I admire people who have the ability to actually be vulnerable. They are the strong ones. You know the ones who show you exactly how they are feeling when they are feeling it, not because they want your sympathy but because they know it takes real bravery to bare your soul..
I am not in the vulnerable category, I am the complete opposite. I only share my experiences and fears long after they have been dealt with. And when I share these experiences, I tend to come across as if it was just a minor jolt in the works whereas it was a pretty big deal and could bless someone else if they knew that a seemingly “strong” person has those same experiences.
Life has moulded me in such a way that I deal with my issues myself. Well, in the last couple of years I learned to leave them at the feet of Jesus which often means, I found, I may not always process my emotions in the way people might expect me too.
But you see, one day, something can come in to your world and stick around long enough to remind you that you’re not as invincible as you like to make out to yourself that you are and then you’re forced to literally “face your fears”. Facing certain fears can actually make you feel lonely especially when no one has the solution. But these fears can drive you closer to God because when no human has the solution, you have one last card to play and then you know how much faith you actually have and/or need to have.
I make light of my situations sometimes but for those who read my posts and are spirit led and infused with discernment, I do hope you will say a prayer for me in your quiet time because there is power in a prayer of agreement and I have never needed that more in my life than I do for this ongoing season I’m in.
I said all that to narrate the following:
As I sat on the tube headed to church on Friday evening, I was scanning through my Gmail inbox and saw an email with “ICAEW” in the sender heading. After three years, I would say I’m pretty used to these emails but lately those 5 letters invoke, in simplest terms, a panic attack and an almost crippling fear in me and most times I can shake it off with a few Word-based confessions reassuring myself that my experience with these ACA exams is a mountain that will be made plain through the Spirit of God moving in my life (Zechariah 6 : 7). Amen.
But yesterday was different. Maybe it was because results day is soon and because I’ve experienced one too many failures on this journey, I have flashbacks to reading those emails and finding out that I’d failed yet again and then having to deal with the embarrassment of seemingly constant failure and; then having to deal with my employment status being threatened again. I really dunno what it was, but seeing those five letters yesterday caved my chest in. The air got denser and my eyes began to water and a wave of negativity bombarded my mind. I cried all the way as I walked to church; I tried to fight the tears but they had a mind of their own. I hated that people were actually going to see me cry!
Then Saturday evening comes and just having ACA related talk with a friend whose exams are soon, that fear crippled me again and my mind was bombarded with that fear all over again, to the point of tears. The thought of getting another email on results day that doesn’t read what I want to see is overwhelming. Like, can I really take one more disappointment on the same thing?
You know what’s annoying as well? I look through my phonebook and everybody I can think of to call to speak to is unavailable! By the time they get back to me, those emotions will be gone and I wouldn’t want to talk about it anymore.
It’s situations like this that can throw people into bouts of depression and perpetual anxiety. I’m grateful and thankful that I’m able to spot and curb these feelings before they graduate into something worse.
For anyone who can relate to this and still struggles with how to deal with it, the Bible says, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10 : 3-5 NIV).
You see, I’ve progressed far enough in my Christianity to know when I am under spiritual attack. Yes, I know we like to pretend today like everything is black and white but, “…we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.” (Ephesians 6:12 AMP). I mean, the battle is easier when you can see who is attacking you but as Christians, this world isn’t our home but because we have great things to accomplish on earth, we will come under attack from evil forces and it will be through things that are quite important to us in order to side track or slow us down or even completely abort the mission God has sent us on. Let’s not be ignorant to the spiritual element of our faith because that ignorance hides the solution to our battles.
In situations like this, all we really have is God’s armour which the Bible says helps us stand against the strategies of the devil. Key word there being strategy (Ephesians 6 :10, 13-17). All pieces of this armour are quite key but I highlight verse 17 which says “take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” There is power in making declarations using God’s words by speaking forth the promises of God over your life. As you say it, you hear yourself and your belief is strengthened. That way, you begin to re-affirm to yourself that that the attack of the devil doesn’t change God’s plan and promises for you, “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.” (2 Corinthians 1:20) and you can remind yourself that “…With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen?” (Romans 8 : 31 – 33 MSG).
It’s also quite important to have prayerful friends who will not hesitate to prophesy the will of God into your life before you’re even done with your lamentations. For me, I am exceptionally blessed to have made a new friend just in January this year who I met at college during the tuition period for one of our modules. We have similar ACA experiences and ever we since we connected, she has been a rock in more ways than I could ever expect. Even if you’re just saying “amen” in agreement to whatever he or she is praying into your situation, “…if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven. (Matthew 18 : 19 AMP).
Lastly, we must remember that, “…God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)
It’s not always going to be easy but knowing that your victory is guaranteed and reminding yourself of these truths daily and regardless of what your circumstances look like definitely helps keep your mind right.
Keep on keeping on Saints!
The Steph Way