All of our plans from the last 13 months are coming together this week.
Thank you notes are being written at full force.
My bags are packed for the honeymoon.
My dress was taken to David’s Bridal for a last minute button repair (yikes!)
Rainy weather prep has been taken care of.
The marriage license has been signed.
We are both more ready now than ever before (how could you not be after dating 6 years?!)
In 4 days, I will be marrying the man of my dreams; the one who has loved me through the darkest season that either of us have walked through; the one who makes life less complicated & reminds me to make time for work AND play; the one who holds me and prays for me when human words are not enough to comfort.
In 4 days, we will make a covenant before God (how cool is that?!), promising to love each other deeply, in sickness & in health, for better or for worse, & to build a life around the gospel that glorifies Jesus in everything we do. What a beautiful blessing that could only come from Jesus.
Life couldn’t be any better, but this week hasn’t been a walk in the park. “Wedding bliss” has been a far cry from my reality.
I lost my retainer & had to pay $300 dollars out-of-pocket (for a new piece of plastic).
My anxiety has been ramped up & I haven’t been able to sleep very well (let’s be real, when do I ever sleep well?)
My stomach has been in knots & I have had sharp pains on and off each day, often without explanation.
I went to the doctors office to get a physical done & I about threw the scale across the room when she told me my weight (dramatic? maybe so.)
My eating disorder has attempted to resurface this week, so I’ve been having to fight the lies with truth & fight to practice good recovery.
I haven’t spent much time recently with Josh because we are both super busy between the wedding & work.
Feelings of depression have flooded my heart.
Oh…….and my dog, my sweet Maddie May, has a cancerous tumor in her right eye, & she tore her ACL.
What a week, & it’s only Wednesday.
I know that none of these things are a coincidence. See, the devil doesn’t like it when two people who love God commit to marriage. He knows all too well that a cord of 3 strands cannot easily be broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12). He prowls around like a lion & devours me every chance he can get (1 Peter 5:8). He wants to steal, kill, & destroy not only me, but everyone who inhabits this earth (John 10:10). He is bitter towards God & tries to reap havoc on everything that he can.
Do I think it’s a coincidence that my eating disorder urges are strong, my anxiety is high, & my dog’s illness was revealed to me this week?
Josh & I are both Christians & we are both committed to marriage…the devil has already lost those battles, but that persistent, pesky fallen angel doesn’t give up easily. He tries to do everything in his power to deceive, distance, & disrupt our relationships with God. He does everything in his power to render the Christian as powerless, ineffective, and unfruitful.
When responding to his attacks, we have a few options:
- We can run to the things of this world to distract ourselves from what we are feeling & relief our pain temporarily.
- We can try to run & isolate ourselves.
- We can become bitter towards God.
- We can turn to Jesus and fight back.
I ran through my options:
I could revert back to my ED behaviors to numb myself to what I am feeling…..maybe skip a meal, go on a long run, or binge on cereal until I am sick to my stomach.
I could just sit in my room with my door closed until the day of the wedding…life is too much sometimes. It would be easier just to not do this week or talk to anyone.
I could just get pissed at God & distance myself from him because I don’t feel his presence in these situations. “WHY would all of this happen on what is supposed to be the best week of my life?! Does he not know what is coming up in just a few short days? Does he care?”
I could turn to Jesus & refuse to lie pray to the enemy’s schemes. I could fight back for joy, fight back for peace, & fight back for my soul.
Number 4 isn’t necessarily the easy option. It doesn’t always feel good. It doesn’t always make sense. It’s hard.
But, even so, how could I not turn to the savior who has redeemed dead places in my life more than once; the one who loves me more than anyone else on this earth (even my fiancé); the one who has NEVER left me or forsaken me; the one who has already won the battle on the cross?
When I decided to turn to God rather than run away from him, he gently reminded me of the scripture that has been engrained in my mind since my late high school years, the scripture that reminds me of the power of Christ that lives in me, the scripture that has been the most helpful to me in fighting off lies from the enemy:
“Although we walk in the flesh, we do not wage war in the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the world, man-made), but mighty in God, for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down of arguments, & every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, taking every thought into captivity & placing it under the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-6).
Modern Day translation: You are not fighting your circumstances, the things that are seen. We are fighting off the lies that the enemy whispers to us in the midst of situations that may or may not already be difficult to walk through. He makes things up. He tries to pit man against man, woman against woman. He wants us to believe we are powerless. But, God the Father has granted to us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm to fight off these attacks. The power of the cross is great enough to break down sin patterns that have been engrained in our lives for years. The power of the cross speaks louder than any argument the enemy tries to engage in. The power of the cross tells us that there is nothing too big or too hard for God.
God knows that the enemy will attack us, but he doesn’t leave us to fight the battle alone.
He asks us to take our thoughts captive. He wants us to discern what is true & what is not through his word & the guidance of the holy spirit. He takes hold of the destructive thoughts when we surrender to him. The weapons that he has given us are the sword of the spirit (the word of God), the helmet of salvation (our secured victory & eternal destiny), the breastplate of righteousness (our position before God because of Jesus, our identity), feet fit with the gospel of peace (a foundation of peace & trust in the gospel), and the shield of faith (God himself, protecting us & guarding us from the fiery darts that the enemy uses in hopes to wound & discourage us). Our weapons are more powerful than the weapons of this world (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Satan wants me to turn back to my eating disorder because he knows it renders me as useless & crippled.
Satan tries to worry me because he knows my body doesn’t process anxiety well.
Satan encourages me to fixate on small details that don’t really matter in light of eternity.
And Satan tries to destroy me here on earth because he isn’t powerful enough to seduce my soul.
Friends, the battle has already been won, which is something we so easily forget.
So as I continue to prepare for the wedding on Saturday, I refuse to sit back & allow the devil to beat me down. I will sing songs of praise to Jesus, fight back with scripture, & pray by the spirit any chance I get.
I will crush satan’s head with every step I take towards my groom on that glorious Saturday afternoon. I will make a public declaration that he hasn’t (and will never) win battles against me. I will rejoice in the beauty of the gospel & the privilege of getting to do life with such an amazing man, one who is after God’s heart. I will live in the now rather than looking ahead and worrying about the future. I will not be shaken by circumstances or lies that are only meant to destroy me. Not from my own power, but from His. Saturday couldn’t come soon enough!