The world is swirling. I can't focus on what is going on. My husband is speaking to me, but I don't hear him. The kids are crying about something, but I don't know what about and I can't get myself to care. My phone beeps with a text. I don't want to answer it. I'm so tired...all I want to do is sleep. All I want is be alone.
The worst part is...I [Ginny] just wrote several weeks ago on my personal blog about overcoming horrible depression that left a dark mark on my early days of parenting. I had the opportunity to help so many, and several women wrote to me about how they, too, were struggling and were so encouraged by what I had written.
But now...here I sit...a new wave of depression overcoming me.
It started with anxiety and I slipped deeper over the days to come...and I sat there, overcome with the feeling that I had failed all of the people who were looking to me for encouragement. How could I keep blogging and helping others when I was sitting there feeling like this?
That is exactly what Satan wanted me to think.
And I let him warp my mind for days. I allowed my anger at God to overcome me. I allowed this sickness to make me believe lies that dragged me deeper into despair and further away from my blogging ministry.
Then my husband looked me in the eyes and said, "I know what this is."
Tearfully, I looked at him, questioning him.
He told me that the Devil didn't want me to succeed. I was opening myself up to let God work through me to change lives and bring more to the Kingdom, and that angers and scares Satan.
1 Peter 5:8 ESV "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."
My husband made me understand that this was an all out attack, and the Devil knew exactly how to get me and to discourage me from taking a step further.
Anyone who has worked in ministry will tell you that they have experienced attacks. Heck, even Jesus was attacked as He was about to start His ministry.
How can we prepare in advance for these attacks and respond if they happen?
1) Memorize Scripture (ex: 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Ephesians 6:10-20, 1 Chronicles 5:20) that will remind you of why you are in ministry, that God is with you and will equip you, and that God is stronger than anything that comes at you.
2) Be in prayer before you even begin and during the course of your ministry.
3) Ask others to be in prayer for you. Have a team of prayer warriors in prayer each day and ready for when you feel an attack coming.
4) Know your weaknesses. Satan will often tempt you in areas of weakness. But know that he may surprise you with where he attacks. For me, my weakness is discouragement. That discouragement is at its highest when I am tired and worn out from too many things coming at me at once.
5) If you need to, take a break, but do not quit. I took a week off from writing my blog to recoup and recharge. But I knew that even though I wanted to just turn off the computer for good, quitting is a win for Satan. And I'm not letting him win this battle.
6) Have a support team around you. I'm so grateful for my Deliberate Women sisters, my counselor, and especially for my husband who has literally carried me over the course of the past couple of weeks as I fight this battle spiritually, physically, and mentally. Find others who can speak TRUTH to you in the times where you believe the lies. Find people who won't give up on you even when you want them to.
Don't let the fear of being attacked keep you from allowing God to do great things through you.
God is stronger. He will fight this battle with you, and He will overcome. I pray for those of you who are in this battle right now. You are not alone. Let the great God you are serving wrap His arms around you and arm you with his boldness, strength, and courage to face the enemy. Then get out there and keep fighting. There is a war to win.
Ginny is a child of God, wife to an amazing husband, and adoptive mother to two sweet little girls. When she isn't having dance parties with her kids, homeschooling her youngest, or singing at the top of her lungs to Disney soundtracks, she enjoys a good chai from Starbucks, watches Downton Abbey, and gets giddy over discovering new yummy paleo recipes. You will also find her sharing her joy moments and faith at www.joyfromgrace.com.