RAISING OUR KIDS TO FACE FEAR. AND CONQUER.
We have just passed our 3 month marker of living in Brazil. This is our first blog post written since the move, since there has been so much to absorb and process, it has not been too easy to find all the words-emotions-feelings to express. Starting about 6 weeks ago, our 5 year old son started with anger outbursts. Grady is laid back and pretty free-spirited. He is 95% happy and only a grump when he is exhausted or super hungry (I can relate). His outbursts may be once a day, then he gradually started having no desire to leave the house or wanting to explore the extreme rural area and the super cool animals around us.
I am sad to say that this occurred approximately a week until we realized "hey, Grady is not adjusting well and he is also under a spiritual attack". He was not behaving like our cuddly and giggly 5 year old. We accept the fact that he is experiencing difficulty with culture shock. But we will not accept a spiritual attack on our son.
Before I go on, we all will have struggle in our life. Some of them, we bring ourselves. Some of them are out of our control. I am not dismissing all difficult times to always be a spiritual attack. But be aware and face them.
I (Lindsey) have had my taste of spiritual attacks. One of the scariest was when I was in Kenya for a medical missions trip. I was in my room one night, no roommate, and sat straight up in my bed as I felt the heaviest, darkest presence in my room. It stayed until the sun rose. All night I sensed an ambush of a demonic congregation gathered around my bed.
While spiritual attacks come in all kinds of sneaky forms- I know the devil will NEVER overcome. It is our role to declare this.
Over ourselves. Over our kids. Over our spouse. Over strangers. Over any place that we sense it.
While Grady's might have not been as abrupt as the one I experienced that very dark night in Kenya, I can imagine he felt horrific and confused. I came across this passage while trying to go to war for him:
“We are asking that you be filled with the knowledge of His will in ALL spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God, being STRENGTHENED WITH ALL POWER, according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience.” Colossians 1:10-11 CSB
Literally laying my hands on him one morning as I woke him up, I asked him "Grady, can I pray for you?". He had his face in his hands and grunted an Uh-hu to me. Since then, I haven't stopped praying specifically over him and Avery. And, he has transformed back in to a joyful giggly boy that is bursting with Portuguese words.
Avery, our almost 11 year old, but with the maturity level of a 20 year, started with her own spiritual warfare last week. Full of anger, rage, and fear. She was not my normal daughter. She was avoiding the fact that she wasn't herself. Each night we spoke a bold truth to her. "You need to face what you are dealing with and bring it all to the Lord". We can pray for her, guide her, but she has to be the one to bring her heart troubles to the Lord. A few months ago, she begged us to enroll her in the local school so she can submerge even more into Portuguese. We prayed and we enrolled her.
Here she was, a week away from starting and she was crippled with fear. More like paralyzed. We talked about her concerns with her and went to scripture with her. This morning, she walked into that school, with a 6 gal squad right behind her to support her. She broke down and started quietly weeping in the office. Let me tell you, this girl does not cry in public. As I rubbed her back and looked right in front of me, there was a lady in the office with a t-shirt on. And the words were in English!
First of all, we are in a very rural area of an already rural city in Brazil. English is not at all a secondary language in my community.You want to know what was on this shirt?
a beautiful lion graphic with Joshua 1:9 right under.
I heard a voice in my ear .. "Be strong and courageous my child". I began with tears, telling Avery to look at that shirt and I spoke the words I knew God had for her this morning. "You face this fear girl, you are His child. Be strong Avery. Be courageous Avery. He knew you would be here this very moment and He put that t-shirt right here to remind you".
I saw an overwhelming peace come over her.
Here is my struggle in all of this: We followed God's call and our children has come face to face with new fears and with unmeasurable confusion. And I have to point them to the fact that they will not be consumed by this. They need to acknowledge what they are up against and that Jesus himself is carrying them straight through these rivers of uncertainty and insecurity. He is carrying them through the waves of doubt and fear. And the fires of the devil himself will not burn them- for He extinguished those flames.
I am not a parenting expert. Nor am I a theologian.
My eyes have been enlarged and opened to the spiritual wars my children are facing. My heart has been clothed in a shield to fight for them. And to not be timid in this fight. We are told by Jesus himself that we will always have battles- but He is always, never leaving or abandoning, always with us. These battles do not exclude my children just because they are cute and young. Since moving here, I have learned a lot about myself and I have learned about the importance of spiritually equipping our children on a daily basis.
Pictured is Avery with her protective sisters from the Davis Lar at her new school in Brazil.
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