Oh my gosh, I wrote a book! (But not a blog, for months! Alas...)
All my life I thought I would write a book some day. Never in my life did I think I would write a book. Both of those things are true. It seemed, on some level, like I had already done it. And so I was completely unprepared for the demons of insecurity to overtake me just before I published it. 'Who are you to publish something?' 'What makes you an expert?' 'What if you are wrong about... everything?' It was painful and surprising. I am insecure about lots of things, but not usually my writing or my sense of calling. But those voices were incredibly strong and real. For a few weeks, I really struggled.
There are several stories in the Gospels about people possessed by demons. Often, in modern times we think of these in terms of mental or physical illness. But I don't believe that. What else are these dark voices we sometimes hear besides demonic? They are telling lies, they are scaring us, and they are making us react to them as if they are real. 'That person doesn't really love you.' 'You are unnatractive/unintelligent/not deserving of this.' These are demons, plain and simple. Forces that try to get in the way of the truth of love - of ourselves and of others.
There is only one way to get rid of demons, and that is exorcism. As scary as that sounds, it is just a matter of casting them out. Love conquers fear, and light banishes darkness. While I let my own demons get to me for awhile, I eventually started banishing them with great relish. 'I cast you out in the name of Jesus Christ!' I said, out loud, to the voices that tried to tell me everyone would laugh at the idea of me publishing a book, that no one would ever read it. 'Be gone!' I told the thought that it is not perfect, and never will be. It was actually kind of fun!
And it worked.
I am still feeling surprisingly vulnerable about the whole process, and immensely grateful to everyone who has supported me through it. And those who are buying the book, and reading it! (eek). But no matter how I feel, I am exercising those voices I know are lies. I am the author of my own soul, and I know the words that God intends for it, and those he does not. The demons can go.