Thankful for grace and love.
Thankful for Alice’s class and co-workers who live and love deeply.
Thankful for the Bible.
I had a miraculous experience today. I rebuked Satan and my fog of bleakness lifted.
For the past 2 and a half weeks I have been spiraling downward into feelings of shame, anger, isolation, frustration, confusion, alienation and loneliness. This morning brought with it a new and unexpected gut punch. (I hate to be vague, but I am protecting the innocent.)
I wanted to make an emergency call to my counselor. Instead I texted a friend and asked if I could talk with him later this evening. Thankfully he offered to pick up the phone and call me right then. I spewed my despair and then was quiet as he spoke. He advised me to control my feelings … to which I said, “I’m trying but against my will (it seems) I can’t stop the irrational thoughts from taking over my brain.” I started to say, “It feels…” To which he predictably advised me against relying on my feelings. To which I said, “OK. Satan is waging spiritual warfare on me.” At which point I remembered several scripture passages where Jesus recognizes Satan and rebukes him away. I said, “Satan, begone!”
Mark 1:21-28 (The Message)
21-22 Then they entered Capernaum. When the Sabbath arrived, Jesus lost no time in getting to the meeting place. He spent the day there teaching. They were surprised at his teaching—so forthright, so confident—not quibbling and quoting like the religion scholars.
23-24 Suddenly, while still in the meeting place, he was interrupted by a man who was deeply disturbed and yelling out, “What business do you have here with us, Jesus? Nazarene! I know what you’re up to! You’re the Holy One of God, and you’ve come to destroy us!”
25-26 Jesus shut him up: “Quiet! Get out of him!” The afflicting spirit threw the man into spasms, protesting loudly—and got out.
27-28 Everyone there was incredulous, buzzing with curiosity. “What’s going on here? A new teaching that does what it says? He shuts up defiling, demonic spirits and sends them packing!” News of this traveled fast and was soon all over Galilee.
It is surprising to me that this rebuking comes so early in the book of Mark. Before this Mark has told of Jesus’ baptism and of Jesus’ time in the desert. That is all that precedes this part where Jesus rebukes the evil out of the man.
I cried some tears, wiped them away, and my friend continued to counsel me. He helped me gain some tools under my belt to combat those pesky thoughts which will try again to creep into my brain. I went back to work and later talked with Cory. I pulled myself together and ended up having an hour long, calm talk with John. Together we made plans for the next steps of our separation. Yes, we have been divorced or in the process since October 2015….but I’m not good at letting go, so it has been a long, slow process of cutting the ties that bind…one ….thread….at…a….time. (John probably cut the chord in one fell swoop back in 2015…I just like to drag things out for maximum band-aid-removal-pain).
After talking with John those feelings of shame, anger, isolation, frustration, confusion, alienation and loneliness dissipated. We then went to Alice’s class.
Perhaps in the process of bearing fruit, today was a day the tiny seed sprout finally made its push out of the soil into the light. As I walked and talked with John I allowed him time to tell me his part of the story. So the paranoid, irrational story which had been playing in my head saw the light of day. No longer in the dark. It’s still a seed sitting in a pile of manure. But the seed has persisted through the manure to the point where it can be drawn upward by the allure of the sun’s rays now. No longer is the sprouted seed relying on it’s own strength to push against gravity. Now in the light, the sun will pull as the sprout pushes. You’ve seen those plants right? The ones that are so awkwardly shaped because they can’t resist, they don’t even need to try, they just grow towards the sun.
Here is a picture of the tree in John’s backyard. One of the many threads I have released. sighhhhhh…..I love that tree which we planted together.