Daughters out of Dragons
It may have taken far too long, but I have come to realize who the true enemy is.
I don't know what Satan calls the tactic, but it must have a powerful name. What title could you possibly give such a wretched yet cunning work of subterfuge? I would call it Soul's Shadow.
Satan plants demons everywhere in this world, lurking and waiting for a passerby to cling to. The common populace is aware of so many of these waiting demons that Satan must plant them farther down and deeper into the subconscious of our society for them to truly work his will. They lurk up between workers, between friends, straining and threatening the ties that hold teams and families together. Like monstrous worms, they devour connection and destroy carefully crafted artistry till monuments are dissolved to rumble and relationships splinter and fall apart.
But no devil, no demon, is so well devised or so well planted as the Soul's Shadow. That demon is planted in the deepest subconscious like a silent sleeper-cell, waiting for the right moment to strike. For years, it seems as if it has done no work at all. If someone were to pass by the place where Satan planted it, they would see no signs of life or destruction. But one day, a dark morning dawns, and the earth falls out. Only then is it evident that Soul's Shadow has burrowed underground, undermining tirelessly for decades.
If this were a societal ill, it could be ignored. If this were a political or scientific fluke, it could be expounded upon and cited, but this is no social demon.
The cruelest weapon Satan gifts his demon with is location. Soul's Shadow is just that.
All my life, I have fed him. I have clothed him. I have housed him. At my own expense and to my own hurt, I have kept him warm and dry. I have stayed up late into the night and well into the morning, burrowing alongside him and reinforcing the tunnels as we dig together. I have been the force behind every blow, and the passion behind every accusation.
I am so keenly acquainted with this demon.
One day, I realize why.
He is no shadow. He is me.
When I was young, they told me stories of knights and dragons. They told great tales of grand heroes overcoming villains from all corners of the globe and even from the sky above. They never said that I had my own enemy hidden deep inside me.
He does not require a trigger. He does not tick on slowly like some engaged time bomb.
He was born the same day I was, and we have been working together ever since.
I share my mind with him, and I run every thought and desire past him for his approval. He scrutinizes everything. He cuts everything down with absurd cruelty, gutting all my dreams and leaving their blood fresh on my mind. Still, I give him anything he asks for. He grapples for my attention, undermines my beliefs, and quarrels with the strongest of my resolutions. He takes every high and precious thought and shatters it against his own crude construction of reality.
Compelled by some skewed perception, I give him full reign. He is skepticism, and thus wisdom. He is brutality, and thus honesty. He is guilt, and thus mercy; compromise, and thus liberty.
I never realized that I was my own worst enemy. I never knew how vicious and vile I was. Havoc was my name, though I never knew it.
When reckoning day came, it was simple. I complained to God that I was tired of running after the things He promised me, that His definition of me was too high to be true. In return, He asked me a simple question.
"If I am your Creator, then who has been telling you who you are? And why have you believed them?"
That was the first time I looked down. That's when my vision cleared enough for me to see the broken pieces, shattered glass, and rent flesh scattered about my mind. It was then I saw that my own hands were bathed in the red of my own blood. There was no traitor. There was no crusader come to conquer me. I was the devil that I feared.
I have spent years antagonizing myself. Years spent accusing, ravishing, ripping, shaming, terrorizing, and berating myself. Looking in the mirror, I see my greatest abuser. Satan condemns us before God's holy throne, but for so long, I have been doing his work for him. I call out for God to save, poor, small broken me, but I never stop to ask who left me in such a depraved state.
Oh God, forgive me.
For so long, I have been a perpetrator entrenched in my own mind. For so long, I have been the mastermind behind my own demise. For so long, I have painstakingly carried out my own murder.
Here, Savior, I give my hands to you. Cleanse these bloodied fingers. From my own eyes, draw out and cast away the terror that I have inflicted. Quiet my own mouth, stretched in a scream that I inspired. Cool the searing pain that I have cultured in my own gut. Heal the aches that I have etched in my own heart.
I am a tragedy of my own writing. Oh All-Loving Author, take the pen.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and I have been horrifically and catastrophically broken.
Now, I see the enemy for who they truly are. I see myself as the murderer I am.
I receive the pardon You have given me, Merciful Judge.
I lay my weapons down. I abandon my trench and fall down on my knees.
Oh, God, replace every lie that I have spun with Your sacred truth. Reclaim every lost moment and every forsaken dream. Lift me up and remake me. Build me up. Remind me of who I am in You.
Tonight, I acknowledge my destructive potential. Tonight, I abandon it.
In this warfare of my mind, I no longer fight for the enemy. Let my name no longer be enlisted among the demons. I no longer give them food or shelter or charity. I no longer make my mind privy to that darkness. Still, I hear both sides, but now, I believe only one.
The dragons we hear so much about as children live inside of us. We are beasts.
Nevertheless, Christ comes, not only as conquering Hero, but as victorious Redeemer.
He comes to make men out of beasts.
He comes to make daughters out of dragons.