The serpent waits in the shadows. He watches and observes every slight movement you make, decisions, interaction with others and words that comes out of your mouth. Waiting.
Waiting for that perfect moment when he can use your words against you. Waiting to divide the flock, isolate and then separate you from the flock.
And then in a swift movement, he will come crashing in. He will use miscommunication, other people’s fears of being called to the carpet, and half- truths to try to cut your legs out from under you. Most of the time, it will be petty issues. Sometimes, it can mean the difference between a person having the capacity to serve or not.
He will twist and discolor people’s thoughts about you to try to confuse and cause division with those who should trust you. And so, you find yourself, pushed to the outskirts, while people bristle and are frustrated with you. They will blame, finger-point or worse- remain silent while others belittle you.
Now, if you’re like me, this kind of thing needs to be processed for a couple of hours. I nod and listen while they rip me to shreds (or accuse me of something that is not entirely true). They may stomp off in frustration or saunter off in accomplishment, while I try to maintain control and continue about my responsibilities at the church. Hours later… I crumble.
I overanalyze, play the conversations over and over… until my true feelings rise to the surface. My shock wears off and then I’m either sad, mad or frustrated… sometimes all three at once. I usually internally scream to God, “Really? I don’t have time for this kind of crap right now!” (I know- right? So eloquent… and completely disrespectful.)
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:6-11
Here’s the deal: if I’m being attacked spiritually by Satan, then I can be assured that other minsters’ wives and planters’ wives are out there being attacked as well. And most of us will never speak up. Most of us will take it on the chin and not speak truth so that others will hear it. I’m not talking about gossip. I’m talking about dropping to your knees and going to God with it. Ask a godly mentor for prayer. Maybe ask a few to pray for you. Next, go to the person who came to you with accusations and talk to them about it. Acknowledge what is truth- and what was misunderstood. Ask for forgiveness for any part that is on you- and work toward reconciliation. (Click here for more on how to reconcile.)
If you still wish to “take it on the chin” just know that slowly Satan will trick you into believing that God’s calling for your life isn’t real. That maybe you are meant to be the minister’s wife who isn’t involved in ministry at all. The one who just stands in the back of the church and supports her man. If so, I urge you to stop allowing Satan’s whispers into your heart. You have been called and chosen for a task far greater than standing in the back in support. Focus on Him, His promises and His call.
What gives me extreme hope is that last verse, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” He will restore us. He will give us the strength to hold firm and to be steadfast in truth. So, speak up in truth.