Tuesday, May 03, 2005

How I Got Here, Part 45


Greetings on Tuesday.

The 700 Club crew was here from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. yesterday. Quite an interesting day. We did the main interview first, in which I tell my story of my illness with Lyme Disease and the healing. Then we set up and filmed all the other shots—extra shots of Mark and me, of my running, writing, reading the Bible, then some re-created shots of me when I was sick. Lots of set-up time for an 8-minute segment, but that’s television for you. All in all it was a wonderful day and the crew was great. Again, I will let y’all know when this segment airs, but it may be a number of weeks, as they now want to send a crew to interview my doctor in California.

So We’re up to part 45 of our NES. A few more days, and we’ll be up to as many years as I’ve lived. At the rate we’re going, it may take me the rest of my life to tell this story.

We left off Friday with my having to deal with spiritual warfare that was attacking my writing. By the end of February 2002 I was about half-way through Capture The Wind For Me, and having problems with every sentence. As a result of the dream my friend had about me, I now had numerous people praying that God would blitz away the attack against me. Still, the weeks dragged on with no change. As much as I was praying and understood that God wanted to free me of this, I still remained caught up in the negative feelings that my writing career was over, that the book I was writing was the worst ever, yada, yada. All of these feelings were lies of Satan—I understand that now. But I didn’t then. At the time, I allowed myself to dwell in these feelings, to believe them. Yes, I continued working on my book and struggled to make my daily word count. But I couldn’t imagine going through that book after book. Besides, I just knew that Zondervan would never want me to write again for them anyway, after reading this next manuscript.

Then one day it changed.


I was in my office, banging on the keys as usual—and not getting very far. Suddenly I just had to get out of my office (an unusual feeling for me—I’m typically there all day). I went out the back door of our California home and up to the open hillside behind us, which has a running trail on it. I started to walk. And I started to talk to God.

Ever had one of those epiphany moments? God gave me one that day. As I prayed, my eyes were opened to things I hadn’t seen before. God showed me how, despite my prayers and trust in Him, I had been dwelling in the lies Satan had sent my way. That I had allowed myself to spiral down just because of my emotions, and had not used the gift granted to us by God. Think of it—as God’s children we are granted the authority to go before His throne and ask for his power to manifest itself in our lives. I hadn’t been doing that. Oh, I’d been praying against the attack, sure, but I hadn’t realized my part in allowing the attack to continue coming against me. You can’t pray to God to zap away an attack on one hand, then turn around and engage in behavior that allows yourself to stay under attack. And that’s what I was doing—every time I allowed those feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness to rest in my head and heart without battling against them.

God impressed this question upon me very clearly—“Are you willing to give up that sense of “being no good” at writing? Are you really willing to renounce it and to claim the power I want to give you for doing the job I have called you to?”

Doesn’t this sound like a “duh” question?

But you know, at the time, it was really hard for me. Of course I didn’t want to feel all that unworthiness and negativity any longer. But I also didn’t know if I could really give up those beliefs. I mean, givin’ ’em up to God meant given’ ’em up to God. For really and truly. Forever.

Well. I didn’t know if I could do this, but I sure wanted to. So I willed myself to do it. I said out loud, “Yes, God, I give you all these beliefs, all of them. I will no longer walk in the belief that I am unworthy to do the job you’ve called me to do. No matter what I feel right now, I will myself to give this up to you."

Amazingly, that did it. Right then. Up there on that trail, I sensed in my soul that the spiritual oppression lifted. Now remember, I wasn’t really feeling any different about myself. I had simply willed myself to give those beliefs of unworthiness over to God and no longer walk in them. But when I did that, the stronghold that evil had on me was gone. And the attack stopped.

I would go on to write the second half of Capture the Wind For Me with no trouble. Words flowed again. The water pressure at the tap had been turned up, so to speak.

If you haven’t thought I was crazy before, maybe by now you do. But I’m telling you the truth. I walked down that hill with that darkness over me—the darkness that had been over me for a book and a half now—simply gone. Just like that. If you’re skeptical, you can just say I rose above my own negativity. No. As I’ve said before, when you’re faced with evil, you can feel it. I’d felt a direct attack for months, and my friend’s dream had confirmed it. Now I didn’t feel it anymore. The attack had been blitzed away.

Why didn’t God do this before? He certainly could have. But He needed to bring me to a place when He could teach me a very important lesson. I’m not saying He brought this evil upon me. I’m saying He allowed evil to attack me until I learned when He wanted me to learn. And the instant I did, He blitzed the attack away.

God’s timing is perfect and full of His graciousness. Turns out I would need this freedom from the spiritual attack very soon. Because He had something else coming my way—right around the corner.


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Read Part 46

8 comments:

Hope said...

You are right in that sometimes God allows things to come against us to teach us something. My pastor used a scripture Sunday night in his sermon that says just that (can't remember off the top of my head which scripture it is). God will not let us fall, but sometimes He has to do things in a way that will bring us to our knees so that our eyes can be opened and our behavior can be changed! Thank you for sharing this story. I think everyone can relate, and I'm willing to bet that there will be some to read this that will have that "AHA!" moment of realization that this is what they've been going through. ;)

Sharon said...

Thanks for addressing the issue of spiritual warfare. I've been a "target" for many years. God set me free from a nine-year battle with major clinical depression. Now my teenage children are facing similar battles. Recently, I began to consider that what they’re going through may be linked to the fact that I am now writing and speaking about God’s healing in my life. God defeated the enemy when I gained victory over depression, but Satan has now declared war on my children.

Sharon said...

Thanks for addressing the issue of spiritual warfare. I've been a "target" for many years. God set me free from a nine-year battle with major clinical depression. Now my teenage children are facing a similar battle. Recently, I began to consider that what they’re going through may be linked to the fact that I am now writing and speaking about God’s healing in my life. God defeated the enemy when I gained victory over depression, but Satan has now declared war on my children.

Cindy Q said...

Brandilyn, this reminds of one of a recent battle the Lord brought me through.

I had been reading in the OT about these kings who didn't live right in the sight of the Lord; other kings who destroyed the idols, but left the high places; and a few who had destroyed the idols and "utterly destroyed" the high places. Giving your writing to the Lord was breaking down an idol and this decision of giving up the doubts of the abilities He has given you was like utterly destroying the high places.

Wow! God is amazing. Think of the impact of that decision! What it did for you and what it is now doing for other writers reading your blog, who will someday have other readers of their books and it will go on and on.

I just love the Lord!

Cindy Q

Tina said...

I think I've been going through something similar. I'll have a great idea in my head, a brilliant picture, but when I sit down to write it, the words don't come. I write a few sentences, then pick them apart. Writing is a struggle. I have all the negative thoughts about not having talent, I'll never be published, etc.

It never occurred to me to give those thoughts to God. That He gave me the gift to write and He'll use it how He wants, when He wants. It does feel like a spiritual attack, and I've thought about quitting. I need to turn over my negativity to God.

Thanks so much, Brandilyn.

mrsd said...

Thank you for writing on this blog!

ValMarie said...

Thanks for posting this.

And, Cindy, I think you were definitely right on with your description of how this story compares to breaking the idols and then utterly destroying the high places. It's making me take a hard look at my life to see what high places I may have left untouched.

Kjersten said...

I havn't been to your blog in several months until this week. I decided to begin at the beginnng reading 5 a day to catch up. You said "I’d been praying against the attack, sure, but I hadn’t realized my part in allowing the attack to continue coming against me. You can’t pray to God to zap away an attack on one hand, then turn around and engage in behavior that allows yourself to stay under attack." My heart said "Holy Moses! No wonder I'm stuck." I really needed to hear this today. Thank you so much for shareing your story