Sunday, February 24, 2013

Don't Pity Me!

The other day's post, entitled, Another Breakdown, received various responses.  My point wasn't to make everyone feel sorry for me - I hope you know that!  My Mom even called and said she was so worried about me.  What I want everyone to know is that I face real and often painful challenges, but that I am continually finding courage in the Lord!  And I also find encouragement from my friends in the Lord.  Do you know what "encourage means?"  It simply means to impart courage.  How simple is that?  When I am starting to waver in my faith, a friend can impart courage to me from his or her own store of courage.

God has been working on my heart in the area of self-pity.  Last December, I had the privilege of receiving prayers for deliverance with 2 of my dear and God-fearing friends.  If you aren't familiar with the concept of deliverance, it is NOT exorcism, and it does NOT mean I was demon-possessed (although I may appear that way when I freak out as I described in my last post).  Deliverance is like deep spiritual housecleaning.  When I clean my house, I usually dust, sweep, know, make the place look presentable, at least.  But when I do deep cleaning, I borrow a carpet steamer and suck all the junk out of my carpet from the last year.  I take down curtains to wash them and I vacuum the walls and ceiling (OK, I'm a little OCD, but the dust is also very visible on our dark walls).  I clean up corners and baseboards with heavy duty cleaner.

That's what deliverance is like:  getting really deep into the stuff that is messy and dirty in my life.  I regularly try to repent and receive forgiveness for my wrongs.  I go to Confession once in a while and I find this Sacrament of my Church tradition very freeing.  But I have many dear friends who aren't Catholic, and I trust that they, too, have some means of cleaning their souls on a regular basis.  But deliverance is addressing patterns of sin and temptation, coming against Satan and breaking his power in areas where he may have gained a foothold.  Jesus gave us this authority and we can use that authority with confidence, in Jesus' Name, to command Satan to leave us alone!

So, as I hobble through the challenges I face, I am trying not to convey self-pity.  And if you catch me in the act of true self-pity, feel free to give me a slap on the wrist!  I just want to make that clear.  I would welcome your feeling "sorry" for me if it meant you were inspired to pray for me.  I would prefer, insteading my friends saying, "Oh, poor Jen," they would say, "Hey, Jen needs some prayer so let's get to it!"  <3 br="">

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