By Danni Moss
Copyright protected, all rights reserved
Originally written 3/25/2009
When my chest first erupted in pain on Dec. 16, I assumed it was due to a fall which occurred that morning. However, as the pain persisted I began to pray for answers. I eventually learned, the end of January, the pain was due to breast cancer in and behind my sternum and a rib beside it.
As I prayed for understanding and direction (for the reasons stated in The Last Curse), God gave me a phrase – the breastplate of righteousness. He didn’t tell me what that meant. All I knew was that it had something to do with the breastplate of righteousness.
During this past week He has given me additional understanding. All of those years, the verbal attacks by Gary and his mother were always addressed at my righteousness (in Christ, since I have none of my own). Whatever Gary said about me at any given time, the reason I was “failing” was because I was not godly, was rebellious, was not saved, had no spiritual gifts, etc.
For the first 10 years of our marriage, and then occasionally during the last four years of our marriage my mother-in-law would come to me every few months with “a burden on her heart for me” (we were estranged during the intervening six years). Little did she know that the seed that birthed all these burdens could be found in her conversations with Gary. He talked to his parents frequently on the phone and had an ingenious way of mixing truth, truth twisted into untruth, innuendo (carefully not saying things to let the other person “read between the lines” something that wasn’t true), and barefaced lies in an impenetrable concoction. I eventually figured out that trying to untangle the knots with truth only made me look like I was being defensive and like I was the one in denial.
In every one of her talks with me, my mother-in-law, whom I loved dearly and greatly respected, told me that God showed her this, that, or the other about my spiritual inadequacy or failure – based on something she “observed” in me via, or interpreted through, her conversations with Gary. Again, it was an assault on my righteousness.
It was for this reason that I originally went to my face with God after seven years of marriage. My greatest heart’s desire has always been to walk in righteousness and truth. But somehow, according to my husband and my godly mother-in-law, I was persistently failing. So I asked God to change me. And I kept asking, and He kept changing. I believed if God changed me, then surely I would finally be able to please my husband and my mother-in-law.
But the more I changed the more unacceptable I became! During the Fall before our first separation, I finally realized that if my mother-in-law could not be pleased with God’s work in my life, the problem wasn’t me. Somehow, in spite of the fact I had previously believed she was probably the godliest woman I ever knew, she did not perceive the truth of the Holy Spirit – and that revealed a very big problem. And that problem wasn’t me.
What God showed me during this past week was that all those verbal assaults for all those years were focused on the breastplate of righteousness I wore in Christ. And quite literally, the pain in my breastbone feels like flaming, stabbing darts. This cancer is a physical manifestation of all those verbal assaults.
BUT the shield of faith quenches all the fiery darts of the wicked! And that is the path God has told me to walk. I will not accept death at the hands of unrighteousness because God has said to have faith in Him and His truth. Satan hates me, he hates my daughter, and he hates all victims of abuse everywhere who dare to break free of His bondage and death sentence. And that is what God has called me to proclaim. That message isn’t finished yet! In fact, it is barely begun.
Nope, it is not time to die – but live.