The Danger of Being Trapped in Your Own War

by | Nov 28, 2014 | Women

I think one of the most dangerous consequences of any fierce fight is the way it shrinks our vision to primarily the soil of our own battlefield. Sometimes I feel that if I’m not careful, I’ll get stuck inside an ALS bucket, where our issues are the issues. It’s like living inside your own, personal 24-hour news cycle, and all the stories are about medical stuff and caregiving stuff and insurance stuff and sorrow stuff. And it can happen with any fight we face. I’ve known people who can’t last six sentences in conversation without mentioning the ex-spouse who did them wrong. I totally get why this happens, but I firmly believe I need to work to get rid of the dumb bucket rather than justifying its existence.

This is a challenge in blogging. Writing helps me process what I’m experiencing and connect some of the emotional dots. It also creates camaraderie between those going through similar situations. I don’t think writing about our war is wrong; I just want to be so careful that I don’t become confined or defined by it. While people often tell me that what they’re going through is nothing compared to what we’re going through—I actively and aggressively resist that idea. The minute I begin thinking that I’ve drawn the worst hand available, I am just one short hop away from life in that bucket, where I am all that matters. And … Ew.

This morning, I read an article about the girls who were abducted in Nigeria. And I read this strong piece from Sarah Bessey about the issue of sexualized violence. Then I read a letter from the child we sponsor in Indonesia so she can attend school, and had so much fun writing her back and sending her some Christmas money.  

My coffee money for one week is her Christmas. Her entire Christmas. I mean, l this is a child—a real child with hopes and dreams and gifts an fears—who cannot attend school without the help of strangers. These are global issues. Moral issues. Issues embedded into the fabric of our society that rampage and ravage tender hearts and innocent lives.

We cannot support every cause or defend every victim, but I cannot live in a world where the only victim is me. My life is hard, yes. I’ve written about a million words on the nature of a villain like ALS, and I’ll write more. But as I’ve been processing burnout, I’m also seeing that one of the best ways to stay clearheaded in crisis is to realize there’s a world beyond your war.

I cannot escape the battlefield of ALS. It is the ground on which I live and fight. But I will resist until my dying breath the natural tendency to build walls around my battlefield, walls that shut up our hearts and our compassion and our righteous outrage toward social injustices on the global stage. This is not just right, it’s good. It’s good for my heart and my outlook. It’s good for my family and our army. It’s good for my future, and it’s good for the world that God so loves.

Feeling stuck in a bucket today? Push your vision out beyond your playing field and gain some quick perspective. And then do something. Pray, send money, send a note, send hope. Make a move in someone else’s war and see how it changes the landscape of your own.

Bo Stern is a blogger and author of Beautiful Battlefields (NavPress). She knows the most beautiful things can come out of the hardest times. Her Goliath came in the form of her husband’s terminal illness, a battle they are still fighting with the help of their four children, a veritable army of friends and our extraordinary God. Bo is a teaching pastor at Westside Church in Bend, Oregon.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

God says that during this season, He is turning up the heat, finding the gold and bringing His refining fire. Job makes a powerful statement of faith as he says of the Lord, "When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold." God knew Job's heart and Job knew the heart...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophecy: A Window of Time Has Opened for Believers to Preach the Truth

I was rejoicing and praising God on Friday, June 24, 2022, for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, knowing that an ungodly decree was overturned and one national curse was broken. I heard by the Holy...
The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

In 1998, God gave me a life-changing vision of hell. I receive many questions about my experience from people all over the world, but one question I'm often asked is, "Who did you see in hell?" There are others who say they've had an experience like mine, and they...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Pin It on Pinterest