Resistance Training for the Soul


This morning I woke up with more feelings of the downward drag than usual. Negative thoughts criss-crossed my mind, performing exactly as they’re designed to, to take me down emotionally & spiritually. I ran down the list of physical things that could have me feeling more vulnerable… couple of clues there. Fears of every sort threatened me before I’d had my first cup of coffee. ughh.

Soooo what’s up with me? Well, my nervous system is trying to heal from serious trauma; from life-long emotional and spiritual abuse from someone I trusted. Yes, psychological abuse can cause trauma to your physical body. I had no idea. Now I know. Paralyzing anxiety and severe depression became my unwelcome companions. I’m so thankful that God saw fit to include these comforting words in His Book, because He knows our deepest suffering:

The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, but as for a broken spirit who can bear it? -Proverbs 18:14

But what was meant for evil, God has used for good. I realize that the suffering drove me away from the abusive relationship and it presently draws me closer to Him.

My struggle is not ultimately against flesh & blood, but against the powers of darkness in this world. The same distress that King David wrote of found it’s voice in my own soul.

The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. -Psalm 143:3-4

It may have been a mistake to attempt to write a post today, seeing how I’m struggling far more than usual to organize my thoughts, but this fight is exactly what I had in mind to share – this resistance training for the soul. 

Resist 1. To strive to fend off or offset the actions, effects, or force of. 2. To remain firm against the actions, effects, or force of.

My thoughts accuse me, condemn me and tell me that God has left me. For a moment, I may doubt His presence because I don’t “feel” Him at all. But I resist. I claim the promises of God to those who believe: There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Nothing will separate me from His love. His Word stands forever. My feelings are not my guide, His Word is. My feelings change, His love does not. I recall His indescribable goodness to me. I resist. He hasn’t left me, He’s drawn me after Himself, just as I asked. Choose to listen to truth, Jamie, not your feelings.

He has brought me to His banquet hall, and His banner over me is love. Sustain me with raisin cakes, refresh me with apples because I am lovesick. Let His left hand be under my head and His right hand embrace me. -Song of Solomon 2:4-6

The Lord is healing me slowly, and I realize that because of my suffering, I’m in better shape spiritually against the Enemy’s attacks. I’m more aware of his schemes. I understand that without continued resistance training, I’ll become sluggish and easily snared.

Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, jealousy is as severe as Sheol; it’s flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, nor will rivers overflow it; if a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, it would be utterly despised. -Song of Solomon 8:6-7

I see the downward drag, in it’s many forms, as training opportunities to grow strong in the Lord, in grace and in believing His perfect love for us. I’m better able to understand and help others as I practice guarding my own heart.

I became in His eyes as one who finds peace. -Song of Solomon 8:10b

Let me know what special words and/or songs God has put in your “playlist” for resistance training. We’re in this together!

Your friend in the fight, Jamie =)

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