Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Spoils of War

I have a history of starting really deep and serious blog posts and never finishing them. This may never see the light of day, but I suppose I will try and see what happens. Let's start with this:

Ephesians 6:10-18
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

The first memory I have of dealing with spiritual warfare was when I was a young teenager. My mom was writing her first Bible studies and our family came under the enemy's attack from every direction. When I take time to think through it all, it seems like something out of a movie - or at least a TV drama. The enemy desperately wanted to - and still wants to - prevent my mom's life from bearing much fruit. He tried all he could to stop her from writing Bible studies that would help women all over the world to know God through His Word.

In the months before Curtis, Jackson and I left Irving, TX (winter of 2008), I entered a season of spiritual warfare that I had never experienced before. I began struggling with tremendous anxiety and destructive dreams every single night. I didn't realize what was going on. I just thought I must have some issues that I needed counseling for, so I made an appointment to see a Christian counselor. The night before my first appointment, I dreamed that a dark spirit flew into my room and touched me on the chest. The next morning I woke up and my chest hurt really bad, but I did not remember the dream. Later, I sat in the counselor's office and described why I had come. She asked if it could be warfare. Suddenly I remembered the dream and it all came together.

Over time that attack eased, but it started up again this year. I've had consistent anxiety and my dreams have become a battlefield. My husband began suffering attacks in his sleep, too. Curtis is the least fearful person I know, yet he began to fear falling asleep. He was not only afraid of nightmares, but of waking up blind and deaf. I'm thankful for that very specific and bizarre fear because it helped us to see that what we were experiencing was a spiritual battle. We've asked many friends to pray for us and I know they have.

I have never felt the heat of the battle more than I have in the last month. Night after night the enemy attacked me in my sleep. I spent my quiet time two Sundays ago broken and weeping on the living room rug. I thank God that I knew exactly which friends I could text in that moment and ask for prayer. They were well aware of my junk, my vulnerabilities, and the way the enemy tends to mess with me. They immediately lifted me up and bore my burdens. I was able to get up from the ash heap get on with our Sunday.

The attacks didn't stop on that day. Curtis began fighting with me in prayer. A friend many states away knew in her spirit that something was up and began praying. I stopped being so shy about who I asked to pray for me because I was totally desperate for this to end. I did not know how I could carry on under the weight of it. A couple of times, while telling a friend what I was going through, I heard a voice whisper, You can't tell that. You're a pastor's wife. For a minute I believed that ugly voice but it took a half a second to figure out whose it was. I believe the enemy wanted to keep me from telling on him. His attack was weakened when it was exposed and when the saints prayed.

This Sunday morning I woke up and sensed in my spirit that God had given me victory over my enemy. That specific battle was over. My Savior had said Enough! and the accuser was silenced. The heaviness was gone.

I praise God for giving me the grace not to drown in the tidal wave. Jesus was faithful to remind me that I was justified before Him. No matter what the enemy wanted me to believe about myself, His blood covers me. His Spirit dwells in my core. I'm so grateful to my amazing friends who held me up when my feet were slipping. They listened to me and believed me.

Last winter I took some girlfriends to a conference called Intimate Issues with Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus. One thing I learned - and will never forget - was an illustration of temptation. Picture that you are walking down a long hall toward a specific temptation. At first the hallways on both sides are big sliding-glass doors. You could get out very easily. But as you go along they become regular windows. They open, but not as easily as doors. You could still get out, but it would take a little more effort. Down a little farther the windows start getting smaller. The next ones are narrow and more far apart. Getting out of this hallway wouldn't be so easy now. Finally, you realize you are getting very, very close to destruction, but now your way of escape is beyond your reach. The window is so high and so small that someone is going to have to hoist you up and maybe even give you a shove to get you out.

At that point, will you ask for help or will you take the last steps toward destruction?

Is that not a chilling thing to imagine?

Ladies, we must ask for help. Whether we're being tempted and we're walking closer and closer to destruction, or whether we're suffering under the enemy's attack and we don't know how much more we can take, we need to ask for help. I'm not saying it will bring an immediate end to the trials we're going through, but there is protection in letting those close to us know what's going on.

This has been a very humbling time for me, no doubt. But the spoils of war that I'm holding onto today are increased faith - which is of greater worth than gold, the readiness to pray for those who are enduring the same trials, and love for my mighty and merciful Savior.

These are some of the verses Curtis preached on last Sunday, which is the day God told me He had given me victory over my enemy. Surely this was no coincidence.

1 Peter 1:3-9
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

114 comments:

Marc and Charity said...

Oh girl. So wish I could tell you everything I've experienced in the last 3 weeks. Thank you for this. I'm thanking God for your freedom from this battle.

WendyB said...

He is so good and so faithful.

Kristi said...

Amanda,
Thank you for your post. I definitely can relate-as a psychologist (probably much like a pastor's wife) I feel the need to appear as if I have it all together. I truly believe most of my fears and anxieties are related to spiritual warfare-this is not exactly the language my colleagues use:-). I will pray for you and your family-I admire you all for putting yourself out there knowing that the attacks will come. -Kristi

The Hafts Happenings said...

I can't even begin to tell you how important it was for me to read this today. Thank you!!

Lucy said...

Hey Amanda,
Excellent post, simply because it is a very raw and unselfish post. It illustrates the truth in your calling. Remember that old saying "He (the enemy) is messing with you because you are dangerous to him." I can only imagine the responsibility and pressure that comes with your calling; both physical and spiritual. Remember, HE is faithful and just to finish what HE has started in you. I will be praying for you (and Curtis). You are being lifted up daily...Love you much!

Clare said...

Thank you for your transparency! I am going to share this with my readers as there are many who would be encouraged by this!!

Clare
www.peak313.com

Sister Lynn said...

Thank you for this Amanda!

The battle is real. The example you gave of the path to destruction is so helpful.

Rejoicing in your victory and praying for continued grace.

Blessings,
Sister Lynn

Rhonda said...

Perfect timing as I broke my silence this very morning. Thank you for sharing. I am encouraged!

Tara G. said...

Thank you for sharing; I so appreciate your vulnerability and transparency. Rejoicing with you over the victory!

Rebecca said...

Praise the Lord! He is mighty.

and you know, that is the third time in three days the Lord has place 1 Peter 1:6-9 in my face

thank you for sharing

Cynda P said...

Thank you for sharing this.

Kelly said...

Spiritual warfare is real stuff not to be messed with! I've been there so many times, but I am grateful that God's given me a sense of freedom in the midst of those dark times because I now know what the problem is and that God will get me through just like He has in the past. Praying for you as you come out of an exhausting season! Thank you for being open about it, too! I need reminded that I'm not alone in this fight.

The Hafts Happenings said...

Also, I hope it's ok, I just posted your blogspot page to my fb today.... More people need to read that illustration of temptation. SO GOOD!

michelencindy said...

Amen, Amanda. I too have felt the hand of the enemy physically.
Thank you for sharing.

I will be praying for y'all specifically about this.

Jennifer said...

Thank you for your bold honesty. I for one, appreciate that my pastor's wife shares things like this, because then it makes me feel like a normal person when I fear things too. Otherwise, I walk around thinking I must be the only person that is dealing with fear and therefore I am weird. So thanks!

Alison said...

What a blessing reading your words, friend--that you have the eyes and tuned in-spirit to so easily see the warfare around you and ASK for prayers against it. So many times (most of the time, really), I don't see it--I think it's just ME, and all of my brokenness. Loved this post-- One of my favorites from you.

Lindsay said...

Amanda, thank you so much for sharing this. I am currently going through your mom's study of David that is speaking to me in huge ways. I have never thought much about some of the issues I face as being spiritual warfare, but after reading this that makes a lot of sense. Praise the Lord for your answered prayers!

Christen Price said...

Amanda,

Thank you for sharing that post, I struggled a lot with spiritual warfare last year when my twins were born premature. I was in your break-out session at She Speaks and loved your insight on meal time :)

Blessings,

Christen

www.theuncontainabletruth.com

Sharae said...

Thank you for sharing this. I wish more people would feel confident enough to be vulnerable with others. In sharing our weaknesses we help strengthen others. I will be praying for good, restful sleep for everyone in your household!

Megan said...

Thank you for this post. I've been battling something similar and have not told anybody outside of my husband because of fear of looking silly. When said outloud it is so obvious how much that is a lie from the enemy. I now know I need to go to friend in Christ and ask for prayer. Thank you so much for this. And praising God for your victory!

Emily said...

Amanda,

I visit alot, but have never commented. Your post today has spoken loud and clear to me, as I am sure it so many others. The enemy will stop at nothing to have his way with us. That has been more evident to me in the last year than in all my life. Sometimes instances of warfare get so bizzare, I don't feel like I can share with another soul, but like you said, that is yet another tactic of the devil. Stay strong and thank you for this post!

God Bless,
Emily

Lisa said...

The timing of your post is no coincidence....it's a God thing! I am in my bed right now about to give up and give in to this attack. The enemy had me convinced LAST night during the night that my God has forsaken me. Your post and several other Godly people have shown me that it is not so! I don't know how I am going to get through this trial but what I do know is that God is with me. Thanks for sharing!
Lisa in NC

heidiwhitey said...

Amanda, I read (and love!) your blog regularly. I have two children, Jack and Lucy, who are exactly Jackson and Annabeth's ages (like, to just a few weeks apart), so I relate to so many quirky and meaningful little moments in your life. This post, however, is special. It is raw, yet packed with wisdom and grace. I have had the same spiritual attacks at night. Among other nighttime attacks, I used to sleep in the hallway outside of my kids rooms because I feared that darkness would take them out of my house. During that same period of menancing fear and hovering attack, the Lord was healing and redeeming my life with indescribable love and tenderness. Thank you for being brave - I hope no hyperventilating! You will bless many with your courage and your obedience. God bless you, sweet mama! www.heidiwhitey.wordpress.com

Sunni said...

I am in tears reading this. My husband just started leading worship again for the first time since we've been married and since then we've been experiencing a very similar situation. Like Curtis, I have been scared to sleep. Such a strange feeling. Thank you for posting this. I'm going to let my husband read it tonight.

Sometimes I really wish we lived in the same town. :)

Reese said...

Praise God, and Amanda? -Thank you for going deep and being transparent. I know the warfare that you write about. Prayers for you and yours.

Reese

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

Oh Amanda. I'm so sorry you've been experiencing this. I've had dreams of being pinned down in my sleep and the enemy speaking specific, murderous threats toward my family. Nothing more real or horrifying. The Lord has used that exact passage powerfully in my life this year. So grateful how God uses His word and His people to bring victory and healing. Continuing to pray for your family and church, sister!

KAY said...

I don't think I have ever left a comment before, but this is right where I am, I feel like I'm living life with this heavy weight on me. Thank you for the reminder that I need to ask for help from my friends.

Jenny said...

Thank you for this post, I'm not one to normally comment but this is where I am. I'm just barely functioning it seems, a dark cloud I can't shake. Not depression just an a thickness if feels. (Boy, that sounds weird.) Anyway, thanks for the reminder that I need to be more open and ask my friends to pray for me.

heidiwhitey said...

Ok, so spooky I know, but you should know that in addition to having children the exact same age and one of them has the same name as one of yours, that my little family used to live in England and I drink multiple cups of tea a day as a result. I promise I have not been stalking you - this is my real life. :)

The Powell Family said...

Your courage will lift the rest of us up! I've been a church plant pastor's wife for about 5 years now, and I can tell you that there have been many days I have had to fight for the joy of the Lord. Praise the Lord that you are so dangerous to the darkness. Praise Him for pulling you out of dark places and setting you on the rock!

gregandkim said...

Dear Amanda,
Tears running down my face.
Please understand that just a hint or a scripture on a tweet can have your sister's even in a different state on their knees praying for you. I remember about a month ago you tweeted something and the Spirit reminded me all morning to pray and pray for you and your sweet family. The Spirit will tell us who and when and what to pray for. You are darling and God is sooo crazy for you and your darling family. Thank you for your post. I am certain it was just the right timing. WHOOT WHOOT about making the devil shake in his boots huh:) Don't you love that saying "I want to be the woman that when I wake up in the morning, Satan says, Oh man, she is up!" You are mighty! Love to your family.

Katie B said...

So encouraging! Thank you for sharing and being transparent. Praising God for this victory!!

Patty said...

I cannot thank you enough for sharing this today. I pray for you and your family and now your new church all the time. This also hits so close to home because over the last few months I have also been under spiritual attack. The enemy has attacked my thoughts. It has been an onslaught of thoughts over my health. The thoughts of me having a heart attack etc.. non-stop thoughts. It was so bad at one point a few weeks ago that I had to get up and leave during worship service. It was at that point I called my BFF who is also our pastor's wife and told her what was going on and asked or more like begged her to pray for me. The intensity of it has lessened but I look forward to the day that I have complete victory.

Again, thank you for sharing this today!
Love,
Patty

The Johnsons said...

A friend once told me she wanted a front row seat when Satan is cast into Hell. I never understood why she said that until I recognized all my junk that was truly spiritual warfare.

Amanda.
You are loved.
You are not in this alone.
You are worth fighting for.

Kristi Stewart said...

Amanda!!

Do not hyperventilate as your twitter post said!!! I NEEDED THIS POST! I AM UNDER SEVERE ATTACK...MY HUSBAND IS A (MISSIONS)PASTOR AS WELL AND MY FEARS ARE OVERWHELMING ME! My mom was also just diagnosed with ovarian cancer 3 weeks ago...so I'm dealing with that and it is overwhelming me....we are preparing for a huge missions emphasis month in November...planning all our mission trips for next year...just got back from Guatemala this week....WE ARE UNDER ATTACK....PLEASE PRAY....I'm a siesta but for the life of me Satan is blocking my scripture memory....did I mention I have 4 kids as well......

Amanda said...

Kristi, I am praying right now. I'm so sorry about your mom! And for everything else you're going through.

Aimee said...

I can't tell you how much your sharing encourages me. My husband just started a new service at our church the same day your church plant opened, and I didn't even consider the "accidents" that kept surrounding the service (from loss of power, to crippling migraines for me, to musicians canceling hours before the service because of family issues, etc...) to be spiritual warfare until I was posting my memory verse on your mom's website. When I saw her verse, it clicked that this might all be an attempt to snare us in a net of evil's making and give up. I have been praying, and asking others to pray since then, and while I'm not at the point of feeling complete relief yet, I know that there will be an end. Hearing that your deliverance from this season has arrived is such an encouragement to me :) I'll keep praying for you and your family (sorry this is so long!)

Marina said...

This was great encouragement to me, as I know I'm in the last legs of a battle of my own! Thank for your testimony!

Stephanie said...

Beautifully written Amanda and so true...So often we try to walk in isolation when in reality we are only crippling ourselves. We have the resurrection power available to us and the bride of Christ to stand with against the enemy...and yet so often I stand alone and helpless. Great reminder to humble myself before the Lord and others and stand in truth with the One who has already won the victory and crushed the head of our enemy. Praising God for the freedom He has given you and the prompting to share it! Thank you!

Marie Davis said...

Hi. I'm a Siesta who's been "lurking" here for quite a while. I just want to say thank you for being willing to share your experiences. My husband and I haven't experienced attacks to the extent of what you have faced, but we have been noticing lately that we are dealing with battles/enemies that are NOT merely flesh and blood. Thanks for sharing your victory and for the encouragement to ask for help. When the enemy rages, I can't help but think that God must be up to something HUGE !!!
I've been praying for you all in your new ministry and can't wait to hear more about what God is accomplishing through you.

Lisa said...

I have not yet read the other commenters' replies to your post, so they may have experienced similar things to what I did. When I was a teenager, I went through a terrifying and lengthy period of attack. I would wake up literally paralyzed, unable to move for five minutes, with audible buzzing in my head that made me feel dizzy. I know firsthand that the enemy's attacks can be physical as well as spiritual and psychological, so when you said that you felt that on your chest, I got chills! I am so thankful you shared this, as uncomfortable as I know it was for you. I have prayed for you, your family, and your church plant for a long time now, and I will continue to do so. I believe intercessory prayer is incredibly powerful against attacks, as is the Word, of course! Thank you for your transparency. You have helped me so much in my own spiritual walk, and although I do not know you personally, I am thankful for you and your very real heart.

Tabaitha said...

Thanks for sharing and being open about something so personal. Small world, I was re-reading Linda Dillow's book "What It's Like To Be Married To Me," and the same illustration regarding temptation came to mind. I can relate this week more than ever and thanking God for freeing you from this battle.

Amy Storms said...

Oh, thank you for this! Just last night my pastor-husband said, "Is it just my imagination, or has this been our hardest year ever?" Fear has always been my issue, but lately it has been crippling. Some of Andy's encounters (with church people!) have been downright scary, because the enemy is so present you can practically touch him. We've been on our knees like never before. So good to know He wins the war, but, exhausting in the meantime. Praying for you...blessings on your marriage and kids and church.

Oh, and I know just what you mean about feeling you can't tell because you're a pastor's wife. It's not always a "phoniness", like you're trying to hide the truth. It's just that, there is no one you can tell! This is my greatest struggle as pastor's wife--having somewhere to tell it all.

Melody Reid said...

Oh Amanda, you are speaking my language! I felt as if you were writing my own thoughts, words and feelings in this post. I too have much going on in my life and family and feel under almost constant attack. Thank you for sharing. I am praying for you!
Love,
Melody

Jenn said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing that Amanda. That was brave, and your words will help so many. I won't forget your words of sharing with friends when I'm struggling and tempted. I'm so excited to see what God is doing and will do in your family's life! Satan definitely knows that you are about kingdom business. You are an inspiration to me!

Ashley said...

Fight on, girl. I've just had a new revelation of the fact that the enemy keeps most of us so tied up in our own issues and problems that we are useless to the Kingdom. He wants us healthy because we've got things to do! We have to press forward and fight. I think it's a huge victory that you have chosen to be open and honest...that's a hard thing for a pastor's wife, more often than not (not that I am one, I've just known from others' experiences) so that's ammunition that's been rendered useless. Thanks for sharing the realities of warfare.

Sunni said...

I linked your post on my blog. I hope you don't mind. It really touched me and I wanted to pass it on. Let me know if it bothers you and I can take it down. (sistersunni81@yahoo.com)

Longmeadow Mama said...

God has freed you and now is using you. Thank you for this post...my new favorite of yours!
Blessings,
Kelli

Sandra said...

Oh my word. I can't believe you posted this today. I've been to a few parenting conferences the past several weeks. Due to some conviction borne of these conferences, I've started getting up earlier to read and pray. My family has been praying together in the evening and in the morning. Today, we found out that my husband, who has been at a new job for only 6 weeks after 2 years of unemployment could possibly lose his job due to contract issues. This all just a few months before I am traveling to pick up our adopted daughter in China who has special needs. Immediately reading your post I knew, Satan is fighting hard against our family coming together. Thank you for writing this...

Sarah said...

Love that I Peter passage. Praise the Lord for seeing you through and for the power of prayer. I'm sure there will be other times you have to pass through the flames but you'll get through it then as you did now. Thank you for serving the Lord. My cousin and her family have moved their membership to BCF and love it! :)

Hilary said...

I am so thankful God has brought you through this season of fighting - what a testimony! Now I know why I felt so strongly the need to pray for you the last month or so. Not that I have any corner on the intercession market, for sure, but it's so cool to see how God uses the body of Christ all over the globe. :-)

Hilary

His Jules said...

Thank you so much for sharing this Amanda! I have been going through a battle lately also, the enemy is hard after my 18 year old son, he is running from the call of God on his life and he is experiencing nightmares, no sleep and anxiety among other things. Thanks you for reminding me that sometimes telling others and getting them in the battle is the turning point for the war. Your genuine authenticity reminds me of a beautiful bible study teacher I know ;). Today you walked this thing out for us all - I for one am indebted.

Messy Mosaic said...

I'm so proud of you...thank you for being so real and vulnerable. I am a minister's wife who has experienced spiritual warfare and felt overwhelmed with anxiety, I praise God for the soundness of mind that only He can bring! I believe that we are walking targets most of the time because of the call of God on our lives...but He is our shield and strong tower!! We mothered a church 2 years ago and I will be lifting you up in prayer!

love,
Jennifer

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad you're on the other side of that war. I've been there with the deep anxiety, and God delivered me. Praise God! Thanks for sharing! I know your openness will help others to recognize the enemy's attacks.

graspthelove said...

Thank you for sharing this. Our family seems to be under attack lately. I really appreciate the description of temptation. How true. 10 years ago I was tempted and before I even knew it, I was at the end of the hallway - too far gone. God has brought healing and restoration but not without much pain and grief. My husband and I are not so passionate about sharing our story with couples and urging them to be honest and real about the temptations we face. Anyway, sorry for going on and on. This post was very meaningful to me. Thank you.

deborah said...

I think it is easy to think that everyone besides me has it all together and that I have to have it all together. The longer I live the more I realize no one has it all together and none of us are even created to have it all together, because we need HIM. Jesus is the answer every time. Thanks for your openness. As women, I think we need this kind of openness because it shows we aren't alone. I think Satan is good at making women think they have to do it all and that every other woman has no struggles.

Kristen Maddux said...

I too was on the living room floor crying in hopelessness and under extreme attack just about a week ago. Satan is RUTHLESS, isn't he? I am just beginning to feel a bit "free-er" but it has been the battle of my life. I do not want to give in! Fighting the fight is worth it. It is just so hard...seemly almost impossible at times, as you say. It was beautiful to read someone who is experiencing something similar but who is also battling in God's name for VICTORY. Thanks, Amanda.
And for the record, growing up in a ministry home (pastor's daughter all my life), I truly believe the most important thing I saw in my parents was authenticity. I have friends who also grew up in ministry who instead experienced the "we're happy, shiney, people who don't talk about our problems" scenerio....and it turned them off to God and Christianity completely. Keep being vulnerable, girl. God uses those kind of people!

Kim said...

Amanda - thank you for being so open, honest and brave! Thank you for taking a stand that helps to empower others. I truly believe the enemy wants to keep us silent in these matters. But when we can share them, we can join forces in prayer for one another and defeat the attacks of the enemy.

I still remember my first real encounters with spiritual warfare during my sleep. So thankful for the power in the name of Jesus!

It takes a mighty godly woman to take such a public stand. Please do NOT let the enemy tell you that you should not have posted this.

May you continue to stand firm. Praying for you - Kim

Kelli@MoreBangforYourBucks said...

Amanda, my first year and a half as a church planter's wife was miserable because I felt that I had to "appear" to have it all together- and believe me when I say it was appearance only. We had just moved away from my parents, my hometown, our wonderful church and my husband went straight to work. I was ALONE in this city of 6 million people.
But God was so gracious to give me wonderful, loving friends and praise Him I got out of that funk.
Praying for you guys- satan does NOT like to see people doing his will!

Candace said...

Thank you so much for sharing. In
Our weakness He is strong, amen??!!

I was wondering if you (or anyone else) could point out the differences between our struggles and warfare?? And how do we know when it is such? I think I would pray differently if I knew what I was going through was spiritual warfare, ya know??

Thanks!! And I love your blog, and so grateful for the ministry of your family!!

Angel said...

Thank you so much for posting this--I am in tears. No doubt the enemy didn't want you to write this because it helps shed light on issues to other people like myself.

Thank you so very much. I love reading your blog. Being a mother of two small children myself, I find humor and encouragement in your posts. The deep spiritual posts that you put up have spoken to me twice now. I asked the Lord for a word on some issues I've been having and I think I just received it :)

Shellie Paparazzo said...

Oh, girl, you cannot believe how this post has touched me. All summer, almost, I spent crying out (screaming really) to God, cause I was under such an intense spiritual attack! I have a past, honey! Oh, my! And not many people have bothered to get to know me without judging. They are mostly ultra conservative Christians, who don't seem to think this sort of thing happens to Christians. I've actually heard them say that the way to fight the Enemy is to ignore him. Uh, sometimes he makes that impossible! I wouldn't have even recognized it if it hadn't been for another siesta, Michele, on twitter. She did battle with me online, on twitter and email in such a huge way! Now that you know why I reach out online. I really don't have much choice. People here think it's a bad idea, but they seem to think I'm a bad idea. One of the biggest things I think Satan throws at me is that I'm not good enough. In things I write to others and in my private journal, I just keep seeing that phrase showing up all over the place, "I'm just not good enough."

Bev Brandon @ The Fray said...

You hold such hope in a Good God, no matter what. I come from a horrific childhood where there was more violence in 5 minutes than most experience. I've struggled to this day with dreams even this week like I am losing it. Just this morning, I posted the same verses on my blog about wrestling with the cosmic powers of this present darkness. So grateful we are not alone to face this. You honor Him so in your childlike faith! Reminds me of John 6:5 - Where do WE go to buy bread to give to others? Not where do YOU go to figure life out, raise your kids right, do effective ministry but where do WE go? It's His Power so at work in you and Curtis - Col 1:29. Your heartfelt post is just beautiful. To Whom else shall we go? You draw us to Him! Love you so! Bev Brandon @ A String of Pearls

Jill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jill said...

Amanda,

Thank you isn't enough. You are a vessel to so many. Your post has me unable to really write anything. Thank you for the words of encouragement. I, unfortunately, am not on the other side of a spiritual battle, but right in the midst of it. It's very, very dark. Praising God for your testimony and pleading with Him to bring me to the place you are now.

Casey said...

You've defeated Satan by sharing this. Im sure that was difficult to share...but how empowering it is to share our struggles instead of hiding them. Praying for you

Nichole said...

Thanks for posting this today. I began experiencing severe cramping tonight before I was to sing at a fundraiser for a charity near and dear to my heart. I texted my best friend and asked her for 911 prayer. She prayed. She sang. She encouraged me to do the same. Even with hot rollers in my hair. The Lord is a WARRIOR!!! The enemy's been defeated. Death couldn't hold You down. We're gonna lift our voice in Victory! We're gonna make our praises LOUD!!!

connorcolesmom said...

Bless your heart!!
I am so glad this warfare has lifted
Thank you for being honest and bringing this into the light. The enemy flees from the light
Praise God for His faithfulness!!!
Much love

ashleyalden said...

It's is quite chilling to imagine all of the trials you and your family must have been through. I hope there must at least be a sense of gratification KNOWiING that you are doing the Lord's work...otherwise Satan wouldn't have time to bother you. Your perseverance and victory is so encouraging. Thank you so much for sharing. Hopefully you didn't need the paper bag afterall... :)

Nancy said...

This makes me think of a C.S. Lewis quote: "If you haven't met Satan recently, you're probably going his way!" Praying you'll continue to be brave and have the courage to continue walking in THE WAY, and as a result continue to inspire the rest of us too! You are loved and prayed for by people who don't even know you.

Dee said...

Your testimony is a blessing to my heart. I am called to be even more persistent in my prayer for my daughter-in-law who is suffering greatly with lupus. Thank you, Amanda, for your refreshing honesty.

Christine said...

Thank you for being real and posting your experiences. It helps to know that we are all going through the same things in our spiritual walk. I feel I am in a season of spiritual warfare as well. Fear grips me so much some times it is actually hard to breathe. But, as I calmly look over the few past years, God has prepared me for this time. A few years ago I joined with a sweet group of ladies for bible study and was able to go to Israel with them. God truly has brought me to a time of relationship with Him like no other time in my life. Over and over He has blessed me beyond what I could imagine. So, even though this particular time is difficult, I am joyous beyond belief because my God is showing Himself to me in a powerful way.

hyoung4hisglory said...

Your obedience to share this and God's timing and providence to share it on this day are astonishing. Thank you so much. Total confirmation that what I'm going through is warfare. I've been trying to "fix" things myself knowing it's impossible to do so but really ignoring the fact that it is war! So glad this battle is over for you, pray for me?

Church Lady said...

What and awesome post. Don't ever feel alone. The enemy of our souls sifted me in much the same way. I too fill like the Lord has given me victory. There are still times when satan tries to take me back to that dark place, that's when I remember all the Lord has brought me through. HE IS FAITHFUL!

California Dreamin said...

Oh Amanda, you precious young lady. Your post has brought me much encouragement with what I've been going through. I continue to pray for you and the family. Victory in Jesus!!

Molly said...

I was really floored by this post Amanda. You really confirmed for me the attacks I have around sleep. Right when I go to sleep and when I wake up...I have bad attacks. I have to specifically pray at these times, and this was a great reminder.

Also, you got me interested in trying to drink tea???? Do you drink Pgtips?


Thanks again and GOD Bless you
M

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Amanda!

"My Savior had said Enough! and the accuser was silenced. The heaviness was gone"---I could just cry in gratitude for His deliverance!

ForHisGlory said...

I am so glad you wrote this! I will be coming back to it because it is rich and a lot to chew on! Love you and your willingness to share openly!
Tiff

Ashley Fisher :) said...

What a powerful post! I can relate in a different way and I am so thankful that you took time to write so that I will know I am not alone. God bless you!

Anne said...

Hi Amanda - I have followed your blog for a while, but never commented. Thank you for this post. It has really been on my heart and made me thoughtful about just how real (and sneaky) the enemy can be. My church preaches very little about spiritual warfare - so, your post was a great wake up call. Thank you for sharing this today :)

melinda said...

Beautiful Amanda~
Incredible wisdom the Lord has given you. I love that you (without shame) called for backup and rallied your peeps to pray for you. I have just prayed for further protection and peace for you and your lovies.

Thanks for being so real (as ever)and reminding me to call on my peeps when I'm getting hit from all sides. We are called to fight and the Lord will bring the victory:)

happymcfamily said...

Thank you for sharing. You are in good company. You have been prayed for.

I appreciate what you said about the specific fears helping you to recognize the attack. I can very much relate to the whole specific fear/ ailment thing.
Being filled with God's word & surrounded by godly help always serves to separate the truth from the lies, the good from the evil, the irrational enemy inflicted fears from the fear of God that gives us all the confidence we could possibly muster. It's amazing how circumstances on polar opposites of the descriptive spectrum seem to be experienced at their climax in such close proximity with each other. This is no distant war. It's a hand-to-hand combat on home soil.

Shelli Littleton said...

Amanda, that is frightening. I have never heard anything like that. I have a feeling your family is going to have more struggles with the enemy than most. Praying for you, sweet girl.

Erica said...

Thank you for your vulnerability to share. We've been under attack the last few months as well, and I finally recognized it for what it was. When I did, and began having friends pray accordingly, the attack let up. I will be in prayer for you and Curtis as you drift off to sleep tonight!

Village Sister said...

Thank you, Amanda. ♥

Pam

Talley Family said...

Thank you so very much!!! You are not alone and now I know I am not alone either!
Crissy

Pam said...

Thank you so much for this! Since my son was born in December I've suffered from anxiety and awful nightmares. I want nothing more than to raise my son to become a godly man, and I don't know why I didn't think about "my issues" being a result of Satan's attempts to hinder my parenting. I'll be looking at these struggles in a new light and will be able to face them from a different perspective!

the4leegirls said...

wow that was deep...loved it. L.O.V.E.D...I.T

Linds said...

A friend of mine recommended your blog (and this post specifically) last night as I explained to her that I felt like I was being attacked by Satan through my anger at my kids. I had just completed a blog post about anger and parenting, and felt like it was so fluid that it was definitely God breathed-- both to me and to my readers. And then I had a HECK of a day. And the lies started pouring in: that I am a failure as a mom, that I can't amount to anything as a wife, that my kids and husband deserve better.... thank you for your truth in this post! I actually just read that verse from 1Peter in my bible study the other day (we're reading through an in depth study in James right now, which is no coincidence I'm sure). Anyways, I feel like I'm rambling. I just wanted to say Thank you.

Karen said...

Thank you for being so open and honest. Spiritual warfare is all around us. I've been under its attack before as have other members of my family. Never be afraid to ask for prayer or voice those concerns. Only through prayer can we all overcome it. We have been attending BCF since Sept 11th after having been under attack at our old church. God lead us there and we love it. Keeping you, Curtis and your family in my prayers daily. With blessings,
Karen

Mary said...

Amanda, never be afraid to expose the enemy or your soul. Your vulnerability shared with us strengthens you as well as us. Thank you for being authentic. It encourages me to do the same.

Delivered said...

Amanda,
Thank you for your candor. The Lord has just brought my husband and me through a very painful time, but through the pain we both have a new understanding of his grace. He has allowed us to see something we have struggled with for a long time in His light-our resentment and legalistic attitudes brought us nothing but pain. He is giving us a gracious attitude that we just couldn't find in our own power. Glory to God. Tonight he asked me if I had any suggestions for a devotional book that he could use. He struggles with taunts from the enemy. He is a believer but has never done a daily devotional in our marriage. If anyone has any suggestions for good devos for men, please share. Thank you!

Amanda said...

Delivered, Curtis suggested A Godward Life by John Piper.

Lindsee said...

I've always admired your authenticity, sister. It encourages so many people, including myself.

This post was so timely for me! My very first prayer time with LPM, my first prayer request was that I was having to fight extra hard for my faith because Satan knew I was exactly where the Lord placed me and he was doing all he could to take me down and he just kept feeding me lie after lie. So I am with you! He will not win this battle and praise God the victory has been won. Praying for you guys constantly. I love you!

Deanna said...

Amanda,
I am going to be praying for you and Curtis. Hang in there!!!

Traci said...

I am not to where you are and can share my attacks, but would you pray for me as I pray for your family.

Love,
Traci

Denice said...

Thank you for being faithful to share. Pastors and wives are people too, and if more would open their hearts and share so people could join them in prayer I believe we would see amazing things happen in our churches. You are a good example for us all. Thank you again.

Nicole said...

Amanda, I want to thank you for sharing this. I am so thankful for your victory.
I have been memorizing Matthew 5:16 MSG which says; Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up to God, this generous Father in heaven.
You prompted me to see something happening in my life the very morning I read this and to ask for help that I would otherwise have had a hard time asking for.
Thanks for your openess.

Toknowhim said...

Great post Amanda. Thanks for sharing some of the details as it helped me to see attacks can come in all kinds of ways.

Celebrating your victory with you...

Lauren said...

Thank you for the word, Amanda! I, too, believe in asking for prayer/help from close friends, but it took several instances of me trying to shoulder my way through some rough times by myself before I realized the wisdom of sharing your burdens (and the role of my own pride in keeping me from it!).

3dlessons4life said...

Amanda, thank you for writing this post and being willing to share. I have 2 friends both venturing out into ministry who are undergoing great warfare -- I have pointed them both to this post this week. What a blessing you have been to them!

Karen L. said...

thank you so much for sharing.

Melanie Norman said...

One word: POWERFUL! This post is exactly what I needed..

Melissa F. said...

Great post! Thanks for the encouragement and sharing the story about the "hall of temptation".

myers18 said...

Wow. This post so echoed my recent thoughts and experiences. I've recently been reflecting on how essential community was in getting me through my own time of intense spiritual warfare and the necessity of speaking out about our battles. More on that:
http://truthisgrace.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/the-anointed/
and
http://truthisgrace.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/let-time-take-us/

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your post. It wa so encouraging to me.

May God's truth be grace to you today.

Erin said...

Amanda,
Thank you for this. Going through the same exact thing and it's very hard to talk about. But great is His faithfulness. Thank you for writing this.

I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
-- Psalm 118:17

katiegfromtennessee said...

Amanda, I'm grateful you shared this with us because I have had this type of warfare too. It comes and goes, but the last time it came, i finally asked my sister and someone at church to fast a pray for me for them to go away. It didn't know what else to do, I was so tired of dealing with what was to me horrific nightmares. It can get really discouraging. I would weep over my dreams, they were that disturbing. I have even posted scriptures in my room and slept with my Bible open next to me. I didn't know warfare like this was out there until your mom and Kay Arthur mentioned it in their studies that I have done. I will pray for you and Curtis. That kind of thing is very hard to deal with, with me it has been a battle for a long time. I could still cry over it. Thank you so much for telling us. I will pray for you.

The Bargain Shopper Lady said...

I am almost in tears and can relate to this post. Sometimes I feel like no one understands my spiritual warefare and God and I are the only ones fighting it but it is very similar to what you have described. Know that you are in my prayers.
Lori

Cristine said...

Hi Amanda. I have never written here but I just wanted to say something because I have been on a battle with this too. For me it started more than a year ago, out of nowhere..horrifying thoughts at night that were tormenting. I thought I was going to go crazy. A friend also pointed out that it was spiritual warfare and relieved some of the weight of it as we looked for scripture together and prayed. But it would not go away and I held on to my dear friends for life. I also went to a Christian counselor who helped me a lot and helped me to see that the tramautic events I had gone through the year before caused an anxiety disorder that, I realized later, were triggered by one simple thought the enemy whispered to me at night. He knows what kind of thoughts and fears cripple us...and he sent his arrow right at me and triggered the most horrible phase of my life so far. This counselor also encouraged me to see a doctor to take some anxiety medicine because without it would take A LOT longer for me to be able to heal. It´s been almost a year now and I am finally weaning off of it. The medicine has helped me put on the full armor of God for BATTLE. Without it I could not function, think clearly, or even read scripture without being dominated by fear and anguish.
Now I am so completely sensitive to anyone who goes through this kind of attack...and I pray with all my heart that God will not allow this to continue or grow in your life. It´s like you said...fight it with all the prayers of all the saints and with all the help that you can get!
Have the scriptures at the tip of your tongue and cut the thoughts and fears with them!
Will be praying!

singspeakgloryseek said...

Thank you. My daugther forwarded this to me. I totally know, for I too have been there. But the way you put it in words... thank you! God is SO GOOD, SO FAITHFUL. Oh how we love Him!

Kelli said...

Thank you so much for this post! It was just the motivation I needed to put my pride behind me and ask for prayer from some of my heart friends and actually say to them, "I AM NOT Ok!!" Ministry is just plain hard, Satan attacks and sometimes we don't even realize- thanks for your wise words-my heart needed it today!

Vanessa said...

I can relate. Thank you for having the courage to speak on this subject!

-Vanessa

Catrina said...

Thank you for your transparency. Sometimes knowing what to call it is half the battle...I needed to hear this.

Carrie said...

Hi Amanda, I love your blog - and need to tell you that this is my fave post ever. Thank you for your courage an d vulnerability.