It happened because I chose the wrong shirt size. I probably shoulda gotten a medium, but I got a small. It fit fine over my arms, shoulders, and chest, but I’m a pear shape, so it was a little snug over my rear end and my hips.
This was over the weekend at the Be Still Mama women’s retreat I attended at The Cove in Asheville. (This was my second Be Still Mama retreat at The Cove. If you’ve never been to The Cove, you absolutely HAVE to go).
When we arrived Friday, the 70 participants changed into our retreat t-shirts and took a group picture.
“Mine is a little big,” one of the ladies commented after we put on our shirts. The sleeves, meant to be three-quarter length and fitted, were longer and hung loosely. The body of the shirt itself fell over her petite torso and covered her backside. It looked comfortable but oversized.
“What size did you get?” I inquired.
“Medium,” was her reply.
“Oh!” I said, a little surprised. “You should have gotten a small.”
“No way,” she responded. “It would have been way too tight and clingy all over my stomach.”
I was silent. Here stood this lady clearly more petite than me saying she wouldn’t order a small shirt because it would be too clingy…while I stood there in a size small shirt that I repeatedly tugged over my rear end and hips.
All of a sudden, it hit me like a hot wave…those old, familiar feelings of inferiority and self-consciousness.
Before I knew it, my mind was racing…
“You shouldn’t be here.”
“You don’t really belong.”
“That shirt is too little! What made you think you could fit into a small?!”
“Your face is breaking out, too,”
“Can’t you do anything with that crazy, curly hair!?”
And I just wanted to shut myself in my room for the rest of the weekend.
I didn’t want anyone to see the shirt stretched over my hips or the acne on my face or the frizz on my head.
I didn’t want to be there anymore.
But, I went to dinner and to our first session that evening. I sang the praise and worship songs and turned to 1 Kings 17 in my Bible. Afterward, I went back to my cabin and hid in my room for a little while – fiddling with the stuff in my suitcase and taking off my make-up and brushing my teeth and putting on my pajamas. Finally, I made myself go to the den to talk with my cabin-mates.
The whole time, the inferiority and self-consciousness was still there – feeding itself on my weakened spirit.
The next morning, I woke up after a sound night’s sleep and puzzled for a little while.
“What was that all about last night?” I wondered.
After all, nobody had said anything directly to me. The lady had only made a comment about her own shirt.
Then, I realized it! That was Satan. He did that. He brought up all those negative thoughts and insecurities.
I could have done a forehead-slap! Why didn’t I realize it was him as soon as it started?
And why in the world was he after me anyway?
Oh…duh! (another forehead-slap moment) I was at a Christian women’s retreat!
Of course it was a plan to distract me. If Satan could distract me by getting me all wrapped up in self-consciousness, I would miss the message God had for me.
I stood right there in the middle of the bathroom where I’d been washing my face when I had my epiphany, and I said, “that’s enough! I’m not doing this today. I came here to spend some quiet, relaxing time with Jesus, and that’s what I’m going to do!”
Any time I even thought those feelings might come back at any point over the weekend, I reminded myself:
Those thoughts are from Satan. He wants to distract me this weekend, but he isn’t going to win. Jesus is with me, and He has something to say to me that I want to hear.
And I went on with my day!
Honestly, that kind of thing has happened to me a lot in my life. I’ve only recently been aware of what is really going on – a spiritual attack – and been able to combat it by praying and asking God to intervene for me.
I imagine this has happened to you before, too. Hopefully, you realized what was going on and put a stop to it before you got sucked too far down in the muck.
The sooner we get a handle on what’s truly happening, the sooner we can stop it.
Recognize the attack and the attacker and immediately resist it with prayer, by calling on Jesus name, or by rebuking Satan and letting him know he has no place in your mind and in your heart.
Don’t let him ruin one more beautiful moment of your life.