So last night was a night from hell. Almost literally. I have briefly mentioned in my updates things have been a little rough here for a few weeks. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into all of that here!) And yesterday was a really really rough day, as I mentioned on last night’s update. So I was glad when the day was just about over and bedtime was drawing near.
Then Maisie went a little bonkers about some kind of critter somewhere, likely a mouse or chipmunk in a wall. She was enthusiastically trying to follow the sound and hunt it down as it moved around, getting herself tangled in cords, knocking things over, and so forth – I’m sure you can imagine a 90# dog in a <100 sq ft living room who is determined to eliminate a critter she can’t find! That made me a little crazy, not only was she creating chaos, I didn’t want her to get hurt, or break something, or – even worse – somehow let a rodent into our space! Pete picked up cords and moved things around and tried to make things safer so we could go to bed. And so we went to bed at the back of the motorhome, while Maisie continued on her mission in the living room at the front.
Pete was able to fall asleep easily, as usual. I laid there and listened to Maisie and her whining and yapping for a while. Then I started hearing things that sounded like animals banging around in the bathroom, right next to the bedroom. But the door was closed, how could anything be in there? I investigated and of course nothing was in there. The sounds were real – but not reality.
Nearly an hour later when I had finally started to doze off in spite of Maisie’s continuing hunt, I was awakened within minutes by a shelf on our wall that holds our clock, photo frame viewer, and a few miscellaneous items, as it fell off the wall. For absolutely no reason (as Pete confirmed this morning), it crashed to the floor and I woke up with a scream.
This was followed by a panic attack – VERY rare for me, maybe my 2nd one ever! – about the house we sold this week, and all of our stuff that is still in it. And then about the house itself, and how for the first time in 40 years I don’t own a home, and what if something happened to the motorhome where would we go…and then it got worse, what if something happened to Pete, and I couldn’t manage on my own (a very real possibility now), where would I go and what would I do? I feel more and more helpless and unable to manage even the most mundane tasks at times, and it went on from there, my mind spinning as the room felt tight and airless and dark, my body was tense and sweating, and Maisie continued her noisy hunt as my mind magnified the potential horrors of vermin getting in and taking over if I fell asleep…
I finally realized that this was a spiritual attack. And I tried to pray, though I never thought to wake up Pete to pray with me – he’s a greater warrior than I ever was! But the Lord already had the prayer bases covered…and He had mercy and blessed me with sleep just before it started to get light outside.
This morning – well, just before noon – I woke up with a Plan. I’m no good without a plan and God knows this. In fact, He made me this way. He woke me up with the sunshine outside the window, Maisie calmly laying next to me on the bed, Pete outside my window doing the things he does, and best of all a calm heart.
I learned that others had been praying for me last night after my final update of the day, so I knew that when I couldn’t fight on my own behalf there were blessed interceders standing in the gap, and God was fighting the battle for me. He gave me rest as He worked in my home and in my mind, and woke me with the assurance of His presence and care. And the Plan. Plans, actually.
First thing: DO SOMETHING! Though I can’t do everything, or even most things some days, I can DO SOMETHING. That is not only my rebellion against the pain and physical limitations but it is a weapon in fighting my growing feelings of helplessness. I already am seeing that, as I did “something” before I even had my coffee today, His message was so strong when I woke up! And since then every time I move, I do “something” – now I have several things done that weren’t done before!
Second thing: Seek joy. Living a life of praise has always been an attitude and goal with me, but there’s more to seeking joy too. In the things I see and do there is joy somewhere, I need to be looking for it! Push aside the negative stuff to find the joy and delight that is always behind it. There is so much evil living openly among us right now; but I don’t HAVE to keep my eyes on those things; I need to pray about them, push them out of the way, and find more joy.
(Second thing part II: Create joy. This site is very intentional about offering positivity to the readers! Lots of humor here on my site, and 95% of the time I purposely choose not to talk about life’s irritations and annoyances, or the bad things I experience and see and hear; I don’t want anybody who comes here to be sorry they did! And I need to be more intentional about doing that in the rest of my life as well.)
Third, recognize the things that make me want to rant. The things that are so wrong, or are so awful, that I can feel the buildup inside – recognize these, and DON’T LET THEM IN! Why do I open my eyes and ears to these influences? Why do I choose to spend time seeking them out? There isn’t a single one of them that I can do anything about, that I can change in any way, that I should take onto my own shoulders. They aren’t mine and I don’t have to let them in. Just stop it, Sherry!
Three things. Because God has a Plan.