What was that? What!? I could not fathom that my brain had produced such an evil thought. Mommy had always been way, way at the top of the list in the "what do you want to be when you grow up" category. What a monster I must be to think such a thing about this precious, albeit screaming, baby! I flew the few steps to the phone, shifting my daughter up to one shoulder on the way, ready to grab the receiver and dial. I mechanically gave the extension number to the switchboard operator. "Export, Janice." As soon as I heard that soft, much loved voice, a flood of emotion escaped me in one drawn out word. "M-ah-ah-ah-m!" I sobbed. I am sure initially I must have caused her great alarm although she never spoke of it. (My Mom was awesome like that.). Losing it was not something I was prone to do and there was a very unhappy baby in her ear. Well, two actually.
I don't remember all the details of our conversation, but she ascertained no one was in need of immediate medical attention... Other than the fact her eldest daughter momentarily thought she was insane. :/ She assured me I was not. But this is the part of the conversation that lodged itself in my mind and heart. She said something to the effect that stressful, upsetting times in our lives were when that old devil (She always called him that. *grin* That old devil.) could throw some crazy, crazy thoughts into our brain. Just a few calming moments with my Mom and I knew without a doubt that the wicked, evil thought had not been my own. What else could it have been but an attack!
A fiery dart sent by the evil one. Random, sometimes crazy thoughts seemingly out of nowhere that can pertain to anything. The self-derogatory thoughts alone can be crippling. Add to those a huge spectrum of others. Confused thoughts. Depressing thoughts. Overwhelming responsibility. Panic attacks. A mad desire for something we know is not in our best interest that just keeps popping into our head until we succumb. Maybe a thought to spur angry or envious thoughts toward someone. Or something very dark intending to instigate harm either to ourselves or others. The goal of the enemy being to cause us to act on those thoughts. The flaming darts strike silently. Their mission? Seek and destroy.
Had I been a tiny bit more stressed or maybe had just a bit less sleep and reacted spontaneously to that vile, vicious thought... I shudder thinking of it even now. I would have been destroyed. I would have tortured myself with the "how could I have" question until the day I died. Or at least until I went insane. I was 20 years old, but still a tiny baby in my spiritual growth. I believed in God and the salvation Jesus provided with all my heart, but had not yet grasped the fact that the Bible is chock-full of information about living our daily lives in line with God's plan. And I was is church nearly every Sunday until I was 19! But that's a story for another day. In retrospect, my shield of faith was not very adequate. :/ I believe God sent me straight to the one who's shield was large enough to encompass the two of us and I thank Him for it to this day.
You see, children are my thing. I believe caring for and nurturing them is part of who God made me to be. I could not wait to become a mother and I have had a home childcare business for around thirty years. It was the best job ever... most days. I know it's important to plant the seeds of God's great love for us, that Jesus came to prove to the world that God is real and when we believe that with all our hearts, we will live in heaven with them one day. Those seeds can grow to fruition at any point in that child's life. I share that information with pretty much all children that I meet. It just seems natural for me to share the gospel in simple terms with them. The point I am trying to get to is this: I'm pretty sure Satan knew just where to hit me hardest; the thing that would do the most harm to my soul and that is why the thought came so hard. Maybe loud would be a better description, but to me it seemed hard and fast. Rapid fire. As if a quiver of darts had been emptied simultaneously, each burning with the same, horrid suggestion. If he or his minions (I assume he has the demons doing his dirty work, because try as he might, he will never be God and is not omnipresent.) had met their mark that day, had I been destroyed, then not one of the things that I have done working to help God further His kingdom would have happened. The little ripple in the big picture that is my life would not have rippled. Like when George got to see what it would have been like were he never born in It's a Wonderful Life. Things would be different.
It is so for all of us, believer or non. Every time a dart hits it's mark in the mind and it turns to action or plants a seed of discontent within, things become different than what God would have them be. For a non believer, I am sad to inform you, you are losing the battle for your very soul. Please talk to God. Accept His offer of salvation through Jesus! But for one who believes, God has a plan in place to equip us in this battle of spiritual warfare.
We find His plan in the Bible. We need to know what the Word of God says and to cover ourselves in the faith that what it says is true. The devil is a very good liar. John, a disciple of Jesus, said, "When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." When we remain vigilant and in tune with God, the lies become easier and easier to distinguish. We can flick those darts out of our minds as easily as we flick a pesky bug from our arm. After awhile, we are no longer such worthy targets. But remain on guard for the enemy is always at the ready to ambush us if possible. Hold high your shield of faith!
Satan must have known the jig was up and he would never, ever catch me off guard where my children are concerned because nothing like that has ever happened again. Oh, there have been many other fiery darts and I have made some bad choices all right! Until I really committed myself to living my life for God to the best of my ability no matter what, I was like a ship being tossed about on the waves with no capacity to steer. I know I still fall prey, but I think most of the time, I am quick to realize it. I do not hesitate to acknowledge that I have been wrong because that's what you do to make things right. But nobody's perfect and I do not want to hint that I am... I mess up! Thank you, God, for your unconditional love!
He loves you, too. No matter what has happened in your life, no matter what choices you have made, He is waiting and hoping you will choose to believe. That's faith. Believing in things we can not see. It only gets better from there! I'm praying for you... it's a blanket " God, I don't know their names, but I am lifting them up" kind of prayer, but you are included! Pray for me, too, will you? :)
See you next time.
Oh, hey! I have a P.S. Demons shooting evil and darkness into our brains is a daunting thought, I know, especially if you are learning of these things for the first time! Take heart! We are not alone in this spiritual warfare battle! God's angels are always at the ready! Their swords raised to do battle for love and light. And believers have God's Holy Spirit living in our hearts. So when your "conscience" tells you to hold up on this or that... do it! Ask God if He had something to do with it whether angelic or through His Holy Spirit. :) I think He will let you know the answer is yes!
*shield of faith image courtesy http://dailytimewithgod.com/?p=71