It was Homeschool Teacher Appreciation Day and I was pouring over my journal, reflecting on the week thus-far and the dangerous path I had been traveling. The flaming arrows of the enemy seemed to be at rest. I had, after all, identified his position, placed him under surveillance and sent in some snipers. It seriously felt like that kind of battle.
Why the attack? We are so insignificant in the grand-scheme of life. I'm no Beth Moore, my husband is no Billy Graham. So why us? Perhaps, simply, because the enemy has no regard for who we are, rather, he loathes what we do and Who we represent. ANYTHING to further God's kingdom falls onto the enemy's attack list. The saddest part is how he knows all the best angles of attack.... he knows how to get us to believe his pathetic little lies....
You aren't good enough, just give up.
It's too hard, you might fail, just don't do it.
As teacher mom, the lies were flying EVERYWHERE, I had a hard time getting out of the way. I almost broke under the pressure while helping my daughter gather necessary info for the application process at a local Christian college where she plans to study music ministry. MUSIC MINISTRY, of course the enemy was on the attack. He was hitting us both. For me, the encourager and helper to this process, it sounded like this:
You have failed your daughter and she isn't ready for dual enrollment and college level classes.
You are a bad teacher, she is going to fail because of you.
She wants their teaching, not yours, it is proof of how bad you are.
You should have just put them in public school, they would have a better chance....
It was all lies which I was duped into believe at first. By mid week I stood blankly wondering where my strength went and how I might get it back. For my daughter the attacks were even more brutal:
No one cares what you have to say.
You always mess up.
You never do anything right.
How do you expect to make it at college, you aren't smart enough.
You are such a screw up, you will screw this up too.
Oh the ugly lies. Why do we believe them? Why can't we see through to the beauty of God's Words? God doesn't guide us through negativity, He speaks to us through positive reinforcement and gentle guidance.
In the midst of the dark battles we faced I found hope in God's Word. As God would have it, I was reading in Psalm 37 and through it, I felt strength returning...
Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust him and he will act.
... Be still before the Lord and
wait patiently for him
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
- Psalm 37:3-5
I saw commands and hope from my God;
It wasn't a fighting Psalm equipping me to fight back, no, it was a Psalm to remind me God was still in control...
The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
When he delights in his way;
though he fall
he shall not be cast head long,
for the Lord upholds his hand.
Wait for the Lord and keep his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land.
The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and delivers them...
because they take refuge in him.
I knew I could
because God was my stronghold, He would deliver me. All my troubles and doubts and weariness were in His strong and capable hands. He would help me and hold me up AND he would show me the TRUTH in the midst of the ugly lies. When He led me to Psalm 71, I knew the deal was sealed:
For you, O Lord, are my hope
- Psalm 71:5a
My hope wasn't in my kids, their past, their future. It is in the Lord. With that focus, why not have peace? After all...
If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought "My foot slips," your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.
- Psalm 94:17-19
- Psalm 94:17-19
These Words made all the lies so completely obvious, I couldn't help but deny them power after that. I even sat down with my daughter and helped her walk out her heart and recognize the voice of the enemy and deny his lies because the Truth of God's Word carries more power. We gave the cats a fright as we boisterously tackled each lie together:
No one cares what you have to say. People DO care what I have to say.
You always mess up. Sometimes I do mess up, but not ALWAYS, I will learn from my mistakes though. I'm doing better all the time.
You never do anything right. Always and never are earmarks of the enemy. I'm onto him and even though I mess up sometimes, I am learning and getting better.
How do you expect to make it at college, you aren't smart enough. I am smart enough, I CAN do it.
You are such a screw up, you will screw this up too. No I am not. I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.
And the one which covers them all: I praise you [O, God], for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14)
The key to countering the enemy's lies is to turn them around. If he says "no you are not" you say "yes, I am". If he says "no you can't" you say "yes I can". And you claim Psalm 139:14, all humility aside, because it is TRUTH!!
As homeschool mom, I turned those lies around too. I havent' screwed my children up. I have answered the Call to homeschool and trusted God to equip me. My kids are doing great because of Him and they will continue to do great on whatever path God calls them to take in life. We have our bad days, our days when I feel like I have messed up for the last time. But we have our good and great days too. Public school was what I rescued them from and even on our worst day it is still better than their best day in public school. My eyes are on God.... not them or anyone else.... simply.God.
I shared the overcoming part of this message on Friday in my Claiming Victory article and I promised to write more today... so I have. Sitting here a week later, I feel GREAT. It was a rough spot there for a short while, but we are through it and stronger as a result. Feeling super blessed to have God's Word as a light unto my feet and strength for my soul.
I pray you would recognize when the voice of the enemy tries to tell you lies and that you would deny him access to your heart and hope!
I hope in your word.
- Psalm 119:81b