We hear countless stories of battles won by God’s hand in the Bible. Samson defeating the army, David defeating the giant, Moses defeating the Egyptians, so on and so forth. But there is one that sticks out to me the most.
In Exodus 17, the battle of the Israelites and the Amalekite army is briefly touched on. The story says that Moses sent Joshua and some other men to fight while he stood on top of the hill with the staff of God in his hands. Moses, his brother Aaron, and friend Hur went up the mountain and if Moses held his hands above his head, the Israelites were winning. If his hands dropped, the Amalekites took the lead. As any person’s body would, Moses’s body began growing tired and his arms would periodically drop. When they noticed him tiring, Aaron and Hur put a rock underneath him to sit on, and they held his arms up for him. Because of their actions, Joshua was able to defeat the Amalekites.
This story never rang truer in my life than it did during my recent battles. In 2015, I found myself amid a battle that would cost me time, money, friends, and ultimately forced me to make a faith decision I didn’t know I was prepared to make.
One Friday in 2015, I woke up and prepared myself for yet another court hearing. My daughter was the focus, as she had been throughout the years. Custody was the topic. My daughter had reported physical abuse at the hand of her step-mother. I had to go fight for her. I had to defend her.
The enemy comes to steal – and that he did. Through lies, deceit, and trickery, the enemy twisted the words of my daughter, coupled it with lies from a state employee, and tricked our judge into believing that my daughter was being coached by me to lie about her step mother.
Nothing cut more than the knife that carried the words the judge had to say that day. I left devastated, crushed, and destroyed – exactly as the enemy had planned. It felt as though part of my soul was taken from me. The very breath I needed was gone. I was forced to only see her in supervised visits, not even able to share a cuddle or a hug for a few weeks.
I spent weeks deciding who to be mad at, calling lawyers all over the state to find the best attorney to help me defend my daughter, and my name. I cried for hours with friends and loved ones, all who said they would pray for me. I became numb to the thoughts of prayer. My Bible found its way to a shelf on my desk and remained there for over a year. I stopped going to church, I stopped listening to positive music, I sunk into a depression so deep I couldn’t begin to see a speck of light.
About 16 months into the battle, a friend called me and reminded me of the story of Joshua’s battle. She told me she had been praying for me and that when she did, she thought of that battle. She said she knew I couldn’t hold my hands up anymore, so she was going to hold them up for me. I was visiting another friend in my hometown, so I went to church with her. There, I felt conviction I had never felt before. From there, I called another old friend and got involved in a Bible Study with her over the phone. I started rebuilding the relationship with God that the enemy intended to destroy.
I started winning my battles.
The Bible also talks about God restoring us. The enemy took away my daughter for a period and, earlier in my life, I lost a son mid pregnancy. I’ve dreamed of having many children and being a “soccer mom”. I’ve always wanted that. What the enemy attacked and attempted to destroy, God is using for His glory.
In February of 2017, my daughter was returned to my home. 589 days after the enemy stole my joy, I was restored. I thought the journey was over. My little girl and I were able to see each other unsupervised. When we talk about the supervised visits we were required to have, we see the blessing it was to have 405 hours of time together, just us, where we were safe and could just have fun. We don’t see the bad. Not together. Now she’s riding in horse shows, getting excellent grades, playing clarinet, auditioning for school plays, participating in indoor color guard, and has minimal effects from the abuse she endured.
In November of 2017, I received a phone call that forever changed my life. It seemed that there were some issues and we were asked to begin fostering one of our godsons. we accepted the offer and began to foster. We are now beginning the process of formally adopting him.
My daughter accepted Jesus as her savior when she was 5 years old while at home.
My son accepted Jesus in January 2018 while falling asleep in bed one night.
Both kids made the decision to be baptized on April 15, 2018.
On April 28th, I was honored as a hero by the Mon County Child Advocacy Center.
My faith is growing significantly daily.
My children are pledging to read their entire Bible within a year.
My husband and I are working on making our marriage even stronger.
We have a beautiful home that was a miracle to gain.
God has taken us from nothing and turned us into something beautiful.
When we go through difficulties in our life, much like mine, we find ourselves quick to blame the Creator for His work in it. The enemy is the one who comes to destroy us. So, when we carry a burden that hurts so bad that we want to give up, we must remember that God is there wanting to take our burden and carry it Himself. He gave us the ultimate sacrifice in His son and we are called to cast our cares upon Him. It doesn’t seem like an easy task to just “cast our worries” but, with the right foundation you will have the women of faith who can be your Aaron and Hur.
To hold you up when you’re too weak to stand.
To hold your arms up amid a raging battle to ensure your victory.
To cry with you.
To pray with you.
To support you when you are at your worst.
To love you until you’re at your best.
And to stand victorious with you at the end of the battle.
The road is long ahead of me, but I can already see it is filled with amazing adventures designed by a creator who loves me and wants only what is best for me and my family. Victoriously I say – “Get behind me Satan! You are not welcome here!”