Being a Prisoner of War
Battling God and What He Threw at Me
To begin my journey of faith, we will have to backtrack to when I entered this chaotic, sinful world. October 26, 2001, a beautiful, innocent, little girl entered this realm. I was so oblivious to what family I was born into, unaware that my life was destined to fail. The drugs, the alcohol, the abuse -my life was predetermined to be chaotic.
This led to the one question that ruled over my life which was, “Why me?” To paraphrase, I felt as if I was not enough for my family, my friends, and especially my God. He threw too many things at me and made me feel like I was the enemy. What three key things in my life made me feel like I was a prisoner of war?
As a soldier who often fights in battles, I found myself in a war with God. I was unaware of the true enemy. I did not comprehend whose side God was on until much later in life, around age fourteen or fifteen. However, I was raised within the church, constantly surrounded by His work and His word. I would always hear, “He is always with you,” and “He will fight your battles for you,” and personally, my favorite, “God will never give you something that you cannot handle.”
Fast forward to April 15th, 2004. I found myself standing before the judge, awaiting my new, perfect family. This has played one of the most significant factors in my testimony. Focusing on adoption, itself, can be extremely upraising -or it can lead to total mass destruction.
Still struggling with adoption, God threw the death of my biological brother at me. As a five year old, I did not understand why such a good God took someone that meant so much to me. SGT. Joel Dahl -whom I call family- was stationed in Baghdad, Iraq. On June 23, 2007, he was leading a mission, excited to return to the U.S. in a week to see the birth of his son. However, God had something else in store. His squad was under fire, bullets flying everywhere -like my “War with God”- unable to escape the evil that surrounded him. As the firefight continued, his comrade was shot, and he took it upon himself -heroically- to pull him to safety. Because of his actions, he lost his life. It has not been easy without him here especially on birthdays, holidays, and his death day. Although he died a hero, I still struggled with being at war with Christ.
For my first couple of years as a teenager, I found myself in that rumble of chaos. I asked God, “Why did you take my brother?” and “Why did my mom not want me?” and “Why am I not enough for my dad?” Miller, in Blue Like Jazz, took the words right out of my mouth when he stated, “Why would God want to call Himself Father when so many fathers abandon their children?” (4).
This constant voice inside my head, destroying my self-esteem, continued its battle against me until 2016. This is when the real war began. I –selfishly- asked God to take my biological mother -unaware of if she had a relationship with Christ or not. That brisk, Mother’s Day morning is a day that will continue to haunt me — waking me up at 3 a.m., with sweat dripping down my body, unable to escape from this living nightmare. This was the day that I lost a part of me, -whom I never knew- but also when I gained something else in return -the day that I came to Christ.
Continuing this long, harsh fight, I found myself injured from sexual immorality, lying, and almost destroyed by Satan, himself. I was lost in the wilderness, waiting for someone to say that this vigorous battle was over and that the war was won. I was beaten down by the words from those around me saying, “You will never amount to anything,” or “God would never want a slut like you.” I was abused not only by their words but my mind as well. Depression and anxiety controlled my body as if I was a prisoner of war, bonded by the thoughts that traveled inside my head.
Beaten close to death, Satan came in with comparison, insecurity, and shame. This evil temptation took on the name of my ex-boyfriend, Tanner. We began seeing each other when I was a minor (while he was 22) -I so oblivious of what he genuinely wanted. Little by little, that voice that I once heard -in my early teenage years- started to creep back in, ripping out any faith I had within me. As time went on, Tanner’s sharp words struck me in my side, his actions blowing my mentality out of focus, and his hands destroying the Temple that God had created. At this point, the odds of me surviving this tragic loss were slim to none. As hope seemed lost, I looked back at my life, trying to find the real purpose behind all these controversies. And just as I was about to throw up a white flag, God came from the hillside, with His billions of angels, and they defeated this evil entity, I called love. From then on out, I knew whose army I was a part of. I was wrapped in the “bandages of love,” unafraid of the future.
To end my post, I would like to refer to John 9. In this passage, Jesus heals a man that is born blind. Starting this chapter off, the crowds of people began to test Jesus asking, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (2) Without hesitation, Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (3) God does throw many things at people, -maybe some more than others- but He does this for a purpose. He wants the light of Christ to be displayed in us so that no matter what war we face, -whether it is family issues, death of loved ones, or even troubles in our romantic lives-that we fight confidently in the name of Jesus Christ.