"Sometimes while I'm talking to God, He'll show me something about myself in such a way that I have to laugh at my own humanity and how funny I must look to Him." - Donna

Donna...just found your blog...I absolutely love it! And I love your singing! I'm at work right now and it was just exactly what I needed to hear to help me make it through tonight! Thanks for your ministry here!
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Friday, August 27, 2004

Are You Being Bullied?

We are human, but we don't wage war with human plans and methods. We use God's mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil's strongholds. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 nlt

I got almost all the way through school without ever being bullied. Not being the confrontational type, I maintained a low profile when trouble brewed. That changed during my junior year of high school.

As I foraged around in my locker for a book, I saw two girls standing a few feet away. They whispered something to each other, and then one walked over.

“Donna, I thought you ought to know. Someone’s threatened to beat you up.”

“Me? Who in the world would want to do that?”

“Do you know who Brenda Greene* is?”

The name sounded familiar. “Isn’t she the girl who likes Danny*?” I still couldn’t figure out what this had to do with me.

“Uh-huh, that’s her. She thinks you want to steal Danny from her.”

All I could do was shake my head. Where would she get that idea?

I turned around to go to class, and as if on cue, here came Brenda with two of her friends. She gave me a withering look. My pulse quickened when she passed less than a foot away. She towered over me.

For the next week, threatening messages promising future harm made their way to me. For someone as timid as me, this uncharted territory caused me great distress. I took great pains to ignore Danny even though I considered him only a friend. A couple of times, I saw his look of confusion when I rushed by as he called out my name. Didn’t he know his attention might cause me a few lumps to the head?

The other thing I couldn’t fathom was why this Brenda Greene, tall, beautiful, and slender, with short blonde hair and blue eyes, considered me a threat. I’d noticed the eyes when they shot shards of ice my way.

Most of the time, I kept friends with me. Finding safety in numbers seemed the wise thing to do until this thing blew over.

I made a quick trip between classes to the girls’ restroom. When I exited the stall, I came face to face, or should I say, face to chin, with Brenda. She shot me one of her now familiar, yet still fear-inducing looks. I glanced around. We were alone.

I walked stiff-legged over to the sink. I pulled my one hundred, ten-pound frame to my full height, and stared straight ahead.

Brenda stood to my side, never moving a muscle as I washed my hands.

Once I escaped to the hallway, all I could think was, “Thank God!” and then I thought, She’s not so brave without her ‘gang’ around her.

About that time, Brenda swept by. She looked over her shoulder to smirk at me, but the icy glare had dissipated. Maybe she respected me a little. After all, I didn’t dissolve into tears or beg for mercy.

A bully’s main weapon is the ability to instill fear of consequences, real or imagined. I’d never been in a fight before, so I couldn’t imagine the outcome being favorable for me.

Who is the biggest bully in your life? If you are a Christian, the answer is Satan. In 1 Peter 5:8, the word of God cautions us. “Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack.” (cev)

Satan tries to bully Christians into cowering in fear. He wants us to think he can bring devastation into our lives. Even God’s people, who know the voice of God, can often be found cowering in fear at the intimidating roar of Satan.

But there is another Lion. He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the only begotten Son of God. With one last statement, as He hung on the cross, He overcame every roar from Satan. “It is finished.”

At that moment all of the power of the adversary was broken, and the power of sin forever crushed and placed under His feet. We have no reason to dissolve into tears or beg for mercy. Victory over Satan begins when we understand that victory has already been won through Jesus Christ!

I found strength in numbers when I felt bullied by Brenda. Find strength by surrounding yourself with other Christians. Go to church. Pray with others. Get into a good Bible study.

Back when Brenda bullied me, I called Danny. “What’s with your girlfriend and all the threats?”

“Well, first of all, she’s not my girlfriend,” Danny said. “And I didn’t know about the threats until today. You really don’t know why she can’t stand you?”

“If I did, would I be calling you? Tell me!”

Danny hesitated – unusual since he was never at a loss for words. He cleared his throat, and then said, “She’s figured out you’re the one I want to be my girlfriend.”

I’d never thought of Danny ‘that way.’ I sat with the phone cradled under my chin, and pondered this new revelation. Shouldn’t I have figured this out? I liked Danny a lot, and didn’t want to ruin our friendship.

“Danny, you know I like you…”

“Yeah, yeah, I know.” Danny sighed into the phone. “Don’t even finish that.”

“Friends then?”

“I guess. I gotta go.”

Danny must have talked to Brenda, because the messages quit coming, and the intimidation ceased. That week was one of the longest of my life.

Wondering what happened to Danny? He and my ‘tormenter’ ended up getting married!

Prayer: Lord, I praise You! Because You are victorious over sin and death, I have hope. Thank you for the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

By Donna J. Shepherd

*Names changed.


Anonymous said...

Once again I'm the first to comment. This is beginning to be the norm, I suppose. Where should I start? I am being bullied by Satan at this very moment. I have gotten lazy about going to church. A few years ago, if the door was open, I was there! Then we moved back to Ohio from the middle of the desert, & during the move, I somehow lost my energy. I'm still looking for it...I can barely make it from morning to afternoon without a long rest. On Sundays, I attend Sunday School & morning worship, go home & pretty much konk out! I fix dinner for my husband, intending to finish in time for church, but somewhere along the line, my energy evaporates & I just don't make it to church. On the rare occasion when I actually manage to FIND some energy & get ready for church, my mother-in-law shows up on our doorstep wanting me to comfort her. I don't want to say she's Satan, but he is definitely working through her. I am who she turns to when she's feeling suicidal, depressed, or whatever. She lost her husband last March & I have been the one to help her keep her sanity. Now she's gotten into the habit of showing up for support on Sunday & Thursday evenings. I don't know what to do! The devil is working on me & he has found the perfect person to go through. Please pray for me...I want & NEED to get back to evening services!

Donna J. Shepherd said...

I am so sorry to hear that you've been having such a difficult time. I will pray for strength for your body, and patience with your MIL.


zephirine said...

just the message i needed, donna!

thanks for holding up your measure of His light. *:)

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Thanks for stopping by, Zephirine! - Donna

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