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My Dream Job

“You should have gotten a degree in entrepreneurship,” Mr. Sexy said as he carefully strapped his neck brace on.

“Why?” I was standing in oversized sweatpants and t-shirt, rubbing Save My Skin on my growing baby belly.

“Becasue you’ve got the right mindset for it.”

I looked up and smirked. “Well, I was supposed to be an amazing Weather Girl.”

Mr. Sexy laughed. “I knew you were going to say that.” He was done fiddling with his neck brace and was now coming into the bedroom.

“Isn’t it interesting?” I commented. “I grew up with one man telling me what he thought I could be. And now there is this other guy in my life who tells me I can be so much more.” I was talking, of course, about Mr. Sexy. Neck brace and all.

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My First Date

I sort of wanted to throw up.  But I knew I wasn’t sick.  Nothing felt sick except for my tummy. It really didn’t feel good. It would be a few years before I learned that I was feeling nerves many refer to as “the butterflies.”

I picked out my prettiest dress.  It was white with layers in the skirt.  I only wore it on the most special occasions. I put on matching tights and matching shoes.  I felt like a princess. I hoped he would think I looked pretty. He was the only one who had an opinion that mattered.  At least on that day that’s how it was.

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Gear Up: We are in war.

I BEGAN to lose trust in my dad at a young age.  While my heart yearned for things I didn’t understand, I instead received distance. Even today, a trust between father and daughter is broken.

Can the rift be mended?

Hopefully. One day. And only through the healing power of God.

Details surrounding the hurt I carry from my father are irrelevant at this point. I struggle to know how to share my story and I don’t do it perfectly, if well at all.  My intent is not to blaspheme my father’s name. Instead, I wish to share how God is working in my life.  It seems the relationship I have with my father is playing a significant role.

*With broken trust comes hurt. 

Hurt is typically followed closely by anger. 

Anger, when not dealt with properly, gives the devil an opportunity for footholds. 

THREE years ago I was introduced to the realities of spiritual warfare. Mr. Sexy and I had been married for three months. We were sitting in our pastor’s office for our post marital counseling (he does this with all couples he marries). With five minutes left to our session, something burst inside me.  I held nothing back. I displayed the hurt and anger through a rush of tears. I openly shared the mistakes I was making. I described how I felt on the brink of losing control of my life. I felt emotionally naked and exposed, my face red from crying, as my pastor listened and my brand new husband rubbed my back.

Pastor* new exactly what was going on.

“Now, I don’t want you to throw anything at me.  This is just a possibility.”  He paused. “But have you considered the possibility that this is demonic?”

Everything inside me quieted in that moment.  It felt scary to admit aloud, but speaking truth isn’t always easy.  The truth was that I felt an evil.  Using harsh words to cut others down had become the same as breathing to me.  Perverse thoughts poisoned my mind all the time.  And then there was the anger.  The anger which felt overwhelming most of the time pushed me to my breaking point.

After finally speaking the truths about the person I was becoming, a lifeline dropped and I wasn’t about to let it go.

Pastor sent me home with assignments to be completed before we met again.  First, I was to read a book, Spiritual Warfare by Dr. Karl Payne. The second was to study Galations 5:19-21, Mark 7:21-23 and Colossians 3:5-8. I was to spend time in these passages and make a list of the sins where the enemy may have footholds. For me, my list looked something like this: anger, hate, fear, lust, pride, selfishness.

Getting through all my homework wasn’t easy. Countless doubts were hurled in my direction. As I studied, I fought against the liars disguising themselves as my own thoughts.

This is absurd. 
Demons?  Yeah right!  This is silly.
There is no way you are going through with this.  It’s a little insane. 

The drive to my next appointment felt worse. My hands were warm and clammy. My stomach was topsy turvy. My fingers and toes were dancing. All I wanted to do was turn around. But Mr. Sexy wouldn’t have it. Instead, he spent the entire ride combating the doubts pouring from my lips.

The enemy was running scared.

We made it to Pastor’s office. We talked over my homework a bit. Then we got down to business.

Pretty quick after we got started with the ground rules, I realized I wasn’t able to see or hear clearly. My vision had been blurred, as if someone changed the lens focus. Pastor’s voice had become muffled.  It sounded like I was far away from him, behind a closed door or maybe underwater.

“Um, Pastor, I can’t really see or hear anything right now.”

Pastor firmly reminded the demons that I was in control of my body, not them. I was also under instruction to look into Pastor’s eyes and not let them sway again. It sounds strange, but it worked. I didn’t lose focus again.  In fact, as we moved on from the ground rules, I felt less and less afraid.

The entire process took about an hour. There was no yelling or screaming. It was more like a conversation. It was definitely the strangest conversation I had ever had. Here’s how it worked:

Pastor asked questions and I answered based on what I heard in my head. 

Does that sound loony?  I get that, believe me. But isn’t that what satan wants us to think?

Perhaps I made up answers.  Perhaps I made up this entire story. I can’t control where your mind goes with all this.  But you can do your own research and study and come up with your own conclusions.

Each demon we spoke to named themselves. I remember being embarrassed about the one who named himself, “Boobs.” And then another had an entirely normal name, “Alicia,” or something like that. Although they were bound by different names, they had one objective: to destroy and kill me by using my sins against me.

After we cleaned house, the vacated rooms (an analogy from Spiritual Warfare) needed to be refilled. I praised and thanked God for what He had done for me. I asked for His Spirit to fill up the empty spaces.   And it was over.

My spirit had been renewed. I went in to battle, and I won.

There would be more fights, however.  Satan would no doubt send more of his soldiers my way. I would need to fight daily to keep my rooms filled with the Holy Spirit.

But then – soon after this victory – something happened.

Then something else happened.

Then something else.

Something else.

Something…

Something else just kept happening. Sometimes it was huge, other times it seemed rather small. I have no idea when that first dart hit me and I let it stick.

I ONLY know that I’m now back where I was three years ago. The enemy has been much more stealthy this time around. However, I am also smarter than I was. I am confident in the authority that I have in Jesus Christ. Although it took me a while to figure out I have been losing the battle, I know that I still stand on solid ground. The enemy won’t be winning for much longer.

I opened this piece talking about a broken relationship.  I have blamed my dad for a lot of years for a lot of things.  I have carried hurt and resentment close to my heart.  The truth is that my dad isn’t the problem.  I am.

With broken trust comes hurt. 

Hurt is typically followed closely by anger. 

Anger, when not dealt with properly, gives the devil an opportunity for footholds. 

I am the one with the bitterness of an unforgiving heart.  I am the one who, once again, opened doors and invited the enemy to come and stay.

*This concept was learned from Counter Attack.

*His name is irrelevant.



My Dad

My relationship with my dad seems to be almost non-existent at this point.  So when it comes to occasions such as Father’s Day, I don’t always know how to respond.  However there was a time when it wasn’t like this.

There was a time when he could no wrong.

After a short period in the air force my dad found himself in between jobs.  I can understand, now, how difficult that time must have been for him.  But as a young girl, he was my ultimate hero.  I’m told I used to brag to anyone who would listen about my dad’s awesome job delivering pizzas AND he always came home with the biggest pizzas I had ever seen.  It was magical to me.

My dad was the strongest person I knew.  He could lift ANYTHING.  And he didn’t even work out.  Honestly, he was the equivalent to super man.

However, over time, I began to see things I hadn’t seen before.  The one person that I had put on the highest pedestal I could find, was slowly starting to let me down.  It’s human nature, after all.  We are imperfect people.  My dad is an imperfect father.  I’m an imperfect daughter.  It’s not fair to put each other on such holy ground when Jesus is the only One who can live up to that.  Yet I did it anyways.  I kept him on that pedestal for many, many years while slowly I learned that he was no more than an imperfect human.  Perhaps that is the biggest let down.  Perhaps that is our biggest fault.

Although we have had countless red-faced, loud arguments, he still did some things right.

Once upon a time, I was his baby girl and I could do no wrong.  He called me “Muck-Muck” or “Muckleberry” (or something weird like that) and he melted just at the sight of me.  He taught me to walk and to talk.  He helped me swing and go down the scary slides.  His heart broke with mine as tears streamed down my face because of a skinned knee.  I was his first born and the only daughter he would know.  Perhaps he had put me on a pedestal as well.

I’m hard on the people that I love.  I have many expectations (see my post about this here).  It’s a struggle for me to see anything but the failures – even in my private, personal life.  But the fact is that there is so much more than where we all went wrong.

 You see, my dad chose to give me life.  Not only did he give me life, he gave me a life.

 I’m all grown up now with my own family and life is pretty good – even with the ups and downs of moving all the time and broken down cars.  My dad hugged me, played with me and loved me.  He worked to provide a great home where I always had my own bedroom.  There was always food in the house and we even had pets.

All this to say: Happy Father’s Day, dad.