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Battle Cry: 11 Months

The enemy studies us.
He knows our playlist.
He knows what we say to ourself.
He knows our proclivities.
He knows our struggles.
He knows our insecurities.

The enemy will use anything he can to get to our relationship with God. He will attack what’s most valuable.

The enemy knows more about our destiny than we do. ‘The enemy isn’t after where you’re at right now, he’s after what you could get access to in the future and the influence you have. This is why he wreaks havoc over anything that matters to us – emotions, minds, willpower, families and futures.’ Juliana Page

The enemy isn’t after where you’re at right now, he’s after what you could get access to in the future and the influence you have.  This is why he wreaks havoc over anything that matters to us - emotions, minds, willpower, families and futures. - Juliana Page   

Discovering My Battle Cry: 11 Months

Holy smokes if these words didn't fire me up this week.  Let's talk about month 11, and Discovering My Battle Cry.
This message was fuel for that fire, made me want to put on war paint and charge forward. (picturing Mel Gibson in Braveheart) 
We are in the home stretch of a year now. 
Eleven months since loss entered our lives.
Eleven months since grief darkened our doorstep. 
Eleven months since we walked into the greatest battle of our lives. 
I can't remember how soon it was, but really soon after Joe passed, I can remember all of these questions flooding my mind. 
What about the future we had planned together?
What about our kids futures?
How do I support our family now - emotionally and financially?
How am I supposed to do this?
Why God? 
What next?  What now?
What if, what if, what if ... (these are a death spiral straight from the enemy)
These questions, worries, anxiety, grief, pain, heaviness - ALL OF IT - are straight from the enemy.  His job is to keep us so confused we don't know which way is up or down. 


I picture a squirrel in the middle of the road. He runs in, gets so confused, and can't decide to go right or left, to run up the road or turn around. Sometimes he's able to find a way, and others times .... well, splat! We all know how that ends.
I feel like a broken record here saying that, but it's the honest truth.  The enemy wants us to wear ourselves out so that we are so broken and exhausted we can't fight anymore.  That's when we get into seriously dangerous territory. 
I learned early on that these 'what-if' questions are directly from the enemy and it's in this confusion and heavy emotion that he keeps us spiraling. He runs us into traffic and causes so much confusion that we get frantic, start looking every place for a way out, but in our confusion, we can't find it.
But here's something I also know, the enemy can not tell the truth.  He is incapable of it.  So all of these spiraling stories he gives us, they're all lies.
There is one truth.
Every word God speaks is true.
He is the standard for truth, and is that by which all is measured.
But when you're in the middle of the road - confused and searching for a way out - with the enemy screaming in your ears, how do you find the truth?

This Means War

I wrote about this early on, but there was a moment a month or so in where I was feeling strong, well for that day at least. I had a friend send me a message that knocked me right off my feet. In the time it took for me to read it, it caused every emotion, every fear, every bit of grief, and then some, to come right back.
It gripped my heart. I sobbed. I felt at that moment that I had someone sitting on my chest, hands around me throat, strangling me. I literally could not catch my breath.
I pray you never feel this way. It is the most terrifying experience.
That evening, I reached out to my prayer circle. The women in my life who I knew were warriors of faith. Those women who could instantly speak God's truth to me and pray.
I always believed God could (and would) help, but that night solidified it all for me.
Now, I knew it. I knew He could help, and that He would. He did.
The grip was released instantly and I slept that night a very peaceful sleep. I woke up the next morning with a renewed sense of strength and knew I was going to have to fight.
Fight for my healing.
Fight for my sanity.
Fight to keep the enemy off my back.
Fight to keep my family safe.
Fight, fight, fight, fight.
I was further reminded later that morning when I was able to download this with my pastor. In his wisdom, he said next time this comes up - and it will - I want you to put these feelings through the telescope of God's word. (in my words, put on the lens of Truth)
How does God want you to feel right now?  
How does God want you to feel about your future?  
Does God what you fearful and scared?  
No, He doesn't.  
He wants you to trust Him.  God is so honored by our trust

Taking My Power Back

My pastor reminded me that applying the gospel to these spiraling emotions was how I took my power back.  It was how I walked faithfully into this hard season I was facing.  I was also reminded that the only way we can effect the future, is to be faithful and trust, right now.  In our present. 
If we expect God to show up in our future, it's imperative we trust him in the present. 
...and finally, he reminded me that I needed to stay planted in my community.  The thing that makes the difference when circumstances occur are often the people we are surrounded by.  They help us reframe the circumstance differently.  They remind us of truth, and life. They keep you on the path. They pray for you, and they pick you up when all the strength has left your body. They are your people. I learned just who to surround myself with. Those who would continue to support me and speak life into me when I couldn't do that for myself.  I learned to not pull back from people, but to stay engaged and continue to press forward.
This is another enemy tactic though - I have to warn.
The enemy wants us to pull away, retreat into ourselves. This is so dangerous too. This is a dark place where his lies take over.

Staying planted in a good community keeps that truth shining through.
The same thing that can grow our faith can also pull us away from it.  It's how we choose to respond.
The leadership we have at my church is unparalleled.  Within the walls of my church is a deep understanding of the truth that is held within the Bible, and how to apply it to our lives in every circumstance.  They take a personal responsibility in making sure we all know that truth and how to apply it.  I am forever thankful that God drew us into this church when He did.
In 11 months, I have learned that there is a gap between the 'it is finished' and the 'not yet'.  This is where a lot of people get stuck.  But here's what I have learned in the gap - that I have work to do. 
There were a lot of things l needed to heal - thoughts, emotions, insecurities, grief (and more).
It's hard work, this heart work. 
Heart work and healing from things that are seen, and even harder to heal against the things that are lurking in the shadows.  Just when you think you're there and you're making progress, another something comes crawling out. 
The enemy studies us. 
He knows our playlist. 
He knows what we say to ourself.
He knows our proclivities. 
He knows our struggles. 
He knows our insecurities. 


The enemy will use anything he can to get to our relationship with God.  He will attack what's most valuable. 
The enemy knows more about our destiny than we do.  'The enemy isn’t after where you’re at right now, he’s after what you could get access to in the future and the influence you have.  This is why he wreaks havoc over anything that matters to us - emotions, minds, willpower, families and futures.'
This fires me up. 
It makes me angry and ready to go into war.  The thing is, this war is fighting with the unseen a lot. It's a fight for your mind. It's a fight for things that are stored in your heart. It's a spiritual battle.

In a spiritual battle, our war is won through our battle cries. God hears these cries of our hearts. He wants us to fight. He wants us to cry out to him. (see video below)

I cry out to the LORD; I plead for the LORD’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me. I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. Then I pray to you, O LORD. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life. Hear my cry, for I am very low. Rescue me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me. Bring me out of prison so I can thank you. The godly will crowd around me, for you are good to me." - Psalms 142:1-7 NLT

How do you Fight?

We fight with prayerYour most potent weapon in spiritual warfare is petitions before God.  This is where we find victory. 
War without prayer is like lying on the battlefield begging to get annihilated.  Total destruction.
Not happening.
This is my battle cry. My petition daily before God to help us through - and He has.
This war, is it won?
No. The spiritual battle continues. It's a tale as old as time, the fight between good and evil.
But this round?
Yea. I won this round.
I can confidently say I'm walking out on the other side of this season.
A lot of bruises.
A few scars.
But stronger, because now I know I'm a warrior - and I have the strongest weapon in my arsenal.
I'm waving a victory flag because I won this round with a deeper relationship with God. A new joy like I've never known. A stronger armor that has me empowered to move forward into all of this new.  This victory flag brings excitement and not fear for I now know even though it's not what 'I' had planned, God's plan far outweighs anything I could imagine.
... and more importantly, I know what my battle cry sounds like.
I know how to win.