Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Battle



For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
                                                                                                     Ephesians 6:12

     I believe when God sets desires in peoples hearts and sets them on a mission, the army of the enemy prepares for battle.  He doesn't wait long to attack.

     If you know me, it is no secret that I have battled depression and anxiety attacks since I was about 19 years old.  I am very open about it, it's not a secret.  It's not an everyday issue.  It usually rears it's ugly head in very stressful times.  I have had terrible bouts about 5 times.  I believe that I will have complete victory over this one day.  I serve a living, powerful, healing God.  And, he sent Jesus, so that I might live life and live it fully.  To me, that means being victorious over weaknesses.  However, I will always have an enemy.  That enemy studies my weaknesses and strikes there every time.  
     
    It's like on the movie Karate Kid.  (Don't act like you didn't love this movie!)  Daniel LaRusso is fighting in the championship of a karate tournament.  He's fighting against the bully who has beat him up and tormented him.  Daniel's leg is hurt and the master of the other team knows this.  He orders the boy to strike Daniel's leg.

     That's what the enemy of this world does to us.  To me specifically, he preys upon this weak area of my life.  

     In February of 2006, when we were in the paperchase part of the adoption, he hit me hard.  I started having panic attacks which in turn makes me depressed.  I wanted to concede defeat and forget the adoption.  However, the Lord was faithful.  He keeps teaching me how to fight.
     
   

     This past spring, Satan took a different approach.  I wish that I had written down the attacks that took place in the month of May.  Although, I doubt many people would believe that all the things that happened could happen to one person in such a short amount of time.  At one point, I WAS TOTALLY convinced that Candid Camera was lurking around every corner.  I was just waiting for someone to jump out and say, "Smile!  Your on Candid Camera!"

     I thought for all of you who follow along with this story, I'd at least give you a play by play of the first weekend of May.  Plus, Emme has to have a record of this.  I want her to know that we were fighting... fighting for her!

     May 1, looked like one of the happiest days on record.  At approximately 12:30, we had an unsolicited, surprise call from Maury at FTIA announcing our LOA had arrived.  And, it was only 6 days after receiving word we had received our PA.  If you are adopting SN from China, then you know this is like a miracle.  We were so excited!  She gave us instructions that our LOA would be overnight Fedexed to us.  We would receive it on Friday morning and we were to send it back, Fedex, overnight,  on the same day. 

      It arrived on Friday morning, just like it was supposed to.  I signed it, filled out the travel sheets, made some copies and prepared to send it back.  While I was making copies, since my copier is in my laundry room, I threw in a load of laundry.  

     You should also know, that I had a garage sale going on outside and it was Jackson's 5th birthday.   Hardly anything going on at the Isaascs' house! Ha!

     At one point, I came back in to throw the wet clothes into the dryer.  I walked into the laundry room to find water all over the floor.  For some odd reason, our washer empties into a sink.  Our washer doesn't dump the water into some magic hole in the wall, like most people's washers.  It goes into a sink and the sink had decided not to accept any more water so it spewed it all over my floor.  We had to call someone right away because there was so much laundry that it was going to start revolting if it didn't get washed.  It was fix it fast or I was quitting!

     So, a guy came over to fix the problem about 2 pm.  About 3 pm, I left to run to Fedex to overnight the papers back.  While I was there, I had a few color copies made that would only copy well by Fedex, etc... Of course, those trips always take longer than expected. 
      I flew home to grab Gracie to take her to gymnastics while a mighty wind was whipping up a storm.  I helped Paul throw some of the garage sale stuff into the garage and somehow in that small amount of time, we got into an argument.  It is important to note that, we are one of those odd couples who rarely fight.  I don't even know what the fight was about.   I threw Gracie in the car and drove in the driving rain to her class.  When I arrived, I grabbed my copies of the paperwork to look over while I was inside.  I am not sure why I did this, but I did.  
     While inside looking over the paperwork, I realize that Paul didn't even sign the LOA.  I panicked, called Fedex and begged them to dig out my envelope.  They fished it out but told me to get there by 6 pm so it could go out on time.   I ran home to get Paul.  And, guess what??  3 hours later, the guy is STILL fixing the sink in our laundry room.  It is now 5 pm .  I had one hour to get to Fedex.  At, 5:55 pm, 4 HOURS of fixing one pipe in our laundry sink, the guy finally finishes and we race to Fedex.  
     Please, keep in mind, it is Jackson's birthday.  At this point, he has reminded us many times it has not been a good birthday.  We do our business at Fedex.  We went to dinner at a place Jackson made sure to tell us he didn't like.  We went home, joyfully sang Happy Birthday, ate cake and sent the kids to bed.
     I went down to throw in a load of laundry and went to bed... happy.  NOT!!!!
     In the morning, I went straight to the laundry room to put the clothes into dry because Shelby's uniform was in the wash and she had a soccer game at 11 am.  I also had a baby shower for a very dear, wonderful friend at 10 am. 
     I walked into the Ohio River.... in my laundry room.  That river that I walked into made the previous days flood look like a small rain puddle.  The water had come out into the family room and it had gone under the wall into the bedroom next to it.
     I ran upstairs.  I announced to Paul that the idiot that fixed the sink for 4 HOURS the day before didn't really fix the sink at all!  He very calmly looked at me.  HE thought for a moment and then....he had the nerve to say to me, "Did you put the hose back in the tub?"  I said, "WHAT???!!!"  
"Did you put the hose back in the tub?"
"WHY WOULD I THINK TO PUT THE HOSE BACK IN THE TUB???????"  "I DIDN'T WORK ON THE SINK??"  "YOU WERE WITH THE PLUMBER FOR 4 HOURS!!"  "I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THE HOSE WAS OUT OF THE SINK!!!!!!!'

    To clarify, the water didn't just BACK UP.  The water from the washing and the RINSING, all 400 gallons, poured onto my floor.  

   You don't need to hear the rest of the conversation.  And, my dear friend, who has done more for me than I could ever write.......  I didn't make it to her shower.

     Sunday, I went my laundry room to make some copies.  I love, love, LOVED that copier.  Yes, I said LOVED.  The copier that I used everyday, because A) I am adopting and if you adopt, you need a copier and B) I homeschool.  Everyday....EVERYDAT I used that copier.  The great flood... it ruined the power pack.
      So, on Monday morning, I got up and at 8:30 I called HP to order a new power pack cord.  I had the part number ready.
     Of course, you know the drill.  It takes 10 minutes to get to a live person.  After 10 minutes, I start to order the part. 
 
     The live person I was talking to....  I am pretty sure he lived in India.

Me:  "Um, yes, I need to order a new cord for my printer.  The part # is  RW456 876 45TS.  "

    For the next 15 minutes, I read that guy every part # on the cord, the printer, the phone book.  You name it!
    Finally, I think we have the part.
    At this point, it is 9:15 and I have to be at a Kindergarten screening at 9:30 am.  My hair is not fixed, my teeth not brushed.  I only have on the t-shirt I slept.  And, I am violently motioning my children to get dressed.

The Indian Man (dot not feather) (please use the accent when you read): Could I have your name?
Me: April Isaacs.  I-S-A-A-C-S
The Indian Man: your address
Me:  ( I have to spell my street, 3 times!)
The Indian Man:  Zip code
Me: 35359

Keyboard clicking

Indian man: That is not a valid zip code.
Me: 3 5 3 5 9

Keyboard clicking

Indian Man:  That is not a valid zip code.
Me: Sir, I get mail here everyday.  I have lived here for 5 years.  That is my zip code.

Me Ok.  Change it from (small town I live in) to (close big city)

Indian Man:  That is not a valid zip code

Keyboard clicking

Me: I sit and breathe in and breath out and count to 10.  I say nothing.

Indian Man:  Miss, if you do not give me valid zip code, I can not order your part.

ME:  ( I am normally calm, rarely raise my voice.)  (My voice was very raised, very raised!)  SIR, DO YOU THINK THAT I WOULD SIT HERE ON THE PHONE FOR ALMOST AN HOUR TO GET A PART SO THAT WHEN I FINALLY GET TO THE PART WHERE I CAN GET THE PART, I CAN GIVE YOU AN INVALID ZIP CODE?????????????

Indian man:  I need a valid zip code.

     I hung up... without ordering the part.  I had no choice.  I had to leave.

    Candid camera did not reveal themselves.  

     I got dressed, went to the Kindergarten screening.  A few days later, I got a new copier.

     If you have made it this far, WOW, you should get an award!!  

     Sometimes, the enemy attacks and attacks and attacks.  He can do it in multiple small ways like he did to me in May.  Desperately trying to wear me down.  Or, he can drop the nuclear bomb and go for my mind.  I believe that over the last, almost 3 years, he has tried  whatever it would take to keep a little girl out of this home.  He knew, when we succeeded, that precious little girl would hear about Jesus everyday.  He's going to lose.  We leave in 7 days!

     The Lord has taught me how to use his word to fight.  He has also taught me that over and over and over again in the scriptures, praising and worshipping him brings defeat.  Check it out for yourself.  When the Israelites when out to fight, they sent the tribe that sang songs about the victory God would win, AHEAD of the people who would do the physical battle.  In the New Testament, when someone wanted healing, they worshipped him first.  When he was not worshipped first, he confronted the faith of the individual.  (See Matthew 15:22-28)  In that passage,  the woman's miracle did not come until two things had been established: 1) that she had faith , and 2)that she was going to worship God.
 
     2 Chronicles 20:21
     When he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers to sing to the Lord and praise him in their holy garments as the WENT OUT BEFORE the army saying, Give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!!

     Will you go before us and praise God and pray for our protection against the enemy???

     

     

6 comments:

Tony and Rett said...

Preach it! Are you sure you're not the preacher in the family?

What an honest post. I'm SO sorry you're still battling so hard. Emme will feel the love of Jesus so strong that the enemy (notice the lower case...he deserves nothing more) is freaking out at this point.

Just know that we have been, and will continue to pray for you and your family! We cannot wait to see this little miracle Jesus promised you!

Yay God!

The Gang's All Here! said...

Joining you in the battle! Trying to see the journey as more than just the process we go thru and seeing it as God sees it has helped us tremendously. Good to read this for me today - a frustrating journey day.

Praying!

Abby Palmer said...

OH April! I can't help but laugh at your entry. Hey, and since I've been "through" a pregnancy with you to see what a "gem" you are, then I have permission to laugh! Your writing is so honesty and I can picture you saying all those things. Can't wait for you to get through all the "junk" to get to God's prize for you...EMME! Maybe you'll get to China, and someone will appear from behind the Great Wall to say, "You're on Chinese Candid Camera!"

Pumpkin Head Baby Co said...

"He knew, when we succeeded, that precious little girl would hear about Jesus everyday. He's going to lose. We leave in 7 days!"

I love this part! Every time I read your blog I start to cry. What is it Amber calls them? Happy Tears? Anyway, that is what they are.

Gina said...

April I love you. Preach it Joyce!! =) I am so excited that you are getting Emme soon and that God has an amazing plan for her little life. (And yours I'm sure!!) I can't wait to meet that baby girl...praying for you!

theweaver said...

One day, I would like to tell you the full story of how Satan attacked, HARD... you know a lot of the outcomes but it's amazing to look back and seeing God's faithfulness despite my shortcomings... also, I laughed my head off about Paul's lack of information, or rather the slow dispersal of information... I am the same with Stephen and he is the same way the dispersal of info... it drives me CRAZY!!!