Sometimes we need to boil it down. Get to the nitty gritty. Cut to the chase. This is one of those times. You see, right now, for me, it is opposite day. Just in case you aren’t sure what opposite day is let me fill you in, because there is a very good chance that you too are presently experiencing, or will experience sometime in the future, what I call opposite day.
The definition of opposite day (according to me):
When everything you are currently facing is in direct opposition to what God has told you is going to happen.
Still unsure if you have experienced opposite day? Symptoms of opposite day include waves of overwhelming anxiety that wash over your body when you contemplate your circumstances. Bouts of fear which occur intermittently with “pep-talks” during which you tell yourself to keep the faith and stay strong. These bouts of fear are often followed by feelings of guilt, shame, and condemnation because of your lack of faith.“Lord I know you have told me not to fear and I am really sorry that I am freaking out right now.” Other symptoms include crying or fits of anger – depending on how you roll, despair, and frequent pity parties. I am really good at pity parties, by the way. I think I will start a new board on Pinterest called “Pity Parties by Jennifer Faith.” Actually, I won’t do that. Because God wants us to help one another, and my pity parties have never helped anything but my flesh, which I am actively trying to destroy so that I can walk in the Spirit and live in the victory that God intends for me.
In a world where we can put snap shots of our fabulous lives on public display via Facebook and Instagram (which I have nothing against – I post all my best pics and love to see what fun things my friends are up to), sometimes we can believe that everybody else is living the dream, and that our life totally sucks. This is a lie. Every one of us has good times and bad times. Sometimes life is fabulous. Sometimes it sucks. If we compare our private lives with the public lives of others, we will lose, every single time. We aren’t supposed to be sharing our deepest secrets and airing our dirty laundry with anyone and everyone. We save that kind of stuff for Jesus and for our closest friends. But once in a while, God calls someone to air out their dirt and say it like it is to encourage others. Guess what? Today that someone is me. When the Spirit tells me to do something, I have learned that it is best to just do what he says because he is love, I trust him, and he always has a good reason for asking me to do something that seems crazy.
To understand what my opposite day looks like right now, I need to tell you the promises that I am struggling to believe at the moment. There are two specific things that I am dealing with. Promises for provision, and promises for justice. Both of these things are interrelated. The down and dirty version goes like this…
On the one year anniversary of my stay in the safe house for battered women, I faced my abuser in court. I was prepared to testify about my abuse in order to avoid having to pay him spousal support. His attorney successfully blocked my right to testify, and I was ordered to pay spousal support to the man who had terrorized me for two decades and threatened to kill me. Later that evening, during one of my more robust pity parties, the Lord gave me a specific word about this. He told me that the amount I was ordered to pay was going to be a drop in the bucket compared to how he was going to bless me. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. “I’ve got it.” So I have faithfully been paying my spousal support (and child support) in bi-monthly checks since 2013. The bummer is that I cannot afford to pay my bills and pay the support. So I have had to use my savings to do this because if I get a second job (which I always did in the past to support him and pay our bills), my ex can take me back to court, have my income reevaluated, and receive more money every month. Not very fabulous. The other promise relates to justice. All the promises of God are yes and amen in Christ, right? Well, one promise I bring to God every single day in prayer comes from Psalm 37. He promises that if we commit our way to him he will make our righteousness rise like the dawn and the justice of our cause like the noonday sun. I am not saying I am righteous in every way, but God knows that I am telling the absolute truth about the abuse. My cause is just. The abuse of women is wrong. My abuse was wrong. The courts just didn’t see it that way.
Okay so now for opposite day. The savings account is running dry. I recently remarried a wonderful man, and the non-profit that he was working for hit hard times. So my hard-working, capable, intelligent hubby hit the pavement looking for a new job. He has literally applied for hundreds of jobs, most of which he is overqualified for, and nothing has worked out. He left the house today at five in the morning. As I write he is digging ditches for minimum wage as a temporary laborer. He has jack hammered pavement for hours on end, set up bleachers, removed tree stumps, and moved tons of dirt and gravel around a construction site. If it is a back breaking job that nobody else is willing to do, they give him a call. Meanwhile, my abuser is still receiving his spousal support. He still volunteers at the local church and everyone around him thinks that he is the best. Opposite day is rough.
I am not writing this so that you will feel bad for me. I am writing this because I want to help you. So, here are a few things I believe the Spirit wants me to tell you about opposite day…
Opposite day belongs to the Lord. Satan wants to put his slimy fingerprints all over it. He wants to bring the chips and guacamole to your pity party and commiserate with you. He’ll feed your fears and then condemn you for having them. Don’t let him do that to you. God knows we are only dust. He’s not ashamed of you or me when we fear. He’s not shocked. He’s not disappointed. It just hurts his heart to see us that way because he knows everything is going to be okay. He is using opposite day for our good and for our training, and for his purposes and his glory. God is good and he loves to show his stuff!
There’s more. One of the enemies tactics during opposite day is to try to make you doubt yourself. Have you ever asked “did the Lord really say that?” I have. If this line of questioning sounds familiar that’s because it’s the same trick the enemy used on Eve in the garden. Here’s the deal: Jesus is the good shepherd and the sheep hear his voice. A stranger’s voice they will not follow. The Holy Spirit is the advisor, the counselor, the Spirit of truth. God doesn’t lie. If he told you it was going to happen, it is going to happen. He will also give confirmation along the way. I have pages and pages of verses and prophetic words that were given to me by a friend who had no idea that I would be facing this now. She gave them to me eight months ago and they are all about provision. A few weeks ago, before we knew that the job hunt was going to be so difficult, the Spirit spoke the following word to my husband: “stop asking me for a job and start thanking me for provision because it is done.” That same day my friend texted me to say that the Lord wanted her to tell us to stop praying for provision and start thanking him because it was done. And when I decided to take matters into my own hands – because obviously God could not handle my problem – and started looking for a second job, the Lord put big ol’ barricades in my way. And then he sent another dear friend to say “this never happens to me but I woke up crying and the Lord told me to tell you something.” Do you know what she said? God told her that the hardest thing I was ever going to have to do is not get a second job (he knows me so well!). He wants me to just be held. He wants me to let him take care of it. He wants me to hold on and have faith.
So what is the secret to surviving opposite day? The most important thing is to remember opposite days gone by. How did those work out? Was God faithful to his word? I bet he was. All I have to do is look back on my night in the safe house. God gave me some big promises that night. They seemed impossible. But every single promise has come true. And two years ago he told me that he had a husband for me. That was totally nuts. I didn’t even know that I wanted a husband. I certainly wasn’t healed enough to love a husband. Plus, I have lived in the same town for thirty years and had yet to meet a single guy that I would be even remotely interested in marrying. So if it was going to happen, God was going to literally have to bring him to me, and I would not be using the internet to help in any way. I married my soulmate and best friend at sunset on a white sand beach in Maui a few months ago so, yeah, I can confidently say on this opposite day, and everyday, that if God says it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.
Lastly, instead of hating opposite day and praying for it to be over as quickly as possible, try to receive the gifts that God wants to give you during opposite day. There are certain gifts he can only give you during opposite day, and he knows this. My gift is out digging ditches right now. It still blows my mind. No one has ever been willing to do something like that to help provide for me. He is thrilled to be able to support our family in anyway. When he comes home after toiling in the sun for hours and greets me with a genuine smile, pulls me close, and tells me that he loves me, I know God is using him to heal a very deep wound.
Thanks be to God, my morning freak out turned into this post. I pray it will give you the strength and courage to stay in faith even if you are smack dab in the middle of your own opposite day. You are never alone and you are loved.
So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. Acts 27:25