Your house is a mess. Not just a mess, but actually, it's pretty gross. How could you let your kids run around in this filth? Serve your family dinner in the midst of this mess? How long has it been since you changed the sheets?
Your baby is crying. Again. It's like you don't even know what you're doing. Can't you calm him down? Don't you love him? Or maybe, he doesn't love you. You did take a long time to bond with him, after all. You know - because you lost Harlynn. Why did you lose her, anyway? Was it your fault? Can you be sure it wasn't?
Your daughter sure is sassy. I think it's because your parenting is terrible. She seems spoiled or disrespectful. Sometimes both. Better parents wouldn't have sassy children.
Your husband thinks you're crazy. Interrupting isn't his habit, it's because he couldn't care less what you have to say. What you say bores him. You bore him.
Your life is out of control, Val. Out of control. You have nothing in order, you can't make decent decisions, you can't even get showered before noon some days. You just...fail. All the time. What good are you? What good are you to your family? What good are you to yourself, even? All this work you're trying to do, all these people you're trying to befriend/influence/help/love - you're not helping them. You're annoying them. Remember how the other day, you made that remark and thought how aggressive it sounded? That's because you're a snot. A self-centered, arrogant b***h. That's how they see you. That's how everyone sees you. Because you are.
Give up. Just quit trying. It's not worth it. You're so far removed from who you want to be and where you want to go, you shouldn't even be trying to get there. You won't make it. You can't. Look how you keep screwing up! Just give up.
He's in my head. Day, night, in between. He constantly tries to attack me. When the lies won't work, he tries to scare me other ways. I feel watched. I feel confined. I feel like I am, or my family is, in the way of danger. He can't touch me, so mind games are his weapon of choice. And oh how he cuts me down. How he weakens my defenses. How he knows the tender buttons to push that bring me to my knees. He slashes, he swings, he pulls out all the stops. He constantly berates me. Constantly fires these fears of failures into my psyche. He is relentless. He is smart. And he is suave.
The last few weeks have been a definite struggle. When I refocus and center on God's promises and truths, I hear this little voice telling me I'll never measure up. I start to question why. I find answers - whether they be mistakes from my past, thoughts I harbor, judgments I pass, my unkempt home. When I find answers, I start to believe the reasoning behind the question even being asked. When I start to believe the reasoning, I credit the lie. When I credit the lie, I let it wear me down. When I let it wear me down, I feel like such a failure. When I feel like such a failure, I feel like more of a failure for allowing myself to fail and/or even feel like a failure to begin with. And down and down it goes, and takes me right along with it.
Then I wise up. I reclaim my home. I reclaim myself. I reclaim my property. This street. This neighborhood. We are Christ's! Anything not of Him is not welcome, and does not belong in my head. In my home. In my heart. Be gone already! And it goes. But eventually, there's a little tiny chip in my life, that becomes his gateway. He tries to make it bigger. Scarier. Worse. Sometimes he succeeds. And I get to repairing it. Reclaiming it.
I don't know where you stand in your belief or your experience with spiritual battle and warfare, but it is real. It is very, very real. It is happening every single day. And lately, I have been under serious attack. I sometimes nearly drown in the waters of doubt. Of fear. Of failure.
Then, thank God, I remember truth. I remember promise. I remember redemption. I remember salvation. And I take hold of freedom. Freedom from my iniquities. Freedom from my shortcomings. Freedom from my mistakes. Freedom from myself. Freedom from the weight of the lies that have been cast upon me like stones. Freedom to hope. To love. To forgive. To get up and try again.
The lies. They may be based in honesty, or real experiences, but he twists them into convoluted, barbed-wire laced hurdles. When I jump, he raises the bar. All it takes is one little snag, and the cycle begins again.
I don't have it all figured out. I don't have the wherewithal to stop and question, "is this the voice of reason or the voice of hell?" I don't have the strength to treat the snags sometimes.
But I do have faith. Whatever shreds of faith I've pieced back together after everything we've been through, I can cling to that. And all it takes is one simple cry of "help" and I'm lifted out. Battered and bruised, but safe. And one day there will be no more battle. There will be peace. And rest. And Harlynn in our arms. One day, everything He has promised will be tangible. "And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."