I tell people often that I am an armchair warrior.
I get puzzled looks from those who do not know me well, but to those that do know me, it makes perfect sense.
You see, I spend an inordinate amount of time in my recliner. It isn’t by choice. I just do not have the stamina to be up and moving and going and doing. The recliner keeps me involved and in sight of my family instead of being shut away in the bedroom and forgotten, like the load of laundry I keep avoiding.
No, my recliner is my chariot and many a mighty battle has been waged while I sit, feet in the air.
“Oh, what a vivid imagination you have!,” I was told.
It isn’t imaginative for me to say that, nor am I weaving some great fiction while I have nothing more taxing to do with my mind.
Not at all.
Real battles, real emotion, and a very real mission field all happen in this little space of mine.
It all started when I fell ill. I volunteered at school and church coaching youth sports teams. That was where I felt I did the most good when I was healthy- using my love of children and sports to share my love of God. It was rewarding to watch the kids I coached grow exponentially in their faith and their skill, but it took a lot of energy and was physically taxing.
As I was more physically impacted by my illness, I was less able to be physically active. It made me less effective in my chosen mission field.
When the doctor told me that it was not in anyone’s best interest for me to continue, mine specifically, I felt very lost.
How could I be the hands and feet if mine didn’t work correctly?
How could I be a fisher of men with a broken pole?
What use was I, trapped in the four walls of my home, hardly able to get out of bed, and when I did, I could make it no further than this recliner I am so fond of talking about?
How was I useful as a Servant, as a mother, as a wife?
It caused a very real crisis for me, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. I had always been a doer. Now, I was not able to DO much of anything. To say I was distraught is an understatement. Being sick had already robbed so much from me- my ability to be actively involved as a parent, my ability to work and be a wage earner in our household, my ability to travel, my ability to even sit up or walk some days... but, now it was taking my ability to make myself useful for the One who made me.
It was the straw that broke the camels back for me.
Despair is the place I resided for some time and I do not use that lightly. It is a deep and dark place to visit and not one you want to set up camp in. Unfortunately, that is just what I had done. I felt so useless. It was concerning enough for me- the impact this had on me emotionally- that I asked my doctor about it. There, in the office of a man who made the study of science his profession, I was given a life-changing piece of Spiritual advice.
“Pray. You can ALWAYS pray. When my mother was ill and she could not do anything else to help me, she prayed for me. And I will promise you that her prayers changed the course of many lives. Mine included. So, when you feel like your children need help, pray for them. When you feel like you are not doing enough for Chris, pray for him. Same for your church or your parents or others in your life. Pray.”
It was like someone put the final piece of a puzzle together and I could finally see the full picture of what my life looked like now.
My mission field was not in the temporal. It was in helping deliver to the eternal.
You see, everything that happens to us boils down to a battle between good and evil, between God and Satan- for us, our souls. They are at WAR. We are not equipped to battle evil with our own two hands.
No, we are to take it to God and let it be battled out in the Spiritual realms.
It’s warfare, folks.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 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. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Eph. 6:11-13
In Ephesians, Paul tells us we are at war. There is acknowledgment of the reality of opposition in what we can see- what is very real to us in flesh and blood. Paul further shares with us that the more significant the conflict is at a deeper level in the invisible realm, the heavenly places.
It was as if someone had flipped on a light switch and suddenly I could see, illuminated, what had always been right before me. I dove straight in to this battle. I suited up in my armor and I began to pray. I sought out opportunity to hone my skills at every chance. I asked for prayer requests. I stopped as soon as someone sent a text or message that asked, “would you pray for...” and I prayed.
At first, it was rudimentary, clumsy... it was, as I imagine I would look if I picked up a sword and started training for a medieval battle.
But, here is the thing, friends, I have no doubt that God had me in training.
With each new request or reason to pray, the words flowed more fluidly from somewhere deep inside my soul. With every tear and heartache cast toward the Heavenly Realms, my swordsmanship became more fierce. My mission field went from feeling very small and very weak, to feeling far reaching and very powerful.
I was no longer rudderless or concerned about my lack of impact.
No, I am a Warrior, even if it is from my armchair.
You can be as well.
Stop now and pray.
Go to war on behalf of your family, your friends, your coworker or your enemy. I
n areas where you feel out of control, give them to the One who is omnipotent.
In the areas where you feel fear, give them to the One who casts it out.
In the areas that feel too big or too painful for you to ever conquer, give them to the One who is constantly waging battle for you.
Even if you cannot do anything else, even if it is from your armchair, the side of your bed, your car, desk, or stove... go to battle, Warrior.
Even if you have the strength to do nothing else, pray.
Hi I’m Jen-
a small town, Oklahoma girl married to a superhero. Together, we are raising a family on second chances, shiplap, and a shoestring.
I am a firm believer in grace, organization, and efficiency. I find great satisfaction in taking broken items and giving them new life, likely because that is exactly what God did for me.
I over use the word shine, exclamation points, and emojis. I cheer too loud in the stands of my kids’ activities and hug more than is socially acceptable. A natural born encourager and armchair warrior, I am learning to redefine my mission field and make the most of each day I am given.
I am chronically ill and chronically positive- not necessarily in that order. I am learning to practice perseverance over perfection and long for the day I get to see my grandparents and Jesus’ face.
Until then, I am just looking for Grace in the Grind.
looking for an inspiring read? purchase Heather’s book Transforming Tragedy right here !