I've found myself down memory lane for some reason this evening
and I'm going to write. Maybe one day this post will find it's way into my
memoirs. But my memoirs won't be about my house or demons. They'll be about God.
And that is what this post is really about.
A lot of my memories of growing up are blank. I just don't remember much. But of what is stored in my memory there is one week ranked as the most physically violent, and horrific week that we as a family endured. I think it all started when my dad discovered that a dog had wet on the seat of his 4-wheeler. I could be confusing events, but it seems like that was the start. What a pathetic start to a fight.
By the time the main ruckus was over, my mom had decided she was leaving. It was late. I don't know how late, but quite late. We drove to the nearest town and woke up an old pastor friend of my dads. I don't even remember why specifically we went to him. I just remember his office, my brother being upset, my mom trying to be strong, and the fact that my body would sometimes jerk and I couldn't make it stop. I remember the pastor telling me that it was shock and taking me by the arms and praying for me to be able to calm down.
I remember him promising to do the only thing that might possibly help. Only he never did it.
For reasons that, even as an adult, I don't understand, we returned home that night. And spent a week living in the home with my dad, packing, while mom looked for a job.
She didn't find a job and decided that was Gods direction to stay. So we did.
I always wanted to ask that pastor though, why he didn't do what he said he would. Maybe it wouldn't have made a difference. Maybe it would have.
From that point, I had a definite aversion to pastors. My dad was a pastor, and between him, his friend that night, and several other pastors I've seen, I've understood all too well that what is said, is not necessarily what is lived. Their church life to me was simply an act.
I understand that pastors are still human. And try not to place them into a sinless role that no one can live up to. But at the same time, I firmly believe, that before you stick the word Pastor, Shepherd, Leader in front of your name - you had better well be willing to try and live up to it. And be seriously seeking God concerning your calling, and your fulfilment of that calling. I would say the same for any person that calls themselves a Christian, but that's a different post.
Today though, I spent a couple of hours talking with my pastor. In 9 years of independent living, I've never willingly chosen to sit and talk with a pastor about a problem. But today I did. And he prayed. And as he did, a revelation of who I am in Christ returned to me. And then he reminded me of my own words about being a warrior. It's hard to describe the puzzle pieces that were clicking just then as I remembered things I had written and how they were written for days just like these days of battle. I remembered books I'd read concerning tricks of the enemy. I remembered quotes I'd tried to memorize about impossibilities and how only the naive people go after some impossibilities. And then the scriptures I've read time and time again came back to mind.
I left my pastor, a different person than when I arrived. I didn't go directly home, but spent a refreshing time praying. When I did finally walk back in the doors, I didn't even know what I was saying as specific names of spirits came out of my mouth. I rebuked spirits of lies, hate, violence, fear, and several others and they were commanded, each by their own name, to leave by the name of Jesus. I say "they were commanded" rather than "I commanded" because from the moment I walked in the door it didn't feel like 'me'.
I enjoy not feeling like 'me'.
It's not over. I still feel things in this house. And every now and then tonight I've just stopped and rebuked something and commanded it to leave. I'm glad Little One isn't any older, because she'd have some very crazy stories to tell her family during visitation.
My pastor didn't give me hope for the day. He simply prayed and I received it. God was there, just as He promised to be. And He changed my heart. He turned despair into hope, and defeat into victory. He made a way through this and He literally led the way, because I didn't walk through my doorway in my power today but His. And it made all the difference.
Still, before I left my pastor today I asked him (are you listening Mark?) I asked him and his wife to come to my house, as soon as they're able, to help. And despite my past experience, I really think they'll come. I wish my mom could have found someone like that that night. I hope every man, woman and child that picks up the phone, or walks through the doors in search of a shepherd, finds a real one. I have to say, I have little use for the fakes.