This past weekend I was tempted to spiral into a behavior pattern that was deeply familiar – one that I had engaged in for over twenty years. ‘Tempted’ is the exact word. Spiritually, I was able to recognize it: behavior that was no longer a part of me, but still so very familiar. Its darkness was in total opposition to what my life is now; but I instinctively knew every winding alleyway and rabbit hole it would take me through if I gave in. It was the light of how things are now that kept me from following through.
But it took every ounce of determination to not go there – to not follow the deeply rooted habits of my former life. The desire to give in felt so dark, and I didn’t want darkness to redirect me.
Finally, a couple days into it, I poured out my heart to the Father. “Lord, something buried very deep inside me is pushing me to do things I don’t want to do. Would You please show me where this started so I can tackle it at the root? I know this is no longer who I am. It’s a habit, and I don’t know the source of it. Please show me.”
Would You please show me where this started so I can tackle it at the root?
After I prayed I knew that I had to share it with my husband, because some of the power of the darkness of it came from secrecy and furtiveness. I mustered up the courage and told him. And asked him to pray for me too. I felt like a failure because the temptation was so strong. My vulnerability in telling him the truth made me feel like I had let us down; but I knew that wasn’t true. It was time to listen to my own teaching – that secrets lose power when you speak them out loud – so I did. Then, I waited on the Lord for an answer to where the root was.
The Lord answered my prayer while I slept. I remembered the blue letter from decades ago, and knew that was where it started. I replayed the words of that one paragraph over and over, and recognized that way back then, the writer already had the insight into this rollercoaster phenomenon that I was about to step into.
At the time I read her words I didn’t take them as a warning. Instead, with the naive attitude of the young, I brushed off what had happened to her, thinking that it couldn’t happen to me. I continued the heart-first rush into a new life, and put her words totally behind me. I buried them as inconsequential – but they weren’t. By stepping into that life, I stepped into the rollercoaster phenomenon, and picked up dark habits to survive it. Those dark habits became a deeply-rooted part of how I faced every situation, in every place I lived, and with every single person I met. They crept into the veins of my human interactions.
Friends, the roots of your dark habits can be found. You don’t have to keep doing something because that is the way you’ve always done it.
But I’m not in the rollercoaster phenomenon anymore, and I don’t need the dark habits to protect me any longer. This reminds me of how I used to react to hurricanes after I moved inland. At first, whenever there was news of an impending hurricane, my anxiety level would reach seaside-preparation-level, even though my situation was totally different and was now inland-preparation-level. Those are two different scenarios, but because I had been used to the heightened anxiety level of preparing for a hurricane while living on the beach, I had to talk myself down to facing the hurricane situation in front of me, and not be distracted by the ones I had been through where sea and lagoon became one.
The clarity is unbelievable! All I can think and say is, “Thank You Father for hearing my prayer and answering me! Thank You for the freedom that comes because I was so honest with You and with my husband. I knew there was a root somewhere but I couldn’t find it on my own. You showed it to me, and now it’s up to me to pull it out and get rid of it.”
Friends, the root of your dark habits can be found. You don’t have to keep doing something because that is the way you’ve always done it. A line in the Lord’s prayer, (the model prayer), says, “deliver me from evil”. God, the Father, wants us to ask Him for that. I knew that what I was up against this past weekend was evil, and I begged for deliverance that would come through seeing the root. Are you willing to take a look at the roots in your own life, to find out what is driving your behavior?
This past weekend was hard, but I’m so glad it happened. There is a freedom that I already feel coming out of it because my vision is clearer and I get the honor/pleasure/opportunity to pull something out by the root and to learn what it is to live the rest of my life without its influence.
This is only the start of that journey; but who knows what God can do with someone who is fully walking in freedom? Will you join me in walking in freedom? Will you pray, “Lord, deliver me from evil! Show me the root, so I can dig it out. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
© Debbie Mendoza
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