I have been fighting to survive a Supernatural storm. Actually, it’s more like a monsoon. And it’s not been a single storm, but an entire ‘strung together’ season. In fact, that season has lasted three or four years instead of just a single season. Oh, and it has gotten worse recently. I grew up with real hurricanes and thought I could get through pretty much anything. Even when dealing Supernatural situations, I always had this amazing faith in God; that the storm would calm, and the sun would come streaming through. I’d comment on the silver lining, and move on. Everything worked out in my favor. Not this time: it was a monsoon. An entire new kind of storm, and it raged on and on, in waves. Torrential rains pound me with little or no relief. Floods almost drown me, and then recede. Only to come racing back trying to catch me unaware. I gasp for air and I wonder if this time the clouds will part and the sun will appear. The water rises, the wind picks up, and my hopes are crushed. This storm has tried to kill me, and it is still raging.
Like I said before, it hasn’t always been like this. I was God’s favorite; I knew it, and I lived it. I had this HUGE faith, and I loved sharing it. I was my best and most beautiful when I operated in my gifts, and the greatest of all of them was an unwavering faith that God simply adored and loved all of us. Period. I told everyone of this amazing love that was always FOR them. I guess you could say my heart has always been to be a “Rainbow” for everyone around me. A rainbow the way Maya Angelou describes them; an encourager and someone that lifts people up when they are down. I had a way to speak life into folks. On top of that, I knew the demons that people dealt with, having encountered my share. I knew how they operated. I knew how they lied. I knew how they strived to steal and kill. I knew how to help people over come after hearing the rumors of death that their demons whispered. I knew how to fight them, actually, and I was really good at it.
So what changed? I embarked on a huge adventure, which itself was an enormous leap of faith. (A ‘jump’ if you listen to Steve Harvey.) Actually, it wasn’t the fault of the adventure, but it was sort of related. Our adventure consisted of selling everything we had to fund a couple of years on the road, during which I would speak and write about this amazing love and faith that had sustained us. My mistake, in retrospect, was to start excluding God from the stories I was telling. I didn’t want to be branded ‘Religious’, and have my message thrown out. So I reduced, or in some cases eliminated, the role that God played in my stories. He went from being the source to having little or no role in the amazing things that I talked about. I was trying to make myself more ‘marketable’ by avoiding the ‘God issue’, or so I thought. What actually happened was pretty insidious. As I spoke about God’s role and love less in my stories, I, myself, heard about God’s love for me less and less. Just the way my brain works, I guess. I gotta hear it for it to make better sense, then it sticks. But I wasn’t speaking about it anymore, so I wasn’t hearing it anymore. I can trace the first band of this extended monsoon season back to the day I decided to pull God from my stories. The winds started up just as my faith was not getting ‘fed’ and reinforced as much or as often.
I wound up getting beat down more and more by the storm. It raged, the water rose, and it tried to kill me or kill my hope. I felt more and more impacted by it as I had less and less confidence in the faith that I once wielded like a sword as well as a shield. Where once I was frequently a ‘rainbow’ in people’s lives, now I was hearing whispers from the demons on my shoulder; “you aren’t a rainbow. Just look at you.” Where once I felt completely favored by God, and now I was asking, “God, do you believe what these demons are whispering as well?” I was shaken to my foundation, and then my foundation was starting to fall apart. My own thoughts turned on me as well, it seemed. I heard myself saying things to and about me that I would NEVER say about someone else. It was hateful and hurtful, but it just rolled off my tongue so easily; shame, disappointment, failure were all clearly in focus. I could talk endlessly about this stuff. They were right; I was no longer a “rainbow” for folks.
Once I agreed with that statement, they kicked it up a notch. They told me three things; first that I had NEVER really been a “rainbow” and nobody was every really encouraged by what I had told them. Second they told me I was at death’s door, and had some horrible disease or condition. Third, they tried to convince me that my family would be better off without me, and it was kinda selfish of me NOT to die at this point. I started to agree with what they were saying. I had become estranged from friends and family, and I felt thay had just humored me before. I had pains and aches that were never there before. I’ve gone entire weeks with the same headache. And when I thought about my family, I saw very clearly all the people that would rush to their support if only I wasn’t in the picture. It would be tragic, but it would be for their best in the long run. I saw it all so clearly. I saw devastation, destruction and collateral damage all around, all with my fingerprints. I saw no path forward that included me.
But I remember a time when my demons were powerless. They would suggest the worst to me, hoping I would line myself up with them by taking the bait, but they were no match for the love and faith I had in God. I was once told I have never seen a mountain, because all the mountains look like mole hills to me. Years ago, when the surgeon looked into my eyes and said, “prepare to be a single mom because this cancer will kill your husband”, I did not take the bait. Those demons were hoping to dance and celebrate, and instead we got mad; I told them to piss off, and we responded with faith like a superpower. They were no match for what powered my life, and my husband was healed and set free from that death sentence. I remember that Superpower feeling, and I remember my response.
And yet, here I was; believing I was at death’s door, ready to surrender without a fight, because I believed the lies my husband and kids would be better off without me. I turned to various vices to distract me and perhaps make everything crashing around me hurt a little less. I am so tired, I reason. Nobody would blame me. It would all work out for my family, and that was the most important thing to me. If I was gone, the storm would stop for them, friends and family would reconnect and support them. It sounded like a good deal in my waterlogged state. I needed a ‘port in the storm’ yet only found rocks. I needed to catch my breath, yet only choked on more water. I needed dry clothes and to rest, yet I was getting dragged down by the constant weight of everything. I realized my coffin would be made of cardboard because of the financial state I had inflicted on my family, and decided I deserved nothing more.
It’s been almost five years of some crazy stuff, and I am trying to remember what the old me would have done before, when I wasn’t so lost and broken. I am trying to remind myself how I used to get through this stuff. I try to imagine what I would say to someone I saw in my situation back when I could encourage people. And that has started to work. I decide that I’m of more use here than dead. I declare that God doesn’t need another angel in heaven. I decide that the best thing for my family is ME and not a fond memory. I am tired of being the target. I am exhausted. But I’m also now mad at having bought in to their lies for so long. I am pissed off at what has been stolen, and I am catching my breath. I am standing back up instead of rolling over. My demons; these liars that perch on my shoulder and whisper lies in my ears, shall soon tremble in fear of me. I hear the voice telling me to fight. It is faint, but I hear it above the whipping wind and the thrashing rain. I draw power from it, and I know that soon, I’ll be ripping the heart out of this storm. I shall turn every attack that I have been subjected to against my accusers, and their camp shall be destroyed. Because I am a Fucking Rainbow. And I am a storm killer at heart. I just forgot for a little while, that’s all.
So a little note directly to my demons is in order:
You won’t get away with this. Your lies shall be exposed and your strategies turned against you. Everything you used to disable me, I shall use to be even better for the next person I see that needs a rainbow, and a boat and dry clothes and safe harbor from their storm. I will be your worst nightmare, and you can look back at when you made the mistake of picking a fight with God’s favorite. He still loves me like no other, and I still have the superpowers He gave me. You have exposed your strategies, and leave me with a better understanding of how you operate, and an empathy for folks that are still mid-storm. I shall go forth and tell everyone I can that they, too, are God’s favorite, and that things look different when you know who you are. We shall all watch amazing things happen as lies get exposed and you demons tremble while we walk in our truth. So demons, Devils, and flying Ghost Monkeys. . . Watch as I get up and pull a 180