I love the story in Daniel about how he started praying for something...and only 21 days later did he get an answer. Why? Because the angel sent to help him had been battling an evil force for those 21 days. Daniel had been heard, but he had no idea what was going on in places he could not see...and a LOT was going on...a huge battle.
If you saw my status on Facebook yesterday, you know that this week was a bit stressful.
In fact, if you've kept up with us on Facebook or the blog in the last few weeks, you know that this week was not the first stressful week.
**And I usually don't even admit to stress (because I hardly ever feel it unless we are moving/traveling alot), so for me to even use that terminology, you know it must be...stressful.
Some of you, after I posted that status yesterday, said something about how the enemy seems to have it out for us right now. I have to agree.
Whether the enemy is fully to blame or we just live in a fallen world where hey, people get sick and do things like break their collarbone and such, still...the enemy is glad to see God's people stressed and distracted from doing the task at hand.
Rundown of our last few weeks/months...
--traveling the country (US) in the last few weeks we were there. not easy.
--family issues that were stressful
--our return to Brazil being delayed, not once, but twice
--Joel got sick before we left Louisiana on July 5th...bad congestion and head cold
--I got sick right after that...we were sick with this until after we arrived in Campinas...a month later
--as soon as we were done with those horrible head colds/congestion (right after arriving here in Campinas), the kids started getting sick, one by one (sometimes 2 at a time)
--Cass fell and broke her collarbone just 5 days after we arrived in Campinas...although we only finally got a diagnosis on that after about a week and a half of exams and tests and waiting
--all during this time, the kids are taking their turns with vomiting...having more than one turn at it
--also during this time, I strain a muscle in my back and am down for the count...literally cannot walk for several days
--I had a good week (while the kids were still sickly) and then I developed another really strong cold; colds do not usually alter my plans, but I woke up and could not talk and was very, very congested
--just when I was getting better and the kids were showing promise of no more stomach issues, another stressor and distraction came our way...in the form of having to defend our choice to homeschool (if you ever read this, friend who 'confronted' me about homeschooling, please know that I was not offended and that I feel it was a good discussion and all is well...but, a stressor in my week it was:) )
Back at the end of June when I was in Seattle for the Bradley training, I had a very vivid dream. It was a dream that I typically wake up and think 'spiritual warfare.' They are usually characterized by some sort of battle in the dream...some sort of attack. The really serious ones involve more than one scenario or type of battle/attack in one dream. For instance, when I was about to get married, I dreamed one night about being in a battle in a war...then being in a natural disaster...then someone trying to rape me...VERY vivid dream. I told someone my dream a few days later and they said, 'girl...you need to be praying. That was a spiritual warfare dream.' It was wise and true advice. As usual, I'm not one to give the devil credit where humans or just the state of this fallen world is just as easily to blame. But, sometimes you just know there's something else going on.
Before we got married, the enemy was not happy about it. He wasn't happy about this union that was going to join two lives together and exponentially oppose him for the Kingdom. That was a spiritual warfare dream...and I was to pray.
Now, I know exactly what to do with dreams like that. So, back to Seattle. I had a spiritual warfare dream...it again involved more than one 'danger' scenario. I woke up, but not only did I immediately think spiritual warfare, God spoke to me very clearly. Three little words that made me want to catch my breath..."You're not ready." That...that will startle you. He went on to say that I just wasn't ready for what was about to come.
That dream is very vivid in my mind at all times now...and the word from God after that dream. Needless to say, I have done my best to 'get ready.'
But, I've had several of those types of dreams since then...not as 'drastic,' but just reminders of the battle we are in. One night, I had one and woke up to Hadley waking me up saying that she'd had a battle dream. Two spiritual warfare dreams at the same time going on in our house. She got in bed with me and went back to sleep. I prayed. Man...something is just going on.
So...all of that to say...thank you for your prayers for us. And hopefully this blog post will help you in praying even more specifically. We don't know what the future holds, but we feel sure that the enemy won't be happy with it. He is loving all this distraction from the task at hand (we are here to learn the language...whatever is going to happen by us all fully knowing the language, the enemy is not happy about). We really are in a battle. Thank you for fighting with us!!