“Sally” was a certified, card carrying, hard core, brass knuckle rebel.
She has clear memories of successfully defying the adults in her world at 18 months of age. And she improved her technique with each passing year.
Goodness knows she had a lot of practice. Her family, her teachers, her doctors and her bosses all tried to break her and make her normal. They landed some damaging blows, and when I met her, she was battered and aching in some deep, deep places. But not broken. And still defiant.
Predictably, she cycled through jobs faster than politicians break their promises. She finally found one boss who was smart enough to get out of her way and let her be herself. Sally has tossed a lot of the “standard procedures” of that department, crafted a better way to do things using less time than anyone else (by 60%!) and is producing a top-quality product.
As a result, the boss has given her more and more authority to control her priorities and to spend money without prior approval.
Meanwhile, she was hurting deeply and sought healing from various practitioners.
I watched from a distance, hearing snippets from those who tried to help her with the usual tools of repentance, deliverance, cleansing generational issues, etc. Good tools. Not very effective for her.
She asked me why it wasn’t working for her.
I pondered a while and sent her a bunch of verses about design and dominion.
And I had a long call with her one day, validating the Fighter in her as a treasure. I did, admittedly, redirect the fighting spirit toward the spiritual realm, but for the first time in her life, instead of my cursing her fighter and labeling it a rebel, I validated it as the thing that had kept her alive in the dark, dark days.
She fell in love with Psalm 18:34. “He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”
And the demons, who have dogged her life from conception, have been having a very rough month.
Because I called her Fighter, GOOD!
Sally knows she is called to an unusual birthright and that the culture does not recognize that as a legitimate pursuit. At the least, she will not be supported in that journey. Most of the time, she will be mocked or blocked by the smart people around her who think they know so much more than the God who designed her.
Because she would need to fight for her birthright, God made her incredibly tenacious, with a keen sense of what works. She defied convention because she knew she could see a better way. And when people bucked her, she fought them instead of fighting their bad ideas. Not a good choice.
Admittedly, the devil successfully highjacked her fighter spirit and she made a mess of her life. I know that and she knows that. But the advice of the well-meaning fixers around her to become proper, normal, ordinary and standardized never helped her.
She IS made to be counter-culture and to break some molds and do some new things.
But first, she is strengthening her much maligned Fighter to unleash his fury and his fire against the demons who have been tormenting her for a long time.
In the era of her childhood, she was labeled as a rebel.
We are so much more sophisticated these days. Two syllable labels are so 1950s!
Today she would have Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Count them! Eleven syllables are so much more impressive.
The Mayo Clinic website quotes the DSM-5 description of the symptomology and then addresses the cause.
Angry and irritable mood:
Argumentative and defiant behavior:
There's no known clear cause of oppositional defiant disorder. Contributing causes may be a combination of inherited and environmental factors, including:
Or possibly God!
I am sure some ODD is the result of bad parenting. I suspect some may be genetic brain issues. And surely some is Edomite critters tormenting a child and seeking to destroy their place in community.
But unlike the DSM-5, I believe God does not bow to the social contract that all kids should easily fit into the culture.
I believe some of the kids who were labeled as rebels back in the day, or as ODD today, were designed by God to be epic fighters, taking down a stronghold that matters a lot to Him.
Did Elijah have ODD?
Surely John the Baptist would have curled the pages of the DSM-5.
God used Jehu who had a world class case of ODD to take down Jezebel.
And then there is this fanatical preacher who redefined ODD. “"See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Jude 14-15 NIV
His name? Enoch!
Apparently, God likes some ODD people.
Perhaps because He made them for an epic encounter with a decadent culture.
Is all ODD God’s design?
Of course not.
Is SOME the result of God deliberately putting an indomitable spirit in some people, even though He knows they will have an emotionally violent childhood?
Well, I know at least one who I am absolutely convinced God designed with a massive fighting spirit.
And she is coming along nicely.
Let the devil beware.
That´s our God. There´s not only an answer, there is an fascinating and prickling one. When this happens, I´m always reminded, I still scratch to much with the chickens and look in the dirt for the solution. And not soar with eagles wings, when I have to look up and see the perfect good, that’s coming from above, from Jesus. He is more and there is more to come.
Sometimes what you say makes my spirit jump up and shout, "Yeah! I knew that! I knew there was something better and even marvelously designed by God this very way!" So, yeah, that happened. Thanks, Arthur.
Makes me think of the song by Steffani Gretzinger “Out of Hiding”, from the album “The Undoing “. This blogpost is an undoing.
This also made me think of Mrs Comstock in ‘Girl of the Limberlost’. How she pined, raged and destroyed because of a covenant breaker. Only when the folks around her became brave enough to tell her the truth, did she see it for what it was and a true change of heart was evident. I am really fond of that book.
On Nov. 11, Remembrance Day in Canada, I had struggled with the idea of Pacifism versus the Warrior Spirit. As I was praying about this I remembered that somewhere in the Psalms were the words, "Teach me Your ways, O Lord." I pulled out my Young's Concordance and looked up "teach." The first reference to "teach" in the Psalms was Psalm 18:34--He teaches my hands to battle and the last reference in the Psalms to the word "teach" was Psalm 144:1.."Who teaches my hands to battle."
At the first read of this blog, I wasn’t as nice as Mr Haggerty, and the others. I was angry! I’ve been at the receiving end of this type of behavior for a great part of my life. I have the scars, ranging from deformities to bruises. So to look kindly upon this, mmmmmm, a bit of a push, I’ll be honest. BUT the thing is, Jesus loves both sides equally. My bruises hurt Him. But He sees the other side too, and those bruises also hurt Him. If I live out of the bruises I have, I bruise those around me, and that would be wrong, plain wrong. There has been grace for me to face some of the bruises head on and I CHOOSE to face them. Living from them is WRONG! I have fight in me too, after all, fight enough to face the wrong. No excuses! Redemption does not mean colouring-in and sugar-coating junk, that would only be a brightly coloured old junk, a nonsensical pedestallian project. Redemption means, a turning around, a change of direction. And repentance. Out of that, something new emerges. The real deal. I would be careful to pose as the real deal example. Anyhow, this really got me thinking and crying and I have to admit, raging.
Thank you for this insightful piece. This will help me to encourage a few of my friends to embrace and develop this special piece of their design.
One day while in an inner healing session, and I was particularly frustrated with God, I asked Him why I was such a challenge to my parents. His very quick response was "I made you that way.....I made you to challenge the status quo " Two sentences....one life changing affirming moment. Rock on Sally!!! You're not alone.
I read this and smile. There are so many of us who never fit the mold and no matter what we do we called different, show emotion - drama queen, frustration-trowing a tantrum, even family and friends can't figure us out. I think there more "fighters" out there that we know. This made love my journey with God even more. He told me in a dream I was made to be a warrior.
This is very enlightening, encouraging, and awesome. Learning to be a fighter according to God's design. Reminds me of a little book called "Let Anger Be Your Ally" that I read years ago. Anger is not wrong, but we often handle it in a wrong way. Fighting is not wrong, we just all too often fight against the person or institution instead of the problem. Kudos to "Sally" for her fight to understand herself and her God-ordained fighter spirit.