Tag Archives: victory

An Open Letter to Satan

12 Mar

Because why wouldn’t Satan and [hot] Jesus arm wrestle?  Seems perfectly weird natural to me.

I was starting to feel glum about recent events taking place in my life.  Instead of lashing out at God, which is my former way of doing things, I decided to write an open letter to Satan instead so that I could remind myself and others of God’s promises to His people.  Am I still sad?  Yes.  But I also know that this is temporary in light of eternity…and eternity is an awfully long time. (Feel free to leave comments, if you’d like. Oh, and don’t steal this without permission because that would be mean and very Satan-like.)

An Open Letter to Satan

Satan,

I am writing you this letter to inform you that your rebellion against God and His people isn’t going so well.  Granted, it looks like you’re winning, and I admit there are casualties in our camp.  However, God is guaranteed the final victory, and until then, I suppose you’re going to keep on causing misery and pain in your kingdom here on earth.

Therefore, if you must continue on with this rampage against God’s image bearers, I’d like to give you a few insights on how this all works.

First, you can maim, torture, denounce, martyr, and rip apart our earthly bodies, but you can never touch our souls, though they may experience the darkest of nights.  Even when God seems so far away that we ache and we doubt, our allegiance will never be swayed, for our King will come through in the end.  When we are at our weakest, God is at His very strongest.  If you want to test us, go ahead, because we will only be made stronger.

Second, though I am forced to live in your kingdom temporarily, I won’t be here forever.  My loyalty is to a King with a heavenly kingdom that will not pass away.  The more I learn about my kingdom of eternal residence, the less satisfied I am with earth.  Oh, there are beautiful sunsets, soaring hawks, and wonders that take my breath away, but these things only prove that there is a Creator.  My soul was made for eternity, and I can’t wait to see creation in its glorified, original state.  See, spring is coming here on earth, and you can’t stop it or the fact that it reminds us of the eternal Spring that will one day come and make everything new.

Third, the Bible says that you masquerade as an angel of light, that you were once the most beautiful in all of creation.  Of course, you rebelled against God, took one-third of the angels with you, and now you’re here on earth.  Then Eve (formerly known as “woman”) came, the signature of divine, and you deceived her.  Tragically, the earth and all that is in it because cursed.  I don’t need to tell you the story.  After all, you were there. 

I suppose that some are still deceived by your “beauty,” but I only see you as ugly, twisted, and disgusting.  While some horrible events are the result of living in a fallen world (aka your temporary kingdom), others are the result of the work of you and your counterparts—wars, broken families, corruption, violence, murder, divorce, abuse, and so on.  When lives are devastated, some question God and doubt His existence, but real Christians turn to God with our heartache.  (For reference, see above paragraph on “when we are weak, God is strong.”)

While you do hurt us, injure us, ruin our days, and even destroy lives, you cannot fool us into thinking that you are beautiful, lovely, or “light.”  You gave that all up when you wanted to be God, when you fell from beauty.  I almost pity you.  Almost.   But you made your choice, took humanity down with you, and caused so much suffering, death, and destruction, I cannot pity you.  Once you were breathtakingly gorgeous, and now you’re this—an ugly, imitation of what you were created to be.  We are not fooled.

Fourth, I am personally affronted by all the pain and heartache you’ve caused in my life…and the pain and heartache I’ve caused others.  To the end of my days, I will never stop giving God the glory, which I know also means doing battle with you and your demons.  While I am not thrilled about the prospect of dealing with you and your kind, the Bible assures me that I am fully equipped for this war.  I know I’m not as intelligent as you, so no doubt you will trip me up.  I may even be a P.O.W. in your camp from time to time.  Know this, Satan, my God will always come for me.  He will never leave me or forsake me. 

In summation, you may be winning a few battles here and there.  You may even claim victory from time to time.  Know this, you will lose the war.  God’s people will always rise up, be made strong in our weakness, and be defended by a Warrior, who rejoices over us with singing.  We will sing, dance, and praise God in our suffering; we will take this heartache and turn it into thankfulness, and these ashes will be traded for crowns of beauty.  In the end, it’s not about what we will do, but what God has already done.

Sincerely,

An unsatisfied temporary resident of earth

A Personal Reflection on 2007

31 Dec

As 2007 comes to an end, I’m doing what I do every year–taking an inventory of my failures and successes over that past year.  I generally spend the majority of my time reflecting on my failures, thinking about how I didn’t quite measure up to my very high expectations, and making plans so it won’t happen again the next year.

2007 was a difficult year.  I didn’t meet Mr. Right (or maybe I did but I don’t know that he’s Mr. Right because God hasn’t chosen to reveal that yet); I didn’t get immersed in a church family; the list goes on and on.  But instead of focusing on the negative, this year I’m choosing to focus on the positive.

In pondering my life the past week or so, I’ve realized what a terribly negative person I can be at times.  I’m not sure why tearing down others and even myself seems so much easier than offering an encouragement or a smile.  Maybe I feel like I need to level the playing field.  Anyway, I’m trying to be more aware of my negativity and I’m allowing God to change my heart.  Yeah, heart change is usually painful…very painful.

If I chose one word to characterize 2007, it would be “victory”.  Yes, victory!  I can be moody, anxious, depressed, and miserable with the best of ’em.  But some days, I’m not.  Some days I roll out of bed easily, greet the day with a smile, and have an easy go of it.  Other days, getting dressed is a feat in and of itself.  Each day presents its own battle, but I am fighting and I am making progress.

This year I have been able to reclaim parts of my personality and areas of my life overtaken by anxiety, despair, hopelessness, and depression.  I’ve traveled to Pittsburgh, Gettysburg, Lancaster (and the Renaissance Faire), Washington state, and Atlanta seeing old friends and making new ones.   Most notable were my trips Friday Harbor, WA (on the Pacific Catalyst) and Atlanta, GA (to National Youth Workers Convention) which were both victories in and of themselves.  I was scared to go, but did very well once I was among my friends.  I surprised myself with that one–to God be the glory because it was only by His grace I could even find the financial support to finance these trips.  And it was only by His strength I could make it through issues that presented themselves.

WRITING: I’ve been working with Youth Ministry Exchange–interviewing, writing, guiding other writers, and editing.  I’ve done around 20 interviews as well as other articles and reviews (see my writing portfolio).  Pretty impressive.  Plus, I look forward to doing more in 2008 as well as developing new writers, new ideas, and seeing what Adam and Patti have planned.

*There’s that pesky book, WHEN THE BOOK COW EXPLODES, my journey into mental illness, being a Christian, and all that jazz.  It’s going slowly, but I also know that I need to build an audience that’s hungry for this book.  God will give me the words when He sees fit.  But the book comes in bits and pieces and I think about it more and more.

*My blog!  I’ve been trying to update it a few times a day so if I ever do publish a book, people will want to read it.  Plus, I was born to write, so it’s great to have a blog–and to have one that people read!  Keeping up with my blog has been one of my favorite writing projects of 2007.  I love the fact I can say what I think, share my ponderings on God, and post silly pictures.   There’s also my dog’s blog, which definitely needs an update.

PHOTOGRAPHY:  I’m still hoping for a nice Nikon or Canon Rebel with digital SLR and at least 10 MP with a couple of decent lenses, but I’ve been able to take some pretty nice photographs with my point-and-shoot Olympus.

*I hope to become more adept at Photoshop this year and even try my hand at some altered art.

*Plus, I’m working to develop a photography blog called “The Bug Jar“.  It’s a’coming.

COUNSELING: God’s been using my counseling gifts in the most unexpected ways, although often times I feel I am too wounded to offer much counselor.  Again and again, God reminds me that I am a wounded healer (thanks to Henri Nouwen’s book, The Wounded Healer).   I had plans for my M.A., but God has bigger plans for it.

A new year offers the hope that we can start over, that the world begins anew, and that the old year is washed away.  But I don’t want 2007 to be washed away.  I want to be drenched in its victories and in its failures, because they are the stepping stones I will use to walk into 2008.  Yes, both the good and the bad continue to shape me as God molds me into the woman He has created me to become.

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