Retail therapy is not the answer. Introspection and faith will win every time. In 5 Minutes or Less.
Updated: Oct 3, 2021
By Dr. Lisa M. Coffey
September 22, 2021
One afternoon on a retail therapy shopping session in Hobby Lobby, I perused the book kiosk as I usually do to look for a book and title to catch my attention. I was shopping that day because I had nervous energy as my son returned home to California by plane. My spirit is always uneasy when my son is traveling. But this time, my faith was tested.
At first glance, the book with the yellow cover, my favorite, caught my attention. The title,
"Don't give the enemy a seat at your table. It's time to win the battle of your mind..." sealed the deal. I tossed the book in my cart and finished my shopping. Several hours later, my son called and said, "I'm home."
A few days later, while in Atlanta, I opened the book and finished it in one sitting. Starting at page one, I was captivated. I had never heard of the author, but his words vividly danced in my mind as I wrestled with the times, I allowed the enemy to have a seat at my table. Louie Giglio, the author, is from Atlanta, the pastor of Passion City Church, and a best-selling author. So it was not by coincidence that I read the book while in Atlanta. There was a message for me and I better not miss it!
The day I purchased the book, I allowed the enemy to have a seat at my table as I strolled the aisle of Hobby Lobby on the verge of a complete meltdown over airline safety, COVID protocols, fear, and uneasiness about my son living so far away during a pandemic. I am usually emotional when my son goes back to California, but the feelings were different.
In my book iDid and uCan 2, I write about self-assessment, a growth mindset, and the need to recognize our improvement processes. In this situation, I had to examine my thoughts and processes. What contributed to my anxiety, fear, and state of comfortability? I also had to analyze why I felt spending money was a temporary solution. I was a basket case! Why? Because I let the enemy have a seat at my table. To live with the absence of faith is to live in fear.
My son was home for three weeks, and during that brief interlude, things felt normal. I saw him every day, hugged him at will, prepared his favorite meals, smiled as he interacted with his brothers, and enjoyed his presence. Gone were the face-time chats, text messages, and phone calls. Yet, seeing him off that day was a harsh dose of reality and paralleled the feelings of when I had to say goodbye the first time.
In retrospect, I temporarily gave in to my fears and did not rely on my faith to overcome the anxious moments. I raised a strong and independent young man. I am confident that my son can navigate life and the pandemic, although 2,500 miles away from me. But unfortunately, I allowed the negative media portrayals of flying swell in my spirit instead of praying for my sons' safe journey and knowing that God is in control. I let the enemy, the devil, trick me into believing that my son was incapable living so far away, even though he proved otherwise. I know to seek God in times of turmoil through prayer. I know to praise him during my circumstance. Yet, I thought my anxiety would ease by shopping; several hundred dollars later, I felt the same because the enemy was still sitting at my table.
The book by Giglio is a must-read. Although I am an author as well, I enjoy the works of others, and I am always on a self-discovery process of learning how to create balance and harmony in my life. In the book, Giglio writes, "You have the power... to take authority over who sits at your table- over who influences your thinking. You can take back your freedom and control of your thoughts and emotions" (p.11). When we allow the enemy to sit at our table, we invite the ism twins to the feast, skepticism (doubt) and cynicism (mistrust). Yet, we remain covered by grace and mercy. Therefore, we must develop "even though I will " (Giglio, 2021) faith no matter the circumstance.
Even though I am anxious, I will pray
Even though I don't have all of the answers, I will patiently wait on you to reveal answers to me.
Even though I face uncertainties, I know your guidance will show me the way.
Even though I lost my way, I know you will redirect my path.
Even though I lost sight of my faith, I know you will cover me through repenting.
Every day that I rise and shine, I invite harmony into my life by exercising my faith. I engage in conversations with my savior and exercise a growth mindset that allows me to rethink, reset and re-engage when the enemy attempts to join me at my table. We are imperfect people who sometimes allow the enemy to sit at our tables. However, as we navigate life, we must also know how to uproot the enemy from our space. No matter the religious affiliation, the power is in prayer, connectivity, and faith. Exercise faith and "win the battle of your mind" (Giglio,2021).
The enemy shows up in many forms, what is sitting at your table self-doubt, addiction, anxiety, a failed relationship, a money crisis, confusion, greed, or ignorance? No matter how the enemy looks it does not deserve a seat at your table. Develop a faith connection that allows you to build your even though, I will faith. Write down the enemies at your table and develop some even though, I will affirmations to help you rid that enemy who is seated at your table. Faith is a daily task of building a connection to a higher power. There is no such thing as too much faith, build, build, build!
Giglio, Louie. Don't give the enemy a seat at your table; its time to win the battle of your mind. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2021.
© 2021 Lisa M. Coffey