My Open Thank you Letter to Satan

November 2018

To the Deceiver of this World:

I write to say thank you.  Yes, that’s what I said. You probably weren’t expecting that, but thank you for 2018 and the challenge we faced as a family.  When the doorbell rang and we went to answer it, we weren’t expecting to see Anorexia standing there, but that’s who it was. We had no choice but to open the door and let it walk right into our home.   But thank goodness, we sold that home this year and moved into a new home. A new home that will hold new memories, a new normal, new views and brand new bedrooms that hold nothing but a fresh start. I couldn’t be more thankful for this new home, the ability to put down roots and to know this is finally what we can call home after being on the move for so many years.  I thank you that you brought this visitor into the last house and not this new home.

I thank you that as this visitor was making itself comfortable in our family and then made its presence known a few months ago, it has allowed me to see so many things about myself.  When you bring about a crisis in the lives of people here on Earth, you really never know how it will affect you or what you will do when it does happen. So many things have risen to the surface that NEVER would have come out had it not been for you.  It has allowed me to see such amazing things! Some of those include my strength, my confidence, my love for a Creator, this God of the Universe, who became even more real to me than ever before. It’s allowed me to see a God who is beyond patient and so loving.  It’s really been the most beautiful scene to watch from the sidelines, how He Himself chases down His children, His sheep who have strayed from the flock, ever so quietly whispering His love for her as he tiptoes to approach. It has gripped my heart in a way I never knew possible, to stand and lean in on your toes in amazement as if it’s the final seconds of a nail biting, teeth clenching championship game.    

It’s allowed me to see my internal strength when this crisis hit, to have felt held, to know what it means again to walk slowly, so slowly, one hour, one day at a time.  I had forgotten how precious it is to lay aside my phone and look around me at all the little details of the ones in front of me without having to capture every little thing. I had forgotten how to do that. Thank you for that!  I really do thank you! You have allowed me to see with clear eyes so many who are broken, those who are hiding and feeling shame and fear, having nowhere to turn. You have blinded so many into thinking they have to hide in secrecy, that it’s not good to be vulnerable and to share life with the ones around them.  You have pulled a wall over so many. I don’t know that I would have quite seen these particular people had it not been for you. You wouldn’t believe the boldness they have had in coming forward to reach out with their own chains and struggles and I would have never known this about them.  I have been able to pray and lift up their families in ways that I haven’t done before.  To know that it’s what little I can do while I am doing life slowly over here has brought me such joy. I have you to thank for that!!

And you know what satan, the craziest part of all of this?!  I want to say thank you because I have never felt more in tune with my soul self.  I didn’t know that I was prepped and ready for a full on raging war but I was! I have drank water from a well that doesn’t run dry or leave me thirsty but has quenched every inch of me.  I never would’ve known this depth of love from a Creator for me. Me: as a mom and as His daughter. You’ve really allowed me to use my word for 2018: Dependence. Oh dependence, have I needed you, breathed you in and out many times in one hour, one day.  You’ve defined this word so strongly for me that I can taste it. You brought this visitor to our doorstep and I thank you for allowing me to experience this depth of love and source of strength that I hadn’t known before!

Another thing I am thanking you for:  the colors, oh the colors of God’s creation.  I thought when a crisis would hit that the world around me would look dull and depressed.  I didn’t know what a crisis would do to me. But you know something? The colors haven’t diminished or turned brown or grey or my senses haven’t dulled.  They have grown more vibrant in a way I can’t explain. The grass has so much depth and the bird’s singing have brought peace to my heart! Instead of the leaves falling to their death, they have been dancing before my very eyes.  I have you to thank for that.

Satan, you just wouldn’t believe it, but you have been more defeated than you could have ever thought possible.  You’ve wanted to bring us death and through this I have given me more life than I ever had before. Even my marriage has strengthened by leaning into this man who’s been by my side for a long time.  I’ve leaned into him in a way that hasn’t had to happen yet and for that I am thankful. I have a joy that didn’t quite exist before when I look at him. I have a new found patience and deep rooted love with and for my daughter that has surfaced in the form of being a strong pillar made of spirit filled stone.  I’ve been able to wrap my arms around my teenage son, so thankful for him in ways that take me back to toddler days, that had been forgotten.

Wow, what a journey we are on now.  What a joy. Thank you–thank you to you, the enemy of this world who wanted to reek havoc but what has instead sent a swelling and overflowing amount of amazing awe in its place.  

The grace and the mercy and the tender loving grasp of being held, the unbearable and difficult moments that turn into tiny victories, the resolve that grows stronger day by day at winning the war, the fierce snarl that has risen up from deep within and having been turned loose…. ………Oh wait, I’m sorry, THIS thank you doesn’t go to you satan, THIS thank you goes to someone much more powerful than you, One who is omnipresent and omnipotent and omniscient and that’s not you, that’s my King who sits on the Throne and His name is Jesus.  This thank you goes to Him. Our life belongs to Him. You are not welcome here and someday, you won’t be welcome anywhere near any of us. And for that, my heart soars with a Hope in a Savior of the World who will one day make all things right.

As I end this letter, I want you to know you almost did it.  You wanted to change the course of the closing out of our 2018 with fear, resentment, faithlessness, anxiety and depression.  But 2018 is shaping up to be quite a different year than one I thought it would be: one of the truest forms of thankfulness and dependence I have ever imagined.  It is, truly, well with my soul.


Stephani Ritter