Hi, my name is Amy and I am a follower of Jesus Christ finding freedom and healing from an eating disorder, codependency and depression.
How’s that for unmasked?!? But I share that with you today because I want you to give you a little bit of insight about where I come from. On October 12, 2003, the Lord called me out of addiction and on a journey of healing and freedom. One major thing He has shown me along the way is that my circumstances, these battles I am fighting, are most of the time just a distraction from my real purpose in life. Even if the storm I am facing is something the Lord has allowed in my life to shape and to change me, my initial response TO the storm is, most of the time, not the most productive (insert 2-year-old tantrum). The Word tells us in John 10:10 that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. Do you know one of his most effective tactics with believers? He comes in chaos to STEAL our focus, because the enemy knows if we take our eyes off Jesus, we are sunk. Distractions cost us in more ways than one.
We have a name for this in our house. My husband, bless his bones, has a touch of the A.D.D. He and I can be sitting eyeball to eyeball, having a conversation about something relevant and important to both of us and all of a sudden, I see his eyes dart off one direction or another. This is where I graciously fulfill my duties as a Proverbs 31 wife and yell “SQUIRREL!” to let him know his A.D.D. has gotten the better of him and he needs to refocus on the conversation at hand. It works the same with the enemy. He likes to dangle the shiny things, the broken things, the seemingly hopeless things in our lives in front of our eyes and get us distracted from the one true solution, the Great I Am.
Confession: I am a spreadsheet nerd. I feel pretty confident I can solve most of the world’s problems with some chocolate and a spreadsheet, so just go with me for a minute. Imagine yourself as a pie chart (mmmmmm, pie…SQUIRREL!) See what I did there?!? But I digress. Back to spreadsheets and Jesus…
You are a pie chart. You have 100% of yourself to give to the purpose God has created you for on this earth. Now put in the pieces of the pie so they accurately depict the division of your time and focus on any given day. (Be honest or you are just wasting a good pie chart.) How much of that chart is eaten up with things that do not line up with your purpose and calling? How many distractions pop out at you?
The most valuable asset we have this side of heaven is time, not money. Money comes and goes but we only get so much time on this planet. That is why the enemy attacks here. How much of our time are we allowing him to steal by distracting us with junk?
Matthew 14:30 says
“But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened and began to sink.”
Listen, Peter got distracted and found himself in a real mess. Some of you today might be in a really difficult season of life. I have walked thru some stuff myself. I believe a good cry and a good tantrum all have their place. Here is what I have learned: Feel the feelings. Grieve the losses. Keep your heart open in the midst of the pain. Ask the Lord what beauty He wants to bring from the ashes. Stay alert for the places the enemy wants to creep in and lie to you about your pain.
I believe the main area in which the enemy works to distract us is our identity. He likes to take our broken places and tell us they are who we are. Addict. Abused. Broke. Criminal. Dirty. Dumb. Failure. Fat. Needy. Orphan. Outcast. Too Much. Unworthy.
OR MAYBE he tries to get you to land on some things that appear at first glance to be good: Wife. Mother. Teacher. Leader. Servant. Giver. Friend.
Sister, I am here to tell you ANYWHERE we park our identity other than as a child of God is a dangerous distraction. Why? Because all of those things may be a part of us, but they are not our true self. It is because we are His child that we have value. Period. The end. If we let the externals of life define us, our identity is always changing with the seasons.
Isaiah 43:1 is very clear on who we are:
“But now, this is what the Lord says –
He who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Isreal:
‘do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’”
YOU ARE MINE says the creator of the universe. #done
What part of your story is the enemy waving in front of you, trying to distract your focus from the purpose and calling of God in your life? Write it down, and then look yourself in the mirror and yell “SQUIRREL!”