Its been two weeks now since I came back to the states, and its weird to me how normal each day has been. When I close my eyes at night I have the strangest feeling that I wouldn’t be surprised to open them in Mozambique, Peru, or Colombia. Its a weird experience to have adjusted to life in so many wildly different places and situations in just a matter of months.

The spiritual and mental outcomes of the past few months have been very much like what I hoped for and expected, but the journey has been entirely different from what I could have imagined. Its been hard. Some days and moments have been wonderfully beautiful while others have been entirely desolate. I’ve been caught in the crosshairs of spiritual battles and struggled to keep my feet beneath me. There were many days where I looked at the wide expanse of ocean before me and struggled to make myself keep swimming.

The devil found me isolated and crept around me like a thick fog. He whispered continually of my deepest doubts and fears, knowing that no one was there to contradict him. Fighting him alone was exhausting, especially when all the evidence seemed to pile in his favor. But I clung to God with a hope I didn’t feel and somehow He brought me through it.

After all that God allowed Satan to put me through throughout these past few months, it would be easy to question God’s sovereignty and lovingkindness. But those are two attributes of His unchanging character that I know will never fail.

I have no right to question the mighty King and Creator of the universe. But, with humility, I have every right to sit at the feet of my Father seeking to understand Him more fully. Broken and confused I’ve pressed into the palm of my Father’s hand hoping, praying, waiting for Him to help me see.

Its been a process of several months, but now I see his sovereignty and I am overwhelmed by His goodness and greatness. He restored my love of missions in Colombia and breathed new hope, life, light and beauty into my soul.

I’m happy for this break I have to be back in the states. But I can say with truth and confidence that I am so thrilled that this year, this mission isn’t over yet. I can feel my fight, my spirit coming back to me, and I want to make the devil pay for every moment he made me believe the victory could be his. I want to take this new strength that is beginning to course through me and eradicate hopelessness and his hold on the lost and weary.

I am angry. I am so done with his reign here on earth. He has no place here. He has no hold. He has no right. The great victory is God’s but we allow the devil too many victories in the battles being waged today. If we are to defeat him, we have to refuse him outright. We can’t continue to give him footings in small areas. He is a greedy snake that slithers inside our minds and takes far more than we ever intend. Our fight is not against flesh and bone. Our fight is not against ourselves. Our fight is against him. He is cruel, and heartless and I will fight him with every ounce of strength he was unable to take from me.

In August I saw myself, my purpose as frosting, a provider of unneeded but much wanted surplus. I was light and joy bringing hope and love to those who needed encouraging, and I was content with that calling. While my calling hasn’t changed, God has opened my eyes to the truth behind it. There are fierce battles being waged in the heavenly realms for people’s souls. Hope is not a pretty thought. It is not the froth on your latte that helps life go down a little smoother. It is a strategic battle front, that once lost or gained can entirely change the course of a person’s life and eternity.

I am not a painter of pretty things. I am a warrior in the kingdom of God, and I just got out of bootcamp.