With the food bountifully arranged on the two plates, I walked down the stairs to my royal subjects – six, and eight year old boys. Their eyes were glued to the television set and they barely glanced my way. Without a word of thanks, they dug in, still watching the cartoon intensely. I asked what they wanted to drink and they each gave their orders. I filled them. I took their plates when they were done, and showed up a few minutes later with their dessert. The only acknowledgment they gave me the whole time were complaints about having to eat more of the vegetables than they wanted to. Why was I doing this thankless job and treating little boys like royalty? Because I was being paid and had been directed to “serve them dinner”. So being the inexperienced, eager-to-please nanny that I was, I “served them” indeed. Although many of the children I watched during my summer as a nanny were relatively well-behaved, they were children of wealthy parents who expected to be waited on and expected things to go according to their desires. They were never grateful and were very demanding. They didn’t take well to correction since they rarely received any real punishment when they misbehaved. I thought back to my own childhood and often concluded, “They have no idea how good they have it.”
Tonight as I hung my head in shame and repentance, I realized I had no idea how good I have it either.
Because this is such a huge breakthrough for me, please allow me to start at the beginning and tell the whole story. For the past several days I had yet again been struggling with a suicide plan I had made on Saturday. In spite of all the lies that I have had exposed regarding suicide, in spite of all the people I knew who loved me, in spite of all the tools I had in my arsenal to fight the enemy, I still formulated a plan. I told people I was fighting this, but I knew better. I wanted it, I welcomed it, and it was a friend because I felt that when I entertained it, I was in control over my circumstances. If I didn’t like something that I had to endure or was about to endure, then I would simply make a plan to end my life if things don’t go well. The threats to my relationships with other people didn’t make me reject it like it did before. I wanted the control too badly this time. I say all this with a huge disgust towards myself but I’m sharing it to show you where I was before the breakthrough happened.
As usual, God intervened last night with the love from my friends which gave me the strength to cancel my plan. However, earlier today, I had been thinking about substituting for a fifth grade class tomorrow and dreading it like crazy. I had thought about having a suicidal plan in place for afterwards just in case it doesn’t go well. I have often done this with many of my job situations just so I could talk myself into showing up at the job. As I was running an errand, a warning that a leader at my church gave me not long ago flashed in my mind. He had told me that as long as there is any tiny bit of me that is in agreement with the enemy, I will never be free. Well, at that moment, I must admit there was a lot more than a little bit of me that was in agreement. Agreeing with the plan I made last week had opened a huge door for demonic attack, and though God had mercifully shielded me from harm, the enemy was back because I was buying his sales pitch regarding control.
I spent most of the day reading the novel To Love Anew by Bonnie Leon. It was a story about how two people who had many horrible things happen to them were brought together. During one scene, an elderly woman of great faith was dying on a prison ship after being wrongly accused and she spoke of how thankful she was for how good the Lord has been to her. She teared up when she spoke about how much more Jesus suffered for her and she looked forward to being with him. For a moment, I marveled at how the woman had a faith that seemed to elude me. Then suddenly I thought of the cross, I mean really thought of the cross, and not just the cross itself but the beatings, the humiliation, and worst of all, the bearing of ALL our sins upon himself. Then I thought of the trivial situations from which I was seeking to escape by destroying what God himself suffered and died to save. To say I was overcome with shame and guilt is an understatement. Jesus willingly suffered like no man ever did so that I wouldn’t have to endure that pain and torment that I deserved and here I am ready to destroy the very life he created and paid such a great price to redeem just because a group of fifth graders irritate me? How dare I! In the face of such insolence and insult, what does the King of the Universe do? Send painful diseases to my body and destroy my home and confine me in isolation? That would be what I would do if I were God and some spoiled child insulted me like that. Instead, throughout this whole time I’ve been shooting darts at him and accusing him of not caring about me, he has gently wooed me and reasoned with me, lavishing me with love from my friends and providing for me so abundantly. Tonight, as I wept in repentance and gratitude, I resolved to fight to the very end every thought that is not glorifying to him. I will drive out that monster at the first sight of it before it even comes near the entrance of my heart or mind. For the first time in my life, I am furious at this monster who suggests such heinous acts against my Savior who has never stopped loving me with an extravagance I’ve only just begun to see. I long for the day I will finally be rid of the monster, but until then, every time it decides to show its face, it will be met with all the Asian fury I have in me as I drive it out with three angry words, “How dare you!”