Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spiritual Asphyxiation: Smothering Part 2

photo credit: graur codrin/freedigitalphotos
 Today, I'm talking about smothering. 

In my Howdunit Forensics: A Guide for Writers, D.P. Lyle says, "Smothering occurs when some external device prevents air from entering the nose or mouth." 

Last week week started the series on spiritual asphyxiation. You can read part 1 on Environmental Suffocation, HERE.

A few months ago, I had a dream. Not a Martin Luther King Jr. kind of dream. A nightmare, actually. Now, I don't think every dream is a spiritual dream. Sometimes it's the fault of the pizza I ate.

But this was.

I was in the concrete basement of my childhood home. Washing clothes. The smell of must, lack of light, and the chilled air from being underground  didn't seem to bother me.

I pulled a towel from the dryer when the hairs on my neck stood on end. Paralyzing fear held me in place, my eyes bugged out searching for the source of terror. But I saw nothing.

An uncommon cold settled down my spine and I before I had the chance to process anything, a bony arm came out from behind me. I knew the only shot I had to survive was to scream out the name of Jesus. 

Jesus saves.

"Je--" My words cut off as the claw-like hand snapped over my mouth and held my speech prisoner. I couldn't breathe.

I panicked. My heart didn't beat out of my rib cage, the fear was too great, I think it seemed to stop beating altogether. Only buzzing between my ears.

I heard something. "You don't have to speak to say My name." Like a thought answering me back.

photo credit:
Salvatore Vuono/freedigitalphotos
All I knew was I had to get to Jesus. So I raised my hands, and like I'd been taught in Sunday school when singing Jesus Love Me, dropped the towel and brought my middle finger to the palm of my left hand and then repeated it with my right. Back and forth, wildly. Sign language.

"Jesus! Jesus!" my mind and hands cried out.

My eyes flew open and I was in my bed, still in the dark. My husband slept peacefully beside me. Sweat drenched my body and the slivers of fear from the dream still clung to the standing hairs along my neck.

Could I speak? "Jesus," I whispered. "Jesus…Jesus…"

"…One form of homicidal smothering is when the assailant places a gag or tape over the victim's mouth or nose…" D.P. Lyle, M.D 

Anytime the enemy can shut your mouth, pinch your nose and keep you from calling on God, he'll do it. It's called homicide for a reason. He lurks and waits for an opportunity. In my dream, I was doing the mundane. Housework. I wasn't expecting a vicious attack. And I certainly wasn't expecting one up close and personal.

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour 1 Peter 5:8."

Homicidal Smothering looks like this:

You're diagnosed with a terminal illness or someone you love is, a loved one dies leaving you alone, you've been victimized, your house burns to the ground, a spouse is unfaithful, a child becomes addicted to drugs…

The enemy slides his bony claws in from behind and puts a gag of fear around your mouth and nose.

Fear will keep you from Jesus. It'll slowly suck the life out of you. Suffocating you. Fear breeds doubt. Fear builds walls. Fear sometimes means flight.

photo credit:
Simon Howden/freedigitalphotos


All you need is Jesus. When you don't think you have the breath in you to call on Him, He'll get creative so you can.

 You can trust Him to get you through the scary times. You can trust Him to loose the hold the enemy has on you and pull you from the dark basement you feel trapped in. You can trust Him to carry you through the nightmare, to wake you up and still be there beside you, holding your hand--kissing the palm, showing you His. You're safe. Always safe.

Have you ever felt like the enemy was suffocating you? How did you get through it?

I'm over at Living By Grace, a facebook community for women! 
Come by and chat.







33 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, what a freaky dream! Blech. Reading psalms really helps me. I've relied on them a lot in the past. btw, I haven't been by since last week but your new blog look is gorgeous!!

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    1. It was a freaky dream. Scared me half to death. I love reading the Psalms too! So much there.
      Thanks about the blog! :)

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  2. For us, it looked like the two of us losing our jobs, our church, and all of our friends within three days time, all while trying to take care of a 10-month-old. I had to rely on others to "pray me through" until I could call on Him. They had to do it in my behalf for a time because I was in total survival mode.

    You have a way with words, and with the Word, Jesse!

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    1. Girl, that's homicidal smothering for sure. A scary time indeed. I think you make a great point too, sometimes when we can't pray others stand in the gap for us!

      Thanks, friend!

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  3. That surely was a freaky dream. I've totally felt like that at times. I get out my bible or turn on praise and worship music and it helps.

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    1. Praise music soothes me too! Changes the whole atmosphere doesn't it?

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  4. Oh my, that was chilling to read. I believe in spiritual dreams and have had a couple myself.

    I have definitely had experiences where I felt strangled. About 2 years ago we closed the doors to our church plant. It'd been going for 4 years with no growth. We went through our saving, our retirement, lost our home, and racked up some debt trying to keep it afloat. When you follow clear leading from God to do something and it fails, well, it is paralyzing. But as a child of God I walk by faith, not sight. I take one step at a time, following His leading wherever He leads...even through the desert. Stay in the Word and keep praying!

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    1. Sherrinda, thanks for sharing that with us. That's smothering for sure, but I bet through that devastating time you experienced God in a way you hadn't before, yes? I admire your faith and strength.

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  5. Oh, wow. What a dream! I dream about my childhood home a lot.

    Powerful post!

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    1. Why is it, you think, that we dream about the house we grew up in. I rarely think about it during the day.

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  6. Smothering is a great term for it. I was given some upsetting news about my job yesterday and totally feel like I can't breathe.

    So glad I stopped by this morning. Even though it brought tears to my eyes, your post this morning was comforting to my heart.

    And, of course, I think it is awesome you used sign language. I happen to be very fond of it. :)

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    1. Dawn,
      I'm sorry to hear about crappy news from your job. I'm glad you stopped by and found comfort. Luv ya, girl and praying for your situation.

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  7. Last week I was driving to Cincinnati (about an hour away) when I heard a voice say to check my tires. I wasn't thinking about my tires. I wasn't thinking about the car at all. I decided I was imagining things and ignored the voice. A little while later I heard it again. Check my tires. I was near my destination and made it there okay but as I was leaving to come home I heard the voice again. This time I did what it was telling me. My left rear tire was so low I was starting to ride on the sidewall. Another hour of highway driving could have caused it to blow.

    Even when we're not speaking to Him, He's speaking to us.

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    1. Oh wow! So true, LD. I've had similar things happen to me. I bet we could all say that. Glad you finally paid attention and checked it!

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  8. AMEN! Amen, amen, amen! Another powerful post, Jessica.

    Thanks for this truth. It's an amazing, amazing one.

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  9. Yes, I've been here. I like the specifics in your definition for homicidal smothering. Truth here. Enemy really does want to kill, steal, & destroy.

    Love that we have a God that constantly does the opposite: bringing life, giving, and restoring.
    ~ Wendy

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  10. Paralyzing is the perfect word...satan wants to stop you, your entire body, vocal cords and all! I can remember a dream like that, I was twelve and paralyzed in bed and God spoke Psalm 91:5 over me, and like you I kept repeating His name. This was a great post, Jess - and I love how it ended. He brings a safety that is deeper than anything external. Love that we're secure in Him.

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    1. Great scripture, Susan! I had dreams like that when I was younger too.

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  11. Love what you said here. He'll always save us. He is our Rescuer.

    The enemy likes to use doubt in my mind to bring fear. Fear that I'll never succeed. Fear that my husband doesn't love me anymore (ridiculous) or that he won't someday. Fear that my life will be meaningless.

    But God is greater. And sometimes, I just have to hold onto that life preserver and call out for Him to rescue me.

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    1. SOOOORRRRRY!!!! ;)

      You have nothing to fear! I like the picture of God as a life preserver!

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  12. This whole post gave me goosebumps. Especially this: All you need is Jesus. When you don't think you have the breath in you to call on Him, He'll get creative so you can.

    Yes, I've felt suffocated before...emotionally. But you're right...it's Jesus who trumps every fear and every emotion! There is so, so much power in that truth!

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  13. Prayer helps me a lot when I feel like I'm suffocating - that and looking for the Lord's tender mercies in the midst of hard or discouraging times.

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  14. It's no surprise that the enemy uses fear - it's the opposite of faith. Thanks for the reminder that the Lord is always with us! Trusting in Him drives fear away. Love the way you used sign-language to 'speak' the name of the Lord. There's power in His name! God bless!

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  15. What a scary dream!

    So much wisdom here, Jess. I loved this post. We don't have to scream his name...it can be a whisper, a thought, a hand sign...and He's there always. Love how you give us ammo to fight the enemy!

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  16. Whew, excellent post, Jessica!! What a horrible dream, and how cool you got out of it by doing sign language. I've prayed in my dreams, too, to get out of spooky situations. And the real life analogy is very appropriate...we can definitely be smothered by the enemy, by fear or other things. Thankfully, we have the means to escape that smothering. :)

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  17. Amen!! So true. Yes, I have been there...and relied heavily on prayer and reading God's word.

    I find staying in the TRUTH always combats those lying spirits.

    I am going through this right now because I am writing Christian fiction. Lots of lies coming at me all the time. Ugh! But God is here with me keeping me safe.

    Great post! Thanks!

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    1. I can relate with the writing and lies for sure! Hold on! :)

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