Mr. Sexy and I got married three years ago. As time moved forward, Mr. Sexy moved slower and complained more. I could see the pain when he went to pick up our baby girl. Life struggles were being written on his face as his under eyes darkened and tension rarely left him. This tension would, at times, spin out of control. We both made choices we now regret.
After three years of marriage, he is a changed man.
My new term for him is, “bouncy.” He smiles more and laughs easier. He now sleeps through the night – although he still tends to snore. His thinking is clear and he can smell the flowers he brings home for me as well as the weird musty smell in our mini van. He picks me up without wincing in pain and will rub my back until I fall asleep. This is the man I married.
His story starts now:
I lay there breathing heavy in a cold sweat; my mind, lost in a terror tormenting my soul. While my eyes move rapidly I hear the taunts and laughter of others berating me with insults of how pathetic and worthless I am. I awake in a panic, fighting through the fog, trying to discover if that horror is just another dream, or are my secrets now exposed to the world.
For many years this has been my nightmare.
What were my secrets?
Lust, worthlessness, pride, judgement and lack of self-control.
I will never forget the first time I discovered lust. I will also never forget the iron grip it had on me since I was a teen.
I am not able to recall where the feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness began, but I could sit here for days recounting stories of how those controlled me.
Racing thoughts threw blessings by others back into their faces as pride mastered my thoughts.
I can do anything.
I don’t need any help.
I hate you for helping me.
If you were in my range of vision, you were judged.
On a scale of 1 to 10, you are a 2 so I don’t trust you.
If you would exercise more you wouldn’t be so fat and disgusting.
If only you took care of your body then I would listen to you.
I don’t care if you are a child of God, you are ugly so I don’t trust you.
On the other hand;
Wow, you are hot!
What do I have to do to get you to like me?
What do you want me to do?
I will do anything for you because my preconceived judgement based on your outward appearances told me I can trust you.
Good or bad, I threw away all self control and put forth all my effort into anything and everything.
Eat, eat, and eat.
Play, play, and play.
Drink, drink and drink.
Work, work, and work.
Spend, spend and spend.
Sacrifice, sacrifice, and sacrifice.
Workout, workout, and workout.
To what end? It didn’t matter. No limits. No boundaries. No wisdom.
Each one of these secrets – let’s just call them what they are – sins, gave foothold in my life. Since before I can remember satan’s mercenaries began to destroy me.
For many years I allowed the whispers of his demons to persuade my decisions and actions. But that wasn’t enough for him. His mission was to kill and destroy me, not simply lead me down troubled paths.
I must give credit to the influence of my family and friends. Even through my stupid life choices, they were the voice of God guiding me back on the right path. Because of this, the enemy had to get more drastic. The question was, if berating me daily wasn’t going to destroy me, then what would?
I was in sports growing up and I remember being coached to breathe in through my nose and out my mouth. As a young man, my nose was so “clogged” I could never do this without gasping for air. Instead, I fought through the discomfort and did the best I could.
When I joined the Navy in 2002, they were determined to figure out why I couldn’t breathe properly through my nose. Twelve years later the best they ever did was diagnose me with Chronic Sinusitis. I went through two surgeries and every ENT medication I could think of with no resolution.
So I decided to live with it.
It was my neck that was killing me. No, it was my back. No, my hips. My hands. My ankles. Name a joint and it hurt. There were no triggers and no explanation. I went to specialists from Texas to California to Idaho to Washington. They all had the same response: *Shrug of shoulders.* I have given so much blood in lab tests that I am convinced they are cloning me! (OK not really). The pain at times would be so bad in my hands that the simple act of picking up my cell phone felt impossible.
More accurately, my lack of sleep. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea with no medical explanation behind it. On a good night, where I was absolutely exhausted, I would sleep for eight hours with only waking up five or six times. On a normal night I would sleep for six hours and wake up at least every hour – if not more. Some nights I would just give up and stare at the TV. This had been going on for 15 years. Coffee was my drug of choice.
Three years ago, my wife and I read the book Spiritual Warfare by Karl Payne. Everything changed. You can read about her experience in the post: Gear Up: We are in War. Recently Payne held a seminar at our home church; we almost didn’t go, but what I discovered was that there may be more to my physical pain than the medical world could explain.
I had consistently lost battles with satan and his mercenaries. I had given them footholds into my life, allowing them to wreak havoc in trying to destroy me.
It was time to fight with my Father’s authority!
Weeks later I sat down in my pastor’s office and we began to talk. I was an open book. There was nothing to hide because there was nothing to fear.
As he began to lay down the ground rules, my heart started to race and thoughts of mockery flooded my mind. Pastor instructed me to read Bible verses, establishing God’s authority over satan. I had no idea what I was reading and assumed my mouth and voice were making the right sounds. The noises in my head flooded any chance of understanding the words on the page.
Pastor and I began to work through the process. My mind quieted except when answering questions by our pastor directed to the tormentors. There was no imagination, no work on my part. I simply stated what I heard.
After cleaning house of all satan’s mercenaries, I asked the Holy Spirit to fill any voids.
I was overwhelmed with joy and peace.
I COULD BREATHE!
The joy was so pure, my eyes welled up with tears.
24 hours later I was still discovering little joys of life that I hadn’t had in more years than I can remember.
Today, I can still breathe clearly.
Today, I have no joint pain.
Today, I smiled remembering the dreams I had last night.
I know the fight isn’t over. I am developing tools to keep the ground I regained.
As a society we have become afraid to talk or even acknowledge the topic of spiritual warfare. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that not only is it real, but with The Father on our side, we have nothing to fear, but only to rejoice.