nature. Thus, the battles rages—but victory is assured because we are in Christ! (Matthew 26:41; Romans 7:14-20; Galatians 6:16-17)
In Genesis 4, Cain gets angry that God didn’t look upon him and his sacrifices with favor as God did with his brother, Abel. God addresses it in verses 6 and 7: “6 Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.’” God tells us to fight against sinful feelings! These feelings of depression and anxiety? THEY DON’T CONTROL ME!
Isaiah 53:4-5: “4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for out transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Here, we discover that Jesus went to the cross for our body, soul, and spirit. His suffering was not just for our soul’s salvation, but the HEALING of our soul, as well! He brings us peace—because not only are our sins on that cross, but so are EMOTIONS, FEELINGS, and everything we can imagine! Frustrated? Nail it to the cross. Depressed? Nail it to the cross. Anxious? It’s on the cross!
I know these are a lot of scriptures, but these battle plans need more than just words of mine. You see, the word of God is the sword of the spirit. And with the faith that we receive by reading these verses of truth, we can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16-17). I shall continue.
The very first scripture I wrote was a time when Paul was depressed. So depressed that he despaired of life itself. In 1 Kings 19:3-4, we see Elijah when he is depressed. “3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom brush, sat down under it, and prayed he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.’” Here, we see Elijah in isolation. Depression THRIVES on isolation. Shame is in the driver’s seat when depression shows up. “I am no better than my ancestors who died in the desert before seeing the Promised Land. Kill me, too!” That sounds an awful lot like what I said earlier in this post: It’s not worth exercising. I’ll just go backwards, anyway. I’ll just have this disability forever. Ahh!
How do I fight this? I need to focus on God changing ME instead of what’s around me. In Matthew 14, Jesus is walking on the water, and Peter asks to be called out, too. Picking up in verse 30: “But when Peter saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.” Peter didn’t pray for the storm to stop, he prayed, “Lord, do a work in me! Reach down and rescue me!” – THEN, the storm stopped! I’m not going to wait until I get miraculously better or I “feel like” exercising or stretching. I can’t keep praying that I’ll “feel like” exercising and stretching more. I just need to DO IT. Because I know that when I take a step, God will be there to guide it. Peter walked on the water until he saw his circumstances and got scared. I’ve been scared too long.
I talked a lot about exercising and stretching for my MS in this post, which is definitely something I need to be doing. I have been dealing with a lot of other lies that this battle plan will help to eliminate. The first step of what I need to do is to straighten all these things out in my mind. Actions are the follow through of thoughts, and I need to start there. Instead of praying that I’ll get more work and that it will pick up, how about I start doing the work I have better? It all starts in my mind.
“…But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us” (2 Corinthians 1:9b-10).
I love story lines. And a story line I have fallen in love with and can’t get enough of are those of the Marvel Universe. I never really got into reading comic books. My love of words far overpowered that. I love how each character has his own movie, his own story, and then all of the super heroes come together to fight something bigger than they can take on themselves.
What if . . . these super heroes were Christians, trying to make a difference in God’s kingdom, instead of doing that super-hero-thing-they-do? If Iron Man was a disciple, how could he win people to Christ with his powers? Captain America? The Hulk? They all have some pretty great testimonies. I can envision Captain America being the cool pastor of some inner-city church. Black Widow would use her skills to help the church out, as well as Hawkeye. I could see those two heading up outreaches or something. I’ve read a few blog posts on the subject, and the Avengers are an awesome analogy of the church. We are all so very different, yet when we come together and “assemble” in church on Sunday, or at a Lifegroup or Bible study, we glean from each other’s’ differences. While Iron Man is trying to fix an engine that went down, The Captain awaits to pull the red lever. We all get distracted, but the job gets done! Thor would be in the nursery at church, gathering up the toddlers and teaching them about Jesus during church. Or maybe the kids would be climbing all over Hulk—but on second thought, the Hulk’s gifts could be much better used . . . parking cars? Or doing all the heavy lifting. What jobs would you give these heroes if they went to your church?
What I set out to do with the book that I just released on Amazon, was to create that different kind of super hero—the one that serves Christ and each other. Although there are some deeper issues in the book that probably aren’t fit for children, who doesn’t love a battle scene where scripture shuts down the enemy? In my book, I explore the armor of God, and things of the spiritual world being visible—but only for those with the eyes to see.
If this peaks your interest at all, check out my eBook for Kindle on Amazon here!
Anna E. Meyer
What do you suppose your spiritual gift is? How is that your “super power?” How would having the super power of Christ behind you change the way you live life?
Patience. I hate it. But not when other people are to me—just when I have to wait. I NEVER ask God to teach me patience. Not anymore. Do you know why? Because he’ll give me opportunities to be patient. I caught on to that in college.
Patients. The pretend people that Dr. Wile E. Coyote is talking to in the next room over, as he prepares for his ISA tomorrow. (ISA—I don’t know what it stands for, but it’s basically doing doctor-stuff, like asking the patient questions and checking everything in the correct order for a physical, etc.) I’m good at being a patient.
Patience. Usually things just “come.” Blogs and stories and poems just flow through my fingers. But this weekend? It hasn’t happened like that. Writer’s block? Because now that I’ve published a book, I want to finish everything I’m working on at once and publish them, too! Not happening, sorry. I probably need to wait a few months, anyway.
Patients. Last week, when I had a doctor’s appointment at the end of the day, I did NOT complain that she was way behind. It was my own fault for scheduling an afternoon visit! And besides, I am already prepared to defend my husband if he gets behind once he’s a doctor, and people let me know how happy they are about it. But that will be in….6 more years, at least. After this one. Did YOU know that the “8 years to become a doctor” happen AFTER the undergrad 4? We are in year 6/12. Which sounds way better than year 2/8. Which is another area in which I have to show
Patience. You know, for having so much trouble being patient for short-term stuff, I certainly have to show it for long-term stuff. Oh no! Those prayers I said back in high school and college!? GOD IS STILL TEACHING ME
Patience. Seriously. Be careful what you pray for, people! God is actually listening!
Your More-Patient-than-She-Thinks Writer and Friend,
Ephesians 6:10-20: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your STAND against the devil’s schemes. For 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 the evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, 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 everything, to STAND. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And 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. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” [emphasis mine]
I italicized all of the things we are to do. These pieces of armor aren’t just automatically on us when we become a Christian. We have to put it ondaily. Just like you don’t leave your house without putting clothes on, why should we, as Christians, venture into the world without our armor? I am just as guilty as anyone when it comes to leaving without my armor. Simply speak it on: “I buckle the belt of truth around my waist, put in place the breastplate of righteousness, and fit my feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of God, our peace. I take up the shield of faith, as well as the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.” While you are speaking these things on, pray for your day! Surrender it to the Lord, who takes much better care of it than we can ever dream of doing!
How well do you understand the armor of God? I love the visualization of it so much, that I wrote it into my book a whole lot. It was fun! Let me share some of my notes on what the armor of God all means.
We first buckle on the belt of truth. The enemy sends lies our way as often as he can. The world is full of it. But remember the TRUTH about all things, especially your identity in Christ! Next, put in place the breastplate of righteousness. I imagine this breastplate as one that wraps around my entire torso. Under the breastplate, you see, are our hearts. Our heart is the hub of our emotions, self-worth, and trust. Many have built extra walls around our hearts from past hurts, but the breastplate of righteousness is especially important. It ensures God’s approval and protects our hearts better than we ever could. God approves of us because he loves us—he loves us so much, that he sent his son to die for us! Next, fit your feet with the readiness to share the good news. Sharing the gospel with everyone you can seems like a daunting task. The word says that the gospel will reach every nation and tongue before Jesus comes back. “What if people respond negatively? What if they attack me, or sharing the gospel turns out to be a hopeless task? That’s what missionaries and pastors do. I can’t!” you say. Let me tell you: the footgear that God gives us is the motivation to proclaim the gospel of God—the good news that everyone needs to hear! Take up the shield of faith. Satan attacks us in the form of insults, setbacks, temptations, etc, etc. But the shield we are given protects us from ALL the flaming arrows of the enemy! Take up the helmet of salvation. Satan loves when we doubt. He tries to make us doubt God, Jesus, and our salvation, as often as he can. The helmet protects our minds from doubting God’s saving work for us. With the helmet, we can remember in our heads who we are! As you can see, all of this defensive gear works together to protect us!
There are two weapons of offense listed with the armor. The first is the sword of the Spirit. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Tempted? Trust in the truth of God’s word! The second weapon of offense is prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God, as if he is in the room right next to you! When you talk to God, you are strengthening your relationship with him, and the devil ain’t got ground to stand when God speaks!
I started writing “Saving Vindicity” the summer of 2011. And I finally published it! This book is now available on Amazon for Kindle. Click here to download it for yourself, read it, and leave a review!
I stopped after writing it, because I was waiting for the “right time.” Well, who knew when that would be. After I had a friend read it a few months ago, and she didn’t have much criticism, I decided to go through with it. The marketing stuff scares me, but I thought I’d start out with this blog. 🙂