I'm blogging daily in April. Learn more about the series here.
I haven't mentioned it here yet, but in early June I will be attending a MomHeart Intensive Reunion in Colorado. That means I will be spending a weekend away with about forty other women, to be led and taught by Sally Clarkson and her amazing ministry team, some of the time in her very home! It is a reunion because I had the opportunity and privilege to do the same back in 2010, just after we moved back to Pittsburgh. Recently when Sally started talking about getting a reunion together, I figured it was a pipe dream. A bunch of other ladies said they were going to pray about it. I was like, Hey, that's a great idea! I should do that too.
Once the dates were settled and the count limited to 35, I mentioned it to my husband and we both agreed it was a lot of money for us right now. I still felt such a stir about going. So a couple of days after the announcement I sat down and said to the Lord, I'm not going to worry about this. It is in your hands. I will mention it one more time to Colin and then be done with it. I looked more specifically at the costs, asked my mom about frequent flyer miles, talked briefly with Colin that morning, and let it go.
Friends, "letting it go" is not my style. I'm a worrier by nature - though the Lord has done a lot of work on my heart in that area - so I usually over think about things, try to work everything out in my head, imagine possibilities, etc. This time, I didn't. I guess I really believed it was in God's hands and however it went was alright! Weird.
At some point during the day, my husband called me and said (I paraphrase), "I was trying to think of something to get you to make you feel loved and special. You already have flowers on the table, so not that. Then I thought about how much you want to go to that Intensive and we have a tax refund coming... I think you should go, because I know it will make you so happy."
I WAS SO HAPPY AND I SIGNED UP THE FIRST MINUTE I HAD FREE!
A couple of days later, however, it began. The voices. They sound like this: Those ladies have so much more to offer than you, you don't really belong there. What will you wear? Everyone else has such nice clothes. All of those women are such "good Christians," if they knew what you're really like they wouldn't want you to come. Have you done enough what you learned last time, used it well? And so on and so forth.
The enemy was picking out every. single. one. of my inadequacies and fueling the fires of doubt and despair in my heart and mind.
I was interrupted by grace when the Spirit helped me to see the lies for what they are, acknowledge to God what was going on, and to seek Him for strength to resist temptation and protection from the evil one. I sat down yesterday morning and thought, I should talk with God about this, because I know it's going to get worse if I don't. Oh, how gracious he was to meet me, comfort me, assure me, and love me through His presence and Word!
God reminded me of all that He had done to get me to the first Intensive weekend and all He had done already to get me to this one. He reminded me of how He used the last Intensive to launch me into some new dream-fulfilling opportunities. He reminded me that the enemy seems more powerful that he actually is. He refocused my eyes on HIM. I didn't need a self-esteem building exercise to change my thinking, nor did I need to just ignore the voices away, I needed the Lord!
I know this won't be the last battle. In fact, I often find when God sets me on a path satan's first line of attack is to fill my mind with doubt, even as extreme as making me doubt if I believe in God. But boy, what a grace interruption to remember that this is the same old story - because the devil doesn't have any new tricks - and I am always safe in the arms of God and must listen to His voice alone. Same goes for you, my friend!
Deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.