Dancing with the devil

I want to explain something to you, the reader, not explain to get you to have more knowledge or to convince you of something but to make you feel something. Please read to the end, because I truly do explain what I mean by all of this.

You can look up at the stars and feel peace until you wake up and the world around you is on fire. Until you’ve been through some things that change your perspective until you’ve lived through these dark places until you’ve thought to keep your sanity.

I’m a man who is now scared to close his eyes because the shame that he feels, shame that is not from God. As I close my eyes I become anxious; my coping mechanism is that of which blocks out everything that I care about and leaves me with my thoughts. I want to share with you what that looks like. I’ll be honest, there’s not an analogy that perfectly fits what I’m about to describe, but if you relate to this, you know how hard it is to fight the feeling of shame. I can’t close my eyes because I fear this dream;

Before I got into the ballroom with this mysterious figure my curiosity got the best of me, so I let it lead. We danced in the darkness; I often played in my head who this figure was, he was swift and sneaky and tip-toed his way around the dance floor. It wasn’t long, and the room around us slowly turned to flames it got to the point where the fire around us lit up the room enough for me to realize I was dancing with the devil, a clueless boy dancing with the lies who didn’t know any better. I quickly tried to run but the exit was blocked off, he took the flowers out of the vase and threw the little bit of water on the flames in an attempt to stop what he had started. As the room went up in flames I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t scream, I couldn’t feel anything. I prayed, I screamed in anger asking why I can’t feel anything, why this mysterious figure tempts with the swiftness in his steps, like its even an option to go back into that burning room which leads to my death and suffering. I escaped that room but only by the grace of God, yet I still become tempted to step into that ballroom, like this mysterious figure has convinced me he has a piece of me, which he doesn’t, but the softness of his voice is convincing where I get incited but just can’t give in. The burns, the scars that I’m left with I can’t build up the courage to look at as I can’t see the beauty of something that is so hideous to me.

This same boy use to close his eyes and see the glistening stars that would light up his eyes, he use to run through the long thick grass without a care in the world, he could sleep out in the field looking at the stars peacefully. He didn’t fear what tomorrow would bring; he didn’t fear forest fires that would tear rampantly through the wilderness because I knew the cold mountain river would block the fire from spreading. I wish that some nights I didn’t feel like I was back in that room dancing with the devil, like some nights I’m trapped, he has me in a state where I’m convinced I can’t scream, I can’t run, I can’t move. So I stand there motionless letting him lead without remembering the peace that I had before him. I suppose I undermined what it means when he grabs your ankle and screams lies in your face; “that you will never be good enough, that you don’t mean anything, that you will never be loved, that you can’t do what God has called you to do, that you are a failure, that you will never amount to anything that you are worthless, that you don’t deserve to be alive, that you should’ve killed yourself in your bathroom with those cussed pills like everyone told you to, that you aren’t deserving of the people that are in your life, that people just use you, that you aren’t capable of what you’re trying to achieve. You will be alone, you’ve hurt so many people that you aren’t deserving of something good.”

I wept, I full on cried while writing this, because my emotions are so raw in this post. These are the only way that I know how to describe how I feel, is to write it out with deep contemplations, sifting through my thoughts to write a piece similar to what I have just written. I want you to understand this; if you’ve ever been told just because you follow Jesus that these emotions and thoughts won’t happen, that whoever told you that doesn’t know what they are talking about and have never picked up a Bible. I pray, I read my Bible, I go to Church, I’m intentional, I’m a follower and not just a fan. I have days where I “dance with the devil.” Where he tempts me, he makes me think things that put me back in these hard places. But here’s the thing, I still realize that I serve a God that is bigger than all of this, I serve a God who is all powerful, that darkness has no place in my life, and has NO hold on me.

This message I’m trying to convey is a tough one to understand if you haven’t battled with the feelings of shame as I have if it doesn’t dwell in your heart like you can’t escape the past. Maybe it’s God trying to convict me of something; maybe He isn’t, I’m not sure. But I want you to understand this; God is in control of my ship. These storms that I face are dark and scary, and sometimes you can be roped back into those dark places where your mind use to wonder, but I wanted to encourage you that the Lord does free you of these things or He can. I still have times where I don’t feel good enough, I still have times where I get scared that my ministry will fail and I can’t live up to the calling that God has placed on my life, but I want you to know this, if you feel the same way that I do, Christian or not, you can do it. You can fight this battle. You ARE good enough. You are Worthy. You are a world changer. You are a human, you aren’t perfect, but with the power of the Holy Spirit in your life, I promise it does get better.

Don’t listen to the very lies of the enemy when God has something more significant for you, Don’t listen to the bad, listen to the absolute truths of who God says you are. Listen to the Creator, the all-knowing Creator of the universe that knows the number of hairs on your head.

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