This morning I woke up with a case of the Shingles. No joke… like the geriatric version of the chicken pox virus. I know this because I had it before when I was 15. Also, I just spoke to my dermatologist friend, Christine, on the phone after sending her a picture and the words “TELL ME THIS ISN’T SHINGLES.” She confirmed it is in fact the dreaded virus and told me “Congratulations, you’re in the 1% of people who get it more than once.”
Apparently I am special.
In the past year and a half I have heard the words “worst I’ve seen in 40 years” with regards to several areas of my life. I told my mom I’m tired of being the anomaly.
A couple of weeks ago, the roof in our tiny house started leaking and I fell apart. Like… I cried pretty much uncontrollably for 3 days because my contingency plan had sprung a leak and the rain from outside was coming inside. I’m sure most of you know what that feels like… when even your backup plan fails and then you’re left wondering what on earth you’re supposed to do now.
You know what it’s like when the rain from outside still drips on you inside… maybe you know it physically…most assuredly you do metaphorically.
I reached out to some praying friends and asked them to hold me up because I couldn’t do it myself. Life has been brutal these past months in too many ways and I’m not sure that I see when exactly it’s going to let up.
My friend Amber messaged me that day to pray more and I confessed to her that I don’t understand why the devil has been so relentless. I asked why he is wasting so much energy coming after us when I’m not much to worry about now. Surely there are more concerning people who are doing great things for God than to bother going after me right now. I mean from where I sit my career has been in the toilet, my house is too small to even host one other family for dinner, my arm isn’t all the way healed from literally being torn, and I haven’t been good for much of anything. In pretty much every area of my life where I have been gifted, produced, or excelled before, my hands have been completely tied. I’ve asked the Lord why he’d bother gifting me in certain ways if he won’t let me use those gifts. What good am I right now and “Why won’t the enemy stop?” I said to her between tears, “I’m not even a threat to him right now.”
“Oh but remember my friend that YOU ARE because you carry the light of Christ wherever you go.” Her words spoke to my heart and ignited a longer conversation with the Lord and me later.
And in that conversation here’s what the Lord told me and what I’m reminding you of today as well:
You may feel that your hands are tied in all the areas you’ve always known how to do something, to create something, to say something or to accomplish anything, but even still YOU ARE A THREAT to the Kingdom of darkness because you carry the light of Christ wherever you go… and light ALWAYS drives out darkness…
The Lord spoke straight to my heart as I cried out to him and said, “Baby girl, you are a threat to the enemy when you light up the day of the grocery store clerk in a checkout line. You’re a threat when you take a meal to someone who needs it. You’re a threat when you arrange flowers to bless the people in your church. You’re a threat when you speak kindly to your kids even though you may feel like cussing! You’re a threat when you love your husband well, and your’e a threat when you offer up whatever you have in your home to others tiny house or not. You’re a threat when you speak life, and you’re a threat when you hold your eyes above the water and look towards heaven.”
And then the part where in so many ways God made sense of this season that has felt crushing…”You may think your hands are tied, but maybe you need to consider that I am incubating something in you right now. Maybe I don’t want you producing, or creating, or having something to show for your life right now. Maybe, just maybe, I’m marinating something inside of you that needs time to soak in to change you from the inside out. You’re in a season of incubation, and when I do give you the go ahead to put those gifts to work again, the enemy knows just what a threat you’ll be then, and so he’s doing all he can now to stop that from happening. Because girl, if you are anything, what you need to know is that YOU ARE A THREAT.”
Friends, I’m a fighter. I have a tattoo on my arm that reminds me that I am a “mother of warriors.” But you know what God keeps telling me, is that if I’m going to raise warriors for the Kingdom, then I have to first be one myself. I will fight through the muck and I will find the blessing.
My husband recently took our son on a trip to Rome to celebrate his 13th birthday. Ever since our boys were born, Jeremy and I decided that when they turned thirteen, he would take them on a dad/dude, coming-of-age sort of trip, and when they turn 18, before they fly the nest, they’ll go on a trip with me. We made the mistake of saying “anywhere in the world” out loud and of course our elephant-minded kids never forgot that part. So my oldest, who has a love of things Roman and Greek, historical and mythological, chose to go to Rome.
I’ve prayed Romans 8:37-39 for Walker since he was in the womb. It has been my heart and earnest prayer that he would know that he is more than a conqueror through Christ who loves him and that nothing would be able to separate him from that love.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:37–39
As his trip with my husband neared and I was praying for them, the Lord reminded me that the Hebrew tattoo on my arm actually says “mother of conquerors” because there isn’t a word for “warriors” in Hebrew. For some reason I’d never connected the verse that I’ve been praying for over a decade to the marking on my arm that came years later from a prophetic word over my life after the loss of a pregnancy. But suddenly here it was, a string of connection between the marking of my skin and the one I believe is over my son’s life. I am a mother of conquerors.
As I thought about that, the Lord reminded me that the verse was something that Paul wrote to the people in ROME. He spoke to them in terms he knew they could understand…with pictures he knew would resonate. As he wrote to the believers in early Rome, he knew that what they saw as strength and might and assurance was something they were exposed to every day…they saw the Roman Legion, they lived in a land dominated by gladiators and fighters that still ring fear to consider today. When he told those believers of Christ’s love, he promised them that they would be MORE than those formidable conquerors they were used to seeing. That though the soldiers the Roman church knew were the fiercest and strongest in the world, in Christ, these believers were MORE than that.
SO of course the Lord knew that 14 years after he gave me those words to pray over my son, that very boy would choose to go to Rome of all places where he could see those things for himself. And it was my prayer when he went and still evermore, that he will know he too is more than a conqueror through the Christ who loves him and gave himself up for him.
It’s my prayer that you and I would know that too. That we are more than conquerors…that no situation or circumstance, no gladiator or glass ceiling, no loss or brokenness, no past or future will ever separate us from that love, or from the power that we have to overcome those things in Christ!
And so here’s where I’m sitting today…in all my glorious insufficiency on the sofa in my tiny house with a leaky roof and a shingles outbreak on my abdomen.
“Satan… I see you. I see your career attack and your attack on my home and my gifts and my purposes. I see you, and I am not afraid. I’ll let you in on a little something….What God is incubating in me now should scare the hell right out of you, and I know it does…because I see you and while you may think you’re coming for me, you better know that I am coming for you. And in the end, my God wins. We win.”
I am a threat, because I carry with me the Kingdom of Heaven wherever I go. And you are too.
Maybe friends you need to hear that today. That whatever nasty business the enemy is throwing your way is because he wants to keep you from accomplishing all that God has for your to accomplish. And perhaps that accomplishment begins in the piece of your heart that needs to remember that you too are more than a conqueror. You are a threat my friend…
Now suit up, and know that the battle you’re fighting is already won.