Monday, October 20, 2008

Fighting the Good Fight

Tonight I will share a story from my past that is rather simple but has had a profound impact on my life and my self image. It is part of the post in my head from last week on finding hope in times of despair. Hopefully tomorrow evening I will have the energy to finish off the second half of that post.

Years ago, when I was single and in my 3rd year of college I had a sad and lonely night. These were not uncommon for me. I was far more emotionally unstable in my single years. I do not remember with clarity the circumstances that led to my depressed state. They are not important to the story. Suffice it to say I was feeling pretty low. I had a nice mix of self pity, self loathing, and loneliness going around in my heart and head. 

So like any well trained Christian girl, I turned to my Heavenly Father in prayer. I knelt down by my bed swimming in all these depressing thoughts. As I prepared to say my prayers I began to think. My thoughts followed the following line of reasoning. 

"My Father in Heaven loves me. I know that much. But right now I do not love myself and I do not feel the love of others. Why am I feeling like this? Surely Heavenly Father does not want me to feel like this. If He loves me as much as my own father does He would not want me to feel this way."

Here is when the lightbulb goes off.

"Oh. So if this feeling is not from the Lord, it must be from Satan. Yes that makes sense. Satan would want me to feel alone and unloved and unlovable. Wait a minute. That must mean he is winning right now. No no. That is not good. I cannot let him win."

At this point I wrapped my arms around myself tight and gave myself a big hug. Someone needed to do it and I was the only one in the room. So I hugged myself. As I did this, I felt strength come into me. In my minds eye I saw an image. It was an image of myself in the pre existence. I am fairly certain the image I saw was not really what I actually looked like physically before I was born. But I am certain that the personality of the girl I saw was me. I saw a scrappy, determined, and unyielding fighter full of strength, courage and grit. I knew it was me. In that instant I knew just how strong I could be, how strong I had been.

No this was not a battle Satan was going to win, trying to get me all down and depressed. My mind become firm on this quickly and I said out loud "You are not going to win this, Satan. You will not win me. I will not let you." Saying it out loud was like cementing my thoughts. It made the decision real. And I believe it ended Satan's hope in the matter when he or whatever servant of his heard me speak it with such finality. 

Instantly, all the negative feeling I had left me. I was no longer depressed. I was still alone and dateless. None of my circumstances had changed. But I knew who I was. I was a fighter unwilling to be beaten, and in this fight, I had won.

22 comments:

Lisa said...

Very insightful! Thank you for sharing such personal thoughts. They help so many.

Jeanette said...

How funny, I just blogged about something similar to this.

It's amazing the power to be had in saying "In the name of Jesus Christ, get thee behind me Satan"

And it is truly Satan's desire to make us feel alienated, unloved, unworthy.

I love you Stephanie, thank you once again for your insight.

Anonymous said...

I am feeling very low lately and your post tonight was exactly what I needed. THANK YOU for helping me. You just saved me.

Melinda said...

Stephanie,
Thanks for sharing this story. I too know that we are not alone. We do not have to carry our burdens alone. I have a son who is constantly being attacked by Satan, this is the very type of experience I pray that he has. thanks again,

Elyssa Jean said...

I want to thank you for sharing this experience.
Being 19, and a college student, I am well acquainted with the emotional tumult of being young, single, etc. It's easy to get lost in tomorrows. It can be hard to feel good about today.
So, thank you for this reminder to remember who I am. To be happy, whatever the circumstances.
Through your example, you are teaching others (ME!) to love more fully; their children, spouses, sibling, parents. Themselves.
Thanks for being willing to share your life, to do this great service for me, and many others.
You are awesome!!

Marleen said...

Uplifting and feelgood. Thanks.

Kevin and Jamie said...

I so needed to read this today! Thank you again for putting into words what I need to read!

Sharron said...

Been there, done that. I am glad that you posted this. I will print it out for my single daughter who is hanging in there and doing more with her life than I did at her age. She is so special and wishes Mr. right would come along, but knows she needs to be patient. It is worth the wait and the wait can bring so many opportunities.

Noorda Notebook said...

LOVE that story. i've had a similar experience that your story reminded me of. i love those times in life that you feel the presence of the Spirit, or God's love for you, so clearly that you always remember. there are maybe 3-4 times in my life like that. what a good idea to write one down. i better do that too. your kids will be strengthened by this post one day when they feel down knowing that they can turn to the Lord and FEEL His love for them in a way that they can't deny.

lovinglife said...

What an amazing story. We all have moments where we have to decide that we won't let the adversary win. When we decide (and I loved how you said it out loud) we get stronger. It's in the wallowing back and forth that we are swimming in despair. Thanks for sharing!

Heidi said...

Great story. I love the image of you in the pre-mortal life full of grit. :) And I relate to feeling more emotionally unstable when you were single. Another testament that we are better off married to good men.

Mandi said...

Thanks Stephanie, That makes perfect sense. I am really working on having a firm mind in a lot of things, and I really need to do just what you did.. Thanks for sharing.

Bingham Bunch said...

You really should go into motivational speaking.....you could be the female compliment to Jon Bytheway.

April said...

I feel like this often, and I had never looked at it like that. Definitely eye opening, thank you.

Jennie said...

Thanks for posting this! I love your insight, and that you share these personal thoughts and feelings with others so willingly. You really are helping others, including me, become better.

Lindsay said...

Stephanie you dont know how much I needed this post right now!! I was going through a hard time this past week and this really opened my eyes. Thank you!!

Melissa-Mc said...

Thanks for sharing this. I am teaching a lesson to the YW about self esteem and being daughters of God and this gives me something to think about.

Anonymous said...

As someone who struggles with depression I really appreciated you sharing your personal experience. What an inspired way to look at the situation. I don't think I am quite the scrappy fighter you are, but your words have lifted me up a little. Thank you.

Julie said...

Wow. How true. Thank you for sharing Stephanie, that really hit home.

Julie : )

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank you so much for this post. I have struggled with depression for years and this is just what I needed to hear. I have known this all along, but just hearing your own experience, made me realize that I physically needed to acknowledge that Satan is causing me to feel this way, and until I made up my mind not to let Satan win the fight, I didn't have the motivation to make the changes that I need to. Now I do, and I have you to thank for it. You have helped lift up so many people by sharing your experiences. Thank you again.

Jeanenne said...

I love your insights! I have felt those arms of heaven wrap around me as I have prayed when things have been so very hard for me. I think that is the key, having hope and faith. Even though often things don't really change at least not as quick as I would like, I have still felt his love and knew that things would be ok, come what may. You are an inspiration to us all Love Jeanenne

Carl and Tasha said...

Thank you so much for sharing this..it's exactly how I've been feeling lately.