"Most men, when confronted by their true selves, run away, screaming!' The Never Ending Story
The battle caught me by surprise; not in the usual, 'suddenly the enemy appeared' kind of way, though.
No, the surprise came when I realised it had been raging for so many years.
The enemy, having blinded my eyes to their presence, began chipping away, day after day, at the mortar of the fortress.
Gaining ground, one teeny tiny victory at a time.
So small were their advances, I was unaware they'd penetrated the outer wall, until...
Until it was too late.
They had captured their target, and they would make it their own.
It had been a good place, a beautiful place where the King resided,
Giving direction and showing that His way should be followed, that peace might reside there.
He would tend to the garden, uprooting the weeds and keeping the landscape beautiful, fertile, fruitful.
The King set the tone for all things within.
He ruled, sovereign over the land, until...
Until I allowed Him to be overthrown.
They had found their place, and they would usurp it as their own.
This place was my heart.
Slowly, the good turned into bad, the beauty shrivelled up.
There was no partnership any longer; they dictated the way things should be.
The garden was defiled, the weeds, now nurtured, grew on barren ground, strangling the once luscious fruit trees.
Their leader, repugnant in all manner of ways, urged them on in their destructive ways.
I had been trapped, held prisoner by an unseen, but intense presence from within.
If I closed my eyes, I could see it: a large, black, slimy ball, feeding off of my soul through its own umbilical cord, crudly attached to my heart.
It poisoned the very core of my existance, dragging me down into the darkest, lonliest places, influencing every single thought, and thus every word I spoke.
"I'm hopeless. Ugly. A waste of space. A mistake. A joke."
With every utterance the supernatural parasite within my being strengthened, its hold over me intensified. And so the cycle went, over and over and over again.
The victory caught me by surprise, in the usual 'suddenly the cavalry arrived' kind of way!
"My dear, precious daughter! Don't be afraid to stop and look at yourself. Take the blindfold off, and dare to look for the real you. Be courageous and, in My strength, have the courage to believe in the person you are, not who the enemy has made you believe you are. I know your true heart; remember, I once ruled over it - what the enemy doesn't know is that I never left! For you are mine, and I am yours. It won't be an easy victory, but if you hold on to Me, I will protect you and bring you through; unharmed, but stronger than ever!"
Some days the attacks are relentless, and it would be so much easier to give in. But, I know that, as Moses assured Joshua, "The LORD himself goes before (me) and will be with (me); he will never leave (me) nor forsake (me). Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.Ē Deut. 31:8 NIV
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