Last year I hit a major ditch in my walk with God. Had I become doubtful or lost faith in Him? No, not at all. From a very early age I've always believed in God & felt His presence near me. That wasn't the issue, the issue seemed to be my desire, my commitment to Him. I've always stressed to people that Christianity isn't a 'religion' but a relationship with God. Well, after 6 years in a growing relationship with The Lord, I hit a low point. I lost my desire to pray, to go to church & read my Bible. I tried to keep up appearances & maintain my 'good Christian wifey duties' but my husband saw straight through my act. I remember him trying to encourage me but somehow this drew me further away. Embarrassment overtook me. As a wife & mentor I knew I had a responsibility to be praying daily & refuelling myself through reading The Bible, but after weeks & weeks of distancing myself from my Faith, praying felt too difficult.
If I could explain to you the reason I felt such a lacking desire for the things of God, I would. The truth is I think I had just lost touch with God, I was going through the motions of Christianity but not wholeheartedly desiring Him. Before my dry patch, I was praying but it had become somewhat of a chore. I was going to church but mainly out of routine. I was mentoring young girls but the advice I was giving became snappy & came from a place of frustration, not of love as it used to.
Throughout this rainy season John & I still continued to have family worship (a daily time of devotions together) but it mainly consisted of him praying & me looking at the kitchen clock. This went on for about a month or so. You might be thinking, "thats not long, whats the big deal?" But it was a big deal, being distant from God did no good to me at all. I'm naturally a very happy, bubbly person but I became very irritable & withdrawn. I was relying on my own strength of which I had very little. Those closest people to me felt the repercussions of my Godliness the most. Something had to change.
The change I needed came on a Friday when I was doing the weekly housework. I dragged my little Henry the hoover down the hall & into my bedroom. After hoovering the floor something probed me to be extra thorough & hoover under the bed (yes, I know I should do this weekly but I'm naughty & don't). I got down on my knees & shoved Henry's nose under the bed. Something was blocking Henry from doing his job, so I peered into the darkness under the bed to see what was happening. Laying there was my Bible, I reached under the bed & pulled it into the light, wiping off all the dust that had accumulated on top. Tears streamed my eyes as I realised just how long it had been since I had opened the precious book I loved so much.
That was the day I ran back to God, with my dusty Bible & distant heart. He of course, welcomed me back with open arms.
- STALE OVERNIGHT?
If we're not careful, all relationships can go stale, but it doesn't tend to happen overnight. I guess its simple. If you take 1 step back from the things of God every day before you know it your heart & life is far from Him.
All of us struggle in our walk at times, but If you're experiencing a dip in the road of your Christian walk right now I really encourage you to PUSH THROUGH! Remember that God's word & commandments are not meant to be burdensome (1 John 5:3) but to help us. God is a God of love not rules, but in loving us He gives us loving rules.
Below are some tips that I pray help you if you're feeling far from God.
- P.U.S.H (Pray Until Something Happens)
When we feel distant from God the last thing we want to do is pray but it is the key that will open up the closed door in our hearts. The problem is, when we feel our Faith has gone stale it can be difficult to know just what to pray. So as well as pouring out our hearts to God it's also important to pray & meditate on God's word (scriptures.) This will begin to stir up the passion in our hearts again & bring us comfort. Reading scriptures aloud is so powerful.
- CALL FOR HELP
People often say a problem shared is a problem halved don't they? If you ask me, I often feel much better after a cuppa tea & a long chat with a trusted friend. BUT In times of despair we often close up from those around us... It's as though we feel ashamed or judged, but the truth is almost every single Christian experiences highs & lows in their walk with God. We need to remember that open honesty with those we can trust is key.
If you are going through a Wintery season I urge you to share your heart with a Christian friend or family member. Have them pray for you & walk with you through the low season.
It's also a challenge to continue going to church when you feel your Faith has gone stale but the support of our church community is invaluable at this time. As a church we are the body of Christ & when one arm is cut the other should care for it right?
- WORSHIP LIKE NEVER BEFORE
One of the most powerful ways of tackling discouragement is to continue worshipping even when you don't feel like it. Whether you play praise & worship while doing the dishes or attempt to sing in the shower, God will receive Glory from it. There is also something so uplifting about Godly music, it shifts the atmosphere & ministers to our hearts. Remember God deserves our honour & praise regardless of how we are feeling.
When I'm feeling a bit :( I always pop on some Gospel reggae, the lyrics, beat & passion in the music always refocuses my mind back to God. (My fave artists are, Positive, St Matthew & Monty G.)
- COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS NOT YOUR PROBLEMS
I wrote & rewrote this segment of the blog so many times lol. Why? Because I couldn't quite put into words how I feel without sounding slightly harsh, but hear my heart. I'm mainly talking to myself ; )
When as Christians we feel distant from God it feels awful, we feel lost in despair right? But, the thing is, our distance from God is a choice. No matter how we came into the stale season in our Faith, we got there. We did it. God never changed, He didn't let us down or take us to the bottom floor in a lift. No, we somehow drifted from Him. His arms are forever open to us, like a loving Father He awaits us, yet we often sit sulking ignoring His outstretched arm. I'm not saying thats what you are doing. I don't know your personal situation but I know mine & I've seen that same 'sulky Sue' in others I know too. Sometimes I think we focus too much on the problems in our life, rather than being grateful for the many blessings God has bestowed on us.
When I think about how many weeks I moped around for, feeling sorry for my situation, I'm kind of embarrassed. Of course we will all have high's & lows in our walk with God but when the lows come lets not milk them & stay sitting in that place of 'poor me'. Lets count our blessings, look to our King & worship our way back to the top floor.
God has too much in store for us, He died too painful a death for us to be sitting across the table from Him. Lets accept his invitation & pull up a chair next to Him to feast from the bountiful feast He has prepared for us.
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me."
As always, feel free to contact me
Lots of love,
Sia ♥ xx