Stop fighting it. You know what you were called to do.
These words have played over and over in my head, and I’m like yeah ok, great, but could you maybe remind me of exactly what that is again?
Has anyone ever felt this way? Like you know there is something you’re supposed to be doing, but you just can’t seem to fully grasp it? But wow can you feel the gnawing of it, whatever it is, rumbling like hunger pangs in your brain.
I’ve felt his way for a long time, and it has bothered me to no end that I feel like I am failing. I’m not doing anything but failing. So whatever it is that God mistakenly believes I know, I am proving to be a giant disappointment.
Let’s pause for second.
A few years back, I went to a strange little prayer meeting where I felt extremely uncomfortable. It was one of those weird little gatherings where people were taking turns getting prayed over by a self-proclaimed prophet and fainting, doing weird jumpy, seizury things, speaking mumbo jumbo that no one could understand, yadda yadda.
My mindset at the time was, GET ME THE HECK OUT OF HERE!!!!
And I sure did. I played along as best I could, listening to people talk about their problems, silently praying for them when we all bowed our heads, but as soon as I could convince the girl I came with that I needed to go, I left.
One thing I have never forgotten about that night though…well, ok honestly, I remember the whole night, pretty much in freakishly precise detail, but one simple statement made that night has haunted me for all these years.
As I was leaving, I turned around, and the prophet man looked me straight in the eyes and said, “There is a strong spirit of contempt here.”
I remember he looked terrified and disgusted and curious all at once, and his eyes followed me all the way out the door.
Needless to say I never went back.
And really, I was a bit miffed. I mean, who was this guy anyway? What did he know about me? Nothing, that’s what! I had never even spoken to him! Where does he get off accusing me of carrying a bad spirit, especially in front of a whole bunch of people?
I got over it eventually, and many people I highly respect and value as Christian mentors and friends seem to genuinely believe this man is for real, so ya know, who am I to judge? I realize that a dark and scary childhood growing up in a charismatic church where the power of the holy spirit apparently lead people to do some very unholy things has tainted my view on these kind of prayer meetings. So, while I choose to abstain from anything in the charismatic genre of activities, I generally respect those who practice that kind of spirituality.
But even after letting it all go, his words, his eyes, his face have never been forgotten. They are permanently etched into my mind, and I think about what he could have possibly meant all the time.
Now I know you might be thinking I have a really stinky attitude about this man’s ministry and it seems obvious that the spirit of contempt was directed at that.
I tried to pin it on that, but that’s not it. That statement just very strongly irked me, and I couldn’t figure out why.
I have been struggling with feelings of self-worth pretty much my whole life. I think stemming from that are struggles with self-discipline which feed into my struggles with finances, career choices, parenting, motivation, substance abuse…You name it, these two beasts are at the center of it.
As you may know, a big part of that weight has been lifted as I have discovered, over a lengthy and horrific period of being under fire, that my purpose is not in anything that I do, it is solely in loving my Creator and letting him love me back. (See Back To The Point) Super simple. That’s the key to fulfillment.
So, as I was in worship mode the other day, I kept feeling this darkness, this like, I don’t know, something pulling at me, and so I kind of stopped praying and tried to bring into focus this heavy, pulling thing. And it bombarded me. Like, hit me like a freight train going full speed. This barrage of negative thoughts. Just like, so condemning and angry. Like a whirlwind of voices screaming and growling at me, saying things like, you were never there for kids because you had to work, but now look at you. Barely working, still living off of food stamps so that you can be there for your precious angels, and guess what? They’re still brats, and you’re still failing them. You can’t even afford to buy your kid’s school uniforms, and you expect to be able to send them to college? You’re pathetic, lazy, procrastinate, why don’t you just get a real job like everyone else. Stop being selfish and wanting to spend your days praying and writing. If God wanted to listen to you squawk and write it all down like a little girl writing in her diary, he would be making sure you had the financial ability to do so. Face it, God doesn’t want this, he wants you to be a real mom and sacrifice your selfish need to be alone all the time and actually provide for your family. But that’s right! You tried didn’t you? Loser. Can’t even find a job. That’s because everyone can see right through you. You’re a disappointment to everyone you’ve ever worked for, you’re a disappointment to your kids, a disappointment to your husband…oh that’s right, you’re not even married!!! Wow, you just suck at being a Christian! Have you told all your little blogger friends that you live with your boyfriend and you’re not married? Have you told them that you’re too poor to afford to live on your own and that you, preaching at everyone all day, don’t have enough faith to trust God? Oh and your family!!! They don’t speak to you because they hate you. You disgust them and they are tired of everything being about you. Your parents are going through all of their issues because of you. You, you, you, does that make you happy? It’s all about you after all!
And so on and so forth. I can’t even finish writing all the terrible things thrown at me, because it’s just so painful. Thankfully, as if someone dropped a steel barrier around me, the thoughts suddenly stopped. Three new thoughts then came into my mind.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Pray against the spirit of self-contempt.
As that last thought popped into my head, I saw the prophet man’s face, remembered his stare, his words directed at me, and I knew.
He saw in me then what has clung to me and dragged me down with its heaviness for so long, I didn’t even recognize its presence.
I saw so clearly how this spirit has wreaked havoc on my soul since childhood. And I felt so strongly God’s anger towards it. And I knew I needed to pray against it.
So pray I did. For hours and hours.
And do you know what God spoke to me?
A lot, which you can read about in part two, because this post is already 1305 words, and you’ll never get through it if I don’t break this up a bit.
See you in Part two!