Isolated, frustrated, and tired quickly came to mind! I feel as if I have been fighting battles on a variety of fronts. I haven’t written about them in blog posts for fear of hurting people I care about—and since writing tends to be how I process stuff...
Yet, challenging was the word I chose to use in an example for class. I’ve felt challenged stepping up the hours I’ve taught, challenged as I face life transitions, and challenged as I look at the fruitfulness of my ministries (or what too often feels like a lack of fruitfulness). And though at times I’ve felt surrounded by disappointments, discouragements, and darkness, I have never felt like giving up or giving into them.
At the very beginning of Michael W. Smith’s song “Surrounded” he says: “The Word says, for the spirit of heaviness, put on the garment of praise. That’s how we fight our battles!” Even before I heard the song, I realize that’s what I’ve been trying to do for the past few months. Put on the garment of praise each morning—praising God and thanking him for the many blessings I have. Then putting on God's armor and going out to fight through the battles of the day.
There have been nights I’ve gotten out of bed to sit on the sofa listening to the song and fighting the negative thoughts keeping me awake—sometimes once, sometimes multiple times. When new battles come up, I now have my “fight song” ready.
I’m sure there are people who think the song is way too repetitive, but I can’t help imagining a circle of my brothers and sisters in Christ (from the Philippines, Champaign, Albuquerque, and northern Indiana) standing and singing it together like the group does in the official video. This is how I fight the battles raging in my mind and around me in the world.