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Sarah Watkins
March 24, 2021
This entry is part [part not set] of 6 in the series Letters from Raleigh and Morrisville, North Carolina
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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 6:12 NASB

When we first migrated to Raleigh, North Carolina, there were 3 children among the 2 families that came. As we began to grow and meet families who wanted to fellowship with us, the number of children also grew. Praise the Lord! Now, we have 9 children among all the families who meet with us. However, with growth there are also growing pains. The children’s service we had for 3 children was no longer sufficient as we began to grow. This is a wonderful challenge to have!

The children’s service became a frequent topic of prayer and fellowship. We recognized what a blessing it was to have children among us. While we desired to care for them properly and to see them grow, we also saw many of our own limitations.

One evening, as a few of us were fellowshipping together, our concerns came out strongly. We saw how limited we were. We didn’t have answers to the challenge in front of us. However, we saw a need for the children’s care. Our heart was that the Lord would both use us to take care of the children and that He would raise up saints among us who shared this heart and burden. Through prayer, I believe we all came to one accord on the fact that even though we recognized our limitation, we would put ourselves in the Lord’s hands and fight to care for the children He blesses us with.

Several days after we had settled that in our hearts, I met with an unexpected turn of events.

Through a rather strange series of happenings, my mind was left in a very vulnerable state. I was bombarded with recurring thoughts that filled me with all sorts of questions, doubts, confusion, and anxiety. I have never felt such a strong mental attack to this degree before.

It began with only a few thoughts, which were easily reasoned away or pushed aside. But, as time passed and I was not getting answers, the thoughts grew. I would be at work, but the thoughts were lurking in the back of my mind. As soon as I relaxed or finished the work item I was focused on, there they were, ready to consume my mental energy once again. It was the same thing at the dinner table. I would be having a normal conversation, but if there was a natural silence, or the topic ended, my brain was quick to switch back to dwell on these thoughts.

They only grew worse as I remained in doubt and confusion. I began to realize this wasn’t healthy or normal and I cried out to God. 

I tried to pray. 

I called my mother. 

I talked with some of my companions. 

Each of those things calmed me for a bit. Yet, each time, I experienced the mental attack returning again and again.

After several days of this, God had mercy and relief finally came. I called and prayed with a sister that afternoon. Slowly, I began to be free from the spiritual attack I had been under and was able to call it out for what it was. Now that I was no longer in the heat of the battle, things became clearer to me. And then, I was not surprised, when I considered what I had just been through.

God had mercy and relief finally came

Ephesians 6:12 says that our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies. It comes as no shock to me, that just as I had resolved to step out of my comfort zone again and fight for the Lord’s interest in a new way, that my mind became a battlefield for intense spiritual warfare. I was not really able to focus, consider, fight, or pray for the children’s service for those few days. Afterwards though, I felt like I had confirmation that we were stepping in the direction the Lord desired. When God’s people move, Satan is right there to try and frustrate it.

We are seeking the Lord for wisdom as we continue to love and care for the children. 

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