Tonight I will share a story from my past that is rather simple but has had a profound impact on my life and my self image. It is part of the post in my head from last week on finding hope in times of despair. Hopefully tomorrow evening I will have the energy to finish off the second half of that post.
Years ago, when I was single and in my 3rd year of college I had a sad and lonely night. These were not uncommon for me. I was far more emotionally unstable in my single years. I do not remember with clarity the circumstances that led to my depressed state. They are not important to the story. Suffice it to say I was feeling pretty low. I had a nice mix of self pity, self loathing, and loneliness going around in my heart and head.
So like any well trained Christian girl, I turned to my Heavenly Father in prayer. I knelt down by my bed swimming in all these depressing thoughts. As I prepared to say my prayers I began to think. My thoughts followed the following line of reasoning.
"My Father in Heaven loves me. I know that much. But right now I do not love myself and I do not feel the love of others. Why am I feeling like this? Surely Heavenly Father does not want me to feel like this. If He loves me as much as my own father does He would not want me to feel this way."
Here is when the lightbulb goes off.
"Oh. So if this feeling is not from the Lord, it must be from Satan. Yes that makes sense. Satan would want me to feel alone and unloved and unlovable. Wait a minute. That must mean he is winning right now. No no. That is not good. I cannot let him win."
At this point I wrapped my arms around myself tight and gave myself a big hug. Someone needed to do it and I was the only one in the room. So I hugged myself. As I did this, I felt strength come into me. In my minds eye I saw an image. It was an image of myself in the pre existence. I am fairly certain the image I saw was not really what I actually looked like physically before I was born. But I am certain that the personality of the girl I saw was me. I saw a scrappy, determined, and unyielding fighter full of strength, courage and grit. I knew it was me. In that instant I knew just how strong I could be, how strong I had been.
No this was not a battle Satan was going to win, trying to get me all down and depressed. My mind become firm on this quickly and I said out loud "You are not going to win this, Satan. You will not win me. I will not let you." Saying it out loud was like cementing my thoughts. It made the decision real. And I believe it ended Satan's hope in the matter when he or whatever servant of his heard me speak it with such finality.
Instantly, all the negative feeling I had left me. I was no longer depressed. I was still alone and dateless. None of my circumstances had changed. But I knew who I was. I was a fighter unwilling to be beaten, and in this fight, I had won.