Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Her-Story: The Trumping of a Virtual Reality Victory

(Actual photo taken after meeting with God that weekend.)

The Trumping of a Virtual Reality Victory

The attack was brilliant and calculated. The strategy read:
Disarm;
Deceive;
Aim the missiles at the life-sustaining organs;
Give no time for recovery or to recoup losses;
Relentlessly bombard until mission is accomplished.
By the time this attack was over, its goal apparently met, its victims lay disabled in a stupor of pain, confusion and despair.

No, this was not a page from a military war handbook. This was a chapter in the life of an ordinary family in a 3-year span. The missiles were not actual warheads, but cumulative blows that left a wasteland in all areas of our life, financial, physical, emotional, and spiritual: a virtual victory for the Destroyer. Or so it seemed.

The first blow came when I lost my job, our major source of income. However, we took that as a confirmation that God was confirming our desire for overseas ministry. So we moved into temporary lodgings meant for missionaries in transition, where the rent was affordable. However, financial stress arose alarmingly in a couple of months.
It was then that the second blow struck. I suffered a miscarriage. I lost a baby. As I look back, my system probably went into auto-defense, burying my pain until I could deal with it. So, on the surface, I quickly responded to sympathy,
“Well, God knew best.”
Then my husband got a new night shift, which, although it provided more income, worked havoc on my husband’s system and our family life. His body just could not adjust to this shift and he went many weeks without adequate sleep. Fatigue and insomnia. Much later we would discover that he had adult ADD and a night shift was the worst possible scenario for his system. It was then the near-fatal blow struck, cutting off our breathing supply, as we went into a state of shock.

Our ten-year dream and planning of going into overseas ministry was squashed. We had spent all our savings in packing material and moving most of our belongings to a shipping company, ready to be shipped. That is how certain we were of God’s leading. Suddenly, we had to ask whether we really had heard the voice of God. Were our lives thus far a ‘lie’?
The tug at our hearts for ministry...
the Bible college and seminary training...
the Scripture we had 'heard'...
the encouragement of people who 'knew' our hearts...
This had to be the worst void I had ever felt in my entire life.
Loss of the 'voice' of God, the core of my existence.
I was afraid to listen, to hear God because deep down I would be questioning, "Is it really God?"
Then began a reticence to read God's Word simply because I was afraid to believe that it could apply to me. After all, it seemed to be all a farce in this situation.

However, we were not granted the privilege of having time alone with God to search our hearts and hear His Voice. That was what I had learned to do in the past, like David in the Psalms. Immediate physical needs demanded our attention.
We had to move from our temporary lodgings as agreed, but before we could move into a new apartment we had booked, the next blow, my husband lost his job. Without employment income, we could not move to the new apartment. For 2 months we stayed at the place of someone we thought had offered in good faith knowing our situation, only to be mistreated. I shifted to survival gear as I numbly told God, Help.”

Out of the blue we got a phone call from a subsidized cooperative that we had made an application with two years prior. We had got an affordable apartment! Around this time I also became pregnant again with acute morning sickness, which as the pregnancy progressed was replaced by intense back and leg pains.

More blows
. My husband went on to get two more jobs, and lose them consecutively. I watched him sink deep into a depression as he searched for God and could not find or hear from Him. All we felt was silence.
Where was God?
Physically and emotionally, I could not handle more than I had, taking care of my preschooler, coping with chronic pain and pushing my pain further down as I struggled with my husband just to keep our heads above water. After our baby arrived, I suffered post-partum complications including back pain and depression for over a year. I went into a stupor.

It was in this stupefied state, knowing that God alone could reach me as He had in the past, that I found myself down at the lake shore where my husband’s parents had invited us for a weekend.

On this cool fall morning, as I strolled slowly and purposefully down the shore, my soul felt as numb as my ears and fingers. I was determined for God to break through as He had in the past. This was the first getaway our family had had in several years, and being close to nature, especially in proximity to a large body of water, always seemed to usher me into God’s presence quickly. The numbness in my soul frankly scared me. Disconnected. I was lost in a fog of despair and fatigue, something I now label as depression, and I just couldn’t get in touch with God anymore.
“How did I get to this state, God? I don’t know who I am anymore. Please, let me hear Your Voice, let me see You again!” my soul cried.

I knew the facts of God’s love and grace. Yet, this onslaught left me doubting my value to Him. I could not find the God I had known anywhere. I was afraid to ‘hear’ His Voice; after all, I had been wrong before. Reading the Bible brought no comfort or feeling back to my soul, so I stopped. It seemed meaningless. I continued to pray in a rote manner, but concentrated on prayers for my children. The message I was receiving was clear to me:
”You’ve missed the mark; you’re not worth God’s time or attention.”
Satan’s plan seemed to be working. I had not had time to properly grieve over my losses using God’s Word as a filter, so my pain became buried and revealed itself in my cyclical depression.

So, as I sat down on the grainy sand on the lake shore that morning, I cried out for hope and then just stared at the lake and listened.
The calm, mysterious waters reminded me of my Creator,
as my soul rapidly quieted to listen.
All of my senses slowly heightened,
and I could smell the aroma of wet earth.
I could hear the soft swishing of water at my feet;
I could feel the soft morning breeze as it curled my hair about my face.
It seemed that I automatically stood up
and raised my hands in unison with all of creation in worship.
I closed my eyes as sudden warmth enveloped me,
the warmth of a love I had not realized before.
It lay before me, in the wonder of the creation that surrounded me,
the love that it had taken to create such grandeur.
Slowly the concepts of His absolute sovereignty and love
began to seep deeply into my soul.
This same God, who so lovingly formed
and left the stamp of His Presence in this grandeur around me,
formed me, loves me and never leaves me,
no matter what.

Even while Satan was implementing his brilliant scheme against us as a family, God was boldly marking His line of sovereignty and grace in our lives, the stamp of His Presence through it all. We were always delivered just in time or He provided that extra grace needed in the darkness that kept us from being swallowed up. His Word says, [inserting my name]
Isaiah 43:1-2
But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Sita
he who formed you, O Sita:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Indeed, He did not leave us or forsake us as He has promised in His Word, even though we could not ‘see’ Him.

Our baby was born healthy and is the most joyful and sensitive child, who, along with his older brother, fill our home with joy and laughter. This is a miracle for me since they had such glum-faced parents around them. Friendships were weeded out and we were left with the genuine gems, unembarrassed by our weak humanity and sub-zero status on society’s who-we-know measure. This experience left some wounds yet to be redeemed, but it has left me with the sound knowledge that God is Who He says He is, sovereign, loving, and faithful.

Like a roaring lion, Satan seeks whom he may devour, and may succeed in deceiving us for a while that he has, but when we release our fears to God and acknowledge His love for us, Satan holds no power over us. Increasingly with each crisis, I am learning very slowly to face life with a peace that passes all understanding, and can truly say that I know this Scripture:
And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power forever and ever, Amen.” (1 Peter 5:10-11)

The destroyer’s victory turned out to be ‘virtual reality’, a simulated version of the eternal reality, lacking the true ending. God held the 'trump card' - redemption.
God reigns victorious.

27 comments:

Beth in NC said...

That is absolutely beautiful. I could just feel what you did as you sat on the edge of the water.

There is something about water that makes me think of God. The ocean for instance ... totally has God's fingerprint all over it.

Thank you for sharing your incredible heart.

Sita said...

Thank you, Beth. I totally agree about the ocean..its vastness...its depths so fathomless...strength...power...
fury..calm....peace...beauty...mystery...
so much...I'm praying that we get to go as a family soon to the ocean again..it has been much too long..
Love, Sita

Susan said...

Sita,

Thanks for being so real, and sharing your pain and struggles in such a beautiful way.

Through all of this God was continuing to speak and minister to you.

I'm so sorry about your miscarriage.

Keep holding on my friend♥

Sita said...

Thank you, Susan. I truly believe that God covered me in a special way with losing that baby at just a few weeks old. We often think it was the baby sister our boys wanted and they will meet her in heaven.
God was always there, we just could not 'see' Him...but because both my hubby and I had earlier experiences of His undeniable Presence, there was and is a firm foundation of faith.
Thank you, Susan.

Pat said...

Sita,
I love how you take the lies of the enemy and turn them around for your victory in Christ. God gets all Glory when we truly stand on His Word!
Stay the course sister!!

Sita said...

Hi Pat,
More and more I realize that Satan is battling for the minds of my children as well as myself. I have to know His Word and I am so glad that God is with us to DO the battle. Thank you for your encouragement.
Love, Sita

Crown of Beauty said...

Thanks for sharing this story. It is worth a slow read, Sita. God has been faithful to you, through all the seasons of your life.

I will come back to read it more slowly.

Just wanted to let you know I dropped by.

Love
Lidia

Debra said...

It is wonderful isn't it to share our past pain and struggles and to declare how the Lord brought us through with great victory!

Enjoyed reading this and was blessed by it!

Sita said...

Hi Lidia and Debra,
Thank you for stopping by and sharing in God's ongoing redemptive work in my life..you have blessed me as well in His work in your life..
Love Sita

godsown said...

Sita thanks for writing your story down...Some of the attacks and the effects andresposes i could have written also....
But reading your story made me TODAY rejoice and praise God more for his presence in ALL this even we didn't see it than.....just as what happened to you....!!

Thxs for this and your openess
blessings

Sita said...

Thank you, Godsown..we can rejoice at His stick-to-itiveness with us..He will not grow weary and never leaves...blessings to you..
Sita

kat said...

I really needed to read this today. Thanks so much for posting this, it really does help.
God bless

Sita said...

Kat, so glad my 'story' could minister to you...may His comfort and counsel follow you in the coming days..

Crown of Beauty said...

Read your story word for word, slowly, and trying to let the emotions come up in my heart... It was worthy my time. I have no words left to tell you, except Thank you for the courage to share your life with us.

I have a special love for you Sita.

God will continue to break through for you and your family.

Love
Lidia

Sita said...

Lidia,
I always count it an honour when you drop by with your thoughtful and wise comments. May you rest in Him, in His love for you.
Love, Sita

Julie said...

Dear Sweet Sita,

Though the details of our lives are very different, some things I have experienced that are similar. There was a time when I said I felt like Florida in 2004. 4 Major hurricanes hit the shores of Florida that year. One of which came to land, did it's damage, went back to sea and returned to hit the shores again. My husband had 6 jobs in 4 years all paying thousands less than our living expenses... with 5 kids at home it was an enduring time. Yet, my God remained faithful.

I have felt the enemy trying to wear me down... several times over these last 8 years... God has been about His work in powerful ways.. the enemy has tried his best to shut it all down.

As you read on my blog you know I've been hit and am recovering yet again.

Loved reading this....it allows my heart to understand yours a little better! Thank you!

Sita said...

Thank you, Julie...seeing you persevere helps me too...
Love, Sita

Deb said...

I don't know what to say. Thank you for sharing your story of pain and struggle and heart ache.

God is so good. Faithful. Loving. Kind. I love how He reached out to you, and you lifted your arms--your heart--your spirit--all of your hopes and dreams--to Him.

Naadia said...

Thanks Sita for sharing your life and struggles. I have always looked up to you, (since I was a child in Trinidad), and have credited you for "my getting to know Jesus" in the first place. You have also been such a positive influence on my children. Keep on keepin-on girl! The Lord has blessed you with the beautiful gift of sharing your faith through your writings, and you pass that blessing onto others continuously. You are a real light to so many people in this world of ours. Continue the good work and keep up the good fight, and then say with the apostle Paul in Phil 3 "I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Today you have encouraged me and strengthened my own faith and trust in the Lord to see me through some trying times.

Love Naadia

Sita said...

Deb, thank you so much for popping by with your thoughts. I, too, have been blessed by reading part of your story. Blessings to you.

Naadia,
At a moment where the feeling of 'uselessness' has overwhelmed me, I read your comment. What divine timing. Your words mean a lot to me. I am so proud of you and your family, your faith, your perseverance. Sherene remarks on how genuine you are to her.

Blessings to you
Love, Sita

Grandma Elsie said...

You surely have went through a battle aimed at taking you out. The enemy meant to steal your soul but because your trust was in the sovereign God, your creator ,you came out victorious. Sometimes the road is long and seems endless when we are in the middle of a storm ,but God is watching because you are his. You kept searching for God even when you felt hopeless & he honored that.
I am so glad you are able to share with others.How beautiful it is when the battle is over and you come to the top of the hill.
A beautiful story of trials changed to victory because you searched for the peace maker.
I too feel his peace at the water.
Every time I go to the ocean I am amazed a new at the awesomeness( is this a word ) of my God.
No matter the circumstances of what ever I am going through,when I stand at the ocean's edge and see what God who did create & man can not control ,I know he is big enough for me to trust with everything in my life.
Blessing
Elsie <><

Sita said...

Elsie,
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. This especially reached me.."Because you are his..."
Thank yu..
Love, Sita

Deb said...

How are things going? Hope you're having a wonderful summer!

Bluebirdy said...

Dearest Sita
You said you looked at my blog when you saw me in Amrita's comments, and interesting, because I looked at yours too last night! Amrita told me she had a dear friend or relative in Eastern Canada. Nice/rare to find Canadian Christian bloggers. Do you get The Miracle Channel" There? It is Canada's first Christian station, just down the streeet from me. My next-door neighbor started it locally, soon the Lord made it explode and go world-wide! Then a convert preacher who was once a Muslim took it over and he is very excited about this gospel. I think you can watch some of it online at www.miraclechannel.ca. Look for the program "Plumbline" to see the station leader. He married a local girl who looks a lot like me but she has tons of darker hair.
I am eager to follow your blogs and know you better. I need to blog about my partial healing that happened on the day my husband's acceptance letter came. It seems Satan was trying to destroy me before hubby could get here, or get me to call off the marriage etc. It is sort of an arranged marriage, completely arranged by the Lord. Satan tried to pound fears into my head and heart every minute for 6 years, and when that letter came, it all STOPPED! Immediately! Stress is like poison to lupus, so my health has gotten better every day since, also! I AM PRAISING AND THANKING THE LORD SO MUCH! SO THIS IS HOW GOOD LIFE CAN BE? WOW!!!!
I loved your descriptive blog. I have also miscarried. I am so sorry dear. I have a book called "Gone too soon" that talks about what happens to the spirits of miscarried babies or newborn babies. Write to me at the "email" button on my profile page and I'll be happy to talk to you about it if you want.
Bless you sister Sita!
Sheila

Deb said...

Hi,

Just wanted to stop by and say hi.

Hope your summer is going well.

Sweet dreams.

Amy in Manila said...

Your story truly inspired me...thank you very much for sharing.. God bless you more!

Thank You Lord Jesus..

Sita said...

I'm blessed that you were blessed, Amy, and welcome to my blog.