I have had some events take place in my life over the last few days that I am convinced came directly from the devil. And though I can see these things transpiring, it is not always easy for me to combat them instead of succumb to them. I do know that I now have the strength to not be overtaken by them as I was a few months ago. I want to dive a little more into some of the things that I touched on in my last few posts about feeling spiritually attacked, because this is something that has been very heavy on my heart and mind this week.
There were signs, in my case, that I overlooked. By the time I realized what was happening, it was too late. I was already in the midst of my storm.
The first sign was feelings of failed prayers and spiritual isolation. I mentioned feeling like my prayers weren’t making it pass the ceiling. I had even convinced myself that I wasn’t praying correctly and I remember asking my girlfriend at the time how she prayed, because God always seemed to take care of her, but I felt like He had abandoned me. I was asking for things in Jesus name just like He said, and nothing was happening. And slowly, I was losing hope and there were days where I had no faith. I stopped praying. I stopped doing my devotionals. I rarely attended church. I simply gave up on God because I assumed He had given up on me,
The second sign was depression or condemnation. I was incredibly down on myself, incredibly unhappy and I didn’t know how to or who to express these feelings to. This level of depression was new to me. And instead of showing weakness and asking for help, I simply suppressed it, which made it that must worse when I was finally forced to face it. And when I was ready to ask for help, so many other things had festered that it was too late.
The third sign was worthlessness and helplessness. I went to work, came home from work, and sat on the couch until I passed out. I was overeating, I gained weight, I knew I was gaining weight, but I felt so far passed being able to do anything about it. I felt so empty. The only thing in my life that gave me any comfort was my relationship, but I wasn’t putting into it what I thought I was. I had completely given up on myself. And I hid it so well that no one even bothered to ask if I was okay. The person that laid next to me every night assumed I was fine. Because it appeared that I was; I didn’t know any other way to be. There was too much going on at the time for me to have my breakdown. It would not have been convenient.
The fourth sign was the ways in which I chose to hide my pain. I became overly selfish and stubborn and prideful because I didn’t want anything to be wrong with me. Most of the time, I did not even realize I was exuding these traits! I was so deep in my hole that all I saw was darkness. I was internally angry, and I was screaming for help through these traits that were actually causing people to flee from me.
The fifth sign was physical sickness and weakness. I could hardly keep food down. I stayed sick, especially at night after dinner. My girlfriend kept telling me to go to the doctor, but I kept putting it off because, I never told her this, but I thought if I stayed sick long enough, I would lose the weight and have some form of relief from one of my depressions. And I always felt like I had no energy. I would get tired walking up stairs. And I am not a large person by standard.
The sixth and last sign was lost of interest and perceived lost of interest. This one was huge. I didn’t have interest in much. I didn’t want to try anything new. I had all of these dreams, all of these things that I wanted to do, but I never acted on them. And I perceived that my girlfriend had lost interest in me. She had so many great things going on, that I felt uninteresting. Nothing she did made me feel this way, it was all self-inflicted. I felt like I had become not enough. I had become boring. I had become not what she wanted.
When it became apparent to me what was happening, I was in disbelief. There was nothing valuable about me that the devil should want to keep from God. God had deserted me a long time ago, or so I thought. I just assumed that there was something wrong with me. And when the breakup came, it heightened those assumptions.
I began to have thoughts that I had never had before, thoughts of me having no purpose to be alive, me not being good enough to love because people kept leaving me, me never amounting to anything, and then me simply not wanting to be on this Earth any longer. I started thinking back to 2007 when my sister passed away, and I opened my mouth and said to God “you took the wrong one.” In that moment, the devil had me, I knew it, and I was ready to let him take me.
I had never felt so empty. And that is the moment I of spoke of when I said I laid on my face for two hours, and begged God to intervene. My favorite verse has always been John 16:33. I just loved it and for no particular reason. But you see God places things our lives before we even know that we need them. And this was the day I realized why I had held on to John 16:33:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy and I had allowed him to do everything but rip me physically from this world. He stole my joy, he stole my relationship, he stole my peace, he stole my sanity, he stole my ambition, my creative, everything that was good and wholesome about me he stole. He destroyed my stability, my peace of mind, my ability to love fully, my willingness and want for compassion and affection, my body, my health. And he was on the verge of tearing me from the world. But God! That is all I can say. Because He is the only reason I am still here. I remember that night like it was yesterday. I text everyone that I knew who prayed to pray for me, right then in that moment. And I’m sure they thought I was crazy. But the truth was, I was literally dying.
Last night the devil showed up again, testing my faith and my word. And I’m glad to say that he didn’t win. God’s plan is bigger than my momentary weaknesses.
“Count your blessings, but do not be too busy counting yours that you can’t see where others may need to be blessed.” -STW