Lately each day has been filled with like sixty small battles. Battles for my children's behavior, battles for faith in our finances, battles for faith in God, for how to be a good friend, fighting to understand missional community when it is hard, struggling against homesickness - for the fireflies and family of the South and for heaven as well. And obvi, the battle of post-tres-baby-weight. I just feel like I fight all day - in my heart, in my prayers, with my hands. I told my accountability group last week, it just feels like I've been gritting my teeth for a month.
Tonight Nick and I were kind of passing each other in the house like ghosts, bewildered at the day. A hilariously horrible inexplicable bank error set us back in a bad way, our babies had been crying their heads off all day, and it just seemed that nothing at all was the way it should be. God's grace is evident, in ways I can't begin to count - but still things are not right, and not even by my standards - one plus one just isn't equally two.
Then at nine pm, Elias just start shrieking from his bed. Just screaming. Our former good sleeping babies have been going to bed crying and waking up before dawn crabby. No sleep advice helps, no rhyme or reason - but it is an equation gone wrong that we've begun to live with. So I was holding him and thinking about the battles and it hit Nick and I at once. He said it as I was thinking it, this is a spiritual battle. All of it. This whole time I've been thinking "poor me, having to fight so hard" and Jesus has been trying to open my eyes to our true enemy. I've been praying through Ephesians six for and with the kids and suddenly, those words were all rushing through my mind for our family. I'll leave you with them so you can pray for us, that we'd hear truth and read and believe.
There may be more battles to fight, but this war has already been won by Jesus.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.