“We intend to hide our shortcomings, and the fear inside our hearts, but instead we hide our beauty, our true selves.”
Jo Ann Fore, When a Woman Finds Her Voice
“Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10-12 (NASB)
I have the privilege of being a pastor’s wife to a strong, godly man. We have read and studied the above verses many times throughout our years of ministry, yet one Sunday morning in 2003 they came alive. That was the moment a dear group of comrades and I realized the intense physical “episodes” I had been experiencing were indeed “not against flesh and blood.” We were involved in an unseen war against “the spiritual forces of wickedness.”
I would like to be able to say that we discovered my problems were solely spiritual warfare and were finally defeated, or that we were brought to the realization that it was all just mental stress that could be cured through counseling and medication, or that in the end we discovered it was indeed some mysterious disease explained in medical books, for which I am undergoing effective treatment. Yet the reality is that God has revealed to us through this now fourteen-year journey that it is a combination of all three. So, I am still on a mission- a mission to share my story of the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of my problems. Yes, I am a Christian. Yes, I am a pastor’s wife. And, yes, I have problems.
It is with joy, as well as trepidation, that I share my story. A snapshot of our smiling family in our Christmas photo portrays near “perfection.” A handsome, dignified-looking father and his mirthful wife, four gorgeous offspring, and a cheerful dog to boot! Why spoil the façade? I believe my Lord is calling me to step out in faith to help raise awareness of the intense spiritual attacks Satan launches, especially against those in public ministry. I want to expose how the “holes” in my life experiences opened the door to demonic oppression. By God’s grace, those “holes” have been filled with the blood of Jesus. As author and teacher Sue Jakes has said, “Due to the fall, this world is not a playground, it is a battlefield!” I believe Christ wants to use our journey to advance His kingdom. He is building His church, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
What about you? Is God calling you to speak out about an unpopular topic? I know what a struggle it is to open up. Being a part of the launch team for Jo Ann Fore’s book, When a Woman Finds Her Voice, is giving me greater boldness to step out in faith. How may I pray for you?