We received a little book of bedtime prayers to read to our little guy when we were pregnant, and one of the prayers is titled, "You're never, ever alone." It is a little cheesy and even rhymes, but it teaches that no matter what, no matter where, God is with you. It is so basic, but it's a reminder that I've needed a lot, and so have many of my friends.
In the last several months, God has brought me conversations with other women, where God has used me to assure them that they are not alone in various circumstances. One friend was dealing with family and friends who kept telling her "how small" she was in her pregnancy, and some family members even told her to her face that they didn't think she could accomplish a natural childbirth as she desired (for those who did not get comments about being "so small," it often made me feel as though people thought I wasn't eating enough or doing pregnancy well, which this momma was feeling too). For privacy of my sweet friends who have shared various hardships, I will just say that I could list at least 5 separate conversations, where I heard God speaking through me with these kind words, "Know that you're not alone."
I have circled round and round the "I'm-alone-in-the-stuff-I'm-trying-to-deal-with-TREE." I have learned that I struggle with anxiety sometimes and that often launches me into the depths of feeling very alone and very inadequate. God has had to remind me many, many times this year especially that I am not alone, especially when it feels like it.
In various lessons recently, God has been working on the anxiety challenge that I face, reminding me that it is a spiritual battle wherein Satan attacks my desire to be a great mom/wife/family member/friend/worker and tells me that I will never measure up, and plants the seed of "why even bother," which yields doubt in my mind that sometimes even creeps into my heart. When I arm my mind with the helmet of Salvation, which says to those lies, "I don't have to measure up, God, the Creator of heaven and earth has adopted me into His family and I belong to Him. Nothing you (Satan) matters compared to that, so don't waste your efforts on me, I don't care what you say." God is teaching me to stand guard with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, ready to defend myself against these attacks, which often and unfortunately come masked in concerns or off-handed comments from well-meaning people in our lives (or even strangers).
There is nothing that Satan would rather us think than that we are alone, for if we are alone, we are not focusing on experiencing God's presence, relying on His strength, walking with His Spirit and enjoying the fruit He produces in us (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control) and getting to know our God and Savior more by walking with Him through our challenges. When we feel like we're alone, then we're easy targets for all sorts of attacks to make us feel even further from God, but that's another post for another day.
I had no idea when we begun reading the bedtime prayer book that a simple, rhyming prayer about God's nearness (no matter what) would be a part of the theme of this season of my life. Being gently reminded by God that I'm not alone in the challenges I'm facing, and neither, friend, are you alone in your challenges (no matter how large they may seem).
My prayer for you is that you'll remember and learn in a new way that you're never, ever alone, because God is with you and He is faithful.