Silence is the Devil's second best weapon
I began to compose this essay two Sundays ago. Before I could finish it, I discovered that Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols had died, and I was immediately humbled. Ms. Nichols was 89 years old upon her passing – older than my parents. All of the tributes that came pouring forth about her role as Lt. Nyota Uhura and the things that stemmed from having her beautiful face grace our screens reminded me that life for Americans who are black used to be much tougher than it is now.
I’ve talked before about playing the hand that life deals us and playing it well. I’m no spring chicken, but whether I have a year or thirty years left to keep playing my hand, I’m all-in on this game, spiritual enemies be damned!
Oh wait! They already are.
Be that as it may, I’m publishing this piece.
I’m tired. And hurting. And sad. I’ve been scratching and scraping for years, trying to improve my life: spiritually, physically, financially and in relationships. And every time things seem to be looking up, I get my hand slapped back down.
I understand those who simply give up.
Yes, this spirit oppresses Christians, too. The spirit of depression and doubt comes and tries to overtake us. As I’ve pointed out for years, Christians are the primary targets of doubt. Since it is impossible to please God without faith, the Enemy attacks our faith, often putting the same obstacles in our paths that existed before we were Christ-followers.
That has happened to me more times in the last five or so years than I’d care to chronicle.
When disappointment happens in the life of a Christian, the Devil relies on that Christian keeping silent about it, since it is a common misconception that when one becomes a Christian, that everything is hunky dory and that any open display of doubt is evidence of unbelief.
Also, we become afraid that people will think we are crazy. Fear. It always comes down to that.
Depression runs on one side of my family, but I have been spared from the more debilitating aspects of it. At most, I suffer from anxiety which is alleviated by prayer and natural remedies.
Today is different. I feel the attack on my spirit very keenly. So, here I am telling you about it. No more silence.
I’ve had a lifetime of pushback against my personal success.
I’ve had men who claimed to love me turn their faces away from me for things they thought were more important. The first one was my biological father and the most recent one – two months ago -- was a friend. Am I defective? Is there always someone or something better than me?
It is generally observed that black American women are crazy. I wonder how many of us go crazy instead of reflecting on the reasons for the things that I’ve experienced my entire life. I see the things that people say about us. That we’re the bottom of the barrel in attractiveness. That we’re hard and mean. That we’re whores.
Years ago, I read somewhere that black women in California have the highest rate of STDs of any group of women in the state. The irony of this in my personal life is that I have been celibate for years and have been rejected because of it several times, as if I’m somehow sexually repressed. Defective.
Before I received the call from God to stay in California, I wanted to leave here because of this phenomenon. I never got around to searching for a place where black women were not generally considered to be unwanted.
I do think that most of us have internalized this and, therefore, we act out and get angry at other women because of it. Or we figure that if we were to look more like them, we can do better for ourselves.
But it isn’t in my nature to be jealous or covetous.
Have you ever felt as if there’s a curse on you? I have felt this from as far back as I can remember. I’ve reached out for the things for which many women reach: marriage, children, education and had my hand slapped back. At one point I was trying to get a bachelor's degree online and my computer blew up! This resulted in me having to take an incomplete in a course I was doing well. I was fair enough along in lifetime failure that I gave up.
I have many gifts and talents. I’m a good writer; some say brilliant. I speak two foreign languages. I am a published novelist. And I am called by Jesus the Christ to serve Him.
In the Parable of the Talents, Jesus admonishes us to not bury that which God has given us, but, sometimes I feel that as if my life is the opposite of that parable: when I put my talents out there, instead of getting multiplied they get buried.
It’s a huge reason that I sometimes don't feel like writing.
Can Christians feel the effects of a curse? I believe they can, and I believe someone tried to hinder me with one, whether intentionally or accidentally.
Here is more evidence; little things akin to being stuck repeatedly with the tip of a small knife.
My apartment seems to be an oubliette. I lose things. Debit cards. Items of identification. I haven’t seen my passport since I returned from Kenya in 2016, even though I put it in a specific place to keep from losing it. It is simply not there.
Once, I was about to walk out of the door on Sunday morning to go to church and could not find my car key anywhere. I keep it separate from my house keys on a hook by the door. And it was simply gone. Blessed, my church streams its services, so I got the benefits of that feature on that day.
Then, right after the service ended, I happened to notice that there was a shopping bag hanging on the doorknob. In it was my car key.
I’ve had appliance after appliance inexplicably cease to function. Laptops, too. Losses of property and money. And we know what happened to my car recently. (Thank God for my human guardian angels and other good people!)
Sounds crazy, does it not? But these things have been happening all my life.
I want to find out how to break the spell that has been cast upon me.
In the meantime, I will keep acting in faith. Jesus is the lifter of all curses.
May the spirit of fear and doubt be rebuked, in Jesus' name!
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