In My Words: Turning Back from Turning My Back on God (Part 3)
I’ve found that when I hope to encourage others, God often prompts me to share my less-than shining moments.
Welcome to Part 3 (the final installment) of a less-than stellar season in my faith journey. It ain’t pretty, but it’s honest.
Why Did I Turn Back?
While my silence toward God pervaded all my other relationships, two friends faithfully prayed for me. Even though I stopped voicing all my uncertainties, Faith and Pamela knew.
They prayed when I couldn’t — about the burden of Rob’s job, about the financial stress of Rob living in Wyoming while I lived in Colorado so our girls could stay at their high school, about my health problems after our “caboose kiddo” was born, and about my unrelenting months of doubt. I’m certain their prayers — and the prayers of others — were a spiritual buffer that kept me from running further aground.
I turned back because I missed God. Month after month, I ignored God. I didn’t open my Bible. I didn’t play worship and praise music, which so often lifted my spirits in the past. I took down the handwritten passages of Scripture taped to my bathroom mirror and my kitchen cabinets.
And yet … I missed God. I missed leaning on him when life was hard. And it was. I missed thanking him when life was joy-filled. And it was. Somewhere, buried beneath my doubt, I still desired to live my life as a believer.
Five years after I told God I no longer believed he was trustworthy, I wrote these words inside the cover of my Bible: Lord, please forgive me for doubting that you were trustworthy. I’m sorry. I want my relationship with You to be restored. I know I don’t deserve it — but I’m standing in your grace and asking for you mercy.
I heard no celestial choir. Time didn’t stand still. But I felt as if God moved closer to me — as if he’d only been one tiny step away all those long, miserable months of my silence.
It was an almost tangible expression of God’s grace. When I turned back, I figured he’d say something like, “You can do X months of penance and then we’ll talk.”
Instead, I instantly felt restored to intimacy with God.
I learned a hard lesson during the years I turned away from God: If I focus on the circumstances of my life, I can easily run aground — brought to my knees by discouragement and doubt. Instead, I need to keep my eyes trained on God and his provision during the tough times so I am not pulled off course.
I made agreements with the enemy
And lost my heart.
Forgive me when I agreed with the enemy when he said,
“Maybe God isn’t trustworthy”
and I thought,
“I don’t think I can trust You, God.”
I am driving a stake in the ground.
God is trustworthy.
He is trustworthy.
He is trustworthy.
In Your Words: How has God revealed his grace to you during times of doubt?
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