This weekend my husband and I went to a concealed gun carrying class. It was the A-Mazing! A few weeks back my husband, Steve, had said he was interested in taking the class and he wanted to know what I thought of it. I knew nothing about guns so the thought of one creeping in our house sounded threatening, BUT then again so are bad guys. So I responded: “Sign me up too!!!” I didn’t necessarily want to be licensed to carry a gun, but knowing how to at least pick one up would sure be nice. When he told me the class was 8 hours long I second guessed myself. I envisioned myself sitting in a hard chair, hungry, and wanting to shoot myself out of boredom, but when Steve told me the qualifications of the instructors I knew it was happening. One instructor was a recently retired police chief of 25 years and the other was a SWAT team instructor. These 300 pound dudes were LEGIT! And they were going to be hands on training little ole’ ME! . . . that is after they showed me how to pick up a gun. Steve’s dad and sister took the class too. We will be one locked and loaded family ready for combat.
The class was far from boring, but two and half hours into the class I started getting nervous. Am I nervous because I’m about to handle a gun and I could literally kill someone? Or is it the 4 cups of coffee I had this morning? I remembered what, Mikayla, my close friend and babysitter said to me, as I was preparing for the class, “Remember to pack lots of snacks, because we all know how you get when you’re hungry.” I had laughed and replied, “I will but my blood sugar issues aren’t that bad anymore.” Sitting in the class just 15 minutes past my regular lunchtime, with my heart racing, I realized I was in denial about not being a Hypoglycemic Freakazoid. I knew if I didn’t eat soon I wouldn’t be able to handle a gun or a FORK! My brain was quickly turning into mush. Hypoglycemia (for those of you who are unfamiliar) is similar to being diabetic- except that it’s the complete opposite. Instead of your blood sugar getting too high it gets too low, but the effects are similar. The frustrating thing is I ate even MORE than usual that morning. The instructor’s wife Leslie, had tantalized us with home baked cookies. I ate 2 cookies plus a banana, which only caused my blood sugar to sky-rocket and then plummet off of the face of the earth taking my brain and all emotional controls with it. I walked out of class and ate my lunch and regained my brain power.
I left for lunch early in search of my brain. After lunch, with brain in tow, we reconvened class. We were given instruction on how to conduct ourselves on a gun range. Only point your gun down range. Duh. Only put your finger on the trigger when you’re ready to shoot. Duh, maybe I know a little something about guns, nah. Emergency plans were put in place. A 911 caller and a back-up 911 caller were selected. The ginormous SWAT trainer announced, “If need be, First Aid will be given on sight, but if the paramedics take too long to get here I will throw your, hopefully still breathing body, into my SUV and take you to the hospital myself.” Stuff was about to get real!!!! “First I need to know if any of you has a medical condition I need to know about?” stated the instructor. I thought about raising my hand but what would I say? “Um yeah, I need to eat a lot,” as the whole class would then bust out in laughter. That’s real impertinent information right there. Not. We followed the big men underground to where the police gun range was located. Water was dripping from the ceiling. It smelled like gunpowder. We’re all going to die.
We were assigned to shooting groups of four. Group #2, my future graveyard neighbors. When my group was called I walked forward and located my rental gun. I looked at it recalling my training on how to pick it up: left hand around the barrel, dominate hand on the grip, then the left hand cups the right hand, thumbs parallel, index finger off the trigger, point it downward. Got it! Now how do I load this thing? Chief Craig showed me with his beefy hands. Locked and loaded. My gun was HOT. I was ready to shoot my cardboard robber. The signal was given. Before I even squeezed the trigger *BANG. My neighbor beat me to the punch. My body jolted in surprise, but I wasn’t going to let him shoot all the bad guys *BANG. The empty bullet casing whizzed passed my face. Good thing I got these sexy safety glasses on. When given the okay I shot again. And again. And again. After 24 rounds I was fairly confident that my cardboard bad guy was no longer a threat. I could get used to this. The highlight of my day was when we shot six rounds in a row. Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! I laid them all on top of each other. I requested to keep my paper as bragging rights to show my Hubs, “I shot him dead!”
The day was going by quickly. My group had one more turn. This time we had a barrier to hide behind. We were to lean out from cover and quickly shoot our threat and lean back in. When instructed, I leaned out and shot, but I was nowhere near target. Something was different. My will to survive was gone. I was ready to surrender to a piece of cardboard. If it was a real scenario I’d be as good as dead. I cleared my gun and walked off range. What is wrong with me? Why do I feel like crying? Why isn’t my brain telling me what my eyes are looking at? I focused my eyes on the clock. 4:15! I was so busy killing bad guys that I had lost track of time. I hadn’t eaten in 4 hours! I realize for a normal person that is no big deal, but to a freakazoid hypoglycemic I was in survival mode. Good thing I had already surrendered my gun or I’d have held somebody up for their lunch money (just kidding guys). I scavenged for food and my cognitive abilities.
Other than my sugar crashes it was an exciting, educational, adventure of a day. I went in not even knowing how to pick up again, much less load and shoot it. We were also informed that it is important to practice at least every 6 months, because at 9 months you loose your skill especially your muscle memorization on how to handle a gun. I thought that was interesting. The next day, as you all know how I like to do- I started relating the whole experience to Christianity. Stick with me.
As Christians we need to be locked and loaded with the truth of God’s word. Having a gun in your nightstand that you don’t know how to use is about as good as the unread Bible next to it. In class we were taught 3 stages of mental awareness: unaware, aware, alert and alarmed. In 1 Peter 5:8 we are instructed to always be on alert for the Devil’s attack. Maybe you don’t feel like you’re ever under attack. If that’s you than either you are unaware of the burglar in your house, OR you are right- Satan is leaving you alone because you are not a threat. If you’re Christian by title but aren’t concerned about the faith and you certainly wouldn’t dare to talk to anybody else about it then you’re not a threat. OR you’re not being attacked because the Enemy already has what he wants your soul. Are you thinking, “Wow Audrey, this is kind of intense”? So am I!!!
I’ll tell you some of the ammo the Devil used on me just at the firing range this weekend. It was just air soft pellets but they were still a nuisance to duck from. After having my sugar drop twice simply because I changed my eating routine the Enemy shot me with lies: “Wow, who knew you were such a schedule freak?” “You’ll never be able to do anything different than what you’re doing right now.” “No one even believes you have a sugar issue.” “They just think you like to eat a lot.” “What an absurd ‘medical’ issue.” “If you keep eating as often as you do you’re going to get really fat.” Those are just a FEW of the lies he told me in ONE day. It’s constant. Everyday I have to be on guard.
The cookies Leslie made were delicious: oatmeal chocolate, oatmeal raisin and peanut butter. If it weren’t for making me sick I could eat cookies all day every day. Cookies can fool the brain into thinking we’re full, but really they leave us void of real nutrition. Maybe you’re consuming oatmeal chocolate chip devotionals, or oatmeal raisin Fictional Christian stories, or peanut butter cookie church services. They are tasty and with oatmeal and a little peanut butter it may seem like enough, but if your growth is stunted than you’re not getting the what you need. Like me, we’re all a bunch of spiritual hypoglycemic freakazoids. Without meditating on scriptural truth your cognitive and spiritual senses will crash. We won’t be able to defend ourselves from a piece of cardboard much less the real Enemy.
In class we learned the importance of having a flashlight. If you’re holding a gun but you can’t see the intruder, as my mom would say: “You’re shucks out of luck.” If you have Biblical knowledge but can’t see your own sin than you need a friend to shine a flashlight on your life. Sometimes you need to call for back-up when you feel your soul is being invaded. We all need good friends equipped with a flashlight who will illuminate the threat in the bushes. Always be on the look out because he wants to burglarize you. He wants to steal your joy, your hope, your purity and ultimately your soul. Shine that light on the Enemy and don’t hesitate to SHOOT!
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waste, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” Ephesians 6:14-17
“And no wonder for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14
Dear God, Help me to recognize when I’m under attack. Help me to deflect the Enemies lies. Thank you for giving me hope in knowing that in the end You are the Victor.