I read this post I wrote at the end of 2019, and I cried. Here it is in full:
TLDR #fulldisclosure #anopenconfession
But God hath not given unto us a spirit of fear; but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.2Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
Do you know what it is like to spend your entire life having your thought life arrested? Like, having everyone important in your life question and sometimes outright deny the validity of the soundness of your judgment and feelings and experiences? To be told that you’re too sensitive. Too much. Too little. Too imaginative. Too assertive. Too deep. Too intense. Too quiet. Too thoughtful. Too needy. Too everything of who you are?
The only places where people could not touch me, where I could be safe was at school and in books. Nobody could bother me at school. Nobody could take what I knew from me. And yes. I have had many, many, many people tell me how smart I am. How talented I am. How good I am at all that I do. But listen. There is something so devious and strategic about the devil attacking a child’s mind. To keep you from being able to make an actual decision because everybody questioned everything you did and saw and said and wanted as wrong and inherently bad and in need of fixing or hiding. I have felt like one big pile of shame and confusion.
That is why I teach, why I work with disadvantaged children, why I spend so much time tussling with them and their emotional state. Because I know what it feels like to not be certain of your own mind. And even in my still discombobulated state of being, I have always known that if I could give them the experience of an adult saying, “You are not crazy. How you feel is just how you feel. What you want is what you want. You can pursue that career. Go after that dream! It’s okay,” then I could change the course of some child’s life. That they could always lean back on the fact that Mrs. Spencer loves them and said that who and how they are was okay.
It has been quite a challenge to fight my own mind. To start to get down in my own belly that God didn’t give me that spirit, and that I don’t have to carry that double mindedness anymore. That I can actually make a decision and not panic. That I can choose—and even if I make a mistake, I CHOSE.
A literal fight.
Some of y’all got the same fight and don’t realize that the enemy been gaslighting you through the people you love the most your whole life, too. That you haven’t made a move because you couldn’t. You’re befuddled. Because your thoughts were arrested long long time ago.
I been up all night. Because I will not allow this confusion to walk with me into another year. So if you think I sound crazy? Stand in line. You can take a number behind everybody else who been said that. I WILL dance into 2020 in my righteous mind. God has spoken it, and this time. THIS TIME. I have CHOSEN it. #miraclessignswonders #seasonofhealing #Allconsumingfire (December 2019)
I remember being up all night long that night, the demons who lived in my mind exposed and angry, swirling around me like a whole tornado of rage and despair. You don’t know what deliverance is until it’s you and them in the dark. I have no idea what anybody else has endured when attacked so blatantly, but I can tell you what I felt: hopelessness. Despair. Loneliness that crushed me. Every terrible thing that anybody had every said to me hurled at me in the voice of the person who said it. Hot whispers and hateful giggles against my ear. Body vibrating with pain far beyond what my physical body had ever produced. I held on to the legs of my prayer altar, curled up on the floor for hours. HOURS. Afraid and exhausted. Surrounded by my peacefully sleeping family and yet very much alone. Thinking to myself, Is this what hell is like? Confusion and pain and despair? This the weeping and gnashing of teeth? This the unquenchable fire, the undying worm?
Fam. Just thinking about it brings up a pain you can’t imagine.
But then, around the middle of the 4th watch (you’ll need to look that up), God gave me a song.
For an hour, from 4 a.m. until 5 a.m., I repeated this refrain, a broken record. Quiet at first, voice trembling with tears, a fear unlike any other I’ve ever experienced pummeled me from the outside. But as I continued to sing, I felt the presence of my angel, drawing sword. Then more and more light filled the room as a ring of angelic assistance surround me where I lay in darkness. The voices receded; the swirling cloud of darkness dissipated. I beheld peace.
And finally. It all stopped.
In that moment, I knew what it meant to have a “sound mind”. To be fully persuaded and not rocked back and forth. From that morning until this day, whenever the voice of doubt and fear, of not good enough and too much, of shame and guilt and condemnation rise—whether it be in my own head or voiced by someone who ought to know better and do better by me? I stand firm in the gift of a sound mind.
See, when you aren’t sure who God is—God’s nature, character, and ways towards you—you will always be tossed back and forth. Like the petals we used to tear off flowers playing pretend about our crushes, you’ll constantly be torn apart: He loves me; He loves me not… the very validity of God’s heart toward you will remain a continuing uncertainty. Your life will billow and break, dashed on the rocks of life’s stormy sea and the winds of the enemy blowing sand, sorrow, and struggle in your eyes. Each trial becomes a little more doubt that God could ever, would ever love you enough to back you up. To shore up your dreams. To have a purpose and plan for your messed up self. And with that, understand this: The power (DUNAMIS) precedes your understanding of God’s love (AGAPE/FORGIVENESS) which then settles the sound mind (SELF RESTRAINT/SETTLING).
Do you have the power of the Holy Ghost? Without him, you will never experience the love of God in a way that establish you, ground you, root you in Christ.