Click here for Day 1. Another contributing factor to my becoming lost deals with another aspect of my relationship with God. Recently, I’ve been going through a difficult period where I kept hitting bricks walls. Every turn brick wall. So I just stopped moving, sat down and sulked to a degree. The question is – why didn’t I go to God about it? I remember awhile back saying to myself, “Why should I talk to Him, there’s no point, what is He going to say, this is just apart of my life experiences, my trial, my cross to bear”. Very much a defeatist type of spirit I had. I said this in passing not really a lot of focus on it, but that spirit stayed with me. I literally just stopped talking to God. It was a very subtle thing, not a full on rejection of Him, just every step I took while looking at something else, I was walking further and further away until I looked around and was like “wow, where am I?”
I think there are issues we haven’t made sense of that deal with our walk with God that perplexes us. One of them for me has been the concept of asking and receiving. “Why do I need to ask you [God] for anything when you know what I need? Why don’t you just do it? Then even if I do ask, there’s no guarantee you’ll do it! You only will do what’s best for me….so then now we are back at my original point. Whhhhhhy do I need to ask again?” I think for me it became an issue of why is something I need dependent upon me asking. I couldn’t wrap my brain around it. It wasn’t too big of an issue, as I still prayed and asked for stuff, just was something quietly swirling in the back of my brain somewhere. But the concept of accepting the tests and trials of life…yeah that one got me. I’m going through a trial, He says come to him and ask, and then he hits you with the silence. Oh ok…so remind me again why I’m coming to you?
God and I have been down this road before actually on a couple of occasions. The earliest one I remember deals with the having friends problem from the “You Go First” post. I remembered praying hard, perplexed of why is happening to me, even crying as a young girl and from my perspective God just being like (cue sounds of tumbleweeds going by). So what if what I was going through wasn’t that deep! It’s deep enough for me to think “Oh well, I guess I just have to live with it”. Fast forward to dealing with grown folk issues of should I stay with my estranged husband or not after he got another woman pregnant? God, What should I do? Hello? (cue sounds of leaves rustling) The point of this post is not theology of why God is silent or that we perceive Him to be silent, or why don’t he answers my prayers, etc. I got the theology down now. The point to focus on is how I’ve dealt with and the results of the experiences. We must realize that our view of God and our view of Christianity is all based upon our life experiences. Not our experience within the church walls, but our upbringing. Our parents marriage, parental figures lives, how we were guided to handled teenage angst, how we made life altering decisions, all have a place in God’s role in our lives. I’ve always believed in God as I grew up in a Christian home, but God was always elusive to me. No real relationship. Just a concept to believe in and rules to follow. Later on in life when I felt him calling me into relationship with Him, I never went back and dealt with my view of Him. Yes, I gained new insights about Him, but not until you have a trial where you need Him, do you confront your deep, core view of Him.
So even though He called me into relationship with Him, I didn’t stay long. As soon as I had to put it to the test, my real feelings about Him surfaced. “You are suppose to be there for me, but you aren’t. So, I guess I’m left to deal by myself again, huh?” You can only go through this scenario so many times before your heart becomes one of resignation. In the book, The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God, it says this about resignation:
There is something inside of us that says, “This is the way it is. I had better learn to deal with it.”
One thing I’ve observed about myself is that when I hit brick walls with people, I withdraw. And that’s even evident in my relationship with God. Instead of wrestling it out with Him, like Jacob did, I just resigned to view life as this sucky thing I must go through…by myself. And a life of resignation is perpetuated by Satan’s whispers of “Having a relationship with God is difficult. What’s the point?” Unfortunately, when your life is void of relationship and communion with God, you have no choice but to fill it with other stuff….career ambition, achievement, people, love relationships, experiences, children. All of which are things that don’t sound bad by themselves, but if you use them to fill the place God is suppose to be, they will be out of balance and have more weight than they ever should have.
It wasn’t until this lost encounter did I really delve into being transparent about how I feel about God and connecting dots of where stuff stems from. This transparency is what takes a relationship from surface to intimate. No different than human relationships. You can’t have intimacy without openness. Real openness. Like put it all on the table, don’t look at the clock, go dig up the skeletons and let’s really talk about it. Then realize that you don’t get all the answers in one session. Your whole life is an endless transparency session with God. I mean what else do you think your spiritual journey is about?
I feel like most Christians talk about everything else and rarely this. What is going on between you and God right now? Instead its more external topics less personal topics. When we sit here and discuss/debate about spiritual things that have no personal application for you, we are missing opportunities to support and encourage one another in each other’s journey. I enjoy discussing, debating, arguing and everything in between, but God is really showing me how it’s all a waste when our relationship with Christ is superficial.