Marilyn Malara is my friend at Church by the Glades who graciously agreed to be my first (EVER!) guest-blogger. I love her perspective in the following & hope it encourages you the way it encouraged me…

As a college student with little accountability when it comes to bedtime, I’m occasionally awake during the wee-hours of the morning doing nothing in particular. Sometimes during these late nights alone, I find my thoughts wandering around my insecurities, poking at them, coaxing them out of their tiny hiding places. Some nights I found myself staring into a mirror, loathing my appearance. Other nights, my skills and intellect would be harassed, leaving me feeling unworthy and stupid. I was being attacked! I realized there were a lot of factors that allowed the enemy to get so close to my heart, three having to do with my being alone, mentally tired, and unwilling to guard my heart with the Word. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” I heard somewhere once that the only human who can entirely resist the devil’s persuasive attempts while alone, tired, and hungry was Jesus. However, we, being fallen and often vulnerable, should avoid total isolation because we know from Matthew 4:1-11 that the enemy quickly tries to take advantage of opportunities to lead us into darkness. Knowing this, I decided to begin going to sleep at a reasonable time, letting the Lord recharge and prepare my heart, body, and mind for serving Him the following day. I now spend the time I previously spent alone and sad resting in the Lord instead, which is so much better! I’ve also decided to spend less time on the Internet, especially at night, as most of my insecurities were stemming from it. Another thing I felt I should do was to keep the Word closer to my heart, as Jesus did when being tempted by the devil in Matthew. Whenever the devil attempted to persuade Jesus to blaspheme or sin, Jesus quickly defended His heart and caught the devil in his lies with memorized scripture.  I can confidently say that I have found freedom from these late-night sessions of heightened insecurity. If you are struggling with some similar problems, remember that the Lord doesn’t keep freedom for Himself, but gives it away generously without restraint. Have faith in that!

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