Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Good Fight

The curly-headed blondes' name was Silas. I remember him as one of the nicest kids at Kingston Elementary School (as far as icky-boys went) and even before the age of eight, I recognized that there was something to his name.

As I got older, the age when girls secretly begin the practice of writing their own names alongside the last name of their biggest crush, and the really dream-struck extend this practice to the names of their future children, 'Silas' stayed high at the top of my list for boys.

With our third pregnancy, when we found out that we were going to be blessed with a son, there was no question in my mind what his name would be.

Unfortunately, my husband would take some convincing.

(This was largely due to the fact that his friend in college had owned a dog named Silas. Steve apparently feared that every time he called his child's name, he would instinctively follow-up with a whistle and the words, 'Here Boy...Here boy!')

They say that repetition is the key to breaking and forming habits, so repeat myself is what I did.

Each night when it got late and I wanted to tuck myself into bed, for example, I would announce that 'Silas' and I were calling it a day.

'Silas' and I did lots of things together before he was born.

Eventually, my husband would inform me that I had been calling our baby by this name for SO long, that he could no longer think of anything else.

I tried the same tactic with our fourth pregnancy, it had been such a success the first time around, but by this point Steve had studied my battle plan and was on to me.

I could not see it, but I think that he must have had his forcefield activated, and now I like to blame him each time the child that HE insisted on giving a name that meant soldier, accidentally smacks me with the end of our broom/a stick/just-about-anything-turned-weapon.

Now, even though I am not super fond of being on the receiving end of my novice man-at-arms' misdirected training blows, I see the value in it and can't help but think of how much like my son I really am.

I am not sure what battles my boy will face in his life but I know that they will come, and when they do, I want him to be a fighter. I want him to recognize the tools that he has at his disposal and I want him to aim at the right things.

If he sits next to his weapons, passively enduring the assaults, then his life will be filled with defeat after defeat. If he continues to strike at everything and everyone in his path, then he will have nothing but a trail of destruction to mark his days.

I know this because I have been guilty of both lately.

Most days I sit passive, just holding my breath, hoping that I can outlast my circumstances, but on some days I boil over and strike out at all the wrong things and people; I have been unfocused and without a battle plan.

Today I sat in the mess and let myself get angry:

Angry at having to watch a sweet mama get bullied by cancer.

Angry at almost four years of on-and-off-again unemployment with still no end in sight.

Angry at being broke, and broken, vulnerable, and seen.

Today on Facebook I told Joblessness that it could 'bite me!', and after some thought I have decided that it gets to stand because, really, really, I mean it.

And you know what? I think that maybe God is saying, 'Yes! Finally! I was wondering what it would take for you to get angry enough to decide that you were ready to stand and fight for your family and your friends and your neighbors.'

He knows that the battles will come and the truth is, we were made for the fight. You and me, we were made to participate in victory even when everything around us looks like rubble.

I believe that there is someone who seeks our destruction, and I have decided that he can bite me too.

I am tired of vacillating between passively handing him my days and striking out at the wrong things or at other people who are in the trenches with me.

I am pausing to look at what I have known to work before and I am revising my current plan.

The first order of business is a recommitment to prayer.

Rumor has it, it is powerful and effective, and I could use me some of that.

Care to join me?

If you feel comfortable leaving a prayer request in the comments, please do so. If that feels weird but you still have a need, feel free to private message me on Facebook or see my contact form in my sidebar. Thank God that we are meant to battle together.

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