July 31, 2006 was a hard day. As I watched the screen, I searched intently for that blinking heartbeat which would give me peace of mind that the bleeding I had during the previous weekend was nothing to worry about. However, my doctor looked at me with compassionate, pain-filled eyes and said, “I am so sorry.”
The pain was intense. This was my third pregnancy. I had two beautiful children, but the loss was no less agonizing. I ached. I yearned for it not to be true.
Unfortunately, that was not my darkest day. In February 2007, the due date for that baby came, and I was still not pregnant again. Life was not supposed to be like this. How long would I have to wait? Would I ever be pregnant again? Was I a good enough mother to handle another child? I was losing hope and sinking into a hole of depression.
As I sat on the couch one evening staring blankly into the distance with swollen eyes and a tight throat, my husband approached me and said that I could not go on like this. No joke! He was concerned for me. As much as I did not want to hear what he had to say, I was desperate to be happy again, to engage in life fully, and enjoy my family.
I reluctantly listened as he explained how my thought chart was full of negativity. I rolled my eyes as he spoke and actually drew on our kids’ art easel how many of my thoughts were “red” denoting negativity. I felt nauseous as I thought of trying to change this pattern. With my experience in counseling, I had a sense of the road ahead, and it was daunting. How long would it take to feel better? How much effort would this transformation require of me? As I rebuffed all of Jeff’s efforts, he patiently asked me, “What are you thankful for?” And in my state, I exhaled, “Nothing! I can’t think of anything!” He calmly and wisely asked, “Are you thankful for your salvation?”
He knew the way to my heart. He knew that deep down this was still my hope. He knew the power of the truth of the gospel!
So, on that cold day in February, I committed to renew my mind in the truth of the gospel by choosing to be thankful for my salvation when nothing else would satisfy. This is the day I committed to wearing the Helmet of Salvation!
Ephesians 6:10-17 says to put on the full armor of God to be able to stand firm against the devil’s schemes. The armor aids us in both defensive and offensive postures in our fight. We can stand strong in God’s power and might, as we clothe ourselves with the wardrobe He has given us.
Spiritual forces of darkness fight hard to make us forget the love of God. The schemes the enemy uses are crafty deceits, lies, and trickeries. The mind is a powerful battlefield that we cannot afford to lose. Philippians 4:7 says to guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. In Christ Jesus, thoughts of inadequacy, confusion, determination to live life on our own, isolation, festering fear that leads to hopelessness, condemnation, lack of gratitude, and the like are no longer weapons that can stand against us. As we put on the Helmet of Salvation we remember that God, by His merciful kindness (Ephesians 1:9-14), sent His Son to give us eternal life. We can have hope in the present circumstances and even greatly rejoice because we know that we have a future hope (I Peter 1:3-9). As we dwell richly in the truth of Christ, that hope is an anchor for our soul (Colossians 3:16 and Hebrews 3:19).
I had forgotten the love of God. I had moved away from hope to despair. I was believing the lies of the enemy. Then, Christ made all the difference. Remembering my salvation assured me of God’s love. I remembered hope. I remembered the truth.
A year later, July 31, 2007, could have been a difficult day. The wound of the loss was still tender, but these emotions were overshadowed by the joy of knowing that God’s grace had been sufficient and abundant. He used this trying time to teach me to wear the Helmet of Salvation. With desperate repetition, I learned to guard my mind by the power of His foundational grace. His grace was sufficient in my weakness. I had no choice but to cling to the power of Christ. He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
And, in all of God’s goodness and grace, on July 31, 2007, I was newly pregnant with my third child, a girl. As a toddler, she had this beautiful helmet of curly hair. When I saw those bouncy curls, I was joyfully reminded of the transformation God had accomplished in my life. I learned to put on the Helmet of Salvation!