Pretty much any time we step out into new territory we are opposed.
If you haven’t experienced this, please let me know. I want your secret.
Several years ago I began a weekly devotional called Soul Scents. It wasn’t long before I got hate mail telling me all the reasons I wasn’t good enough or holy enough to write about spiritual things. After a few tears and lots of prayer I kept going. How? I clung to the truth. I didn’t have to be good enough. The only way anyone is that good is because they are covered by the blood of Jesus. That writing experience was one of the best of my life, and a few thousand came on the ride with me.
What if I’d listened to the critique?
Fast forward to now. I’d known for a long time I was supposed to offer videos on my blog. A few weeks ago I finally stepped up. I felt exposed and nervous, but that first Monday Makeover was a personal victory! It wasn’t perfect, but I said what I knew I was supposed to say. I DID it.
But after a day or two the opposition started.
This time it wasn’t from people; it was an oppression that became so tangible it was as though the very air I breathed cried out, “hopeless,” telling me there would never be true success, that I would never really influence this world for the better. Even the air around me seemed tinged gray.
I pushed through videoing my second Monday Makeover, sharing Truth I absolutely believed, but speaking out of a determination to move forward, not out of free-flowing joy.
That Monday was awful. Tuesday morning was not much better. I read my Advent devotional determined to embrace the beauty. While it shined pencil light into my darkness, I still felt I was suffocating.
I tried to journal, to talk to God, but instead of free-flowing conversation there was confusion and an overwhelming sense of condemnation. In my mind I saw a strong man standing before me, glaring at me, arms crossed. I cried out, “Lord, this is not the True You, the Loving God You’ve revealed to me.” I think the last thing I wrote in my journal is that I felt powerless and needed Him to rescue me.
I went on with my day, attending my critique group. When it was my turn for advice on my manuscript I asked for prayer instead. My friends surrounded me.
It wasn’t long before one spoke up. “I believe the Lord has given me a picture that reveals what you’re dealing with. I see a “fun” house full of a maze of distorted mirrors. Over a loud speaker comes mocking laughter, playing over and over. You’re fighting to look in a true mirror, but you can’t find it.”
She was right. Those three women began praying and before I went home that day the gray film no longer suffocated me.
I knew who I was. A daughter of the King.
Maybe I’ll tell you the whole story someday, but for now my message is simply this: You will be opposed when you move forward; but you will NOT be defeated.
Believe. Keep walking forward. Grab your friends for prayer and encouragement. Ask God to rescue you. Read TRUTH.
The darkness wants to destroy all that is good in this world, to keep us captive to despair and doubt. To tell us we are unimportant, ineffective, and unable to succeed.
But the Good News is “The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness does NOT overcome it.” (That’s from the Gospel of John.)
I hope to hang some lights later. If you happen to drive by my house know that I’m shouting victory to the world with their every twinkle.
The LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness has NOT overcome it!