The Work of the Enemy [From Daughters of the King Daily Devotionals]

“For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds”

2 Corinthians 10:4, Amplified


From the time you were a little girl until now, the devil has been diligently working at building strongholds in your mind.

Every time you experienced hurt or pain, he sought to build a new structure.

Whenever someone betrayed you, he told you that you would never trust anyone ever again.

Whenever someone abused you, he told you that you were not worthy of love.

With every lie you received as true, he established a new stronghold in your mind.

If given enough time, Satan will create an entire network of strongholds that completely distorts your view of everything around you.

A stronghold affects how you view God, how you view yourself, and how you view others.

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Invite Your Audience Carefully

Fix-It With Fran

Since beginning my podcast, I have had to think a good bit about “my audience” and how much I invite my readers and listeners into my life and world.

This past week, I went to complete my MSW Licensure paperwork and saw this poem posted on the wall of the DPS worker’s desk.  She’s a pro at people asking for copies and had one ready for me to take (Thanks Ms. Nancy!).  The author is unknown, but I wanted to share here on the blog.

If you’ve been reading or listening to me for any measure of time, you know how I feel about friendships and associations.  This hits the nail on the head.

Invite Your Audience Carefully

Not everyone is spiritually healthy and mature enough to have a front row seat in our lives. There are some people in your life who need to be loved from a distance

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One-Sided Love

I’ve been thinking a lot about love this week. I’ve always been a thinker and I know I promised to get back to sharing my thoughts with you all (aside from the many product reviews) so here we are! 😀

My husband knows that I feel very deeply. At some point before beginning our dating relationship, we were joking about something and I recall saying to him, “I’m mean, I am anti-social, and I don’t like people.” To which he quickly replied, “No you’re not.  You really love people, but you’ve been hurt a lot.”  We’d been friends for about a month, but he had been paying attention!

Since my husband’s grandfather passed, some of my friends have checked on me every day. There are others who I haven’t heard from at all. These others are the same people who often call or text when they need encouragement, words of prayer, are in a crisis, etc. — so yeah.  That’s not a good feeling.

I’ve experienced this feeling before, but this week I really worked on trying to process the frustration that I experienced along with it (I alluded to this in my previous blog post).

It really comes down to this: I realize that there are some people who do not love me the way that I love them or return to me the type of love that they expect from me — It’s a one-sided love. They often ask me to be present for events or for prayer/support/encouragement, but don’t offer me those same courtesies.

I wondered if they ever stop to consider if I needed those things too (because I do). Having studied the 5 Love Languages, I understand that not everyone expresses love in the same ways, but I still become puzzled when dealing with individuals who can receive love/acts of love, but who consistently fall short in returning it to those they receive it from (In other words, why do I always get the short end of the stick from the same people?).

I share this, not to put anyone on blast, but because I think we all have moments when we feel this way and this can lead to feelings of anger or bitterness if we don’t process and release those feelings in a constructive way.  For me, that release comes through prayer journaling. Much of my “lack of weeding” has been due to the fact that I’ve slacked on my journaling routine.

I was writing in my prayer journal today and ultimately, my prayer is that my heart would not become bitter or jaded towards these individuals. I even challenged myself to go a step further. I wondered how many times I made God feel as if my love was one-sided. 

I considered the number of times I’d prayed, only to ask for one thing or another– never to just thank Him or ask how His heart felt with the many crises going on in the world or how I could be His hands and feet in the Earth that day. That gave me some real perspective.

I cannot concern myself with the actions and behaviors of others. The truth is– I don’t know what they are going through or what challenges they may be facing. We all have struggles- we all deal with grief, disappointment, etc. and we all juggle competing demands. 

There are only so many hours in a day– Maybe they intended to reach out and the day slipped away from them. Maybe they never thought of me. Either alternative is ok because I know I am on the heart and mind of God (and so are you).

What I can do is change my expectation. I can only accept people by their actions. I know who I can look to for support in hard times– I have seen those individuals that will lift me up without being asked and I thank God for them.  I don’t know why those who aren’t present choose to behave that way.  I can, however, continue to walk in love and extend grace and keep my heart pure.

These are also instances when I am reminded that we are to trust God and seek refuge in Him above all else. NOT friends, NOT spouses, NOT family, NOT our pastors, counselors, etc. Man will always fail us in some way, shape, or form. God has given us these various people as resources, but they are not THE SOURCE.

I pray this is an encouragement for you this evening.  If you find yourself in a similar situation, please know that you are not alone and God is faithful to carry you through.  His love is never one sided and we should work diligently to ensure that we follow His example.

Scriptures to Meditate On:

Proverbs 18:24 (NLT) There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

Matthew 7: 15-20 (NLT) The Tree and Its Fruit “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

Colossians 3:12-14 (NLT) Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

Press Through the Dark Place

This week, I was able to reconnect with a friend from grad school that I hadn’t seen in over 4 years. As we laughed and caught up, she said, “Fran, you ALWAYS made the most out of whatever season you were in.”

That touched me to the core. Grad school was a hard time in my life. My scholarship program’s funding got cut (I went from having a full tuition scholarship with a stipend to NOTHING), I was pursuing my passion of working with kids only to have a gun drawn on me at work, and I worked 5 different jobs while being a student full time and pursuing two degrees.

Not many people know those parts of my story, but it’s sooooooooooooo AMAZING how God will use people in your life to remind you of everything you’ve overcome and to speak even the smallest words of encouragement at the right time.

I never thought that about myself, but I see how the description is fitting. It’s easy to lean to the flesh when times are hard. To become discouraged and feel overwhelmed. But when I stand in faith, I truly adopt a resolve that “if this is where God has me during this point in my life, this is where I’m supposed to be to learn/experience something for the next part of my journey.”

I’m by no means perfect, and sometimes I’m slow to take on that mindset, but it NEVER fails me.

I started this post because I saw this image and felt overwhelmingly thankful, but I pray it encourages you as well. Even in the darkest hours, God will send those small reminders. I pray that you press through, understanding that the dark hours are not meant to destroy you. Rather they are intended to strengthen you and accomplish a greater purpose.

I also encourage you to thank those people that have been lights in your life. I like that phrase, “Give people flowers while they are living.” You may have thanked them in your heart, but thank them with your words. Let them know they made a difference. Sometimes, that in itself is a light that can help to keep them going too.

Seeds of Faith:

Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

Philippians 3:12-14
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8
(Emphasis on verses 18-19; 37-39)
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.