No matter how unique and vastly different my stays in Paris have been, there are several contrasting things I always feel here:
I don’t know how these paradoxical juxtapositions exist, although I’ve been trying to figure that out for well over a year. All I can say for certain is that I’ve experienced each of these, deeply, weightily during each stay here. I’ve broken off the feelings of distance, loneliness, and dissatisfaction, and I’m choosing to stand in faith, believing that I will not feel them on my next trip here. Nonetheless, I wanted to explore them briefly, since they were still present these past few weeks.
I think it may be the spiritual atmosphere in Paris that weighs so heavily on me in each of these situations: how effective and useful it would be for Satan if he could convince a whole city of people that they’re distant from God, that they’re lonely, not seen or loved, and that they cannot/will not be cherished, honored, protected, wooed in an intimate and personal romantic relationship? If people believe this, there’s a certain hopelessness that comes along, and a ‘who cares?’ in response to their dreams, or their hopes.
When I’ve come to Paris, each time it’s been with the knowledge that I love this city, I love this nation, I love these people, and that love is so ridiculous and illogical that it’s undeniably come from God. I’ve known I’m called to, at the least, love Paris well, and at best, live here for quite a while, shaking things up, and restoring some of what’s been lost. So I’ve entered the city confident of my identity, my destiny, God’s calling, and His love. It only makes sense that, in growing closer to the city, I’d feel the same spiritual oppression she does, and that Satan would want to stop be from having victory in anything, because of the consequences those victories will have for his plans.
It’s exciting, in a way. I know I must be doing something right if Satan cares this much about thwarting my plans, and tries so hard to hold me back. He’s tried feeding me lies to keep me from walking in power and authority, in beauty and hope, in radiance and love. Haha! Okay. I’ll take that. I must be a threat, to warrant attacks like I always encounter in Paris, and that’s confirmation and affirmation to me. So, in the tradition of my alma mater, I’ll fight on.