The Enemy is Afraid

Five weeks ago I moved and started this incredible journey of going back to school, of pursuing my Master’s in Social work. I have been having an incredible time, reconnecting with friends, making new friends, going to classes, securing an internship and enjoying being in a new place. This new beginning has been laced with confirmations from God about being here. There have been details worked out in amazing ways, such small intricate details that I could not have possibly planned. Let me just give you the latest example:
I got an internship at World Relief, doing case management with refugees. This is what I want to be doing, the very reason I decided to come back to school. I needed to find an off-site supervisor as World Relief does not have a licensed social worker. Another professor recommended a colleague saying that they would be perfect for me especially in working with refugees. I emailed this person and they said they would be willing to supervise me. I was at an event celebrating the Ethiopian New Yew Year and enjoying the event. I made a new friend there, while we were talking about school, they asked me if I knew this person, it was the same person who is going to be my off-site supervisor. I explained that to them and they said that it is going to be a great experience and that my supervisor if from Kenya. This is so exciting to me. I will be working with someone who has experience in both the the United State and in Kenya. I would love to be able to work on an international scale someday. Considering the area here, I couldn’t have arranged this any better. I get to intern, doing what I want to be doing for a career my first year in the program and add to that, my off-site supervisor will have knowledge and experience that is going to priceless in pursuing my dream. That could only be God’s doing, His plan, and confirmation of my being here.
That is just one example of how God has been working. That is just a slice of the plan he has in store. And let me tell you, it is mind-blowing! So everything should be good right? But this is where the struggle of anxiety comes in. Rationally, I know that things are going great, I am happy, excited, I get to dream and plan for my future. But then there is this paralyzing anxiety that creeps in. Moving has meant lots of changes. It meant leaving my support system, my routine, my pets, it meant leaving my safety zone. I want to preface this before I go any further, I have great friends here, I know I have people that are there and wanting to support me. But it is just different, it takes more effort, more explaining, it means being open and vulnerable and sometimes explaining things I haven’t had to in a long time. It means having to know what I need. Before, the people around me had gone through things with me and been by my side through it and it was easy. It didn’t require as much effort on my part. I didn’t have to use any words and they knew how to support me. This is all part of this process, learning and being able to go through this change and know that it is going to be okay. My brain hasn’t quite been in agreement that it is going to be okay. Anxiety lies, it distorts the truth and can be an overwhelming crushing feeling. I have been frustrated, discouraged and there have been many tears in this journey already. I have doubted whether I am doing the right thing. But I have hope.
I have hope because look at that one example of how personalized God’s plan is for me, He has combined my passions and desires into this opportunity. He gave me this dream and He sure isn’t going to let my doubts and fears destroy what He has planned. Looking at how personal God’s plan is for me, the enemy’s plan of attack is equally personal. He knows my struggles of anxiety, he knows the quickest way to distract me from God’s plan, he knows how to distract me. But I get to stand with my Father behind me, guarding my back, and say not today, not this dream, not here. I get to chase the enemy out with the tools God has given me, with people behind me in two places, in two church families and most importantly with God’s word confirming it all. I spent some time reading in a book that I started a long time ago, a book I should have finished but for one reason or another it has been put off. This book Fervent by Priscilla Shirer is all about developing a detailed battle plan to defeat the enemy. The chapter I left on developing a plan for Your Fears. Talk about perfect timing.
I want to share a few nuggets from this chapter that just spoke perfectly to me. The first was Priscilla explaining the story of Moses, where God was leading Moses to free the people of Israel and Moses said to them “Do not Fear.” (Exod. 14:13) She explains that Moses wasn’t telling them not to feel fear, but to not wallow in that fear. That God knows that fear is a natural response it’s so important to God that He tells His people over 300 times to not be afraid. Over 300 times, God knew the struggles I would have and put it in writing, a tangible reminder that He has it all under control. That I will feel fear, the trick is not wallow, to not entertain it to not become stuck in that fear. That is what my heart needed to be reminded. That fear, anxiety and all of that will happen but that my God is bigger. Here is my favorite part from this whole chapter, “If God has given you clear direction, -direction that’s confirmed by His written Word, and by the sounding board of wise, godly counsel- and your only real reason for resisting Him is because you’re afraid of what following Him down this path might mean or cost or entail, then you’re only on the threshold of being disobedient, you’re about to miss an opportunity to give God some fresh, new glory by doing what He’s wanting to do through you, which is the true impetus behind His invitation for you to join Him on this scary adventure in the first place.”
Talk about empowering. God has a plan and the enemy wants to take that new found glory. You know what that tells me? The enemy is afraid. He is afraid of the power God has given me and the plans He has laid out for me. The enemy is scared of what I can do. That’s what I am going to focus on reminding myself. In those moments of panic and paralyzing anxiety, that the enemy is so scared of what I am capable of with God that he has to attack me in the most personal way. And at the end of the day the enemy has good reason to be afraid, my God, my Abba, my protector has already won, He has already paved the way and I just have to walk on that paved path with Him leading the way. So it’s time to put my armor on, to show up, to do my part and declare His victory, His glory and walk confidently in His plans for me.

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