Thursday, November 03, 2005

All Dried Up

Trishy's blog got me thinking about something that I have been wrestling with for a very, very long time. Though I may try to deny it, this is an issue that stares me in the face every morning I wake up, and rests beside my head every night I go to sleep.


Basically, my faith in God is very shaky right now.

I can't even say why, really, everything in my life seems to be going really well. Aside from a few glitches at work, my job is rewarding, I have wonderful friends whom I dearly love, an amazing boyfriend, and a very loving family. And yet, when I think about God, my first reaction is a big, resounding "Meh..." and a shoulder shrug.

I've been a Christian since I can remember, one of those kids who grew up in a Christian home and I learned how to pray practically before I could speak. I know jealousy is frowned upon in the Bible, but I was always envious of those people that had really powerful testimonies like:

"I was a drug using prostitute and it was only after a brush with death that God really pulled me out of my harmful ways."

That just wasn't me. When people asked me how I became a Christian, I would just say, "I dunno, just always been one, I guess". No, I don't have to have a jaw-dropping story to go with that; being a Christian is enough for me, and I thank God that I DIDN'T have to go through something incredibly sad and tragic before I started a relationship with Jesus. But I can't help feeling that my relationship with Him has gone from "lukewarm" to "barely existent".

I know that even Christians doubt God now and then. We have questions for Him that we won't have answers to until we meet Him face to face. But now, I don't know, I'm just starting to not SEE Him or FEEL Him anywhere in my life. It's like I'm phasing Him out, but I have no good reason why.

I'm not one of those Christians that shouts praises and raises their hand when singing hymns in church. Nothing wrong with that, but that's just not me. I share my faith with people on a more intimate level. I have always been a big believer in the idea that if God wants me to share something with someone, He'll put me in the situation and help me with the words. Because Lord knows I haven't been a dedicated or diligent Bible reader.

Example of what discourages me: My sister and brother in law were at a picnic in a park for my cousin's birthday. Out of nowhere, this guy comes up to my brother in law and asks him if he knows the Lord.

"Yes," my brother in law answers, finding it a bit strange but being polite nonetheless.

"What does it mean to YOU to be a Christian? Do you know if you're going to Heaven? HOW do you know? What if you're not?"

Bombarded. Inappropriate. My sister kindly tells the man, "We're sorry, we're kind of in the middle of a birthday party here" to which he replies, "Ah, I see...too busy for God." Those kind of people really make me mad.

I don't know what I'm trying to say. Maybe I should have gathered my thoughts before I started to write. I guess the bottom line is, I know God will never leave me. I know that because I have been told it over and over again. And even though I know deep down in my soul that that statement is true, I just can't FEEL Him around me anymore.

I blame myself for this. Have I taken an active role in seeking Him out? No. Have I been lazy and put t.v. watching in front of reading the Bible or learning more about Him? Yes. Have I prayed? On and off. I pray for those that I love, those that are closest to me, but I just have this feeling that I'm not doing it right. No, there's no "right" way to pray...but I just feel like I'm going about it all wrong.

SIGH. I'm just really confused, about a lot of things. I'm going to have to start making some really, really big decisions in my life...jobs, locations, love, sacrifices, heartache, happiness, all important decisions. And I KNOW that the only way to end up being happy with my life is to fully trust God with all this. But how does a control freak let go, and NOT worry about falling and crashing to the floor with a sickening "thud". You just have faith. Yep, there's that word: "FAITH".

I just don't know what to think or how to see God anymore. It's funny, because NOW I feel like that, and yet, when I talk to someone about my faith in Him, I feel myself getting really passionate about what I believe. I suppose the main issue here is, I don't want to become dedicated to reviving my faith and relationship with God just to be disappointed when I don't see a change. But, if you seek Him earnestly, won't there be an inevitable change? Ah, good question.

Seriously, readers, my mind whirls daily because of this ONE topic. Granted, it's a pretty major one, but sometimes, all I'm left with is a headache, and am no futher along then when I started.

I'm just all dried up from being afraid of giving God my all.

(I apologize if this topic is too heavy or not applicable to some people. But it's MY blog and I'll write what I want...if that's alright with you.)

Insignificance Conveyed @ 8:06 PM   16 GabbyGabbers

16 "Sure was sweet of you to drop in":

At 6:57 AM, Blogger Rob West "told me"

WOW.

Are you sure I didn't write that?

Mo, I'm *very* interested in discussing this with you further.
Can I email you about this?

If so, send me an email at brockmporter@blazemail.com so I know how to reach you.

This will save a LOT of space on your comments bar.

And if you'd rather not do all that, then just forget I asked ;-)

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger Curly "told me"

I've never been the religious type I'm afraid. Whenever I try to contribute to this type of discussion, I just end up making a joke that goes down like a lead balloon.

Sorry.

 
At 9:23 AM, Blogger Me Over Here "told me"

Curly--No worries! I figured some people may not share my beliefs, and therefore would not have much in the way of a comment. Glad to hear from you anyway! Oh, and jokes are always welcome!

Swankertons--I emailed you.

 
At 9:41 AM, Blogger trishy "told me"

I left a comment earlier, and it doesn't seem to have appeared. I just wanted you to know Mo, that you are SO not alone, and that I, too, have much to say on this, but I don't want to take up your entire comments space, so I shall blog my thoughts.

I leave you with this, though:
Even if you are phasing God out, as we all have done at one time or another, He will not phase you out, nor has He already.

And I agree with the Mayor - you really could have been describing any number of us!

 
At 10:07 AM, Blogger Cleavers "told me"

Snap to what Curly said.

And I want to give you kudos for using your blog to give voice to your feelings and thoughts. I may not understand/agree, but I applaud.

(subject close to my heart at the moment)

 
At 10:32 AM, Blogger Rob West "told me"

Got it Mo.
Emaild you back, too. Didn't really say what I wanted to say, it was sort of all over the place. I need an editor.

Anyway, let me know what you think and hit me back...

 
At 11:22 AM, Blogger Me Over Here "told me"

Trishy--Thank you so much for the encouraging words.

Cleavers--Thank you! I'm happy to know I can share these sorts of ideas and struggles and not get condemned for it. I appreciate your comment.

Swankertons--Saw that you emailed back, but as I am downtown doing TEDIOUS data entry crap, I have not the brainpower nor the time to read and respond as I'd like. I'm sure what you wrote will hit close to home, and I'll be in touch shortly. Thanks!

 
At 11:39 AM, Blogger anna "told me"

Mention "God" and "control freak" in the same sentence and you know you're speakin' straight to Nanners' heart. Just yesterday I found this list in my Bible where we had to write down our biggest fears about giving God everything! Yeah, I had five very fervent fears written. I followed anyway (baby steps!), and none of them have come true.

Dang...I was so committed to not leave a super-long comment, but I'm just not as considerate as Swankertons. So...okay, I'll leave it at this. The other day I was freaking out (inside, of course, the outside looked calm and even cheerful, it's my spe-cial-ty) about something to God, and then I came across the very familiar: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." It's like He was saying, "Anna, you don't have to freak out like I'm trying to withhold from you. Just ask." So I hope you find a quiet five minutes to just open up and ask. "Everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds"--that's a promise.

And something even anal control freak anna had to realize is that this isn't a formula ("The Seven Habits of Moving Cheese and God!"), it's a relationship. I have been so afraid of being disappointed too, even last week for something I won't relate because it's personal and my time is WAY up here, but don't let that fear stop you from asking. And asking and asking and asking. Silence in the face of an honest seeker just doesn't happen.

Still praying for my netters, and I'm emailing you my address so you can send me some TX lovin'...and foreign chocolate. 'Thou shalt share thy delicacies with thy ancient friend'...that's written somewhere...really important.

 
At 1:04 PM, Blogger chrissie "told me"

Hey, it's your blog, you can use it to write about anything you want!

I can relate to you with having always been around the church. I have been in kind of a weird place with my faith, too. I know what you mean about being jealous... it is not like I have some big dramatic story of being born again, ya know?

 
At 1:37 PM, Blogger Chris "told me"

Moh,

I know what Rob said is something to similar to what I would say. It's why he and I are such good friends - we seem to always have a common foundation for most things. In many cases, he's my mouthpiece for feelings I just quite adequately put into words myself.

I will say this though:

I have been there, I am there, and I will be there. I went to UNC-G and majored in Religious Studies only because I thought it would give me answers which I wasn't getting from church. And while I found out the history of early Christianity, which caused me for a time to become very cynical of my own religion, it also has been the knowledge which has brought me back time and again to the realization that I am nothing without God.

Philosophically, if I may, I recognize God as Being, and if God is Being then my being is insufficient without Him.

Other people here have said some similar and some other very poignant things. If I had internet at work I'm sure I'd be able to offer a little more new advice.

Take care, nonetheless. Talking about God and Faith is one of those I enjoy doing immensely because I've it gives me a great deal of comfort to know I'm not the only one, so to speak.

 
At 1:17 PM, Blogger MarkD60 "told me"

I have heard it said that the 7 sins are essential instincts and cannot be completely removed. The sin is when the instinct becomes excessive and causes problems.

 
At 7:18 PM, Blogger Lauren "told me"

goodness, this was really cool to read--even after a MISSION trip I just returned from, even though I work at a church, even though I plan to be a pastor someday. . . there are mountains and there are valleys in our faith and the crazy weird thing is that there are no mountains or valleys with God. That's what humbles me most. No matter how close or far from Him I feel, it's always me, never Him. It doesn't matter to Him. I feel like God's there the whole time saying, "Okay, so you don't feel close to me. That's cool. I'm still here, close to you." Rest in that. I think we get in trouble when we try to force ourselves to feel close to God. We already ARE close. And even pastors I've talked to feel the same way at times. . .we're human. Thanks for this entry--I love thinkin' about this stuff. And I hope I don't sound "preachy" b/c that's definitely not my intent (nor who I am--I don't like preachy people like the guy you described in this entry). This is just my initial response as I think. . .

 
At 8:58 AM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake "told me"

It's a lot less complicated to rely on four-leaf clovers and rabbits' feet. Not an insult, just an observation. Good luck, kid.

 
At 12:28 PM, Blogger Me Over Here "told me"

Hey Mr. Ol' Hoss/oldhorsetailsnake! I've been hoping to hear from you sometime!

I know, I should take up magic. But I won't. Who knows what trouble I would cause then anyway.

Thanks!

 
At 5:57 AM, Blogger Trouble "told me"

Did someone call Trouble?

 
At 11:41 AM, Blogger Müzikdüde "told me"

I could go on for hours about this...but you don't know me and I haven't the patience. Just a few points:

1) I was saved as an adult so I have one of those "tragic" testimonies but I wouldn't feel envious if I were you. I've always been envious of those that have walked with God their entire lives.

2) As I grow, I realize that everyone struggles with faith especially those that have had it as long as they can remember.

3) The people that push their faith on others are doing more harm than good.

I have to stop here to keep from turning this comment into a book.

 

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