A few months ago I had an encounter with the Divine that changed how I see and do everything. It came out of a time of extreme, intense difficulty. I was literally given a second chance at life.
Do you know what it is to float above your body, weightless- pure consciousness- and look down at yourself? I do. It’s perplexing to see the physical form that you identified with for so long separate from yourself...but I felt a sense of lightness I’d never known as I stared at myself from the sky, just below the clouds, on that clear, cool morning despite knowing it was wrong.
And then I was sent back.
I struggled for weeks, wondering why I was given another chance. And then I understood. It was to help people who are where I was because it takes one to know one.
I KNOW what the shadow realm on Earth looks, smells and tastes like (hopelessness and sulfur, in case you’re curious). I know what it’s like to be so weighed down, mentally tortured, and in despair that something just snaps and all of a sudden the most terrible decision seems right. That’s what most people don’t understand: it seems 100% correct.
Although I’m happy to be with my family, I wasn’t spared the consequence of my decision just for them. It was to help you, the person who is reading this, to take a step back from the edge.
Listen to me: the battle for our souls takes place in our minds first. Believe me when I say not every thought you have is yours or true. I love how my friend Jenny (The Bloggess) says it: “Depression is a liar.” It lies. It knows you, knows your weaknesses and deepest, most sensitive unhealed tender, infected wounds and speaks hot, searing lies into them until you are curled up in a ball in deep, indescribable pain. It’s then that your body becomes the burning building you want to jump from.
These lies can easily cost you the most precious gift you were ever given: your life.
If it were enough to simply believe in God or just have the right therapist or prescription, nobody with those things would ever die.
I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I’ve come to realize that being aware of the daily battle for my mind is the key to survival. I might just look like a chick in a hoodie and pajama pants but I’m in full armour every. single. day.
In a letter to his church besties, Roman citizen and Jewish dude, Paul of Tarsus wrote that they needed to put on, as he called it, “the full armour of God” and describes each piece from head to toe, giving them practical tools for walking through their darkest nights.
And oh yeah, he wrote that letter WHILE IN JAIL for talking about his faith. He’s sitting in some 70AD stone, probably hella cold, damp, rat infested, no good food having JAIL encouraging his friends. That takes some faith. If I’d been Paul, I would have been writing my family asking for care packages with Instant noodles because very hungry.
You can only do what he did when you don’t see the world around you with just your physical eyes.
You can’t see my armour: my metal helmet, sword, shield, etc. but they’re on me. I take jabs at every lying thought and take out plenty but inevitably, in a moment of human weakness, one gets past me and I find myself swirling. It’s then that I ask the One who knows me by name for help.
I also go see my mentors Helen and Ada whose battle regalia is covered in ribbons of battles won and I tell them the truth. I drink water. I listen to uplifting music and watch YouTube videos (Bill Johnson of Bethel is my absolute fave- slander him here and get blocked, he has picked me all the way up). I rest in the arms of my Maker because sometimes I’m just tired and need to comfort.
This morning I was writing in my God journal, overwhelmed with the idea of helping people in pain while I myself still struggle.
I wrote, “I can’t do this,” and heard back, “I know.” I exhaled. It’s not my my power. Yes, I need to be willing and try but just how I didn’t give myself a second chance, I didn’t put my soul back into my body on that Sunday morning, I have Help.
If you’re reading this, be encouraged because we’re not fighting alone. There legions of angels charged with our care and a Divine Love that while I don’t 100% understand, I grow to trust more (argue with) daily.
I’m still petty, crybaby me, but I fight the $h*t out of some demons on the regular with my angels by my side and my God both in my heart and around me. Suit up. Fight for yourself. I got your six.