In My Words: Turning Back from Turning My Back on God (Part 1)
I’ve found that when I hope to encourage others, God often prompts me to share my less-than shining moments.
This is one of those times. Today I’m sharing the first part of the story of when my faith foundered, part one of a three-part series recounting a less-than stellar season in my faith journey. It ain’t pretty, but it’s honest.
God, you are not trustworthy anymore.
I wrote those six words, closed my journal — and turned my back on God.
My faith didn’t sink in some catastrophic storm. It ran aground on a series of seemingly minor sandbars. A niggling doubt grew into the absolute belief that God didn’t care about my heartaches.
My doubt hindered my relationship with God for more than five years.
I did a slow “about face” rather than a sudden turning away from God. Months before my faith failed, I wrote these words in my journal: Will I let the circumstances of my life obscure the truth of who God is?
I hate to admit it, but that’s exactly what I did: I lost sight of the truth of who God is. My spiritual vision blurred as I focused on the day-to-day, month-to-month obstacles. I no longer saw God as my refuge or strength, much less as a very present help in time of trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
What caused my faith to falter?
- A cross-country move from Florida to Colorado — I grieved the loss of heart-to-heart friendships.
- My husband’s Middle East deployment three months after our move — Rob ran laps around a tent city in the desert on Christmas Eve while I ate dinner with our three kiddos in a Chinese restaurant in Colorado.
- The rigors of my husband’s air force job once he was back stateside — It was as if Rob never came back home. Sometimes the distance between us stretched as wide as the Persian Gulf.
The unending stress went on for 18 months — and all the while we parented three teens. Then I found myself unexpectedly pregnant at 41. My recovery from the birth was complicated, both physically and emotionally.
A month after our daughter was born, Rob’s work situation imploded and, within weeks, he was stationed two and half hours away in Wyoming.
Could life get any more stressful?
Worn out I scrawled these words in my journal:
You know what, God?
Did I do something to deserve this?
Is there some grievous sin I’ve left unconfessed?
Do I have a “Kick Me” sign pasted on my back?
Despite all my tearful prayers, despite all the prayers of family and friends, my life was an utter mess. All my pleas for help, for something other than struggle, went unanswered.
I was exhausted.
I was lonely.
Wouldn’t God help me?
After almost three years of persistent disappointment, I knew the answer to that question: No.
To Be Continued
In Your Words: When has life overwhelmed you? Were you able to hold on to your faith, or did you lose sight of who God is?
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