As I mentioned in my last post….my writing posts jump from uplifting to questioning on the spin of a dime.
Here’s another spin of the dime.
I am TIRED of this.
Tired of feeling lethargic, guilty, slightly useless, pained, angry, and without spiritual answers.
My relationship with God has had peaks and valleys lately.
The peaks seem to last longer as I am seeing such little results from my utterances of prayers.
Utterances in that – no- I am not on my knees, not on the floor spread eagle crying out for answers, But small, pleading prayers for help.
Along with these whispered prayers are thanksgivings of course. This could be SO MUCH WORSE. It could be terminal.
This mental health battle that has me tanked lately (it has taken a few steps backwards lately it feels like…or maybe more than a few honestly) could be saddled upon one of my kids.
THAT would be terrifically horrifying as in at least I can read “my brain”. I could not read someone else’s to help when needed. The idea of my kids suffering brings my utterances to God that starts with thanksgivings.
(I’m not being the “perfect mom” saying this…if you are a parent you know my words ring true.)
My prayer life, my spirituality, my sense of peace seems to, lately, hit up against a rough, red, thick, and annoying brick wall.
I do not feel like I am “getting through” to my God.
I have become so “whatever” about this that I have stopped listening to my beloved “MercyMe” music.
(God-oriented music that used to be the songs that hit me between the eyes with encouragement.)
Do I know God is here? Yes.
Do I “feel” Him as much as I did? No.
Is this my fault? Yes.
He hasn’t gone anywhere. I have.
Why? Because the feeling of ‘not being heard’ is frustrating and exhausting and seems a bit pointless right now.
Am I causing myself set backs by having this attitude? Surely. Can I fix it? I haven’t been able to lately.
I am doing my job as a “Bible Teacher” in school.
We are studying the book of “Job” right now. Fairly pertinent huh?!
(I didn’t pick this study..it was preset in our curriculum. Again, God is there…it is me that is silent? I just don’t know.)
But…I can relate to the Book of Job.
I can related to Job’s deep grief to a certain extend. I can related to his ‘friends’ calling him out as being a sinner who ‘deserved’ such pain.
I can related to his “friends” questioning him and telling him to ‘shut up’ as questioning God is inappropriate.
I can also relate to the fact that Job never turned against God but, at the same time, questioned his circumstances and pleaded for answers as to the “why’s” of his situation.
Questioning the “why’s” is NOT inappropriate..not matter what Job’s “friends” said to him.
So…the rubber hits the road…just as in the book of Job.
Will I ‘give up’ on God. Will I turn my back b/c of the frustration in regards to a lack of release from this battle? Because of the relationships it seems to be ending?
Will I turn my back on God, for as much as I have asked, He has yet to give me a physical avenue to use my journey to help others…
IE having energy to set up a useful support group, having the energy to talk to others, IRL, about this mental health road while debunking the stigma of it?
I want to be useful. I want to be successful. I want to be “out there”! danggit.
I see A LOT of people who do not have their lives set to a moral code who are useful and successful.
But, here I linger, giving thanks yet pleading for more steps forward in this battle yet receiving very little “back” from my questions.
Do I ‘see’ God in my journey? VERY much Yes. He has led me to therapies I have never heard about yet which have helped tremendously.
But I am speaking in different and deeper terms.
My heart hurts from the unanswered prayers. I feel isolated and alone without answers.
Many of you are thinking, “No response to your questions is -actually- an answer. It means stay still and wait.”
Really though? I am sick of “waiting”.
I am sick of wanting to be consistently useful to others, with my art, and within my community.
I am absolutely clueless as to why I am not receiving direction, strong gut feelings that can only be attributed to God.
I WANT THOSE GUT FEELINGS BACK. The ones that used to come so easily and guide me.
For instance, I desperately want another child. (I know you all just rolled your eyes). But I do and I have had this strong desire for several years and those around me know of it.
But…that door only seems to exist in my head. I know the difference between ‘a wish’ and a “do”. Is the baby just a wish?
I have pleaded (in private, in my own way) for a solid answer to this question.
NOTHING. Not even a “no”.
Not even the longing for another child to simply vanish. I deal with it daily.
Will I turn my back on God? No.
Does it sound appealing? Not really.
Like Job simply intensely questioning but never blaspheming or accusing God…. Job knew God was “there” … at least somewhere…
I know God is “here” but I do not feel saturated by Him like I have at other times. I am not closed to His saturation…
I simply feel locked up and away from answers that I am desperately in need of.
One analogy has helped me… I forget where I read it recently but it goes like this…
A farmer manages his field in certain ways.
One season he will sow, plant, grow, and “reap” abundantly.
(IE a person will learn and grow and reap in their spiritual life during this ‘season’ in their lives.)
Another season, the harvest may be less and he may struggle.
(IE a Christ-follower may sit and ponder that past season and implement some of the new revelations into his life. But the feelings of the past season seem to be waning)
Finally, the last season before he starts to sow, plant, grow, and reap again….he must allow his farmland to “Fallow”. This means to simply let his land rejuvenate itself. Let it relax. Let it restore itself.
The land (a Christ-follower) may seem useless if one gives it (him/her) a passing look but the farmer (God) knows what he is doing. He is prepping his land for a great harvest.
I feel that I am definitely in the “fallow” season.
I hope, pray, cling to the idea that a great harvest … a lot of “good” … a lot of beautiful .. a lot of “GOD”….is coming from these last difficult seasons in my (our) life…..
Please cling to this idea with me ….
PS I am reading and studying the devotional book “Unglued” by Lysa Terkeurst of the “Proverbs 31 Ministries”. It has helped…it explains “imperfect progress” in an interesting way and tries to wipe away the guilt one feels when there is a mistake, a change that you are slowly working on, a goal that is slow to achieve, etc.
She deals SO well with making one see that God does not demand perfection…
It has helped me remove ‘some’ of the guilt I feel about all of the feelings above. But….if they weren’t still there I wouldn’t be writing about them.
9 thoughts on “So what if I did turn away from God? Sometimes He just feels like a brick wall anyways.”
Just know you are prayed for and loved and that God isn’t through with you yet. He will make a way where there seems to be no way or no answers. Just keep believing in Him.
I love you Darlene. Thank you so much. For everything.
You are worthy dang it, you are out there dang it, and even if you have completely changed the life of just one, JUST ONE, with your transparency and allowed them to slay the toothless roaring lion you have completed the most worthy of worthy services there are. There are times that I feel that there is a thin piece of thee strongest plastic wrap between me and the rest of the world and if I could get through it I would have my breakthrough. It is frustrating and part of growth. I know this are scarey words but you are normal its the other ones we need to keep our eyes on 😉
Andrea-I thank you for your honesty. God is using you in ways you may never know. I don’t get a chance to read all of your posts but I want you to know that today I will be praying for you. Praying for your healing and that He gives you the desires of your heart.
ove that post, Andrea. I love how God is right there, in visible ways if not so tangible. I love your perspective and how you’re able to express it. I love YOU, Andrea. I hate, hate, hate what you’ve gone through, but I love what I know to be God’s promises about it. (Facebook )
Oh gurl, don’t make me tell you how awesome you are and how much God has done for me through you. I will come over there and Holy Spirit whip you I would love to get our girls together for a tea party. (Facebook)
Wow, Andrea, thanks for sharing this! I studied Job last year too. One thing I got out of it: Job was a very well-known person. His faith was well-known in the whole community. So when he suffered so much and still kept faith in God, despite his “friends” and his circumstances, that in itself was a huge witness to everyone around. And it’s still a huge witness to us, 1000s of years later! So just staying in the struggle, not giving up, IS being useful, because you are giving others hope. (I’m starting to cry as I write this; I’m such a sap.) Hang in there; I’ll be praying for you!
Thx for the feedback…thoughts…and love.
I “know” God is here as much as I know I have my right arm…..but it it like there is a tourniquet on my “arm”. Sometimes it is loose and I can “feel” the warmth and “presence” of it’s helping abilities …but other times the dang tourniquet feels tied as tightly as possible and then there is no “feeling” or mobility and my fingers start turning blue.
This analogy works well because I know my God is here….I feel the “tourniquet ” loosen at times….but…..with all the struggles (both physical, mental, and relationally) my fingers feel blue a lot…as if my soul goes on “shut down mode” to protect me…which is the last thing it needs to do.
I sincerely appreciate your kind words and advice….keep at ‘me! Please! Smile
Here are some notes on Job that I have and found encouraging…
THINK ABOUT JOB’S WIFE
What a wonderful reminder for us when we tend to beat ourselves up. Sometimes we can only do a little, but keep our integrity which is paramount. Then when we get on our feet again, we can do better.
Sometimes, we can say to ourselves I will do better. Just don’t give up.
(The brother first mentioned Jeremiah and how, after being put in stocks for just one day, he was complaining and cursing the man that announced his birth, and wishing that he had died in his mother’s womb. Why? He was tired.)
Then the speaker asked, what comes to mind when you think of Job’s wife. Most people think of her telling Job to “curse God and die.” (Job 2:9).
The speaker asked why she wasn’t rebuked with the three so-called “comforters”? It was brought out that Job’s wife was tired—probably more tired than we can imagine.
Consider the following:
When the messengers told Job that he had lost all his livestock, . . . .Job’s wife lost hers too.
When Job was told that he had lost all his land and material goods, . . . . Job’s wife lost hers too.
When the messengers told Job that he had lost all his children, . . . . Job’s wife lost hers too.
The 10 children that she carried for 9 months each, bonded with them as she breast-fed each and every one of them, watched them grow up and stand tall, only to lose them all at once violently.
Then, to make matters worse, her husband mysteriously and suddenly developed huge boils all over his body that are open and oozing pus and stink. She watched as the man she loves, the father of her children, cracked a pottery jar to scratch himself in order to alleviate some of the pain, but to no avail. This man, who has been all that to her, is staying away because his breath is so bad that no one can stand it. And she can only sit by helpless, without any explanation for anything.
Would we want to continue to see someone suffer or would we too want him to die? Most of us would want a loved one out of their misery. So when Job’s wife said “curse God and die,” she wasn’t being disloyal to God. She wanted her husband’s misery to end. It was an act of love. She was tired!
In the end, not only was she not reproved but she was blessed with everything that Job received: 10 more children, more wealth, and a healthy husband.
“There are times when, due to our health problems—either physical or mental, or financial or whatever else—we are not doing all that we feel we should. Once I myself was in such a state. A young friend asked me if I considered Job a faithful man. Of course, I said, ‘oh yes!’ Then she lovingly pointed out, that at one time, all Job could do was sit in the dirt and scrape his sores. That was his act of worship, proving Satan a liar. He did not lose faith. So, next time you are being hard on yourself for circumstances beyond your control, remember the account of Job. We can, in spite of our circumstances, still give a reply even if we are just breathing and praying to Jehovah to get through the next minute. Whether it is physical or mental distress, or financial, we can be like Job, only able to scrape our sores and pray to get through this trial. Yet we are still doing what Jehovah has asked us to do: give a reply to the one who is taunting him!!!