It was a typical Florida Summer night. Complete with dancing Fireflies, calling whippoorwills, and air that hung heavy and hot, much like the temper boiling inside of my then 12 year old self. I felt the cool sand beneath my bare feet as I stood in the middle of the woods behind our barn, looking up into a patch of clear, starlit sky that peeked between the branches above.
This is where I always found myself when I wanted to be near God. Alone, and uninterrupted. It’s where I came to really talk to Him. But this night was different. This night I came to talk to the Devil.
Well, not so much to “talk” as to yell at.
I was angry. Angry about my family circumstances. Angry to see my mother hurting. Angry that my dad wasn’t there to rescue me from the pain. Angry at the changes I saw beginning to take place in my big sister. Angry at finding myself “stuck” in a family that I didn’t feel like I “belonged” in. Yes, I was an angry little girl. And I knew exactly who to take my anger out on.
I had the Devil to blame.
Since I was a little thing, I had been drawn to Jesus and the stories of the Bible. I’d been planning to be a missionary since as far back as first grade. Other cultures intrigued me, and I felt a longing to go see the places, and meet the people on the other side of the world.
I’d always been told that God had big plans for me. My favorite story to hear was how God had miraculously (no really….an honest to goodness miracle!) healed me from a seizure disorder as a baby. I knew in my heart of hearts that God had big things for me to accomplish. Otherwise, why would He have wasted the effort to make me better?
I learned early on that a “calling from God” doesn’t often lead to an easy road. I struggled with a broken family, even though my grandparents were amazing, and always there for me. I often felt on the outside of what everyone was doing, or interested in…like I just didn’t belong. And, as I said above, I was just angry about a lot of things that were beyond my control to fix.
That night, standing alone in the dark, my face stoic and my heart determined, I decided to confront the enemy of my soul. I’d felt so very attacked from every angle. It was especially bad at that time, as I’d been praying fervently for my stepfather’s alcoholism, and was seeing no answers come. I felt like the weight of all my hurts were an intentional attack from Lucifer himself. And as that thought grew in my head, so did my wrath!
I wanted to scream! I wanted to yell, and stomp, and throw things! But, instead, my voice came out in a low, icy whisper, while tears ran like hot lava down my freckled cheeks.
“You think you’re going to stop me from praying, Devil? You think you’re going to stop me from following the Lord? Guess what….you won’t win! You think you’re bigger than God? But “Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.” I. am. NOT. afraid. of. you! You think you can take me out? Go ahead….hit me with all you’ve got! I DARE YOU.”
Well, dear reader, have you ever regretted saying a thing? There have been times of trial in my life since then, when I’ve wondered if maybe that old devil hadn’t taken me up on my challenge! Now, truthfully, no…I don’t regret my passionate childhood prayer. And IF any of my suffering actually has been a direct result of it, then I can only say that I know God heard it too because He has seen me through it all!
And THAT is exactly what this blog is all about; God’s faithfulness in very difficult, very real struggles. The faithfulness that saw me through sickness, rejection, rebellion, loneliness, infertility, and so much more! The faithfulness that He even instilled in me to continue to follow Him, even when I mess things up.
The devil may or may not have heard me that night. But I know one thing for sure….Jesus did!
“I love the Lord for He heard my voice. He heard my cry for mercy.” Psalm 116:1
I look forward to sharing more soon! Thanks for reading, and God bless!