The Warriors Crown has asked me to write this warrior of the month article primarily because I am a United States Marine and when you think warrior, how can you not have that image of a young beautiful specimen of a man forging a sword in the fire and wearing that sexy as all get out dress blue uniform. When she first asked me to write I immediately thought I will write about boot camp and the different phases we are put through to be built up in the image of United States Marine. It was physically hard, completely draining and humiliating, yet in the end I could claim the title that so very few do. However, as I sat down to pray about what to write and what God wanted me to share, He had other ideas. Patience! How much do we in this day and age dislike that word? It’s an instant gratification society where everything we think we need is held in our hands and knowledge and satisfaction is granted with a keystroke or the words “Siri, what is ….”
Looking back over the last 30 of my 48 years on this earth I realized that where I felt most like a warrior was when I accepted Christ as my savior and the years that followed trying to be obedient and the best I could be in service to Him. That seems laughable doesn’t it, how could accepting Christ be harder than 13 weeks of physical and mental taxing becoming a Marine, or the years that followed serving during the Cold War years as well as the beginning of Desert Storm? There are similarities between service to my Corps and service to my God in that the enemy is always identifiable, there is chain of command to answer to and the rules are undeniable and in writing. However, it’s the differences that are glaring. Being in service to my country I was taught to obey an order and carry them out efficiently and quickly, no questions asked. There was no waiting or no real need to understand the whys, it was just do. Service to Christ entails having a relationship where both parties need 100% involvement and participation in getting to know one another. It involves spending time in the Word (Bible) and understanding who Jesus is and expectations as a servant. It’s not blindingly following orders but lovingly accepting to walk the path that He has laid out in front of us (for I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Jer 29:11). Which brings me back to my original thought, Patience!
I accepted Christ later in life. I was 29 years old. I had just had my beautiful daughter and my husband had just told me he was in love with another woman and wanted a divorce.
This bad ass Marine was totaled.
I didn’t know what to do and I most definitely didn’t feel like a warrior. I wanted to curl up and die. How was I going to live alone and raise a baby, I can’t do this. And I was right, I couldn’t do this, but I instinctively knew, with God I could.
One of the first verses I learned was “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19). During a Mary Kay party 2 weeks after delivering my daughter I was in the presence of a group of amazing women of God. I broke down and told them what was happening and they immediately surrounded me and prayed and I accepted Christ as my Savior.
Once the shell shock of divorce wore off, I immediately asked the Lord to send me a wonderful Christ loving man ….. and this is where a true battle in my life began. As I write this, I flash back to being 18 years old, dirty, sleep deprived and so scared standing in a dank, dark room where in one minute I was going to be exposed to warfare gasses. My drill instructor was in my face telling me to do 20 jumping jacks and then remove my mask. This was so my heart rate would be up and once my mask is removed, I would gulp the gasses and not hold my breath. I can still feel the searing pain of the gas hitting my sinuses and the inability to breath and the thought of this is how I will die.
Blindingly we were told to turn and put a hand on the person in front of us and we were led out of that dank room. The first gulp of fresh air was like no other, I was going to live! It was the most amazing feeling. I survived the gas chamber. This is what a warrior does. That’s being tough.
Flash forward 11 years, I’m on my knees, surrounded by Christs warriors, I can’t breathe, I’m blinded by the pain of rejection and I think I’m going to die, I want to die, then the hands on my shoulders leading me to the fresh air and breathing the life of salvation! I was going to live!
The healing had begun and I wanting to live life to fullest asked God to send me a husband. A Jesus loving man that would take me and my daughter in and love us and soothe that rejection. Thus begins a 15 year battle where the Lord lovingly provided opportunities for me to learn patience, mercy and wisdom. You see being a warrior for Christ is a completely different battle field.
Instead of a flak jacket, it’s the chest plate of righteousness, instead of combat boots its feet fitted with readiness that comes with gospel of peace, the helmet is helmet of salvation instead of a hunk of plastic and finally instead of a rifle, we take up the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God.
Armed with this knowledge and the desire to be the best warrior I embarked on the journey to be God’s servant. However, selfishly all I wanted was a man I could call mine, one to take care of me. I would carry out tasks for Christ with the thought, if I do this right He will provide my husband. This went on for many years. I was doing what I was supposed to, so I thought, but I wasn’t listening and obeying my orders. I wasn’t developing my relationship with Christ and having the patience required so that he could give me my heart’s desire. I needed to spend intimate time with Christ to learn His heart and what He wants us to battle for.
Our sin filled nature was enemy #1 that needed to be defeated, I needed to die to myself so that I could live. Not an easy process for someone that spent years training to be a Marine to my Country and to no one else.
Patience required going above my desire to be loved by man, and accept that Christ so loved, He sent his son to die so that I could have a relationship with him. So, because I am a hard headed lunk, it took 15 years to figure this out. I fought patience and decided I could find a husband myself, that turned out pretty badly and dating at 43 years old really sucks when you leave the umbrella of blessings. My heart got broken a couple more times, I was ashamed at my actions and embarrassed to think I was teaching my daughter that man is more important than God.
Eventually I did hear the call it was time. I knew it was time when I was on my knees sobbing to the Lord asking forgiveness for slaking my bodily urges with men I knew I shouldn’t. Promising to only be in service to Him until He deems it time and waiting for someone that I can be equally yoked with as His word tells us to do. Immediately, God had me get up, wipe the tears and get on the computer to cancel my match.com membership! I opened up the program and immediately saw a profile of a man who began his intro with I cannot date anyone I am not equally yoked with! I knew that right then and there, God had blessed me and he was issuing a new order.
Well 4 months later that man became my husband, we blended a family and we are battling this spiritually depraved world together. The battles continue, and will continue until the coming of Christ, but I have learned, and continue to learn, Christs ways of warfare. Patience is a weapon we need in our arsenal because the Lord says “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees why does he yet hope for it? But if we hope for that we see not, do we with patience wait for it. Romans 8:24-25.
See the Lord had patience with me. He lovingly waited and provided opportunity for me to come to him so He could bless me. In turn, I could await patiently in my daily life and be the fruit of the spirit that people see. Waiting in long line, traffic backed up and late to work, angry customer yelling in my face …. I pull out my weapon of patience so that I can be held accountable in my actions when I ask, “Do you know Christ” or even when someone else asks me if “I’m a Christ follower”. There are many weapons in the arsenal and there are many types of warriors for Christ. The battle to self though is the first one Christ will send you out to fight and what weapons you are equipped with will be up to you.
FIGHT ON WARRIORS, BE FIERCE, DO NOT BE AFRAID.