Remember the scene from The Wizard of Oz where the house is in the middle of a twister? Winds rage, the foundation is shaken, cracked, all possessions are being tossed to & fro. Dorothy observes her greatest fears within the wind just before the house comes to a crashing halt landing in munchkin land. This is a clear depiction of the my life leading up to my wilderness season.
Looking back I can now perceive the many warnings God presented but my “christian” to-do list deprived me of my sight & disabled my discernment. My structure was not standing upon a firm foundation, I was not at all prepared for a storm of this magnitude. In that point of my life I felt I had this christian thing down (there was my first red flag…*insert eye roll*) I was attending church, volunteering for any & every thing, I was leading a small group, I was saying yes, yes, yes! I was always on the go; I wore my exhaustion like a blue ribbon. What I didn’t realize was in saying yes to everything I was constantly saying no to crucial things: quiet time, prayer, my family, my home, my health. Even though I was saying yes to “good” things, I was saying no to God. I was being disobedient. I had fell victim to distraction.
“Satan has a powerful tool he uses against good people. It is distraction. They fill their lives with so many “good things,” there is no room for the essential ones.”Richard G. Scott
Midst of the Storm
Fear & anxiety were the violent winds & treacherous waves that took me under. Paralyzing me for months. The aftermath left me as a water damaged, broken, pile of wreckage. Paralyzed by the trauma I had endured with panic attacks & fear I didn’t know how to navigate out of the dark of the storm clouds. Disturbingly my days consisted of getting out of bed, eating, dreading the moments till my husband left for work. I would fight through fear & trembling to get our children ready & off to school. Once the bus drove away I sat in my fear, on the couch, counting the minutes till someone would be home, yet fearing that night time would come yet again to torment me. Each day was a battle for my life. I had to make a conscious choice to fight. I would pull out my war room prayer binder & begin with the Lord’s prayer. I prayed to place the armor of God on myself, my husband & our children. I would literally spend the bulk of my day reading scripture, praying, worshiping, listening to sermons or christian podcasts. I knew after surgery my body needed rest & time to heal, God knew my heart, mind, & soul did as well.
“Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. … You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down.”C.S. Lewis
Rebuild after the Storm
During those days I felt as if I would die at any given moment, I saw no glimpse of the sun through the clouds. I prayed many prayers for healing & to “have my life” back; I have NEVER been so thankful for UNANSWERED prayers. Now I clearly see God’s hand through those days, as dark as they appeared He was in full control. He took the pile of rubble, it was pliable from the water damage, He began to mold it into something new. It was a painful process, lots of bending, facing fear, pressing into situations I wanted to hide from forever. Driving for example was a huge fear area as I had suffered panic attacks in my car while driving. I started slowly, like sitting in my driveway, then driving down the street, then driving further. There have been drives where fear has tried to over take me & through my hyperventilation I praise God, I push through, I focus on His hand calming the storm. Praying for a healing miracle was also a top focused prayer for the last 2 years. I questioned many times why God didn’t heal me miraculously. He may not have given me the instantaneous healing I was craving but He DID miraculously heal me & continues to do so. He strengthened me just like His word says:
- Psalm 9:9-10 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
- Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
- Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
God changed my heart by drawing me near to Him. He took everything away so He was all I had; I couldn’t run anymore, I couldn’t be distracted. As He rebuilt there was reconstruction & upgrades. Wisdom was gained. Faith was increased. Renewing my mind, taking my thoughts captive, living out His word became a daily practice. A solid foundation of trust was laid.
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.Matthew 7:24-27 NKJV
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Ding Dong the Witch is Dead
My wilderness season may have been induced by sinful choices & breast implant illness, the storm may have struck me hard, but God had a plan through it all. Even though my house came crashing down, it didn’t break, it just had to endure the landing; God was crushing the religion witch. He set me on the right path, the yellow brick road, & taught me how to truly follow Jesus; I will walk with Him, till my God calls me home.