A Collection of Essays

FIGHT THE BATTLE

Dear Reader,

“The Lord will march out like a champion,

 like a warrior he will stir up his zeal;

with a shout he will raise the battle cry

and will triumph over his enemies.” – Isaiah 42:13

It occurred to me some back that I was born with what I am going to call a “warrior spirit.” This spirit within, especially as a child, has come with many labels that I hope some of you may relate to.

I have been called bossy.

I have been accused of being rebellious.

I have heard countless times about how I was difficult to raise because I never really did things the way everyone else wanted me to. You can imagine how fun that was for my parents when I was three.

I feel in some ways God has paid me back for all my three-year old shenanigans by giving me two “warrior spirit” children.

I have this plague in my office and one of the lines reads, “[they] are the square pegs in the a round whole. The ones who see things different.”

This sums me up so well. I often see things differently. I often do things differently. I have never been great with the “status quo.”

For a great portion of my life this “warrior spirit” frustrated me. I just wanted to see things the way everyone else does. I just wanted to go with the flow like everyone else did. I just wanted to conform and fit in.

It is HARD seeing and being a little different.

BUT you know what is even harder, trying to be someone you are not. I never did that well. I often made poor decisions. I often felt even more frustrated. AND honestly, I did not sleep well most of that time. I think perhaps, that was God’s way of saying, “accept how I made. Live up to that standard.”

I hope some of you can edify with me on that – God created us all in very unique and important ways and the moment we compromise on that is the moment that our worlds start to feel disjointed and chaotic.

We were not created for sameness.

But like any trait we have been given we must learn how to use this for God’s purposes and not our own. It is so EASY to take the good things about us and use them for our own gain. In fact, the world tells us often to do that.

When you have a “warrior spirit” within you everything becomes a battle. Because let’s face, warriors were bred for battle and without the right battle; they will battle anything.

So, I have battled the wrong people sometimes.

I have stuck up for things that had no meaning.

I have fought for my own personal gain.

I have alienated people whom I was called to love.

A few years back I found myself in the wrong battle.

I was the treasurer of a local football organization. This organization was being rebuilt and I thought that perhaps rebuilding was the perfect battle for me to partake in.

IT also became readily apparent that the person who ran the organization before us had stolen a considerable amount of money.

So, I was like a dog on bone. I was determined to figure out exactly what she had done because we walked into the season with zero money, uncertified equipment, and a HUGE uphill battle to even have a season.

I discovered that the season prior her business license had been administratively dissolved by the state. I was able to obtain bank statements from the previous four years. I quickly saw that she had written checks to herself, used the account to fund her vacations and her children’s sporting events.

I could trace her checking in to vacation spots on Facebook while she was using the account to fund the hotel, rental car, etc.

It was A LOT of money and the web of lies she had told people along the way were vast and wide.

I was furious for what she had done to the kids. She had used these accounts for her own person gain and failed to certify equipment that could have caused great injury to the kids.

I ended up turning her into the local police department – only to have them do nothing. Apparently, these types of cases are hard to prosecute.

 IT was all so frustrating.

AND to be honest, I felt like I had fought a losing battle. I also felt very alone in my battle. Many people did not share what they knew which only contributing to the lack of any effort by the police department.

I left that battle defeated and felt, perhaps, it was not my battle to have entered.

AND over the years I have found myself in a similar place.

I battled some churches; one that used money to try and gain what they wanted; and the other that used people to conform to what they wanted.

I have had physical battles with diabetes and cancer.

I have fought for my kids.

Stuck up for my friends.

I have fought for my marriage when things were falling apart.

This “warrior spirit” has carried and preserved me as I have battled. Some battles I lost and some I won. Some battles I should have entered and other’s I should have left well enough alone.

AND it is easy to look at the losing battles and think that, perhaps, this spirit does not serve me well. BUT the truth is God has given it to me so I must embrace it in the good and the bad. In the right and the wrong.

I share all of this with you today because I have something important to say about battles.

It is my belief that we are the cusp of a great battle. A battle of right and wrong. A battle where we will no longer be allowed to be a lukewarm people. We will have to decide where we stand. We will no longer to be able to hide behind conformity.

I do not share this to scare you but rather to say: prepare yourself.

AND if we are to prepare, we need to start with the truth of Isaiah 42:13. The Lord is a mighty warrior – He is the in the business of battles.

He will prepare us.

He will guide us.

He will strengthen us for what lies ahead.

WE must trust even if we do not see the end of the battle.

We must also look to those who have battled before us:

King David.

Paul.

Peter.

Martin Luther.

Alfred the Great.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Joan of Arc.

They all fought battles. They broke molds. They went against the tide. They were not ok with status quo. They saw things differently.

But ultimately, they trusted in their God. They knew no matter what He was fighting on their behalf. AND if we are going to hop into this battle, we MUST trust God. We MUST trust this is HIS battle.

Until next time,

Kara Jess

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