One of my favorite movies of all time is Top Gun. Even compared to movies today with superior computer graphics, the Top Gun of the 80’s stands the test of time because of its STORY. You just gotta have a great story, especially when the two main characters have cool code names like “Maverick” and “Goose.”
Some of the coolest parts of the movie are the dogfights (aka aerial combat) and the serious kick-buttness of it all! (yes…I just made up a word). You are cheering for two of the BEST in the Navy who EXCEL when the threat of the enemy intensifies.
But when Maverick looses his friend in a tragic accident, he has to battle a new kind of enemy: debilitating guilt and fear.
Unfamiliar and unequipped to engage an enemy that resides in himself, Maverick cowers away from flight deck and disengages from combat.
Interesting isn’t it? The greatest of stories always includes 2 enemies: the one that come at you from the outside and the one that talks to you from inside. In many instances (including mine and YOURS) that internal voice is far more dangerous and incapacitating than the enemy physically shooting at you.
The battle of the heart and mind within oneself is the Enemy’s greatest ploy. If he can get you to doubt, fear, condemn, hate and shame yourself, he can have you on your knees waving the white flag before the battle ever really started.
This is what I realized this morning as I wondered how my journey into the battle of facing and healing from sexual abuse seems so mellow now after 3 weeks of intensity. Is it because I am healing? Is it because I’m doing better and on my way to functioning normally?
I almost laughed at myself. I knew immediately that was far from the truth. Then I heard the panicked voice of Maverick in my head, “Disengage! Disengage!”
And I realized what I’ve done. I have slipped quietly and without detection into the enemy’s camp and his familiar territory of numbness. I “grounded “myself from aerial combat.
Who knows why. Was the pain too great? Did I loose my courage? Do I fear my own anger as I open the Pandora’s box of past pains? I wanted to procrastinate by asking and waiting for the “whys” in my own psychoanalysis of self. No such luck. (boohoo!) All I know is that it’s so much easier to forget: to get busy and stay busy and pretend I’m okay: to disengage and stay grounded and safe.
Disengage: detach, free, loosen, or separate (from something).
The Lord reminded me that no one in the movie, blamed Maverick for his response to his friend’s death. They did not blame him for disengaging.
“Neither do I judge you”, the Lord said. “But that doesn’t mean I want you to stay here.”
Now that the Enemy within has been identified, complacency because of ignorance is no longer as option. And I feel the gentle but firm hand of the Lord on my back as He says, “Get back in there. You can do it. I am with you.”
I find it fascinating that the images and thoughts the Lord gave me are about flying. (oooo…this is about to get good! I love it when God puts this together for me as I’m writing it out!)
Yep…Isaiah 40:31 comes to mind: “Those who WAIT on the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings like eagles: they shall RUN and not be weary: they shall walk and not faint.”
Isn’t it interesting how our part is to WAIT on the Lord? Did you know that the Hebrew word behind “to wait” is to twist together or to bind to (as in for strength)? Did that just open up a whole new understanding of our part in going to the Lord? It did for me!
Even now, as the tears are falling and the numbness fading, I hear the triumphant laughter of God as I dare to get back in the air. I’m not just looking to soar though. I don’t know about you…but…
“I feel the need…the NEED FOR SPEED!”
Now…what do you think my code name should be?