When the Enemy Attacks

© Barbara V. Evers

Over the past few weeks, I’ve felt overwhelmed. Events have tumbled over me in a torrent of troubles and issues related to raising my grandchildren. I’m not ready to talk about those things just yet, but I found myself thinking back to a blog post I wrote eight years ago. In this post, I looked at a personal situation where I, and several Christian sisters, came under attack. It was sneaky. It was unexpected, but it was typical of the enemy. That’s his preferred weapon:  stealth.

Today, because I keep thinking about that post, I thought I’d share it here.

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When warriors gather the enemy becomes anxious and plots a counter-strike.  The strategy might be to beat them to the punch, infiltrate the troops, or even attack while they sleep.  I experienced this first-hand at the Christian Communicators Conference this past weekend, a gathering designed to equip women to provide encouragement to others through the gifts of speaking and writing.

On the second night, our facilitators, Vonda Skelton and Carolyn Knefely , danced off to bed in excited triumph.  The day’s sessions proved that the women assembled in this lovely lakeside home held the power of the Spirit in their hearts and could truly minister to other women.

Then the enemy struck.

He chose to sneak into our camp at night and destroy with doubt and fear.

I struggled with my own shortcomings, uncomfortable with my abilities when measured against the phenomenal women gathered in this house.  In no way did I believe I could stand up and share my love of the Lord with the same knowledge and passion that they demonstrated.

But wait, I wasn’t alone.

The next morning, Vonda called us together to begin the next session, and the truth began to flow.  One after another, we heard of the late night battles fought by these holy warriors and the brink of defeat that Satan drew each of us toward.  Story after story tumbled from our mouths.

“I can’t do this.”

“Who am I to think that I can lead others in their love of the Lord?”

“My life doesn’t reflect Him well enough to stand before others and proclaim Him.”

The Spirit moved in that beautiful sun-drenched living room that morning and we shared, confessed, laughed, and cried.   The truth is that Satan saw the strength behind our testimonies and conviction and fought back in the way he does best, with stealth attacking each of us one at a time.

The victory is not Satan’s though.  The Holy Spirit prompted us to speak of our fears the next morning.  Imagine our amazement when the truth revealed itself in our simple sharing.  We are the army of the Lord, and when we put on the holy armor of God, we can do anything!

To God be the glory, great things he has done!

 

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Today, I head to North Carolina to run a women’s retreat for my home church. It’s been a tough road getting there, but I’m excited about what we have planned for them. Why else would my life be so chaotic right now? We must be doing something right.

Your prayers are appreciated.

 

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Why We Serve: Finding Your Passion for Service, Pt. 4

Image courtesty of Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net

During the months of January and February, I’m teaching a workshop at my church about finding your service passion. After we spend a few sessions defining our service passion, we will be creating vision boards to help us focus our efforts on the right areas to support our service.  This blog will provide brief summaries of the previous classes in order to help people stay up to date if they can’t attend or have missed a session.

Previous Posts In the Series:

Last week, we looked at how and who we will serve. If you didn’t get the How or Who handouts, contact me here, and I’ll email them to you.

The Spirit’s Prompting

Why do you want to serve? We know we’re called to serve as Christians, but we need to know our own personal why. What draws us to a special area? If you’re like me, it’s easy to feel pulled to serve in more areas than I can handle. If this is you, either you say yes to everything or you hesitate in your decision-making and never choose. Neither choice is good. God wants us to serve.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. I Peter 4:10

Part of the goal of this series is to help you find a focus, so you’ll know when to say yes and when to say no. If you’ve followed the posts, so far, we’ve been exploring how the Spirit can lead you to this answer. As we looked at the words list for How and for Who last week, we needed to be open to circling any words that spoke to us–EVEN IF WE DIDN’T KNOW WHY. That’s important.

Now, we want to look at another list to discover WHY we serve.

The Why

Our reason for serving comes from our personal values. After identifying your values, we can look at how the How, Who, and Why combine into a mission statement for our service.

 

Below is a list of typical values. Don’t think too hard about it, just choose your top three to five. There are several that are similar, so you might want to read through the entire list before making your selections.

 

Your Service Mission Statement

Now that you have your values identified, you can begin to put together your mission statement.

 

Further Definition

Another tool that can help you identify how to proceed is to evaluate the following areas of your life.  Score each area from 1-10 with 1 indicating it’s non-existent in your current situation and 10 indicating you are extremely happy in that area. Then look at the areas with the lower scores. Can you use the How, Who, and Why to build up one of your weaker areas?

  • Social
  • Intellectual
  • Emotional
  • Physical
  • Spiritual
  • Career
  • Relationship
  • Friends
  • Money
  • Security
  • Other

What Do You Do Now?

Still not sure about your focus? That’s ok. Take some time and pray about it.

Also, be on the look out for images that speak to you, whether in magazines, on the internet, or around you. Take a picture of the image or pull it from the magazine or internet and hang on to it. You don’t have to know why the image speaks to you, just that it does. This is the beginning of your Vision Board.

Have you developed a Mission Statement or narrowed down your How, Why, or Who? Please share in the Comments on this post. I can’t wait to see what everyone is discovering!

 

 

My Daily Balancing Act

We discovered these rocks on the shore in Rhode Island. There were hundreds of these stacks, balanced against the winds from the ocean. © Barbara V. Evers, All rights reserved.

A few days ago, I knew exactly what I wanted to say in this post. Today, the desire to say it is gone. There are other needs pressing on me, and I don’t know whether I’m ready to share them.

I know, I know, I’ve been an open book about the struggles of my life, but most of those posts talk about situations in my past. Many of them quite a few years ago.

I’ve come to a point in my story where the posts have caught up to real time. To now. Today. That means the stories I’m sharing are ones I’m experiencing. The people they affect are dealing with them now. There are parts I can’t disclose, yet.

That makes the goals of my posts a bit harder to share. The outcomes are unknown. Yes, I trust God to take care of us, but everything I’ve been through has shown me that His way is often a way I can’t begin to imagine. He doesn’t always give us the easy outcome. He has a long-term perspective that I can’t know or see. To be honest, that frightens me when I stop to think about it.

So I don’t stop and think about it.

There’s enough going on in our lives to keep me from focusing on things I can’t change. Thankfully, I’ve never been much of a worrier. I’m a doer. I prefer to be on the move, headed toward a goal. And that goal, for now, is to get through this day. To get through the next day. To help my grandchildren cope with this unfair situation. To find time to spend with my husband, time separate from the grandchildren. To find time to focus on the rest of our family.

AND, to make sure I take time for me, so I’m the person they need.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

It’s not easy. It’s a balancing act. Most days it feels like the rocks in this picture, balanced against all odds. Like these rocks, I will persevere. I will stand against the elements and time. If nothing else, my story has taught me blessings will come. So, I wait and balance.

It’s what I do…for now.