Have you ever made a decision you were really happy with and felt feelings of happiness, excitement and hope? And then three weeks later, thinking about the same decision, you suddenly started feeling feelings of confusion, fear and defeat?
Yeah ... that's not because you made the wrong decision. It's spiritual warfare.
I made a decision a couple months ago I was really happy with and was looking forward to the future. I had prayed a lot about it and really felt like God was calling me and opening doors for me. But in the last several weeks, I've suddenly felt like I made the wrong decision, I'm confused, I feel hopeless and scared. I was telling my friend Melissa about this today. Telling her I think maybe I've made the wrong decision and maybe I'm just a loser and I'm lazy and stupid and make bad decisions.
Melissa was like ... Anna, do you know what that is? That is satan getting in your head and pulling you away from what you are supposed to be doing, which is following God's path. The closer you get to God's path, the more that satan is going to work to pull you away from it.
Of course. Of course.
I believe that spiritual warfare is a really real thing. If you're not walking anywhere near God's path, then satan really doesn't have much work to do on you. But if you're really following it, seeking His will, then you become satan's #1 project.
I told Melissa that if my doctor who saw me about six weeks ago when I was telling him my plans and he said he could tell how excited, hopeful and raring to go I was saw me today he'd be like ... what happened?
Spiritual warfare. THAT is what's happening. Melissa said, and I agree, that if God opens a bunch of doors for you and you're praying and actively seeking His will, then you aren't making a mistake. Happiness, joy and hope are from the Lord. Confusion, despair and hopelessness are from the devil. And I'm a terrible case - or an easy one for the devil - because I'm spiritually weak and also of weak mind. I can easily take one setback and turn it into the Downfall Of My Whole Life. You know what I mean?
Melissa advised that now is the time to draw closer to God than ever. Pray hard and frequently, read the Word, read devotionals, etc. When you're under attack, then you need to put on the armor of God.
Guys ... it's a real thing. Even as I'm sitting here, I'm like -- well, maybe I'm wrong, maybe this isn't spiritual warfare, maybe I've made too many mistakes in my life and I don't deserve to be happy.
It's a real thing. And it's scary.
Weirdly, Melissa brought me a bracelet today that she said she found last night and knew she had to get for me. It is AWESOME.
She said she thought it was really pretty, but she flipped one of the charms over and saw that it says "Celebrate Your Path." She said when she saw that she thought of me. I put it on right away and I so deeply love it.
And when I got home, I looked more closely and I saw what the back of another charm said:
Love This Life.
Guys ... if you think God is calling you to do something and you feel peace and joy and are seeing doors opened, but the next thing you know you're confused and upset and hopeless ... that's not God. And I need that reminder every day and probably more than anyone.
This post is one in a series on Turning 30. See other posts in the series here and here.