I was a school bus girl. I rode the bus from my first day in kindergarten until I had my own car. I lived on the very edge of the county line, so it took the bus a solid 25 minutes to get to my high school.
As a sophomore, I vividly remember the sick feeling I had every morning on my twenty-five minute commute. As the bus inched closer to the entry gate, my fears swelled tighter in my throat. Choking down anxieties, I prepared myself to daily face the girl who made me cry.
She was a senior. And a loud senior, at that. Full of insecurities and eaten up with struggles all her own. But to me, a little fifteen-year-old cheerleader, who sang in the choir and was annoyingly hyper, she was just mean. And loud. And all-consuming.
She would scream profanities at me as I walked the halls. Drawing all manner of attention to me, making fun of my outfits, mocking how I talked and throwing gum in my hair. At pep rallies she yelled from the bleachers. Calling names at the vulnerable girl on top of the stunts.
I was a bully’s dream. A prime target.
She was my worst nightmare.
As the school bus approached school each morning, there was a short bridge after a gas station. And that short bridge was my marked que to begin praying. Protection from the girl who threw gum. Maybe she wouldn’t be at school. Lord, please don’t let me see her. I prayed everyday of my sophomore year. Every time I crossed that bridge.
Even then, fifteen and not walking with Jesus, I knew I needed protection. And I knew where to get it.
Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7
Not that she was the devil. I wouldn’t say that, at all. Now. But at fifteen I would have. Heck yes. She was the devil. Satan’s strategically placed threat, reeking havoc on my life. Making sophomore year the most memorable of my high school career.
We underestimate what the devil sets out to do in our lives. He isn’t out to frustrate us. He doesn’t set out to get on our nerves or just ruin our day. No. He sets out to destroy us. To kill us. And he tried day after day, to kill the life inside me. And he did a fine job. Suffocating my sophomore year.
I have seen it time and time again this past week. Satan, reeking havoc on God’s people. Marriages. Neighborhoods. Children. Churches. He is everywhere. Look around your life. Do you see his debris?
But be encouraged, sweet believer. You. Yes, you have the power to stop him.
Resist. And he flees.
Resist simply means oppose. In the name of Jesus, oppose him. Withstand him under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I mean it.
Push up your sleeves and get ticked.
And he has no other choice but to flee from you.
Get this. Flee, as used here in James 4:7, means “to take flight in order to escape danger.”
Ha. Don’t you see? He is threatened by you. You, beloved, are the threat. Not him. He has no authority over you, your marriage, your church, your job, your money, your marriage. And bless God, he is not a threat to your babies.
Today … pray up your babies, in the authority of Jesus Name, and say to the devil, “flee from my children. Take flight for, in Jesus Name, you are in great danger.”
He can not withstand Jesus.
I went to graduation that May. Secretly so excited to see the bully walk the stage and make her exit. And she did. But afterwards when we all stood around and hugged, saying goodby to that graduating class, her eyes met mine and locked. And she smiled at me. Not her mean, I want to eat you, smile. But a smile that apologized. For every thing she had done.
And my heart forgave her.
Resist the devil. He will flee.
Lord Jesus, protect my babies from the schemes of the devil. He prowls around waiting to devour them, I know. But I say today, in the authority of your name, that he is powerless. Place a hedge of protection around them and draw them under the shadow of your wing. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Reflect & Respond:
Ask God to show you specific areas to pray protection for your children. I didn’t tell my mom about the bully for a long time. Ask for insight into areas that your child might not be telling you.
As you pray for you children, imagine where they go today. Their desk. The lunchroom. The bathroom. The gym. Pray over those places, too.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 1 Peter 5:8-9
Share how has the Lord used something from your high school years to shape who you are today? How has he used it for His Glory?
Becky, I remember so vividly the “bully” you are referring to and I remember what she did and how she treated you. You made my Senior year more memorable and special and that is the year we became close friends. Your friendship that year really got me through as I had many struggles that year and you were always there for me. Thank you for being there when I needed a friend. Praise God for your encouragement and wisdom!!
Rachel. Your comment means so much. You were such a good friend to me, too. Such a gift. That was a hard year for the both of us, wasn’t it. I am thankful to the Lord for putting us together. Love you so.
Thank you for sharing your story, Becky. I know how painful it is to remember that time in your life. I was bullied in junior high, and last year my son was bullied as a second grader. A second grader! It is an awful thing. Thinking about it makes my stomach ache, and that “sticks and stones” thing is just a big fat lie because words really do hurt.
Being bullied did make me intolerate of anyone being made fun of; I remember standing up for others being bullied and now, as a mother, I won’t allow it. I remind my kids to “Be kind and compassionate to one another.” (Ephesians 4:32).
After reading your blog about all that shing-shinging at your house :-), I came across Proverbs 12:18 that says, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” That applies to today’s post, too. Thank you, Becky, for your “wise tongue;” it absolutely brings about healing.
Sweet Jenny! Second grade! Ahh! That breaks my heart. Thank you for your encouragement. I don’t deserve those kind words. xoxo
My high school years were filled with a lot of struggles (finances, in a single-parent home with a disabled mother, the darkest point in my eating disorder), but there was a lot of good as well (my church, youth group, mentors, growth in my relationship with the Lord). God has used all of that & more to shape me into who I am today, and I have been involved in ministry to teenage girls for most of the last 17+ years. It is my prayer that my story has been & wil continue to be used for His glory.
You are such a light for Him, Amy. Your story is powerful. (Everyone should go look at Amy’s blog. She rocks.)
I remember what you went through. I wanted to set her on fire, but you wouldn’t let me. Love you babe!
Oh Daddy. I do remember you, my sweet dad, in his holy anger. Thank you for loving me through that. I love you, too.