Let me ask you something – when you get dressed in the morning, what’s the first thing you think about doing?
My honest answer? I have to pee, really bad. This mama has a banged up bladder the size of an orange these days after giving birth to three beautiful babies – when it’s time to go, it TIME TO GO. Cue Ludacris’s “Move Bxxxx, Get Out the Way,” naturally.
Okay, you’ve relieved yourself – now what? You meander over to our closet and either A) grab the outfit you put together the night before or B) reach elbow-deep into the abyss of the closet in search of something that is still somewhat in style, doesn’t smell, sans mysterious stains or has too many wrinkles. Eh, the last one is debatable.
We might play Worship music as we get ready, we may say a quick prayer in the shower or on the way to work after we have successfully sent everyone on to work or school. But wait, did I put on God’s Armor? Darn, I left it at home. I better turn around and text my boss that I’m going to be late.
Jokes aside, the concept of putting on God’s armor — The Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shield of Faith, the Sword of Your Spirit, The Helmet of Salvation, with the Gospel on your feet — was foreign to me for 30 years. It was a part of the Bible I had never heard of in Sunday School. The highlight reel of stories from the Bible were taught and, of course, the commandments, but when I found out there was a spiritual battle happening for me — I was shocked. I wasn’t taught how to pray strategically. Prayer was just kneeling next to my bed and putting my hands together.
I am well aware of God’s armor now and know the importance of putting it on every morning as I prepare for the day but it took the biggest battle of my life to realize His armor was available to me.
After our third child Piper was born, we were confident she would be our last. My husband was getting a vasectomy in a few months but we wanted to be safe so I agreed to get the birth control shot — the one that lasts three months. The doctor questioned if had any experience with postpartum depression and anxiety, as the shot had been known to amplify symptoms. I assured her I was just a tired mom of three.
A week later, I was calling myself names that I wouldn’t dare say out loud. I went to the doctor and it was confirmed that it was a reaction to the shot. Then, I received even more devastating news — it could take up to two years to get out my system and even longer to recover from the psychological side effects. That was the beginning of my rebirth. I believed in Jesus before then but I found him again and was reborn in his grace and mercy. The old me slowly died as someone else took over my body and mind (that’s the best way I can describe it to people). I fought with everything I could get my hands on but eventually I had to learn to let it run its course and just survive. It was then that I learned about God’s armor and its power.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13
Piece by piece, He put me back together. Today, three years later He has healed me. I still have Anxiety and PTSD, but I do not face it alone, and I don’t face it with just a cute sundress, strappy sandals and a smile on my face. That’s how I look on the outside, but on the inside I am compassionate to myself yet ruthless as I wash over any negativity I catch with God’s truth.
When Kelly’s book “Battle Ready: Train Your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt, and Live Victoriously” came across my path, I knew I needed it. And not just in the “oh, I’ll pick it up at the library” kind of way, which is how I normally do things.
No, with “Battle Ready” I knew I would need to be able to roll it up and take it with me in tight spaces. I knew I’d cover any white space with my chicken scratch handwriting, with notes to myself to remind me of God’s armor and just how ridiculous the mind can be sometimes. I knew I’d circle, star, highlight and dog ear pages like a mad woman. I needed it to be mine so I could grab it with my greasy fingerprints during work breaks. Kelly’s book is my reminder to put on my “oxygen mask” every day.
Friend, I am here to tell you that I think Kelly’s book can play an important part in your spiritual welfare against the battles we can and can’t see. “Battle Ready,” available at Amazon, offers 12 mind-sets strategically designed to train your mind with practical wisdom, in a easy-to-digest format, along with
- Proven ways to help make new habits stick;
- Techniques to reprogram your mind with positive, purpose-driven thoughts instead of self-limiting thoughts;
- A blueprint for creating boundaries to help you live a full life;
- And so much more.
As I said, I prefer to check out books from the library before I purchase them and “Battle Ready” that was well worth purchasing. Kelly’s book was a small but powerful investment in myself that I would do over and over again. I deserve a full and peace-filled life … and my friend, you do, too.
Now real quick, before we part, let me ask you — Do you know your battle style? Did you even know that was a thing?! Kelly Balarie has created a battle-style quiz that provides you a personalized daily battle plan.
You can take the battle-style quiz at http://www.iambattleready.com.
Friend, I can feel the weight of God’s love, His armor pressing on me, firm in truth yet gentle in love. It’s creating a barrier of protection, of grace, mercy and strength as we go into battle together. I prefer His armor instead of the weight of much heavier and harder things that I was never meant to carry alone. I know you agree with me.
I’m not wearing Chanel or Michael Kors — I’m wearing God’s armor. Are you?