By Angeline M Duran Santiago
I started out writing about disappointment, being tired of so many things, and the ramblings of a woman overwhelmed just took over. Some of you have been there. I was there a few minutes ago. As I began to write about the things that were weighing me down, and how I was feeling, suddenly my mind began overflowing with words to myself. Not crazy words, but words that counterattacked the put downs, the let down and the bad moments I had settled my mind on.
Words of hope filled my thoughts. I began to see that the reason I had so many moments of frustration was because I am still in the process of understanding that my life will always be facing some kind of conflict. I don't want it! I don't want to acknowledge it, but it is true. There is a war that has been declared against me since the moment I was a child. I have lived my days pushing against the currents and the wind. My days as a wife and a parent have kept me in the battle, and too many times I have been in my happy place thinking the war to destroy my loved ones is over.
Yes, we are protected under God's divine power and authority, but we must always be on guard, praying and remembering that those things that come to attack our relationships are not to bless us but to confuse and divide.
So, I am here counting my blessings instead of my defeats. I will not lie to you that many times, more than I should, I do remember painful times, memories I don't want to keep, but they have a way of popping up to steal my peace. I remind myself and the enemy that I have forgiven those that have purposefully and unintentionally hurt me and my loved ones. I remind God to complete the healing in me because I want to forget, love the offender and move on. I really do. And I have to start again, praying for the Lord to take my heart and my memories and place them in the depth of the oceans.
I decide instead to focus on the victories. You may say I am still going through so much, why count my wins when there seem so many things still in need of fixing. I will tell you that I am finally understanding what scripture says about our fight not being about fighting against flesh and blood.
Our fight is not against one another. Husbands and wives, children against parents, brothers against sisters, no, our fight is not with one another. It is against the very host of hell that rises against all who wear the name of God's Love written on their hearts. Spiritual wickedness devise their plan to come against families that have said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." They come to divide and destroy. There are powers that come to terrorize your home. There are forces that live for the only purpose of destroying your marriage and your children.
Some say, "Then where is God in all this?" And God's word says that He has given us the weapons for our warfare. He has equipped us with His Name, His Word, and His very Spirit in us. He has already given us what we need but we are too busy fighting one another. We are too focused on our past hurts and our present let downs.
God is saying, "Look at me." When the enemy comes in like a flood, God says, "Speak to the flood, to the enemy coming to attack and command it to go!" When the powers of darkness come to bring fear and anger, God says, " You have my Word. Use it. Speak it."
We are more focused on what is getting ready to happen in these last days, than in preparing our children to know God's word. We are more attentive to the news of what is coming against Christians, than to grab hold of God's truth and know that our fight that is here and that is coming is not flesh and blood, but wickedness that breaths and lives with the desire to finish you and me off because we have God's favor, we are sealed with His presence, and God's Holy Spirit is in us.
I look at my family and say, "Thank you, Lord, I am blessed." I look at my family and know that although the battle wages on, so does God's power and faithfulness increase in our midst. The enemy will not forfeit, he will not relent or move away for ever. So, my job, and your job, our mission is to pray with our family, share God's word with our family and trust together.
Lord, there is none like you. Touch our families, our children, our marriages and our homes. Remind me that the war against me comes from an angry foe that has been defeated by your life and your death on the cross. Remind me that the enemy has no power unless I allow him to think he has any. Remind me to hug my kids, love my family and rejoice in you when the problems come. Remind me that it is not and it will never be against flesh and blood. Open my eyes to see and allow me to discern when the enemy is moving towards us and against us. I will rise to the battle. Move me to pray. Move in me to praise and worship. Move in me to dance and move to the sound of battle drums. Move in me to have a new song, a song that declares victory in Jesus Name.
Photos with scripture or writing, credits to my friend, Sonia Castillo.