"The apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us in God's Word that basically, a stronghold is any argument or pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God . . . every high thing that exalts itself in our minds, pretending to be bigger or more powerful than our God." -"Praying God's Word," Beth Moore
Beth Moore also shares in her book that a stronghold "steals much of our focus and causes us to feel overpowered, controlled, mastered . . it is something that consumes so much of our emotional and mental energy that abundant life is strangled - our callings remain largely unfulfilled, and our believing lives are virtually ineffective. Needless to say, these are the enemy's precise goals."
Without realizing it, grief can steal so much from us. As I look back on the first few years after the loss of my son, Kevin, I recall many times when I unintentionally "exalted" Kevin, which is very different from wanting to remember him and give his life significance. At time, I was overwhelmed by grief and there were also times, when I thought I was going to have an emotional/mental breakdown, as the burden of grief seemed to be over-powering me.
A dear friend (and a "mom like me") helped me to see that though it was important that I grieved the loss of my son, I needed to be careful that I didn't make an idol of him - exalting him above my husband, my two other sons, grandchildren and other relationships in my life. She cautioned me that, if I wasn't careful, grief could easily strangle and diminish the faith, trust, joy and peace that I once possessed, because I was a child of God and a follower of Christ first and foremost.
I am very thankful for that courageous, loving friend and "sister in Christ" who helped me to see that it was time for me to lay down the heavy burden of grief in exchange for the comfort, hope and joy of the Lord. Loss and grief had become a stronghold on my life, and it kept me living in the past and my life was "virtually ineffective."
Once I got passed the misconception that, if I laughed again, if I began to enjoy my life that I was somehow betraying the memory and significance of my son's life. This is not to say that I have ever stopped missing my child, that I will never weep again for the loss of him, it just means that it was time for me to put God back on the throne of my life and to embrace the hope available to me through Jesus Christ, the "Resurrection and the Life."
In Ecclesiastes we are told that "there is a time and a season for everything" and I believe that includes a time to grieve and a time to let go of grieving that it might not become a "stronghold" on my life.
Living Free with Faith, Hope and Love,
Angie "a mom like you"