Friday, January 6, 2012

A War is Waging.

Beyond reading the Frank Peretti books about spiritual warfare, I can't honestly say that I had experienced the direct result of the collision of good and evil in this world.  I hear people talk about it all the time, about the crazy things that happen in their lives that many of us can't understand, yet these people attribute it to spiritual warfare and the need to pray.  I hear of people experiencing or even feeling evil in their presence and how it stirs a feeling of fear within their souls.  Like I said, I can't honestly say I have ever experienced it or realized it, I guess...until we committed to adopt Blake.  Now two things run through my mind, when I think about this.  Either I have not lived in faith and stepped boldly enough forward in Christ before, to make the Devil feel like he needs to intercede...or I have been living ignorantly in life up until now attributing things to coincidence, etc.  I am guessing it's a combination of the two. 

The reason I share this, is I've realized the importance of prayer and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.  I have realized the importance of putting on the full armor of God.  I need the Sword of the Spirit, belt of Truth (Bible verse memory), Breastplate of Righteousness, Gospel of Peace, Shield of Faith, and Helmet of Salvation (assurance of hope).  If a person is planning to step out in complete faith and reliance on God's calling on his or her heart, if he or she plans to abandon all things of 'this world', if he or she is going to move mountains...then be ready!  The devil prowls like a roaring lion.  The journey of God does not consist of successes and achievements, but quite the opposite.  It consists of weaknesses and disappointments that require us to become 'weak' in Him, and then, finally, we are able to grow in all areas of our life.  It may not sound like a fun path to take, but narrow is the path as a follower of Christ. 

I feel like I experienced that firsthand in ways I am just now willing to share.  The day Jerad and I were scheduled to fly out of Wichita for Ukraine, the first time around, I went through two nerve-racking experiences within 10 minutes of each other.  Enough so that I was physically shaken and flat-out fearful!  The morning was nice enough for us to get outside, so I rocked Autum to sleep and laid her in her crib while Leah and I dashed out the front door to play a game of kickball.  I set the monitor on the porch just in case Autum awoke.  Well, we hadn't been outside long when I felt this HUGE urge to go back inside and check on Autum.  I NEVER do this because she doesn't nap well, so we all tip-toe around and whisper while she is asleep just so she will rest soundly, and I never go back into her room after she's out for fear I will step on a noisy toy and begin the endless crying again.  But...I kept feeling this prompting to go back in I went.  I walked into her room, peered over the edge of the crib, and noticed her eyes were open, her lips and face were beginning to look blue, and she was struggling to get a breath.  I picked her up, flipped her over and began to do the Heimlich Maneuver on her, then I pounded on her back attempting to dislodge whatever was in her throat.  My mind was racing as nothing was happening.  I pounded, I pushed with my fists under her little ribs, wondering what else I could do...I was crying, praying out loud...when after what seemed like a hour, she began to throw up..."thank you, Lord" arose from my lips...she threw up again and began to really cough...then she screamed and screamed.  I flipped her over and swept my finger through her mouth and I caught hold of a small metal hair clip she usually wears in her hair.  Whew.  I cried and she cried, I squeezed her and held her close while I prayed to God in gratitude.  I finally got her calmed down enough that she fell back asleep.

I laid her back down and just watched her sleep....thoughts were swirling through my head.  Where did the hair clip come from?  What if I hadn't come back in here?  What if I couldn't get the hair clip dislodged?  Why did this happen?  Can I really leave her now?  Is she going to be okay? 

I got myself together and walked back out on the porch, shaking hysterically.  As I walked outside, I saw Leah happily kicking the ball around the yard.  I quickly thanked God she remained outside while all of this happened with Autum, because I'm not sure she could have handled it.  Man, I couldn't even handle it.  I just sat down and closed my eyes for a second...honestly, maybe 1 second... before I heard yelling across the street.  I looked up in time to see a high school girl collapse in the parking lot of the school.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  I took off running, threw off my jacket, and dove to my knees at the girl's side.  I yelled at the student with her to go call 911.  The girl's eyes were rolling back and she was convulsing and she was wheezing and gasping for a breath.  Her other friend told me she has seizures and asthma.  They were running a timed mile for PE class and the girl began to have an asthma attack and seize at the same time, before she collapsed onto the cement.  Trying to decide what the best thing for her would be, I turned her over on her side so if she threw up she wouldn't choke and I asked someone if the girl had an inhaler.  Several minutes later, the high school nurse came running out of the school with a decorative bag, which I later found out contained the girl's inhaler and seizure medication.  Then an EMT who happened to be driving by, jumped in and took over.  I slowly backed away, catching my breath, and looking for where Leah ended up.  I took one step at a time back to my house trying to comprehend what all had just happened in the past few moments. 

After I got myself composed once again, I felt this feeling of evilness.  I felt this darkness near me, a heaviness.  THIS is what other people had been trying to describe.  At that moment, I realized I had two choices.  One, that I could let this experience drive me into a hole in the ground out of fear and worry, afraid to move forward with God's journey for us...or I could recognize this as Satan's way of trying to bring me down, make me run in fear, and lose trust in God's power and sovereignty.  SO I chose the latter, vowed to increase my prayer time over the next few hours, equipped myself with other prayer warriors (good friends), and chose to move forward with God at my side.  BUT, being fully aware of the evil that was lurking. 

I write this not to discourage you.  I write this not for you to feel sorry for me.  I write this not for you to be fearful.  But to warn you, to help you be aware, and to remind you to equip yourself with the Armor of God constantly.  Because a war is waging out there...I am now fully aware of the seriousness of it.

So do not forget to pray.  Do not forget to remind others to pray.

THIS is my reminder to you.


  1. Amen sister. In tears reading this post. WOW.

  2. You captured some of the thoughts that have been swiriling in my head. Like you, I never really felt/experienced/realized spiritual warfare in my life before we committed to adopt. And I'm still not certain I believe that every misfortune that ever befalls anyone can be attributed to such warfare - but in the time since we've begun our own adoption journey, I can see time and again where the events happening were clearly attempts to discourage our intentions, to give us excuses, to block our way. . . It's frightening and an awesome realization at the same time. I have never felt as spiritually aware as I have been since we made the decision to adopt our little man.

  3. WOW! thank you so much for sharing~ this was such an important message, so very blessed because you were willing to share!

  4. The entire time we were in Aaron's village across the ocean - for 6 long weeks - we felt a darkness and oppression like I have never felt anywhere else in my life. We rarely talked about it but we felt it. It ate at our spirits and tore into us day after lonely day. On our last week there we were in the market and met a lady who was so obviously in love with the Savior that we were taken back. Her entire demeanor went against everything we had encountered for those 6 dreary weeks. We were bathed in her joy and life. We did not know for sure that she loved the Lord until our 2nd encounter two days later when we went to seek her out. We were that starved for human kindness. I remember walking from that first meeting with her just wanting to weep because for a few minutes the fog had lifted and we could feel God's presence. Our 2nd encounter confirmed that she was a Christian. Where there is light - darkness flees. Darkness hates light and will do anything to try to stop it from being shed. It is most definitely a spiritual battle we face in the adoption world.

  5. I love this post and have also experienced the "war". I would love to sit and chat with you someday. If not here on earth we will definately have lots to share with eachother in heaven. :)
    Tonya Stubbs