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blythe_ann
08-10-2014, 08:53 PM
Hi, ladies.

As you all know, I've been a mess for the past few months. You might be surprised to know that at one point, I was a very happy introvert who was confident in her relationship with Christ. I feel like that doesn't describe me at all anymore, and I'm missing that girl.

In everyday life, my life is going really well. Professionally, I am at my dream job, I have the perfect students in my studio, I'm making connections and making a difference in my community. Physically, I'm in the best shape of my life and my diet has never been cleaner. At home, we feel great about our minimalist and eco-friendly lifestyle. My marriage is strong and healthy.
Life isn't all roses, of course. My dad still has cancer and we are still trying to conceive after years of having vaginismus struggles.

But the most frightening aspect for me is-- I am feeling close to spiritual death.

I have been a Christian for as long as I can remember and I don't want to minimize my experiences up to this point. God has been active and visible in my life many times-- pointing the way, showing Himself, giving me wisdom through His Word. I took comfort in always having Him in my life and was confident in my walk with Him. Even in difficult, unfair and sad times, I felt Him there, I was confident in Him.

But it's getting harder and harder to find Him in my daily life. And it horrifies me.

As the months went by and He wasn't answering my prayer-- Lord, please give us a child or direct us to the path you want us to take-- I became angry with Him. Every month, I grew angrier. I recognized this and started adding to that prayer-- Lord, please draw me to you, with or without a child or a plan, please just let me feel You in my life again. I tried to read my Bible more, to pray more, to fast every now and again.

Silence.

It doesn't help that I have recently been aware of things I have been clinging to since childhood about my faith that are incorrect or that I no longer believe (I grew up in a very strict church and I no longer believe that way, but am still finding random beliefs that I didn't even know I had).
It also doesn't help that the "shiny new toy" syndrome we had when we first joined the church has worn off and I now have literally no friends in the church. I have been to church for multiple weeks in a row with only one or two "hi's" before church as the only communication-- and I am a member of the choir and worship team, so it's not like I'm a back pew in and out member. I'm frustrated, because I tried to reach out to a few women of the church because I needed some encouragement and have been ignored for the most part.

So here I sit on a Sunday afternoon, I don't even remember what the sermon was about. I haven't read my Bible in a week, my prayers have been lukewarm at best and usually a cold recognition that He exists. I can barely listen to Christian music right now without rolling my eyes. If it weren't for guilt and fear, I would probably be "taking a break" from my Christian walk.

It horrifies me to admit this.

I don't know what I'm asking of from you ladies. Because logically, I know the answers. I know we don't live in a fair world and God doesn't always do what we want or expect. I know that it isn't about what we feel. I know that not reading and not praying is making it worse. I know this, but knowing isn't enough right now.

Just feeling kind of down and scared right now and this is the only place in the world I get support and encouragement. So thanks for listening, anyway, ladies. I appreciate you all.

snooch
08-10-2014, 09:25 PM
Blythe, I'm so sorry you're going through this right now. I don't think there's a Christian on earth who hasn't been there at various times in their life, so take some comfort in at least knowing you're not alone with this.

Recently, I've been hearing many sermons on the podcasts I listen to that address issues like this. I think there are so many of them because so many people go through stuff like this. It's really, really hard to want something in your deepest of desires, and have God telling you "no" or, worse, feeling silence from him. There is a reason for his answers and silence, and one day you'll know what those reasons are, but when you're in the middle of it, it's so natural to feel anger and distance from him.

Like you said, you already know all that, so just know that you're really not alone.

One thing I might suggest to help with relationships with people at church. And it's kind of ironic that I'm even saying this, because I'm a life-long introvert with an anxiety disorder, LOL, so taking my own advice has been difficult for me! But what I have found most often is the case, for me anyway, is when I am trying to reach out to people because I need support, because I need encouragement or strength, it rarely works. In fact I'd go so far as to say, for me, it's never worked, at least not on anything more than the most shallow of levels, like someone is willing to take me to lunch to cheer me up or listen to me, but then they've "done their duty" and that's all that happens.

And, I actually totally get that, because when I do that - and maybe when you're doing it, but I'm not sure, because I don't know how you're approaching things, so just take this as advice to apply if it applies and ignore if it doesn't - but anyway, when I do that, I'm reaching out for a relationship out of my own neediness, and I'm really making it all about me. So at the times I've been able to recognize that before I do it, I try to turn the whole thing on its head and put my needs on the back burner and make my reaching out about someone else. I won't seek out people who I think will be able to support me and give me good advice or a sturdy shoulder for my problems. Instead, I seek out people who seem like they need a friend, people who are loners, or who don't seem to be able to make connections, people I've seen around a hundred times but never bothered to learn their names, people who are socially awkward, or people who seem sad and alone. I seek them out, and I try to fill a need for them. I make my connection-seeking about someone else, and try to connect because they need it, not because I do.

When I've been able to do this successfully (and it's only been a couple of times - I don't mean to imply that I'm this outgoing, altruistic need filler, because that's totally not me!) I've found that a couple of things happen: 1) A real connection is actually made, and a real friendship or reciprocal meeting of needs happens naturally; and 2) My own problems don't seem so big to me because I'm focusing on encouraging someone else. In that focus, I can say all the right things to someone who needs to hear them, and then realize that I need to take the same advice and encouragement for myself. I end up getting a lot out of the effort as well.

And like I said, none of that might apply to you at all, but maybe it might help at some point.

I'm still praying for you and your husband. :hug:

DIANAC
08-10-2014, 10:32 PM
Dear Blythe, I am sorry for what you are going through.
I also have my moments when my faith is slight. Last year when we received the news that my husband had 1-3 months left and his crucial medical tests were lost I simply could not pray. During my morning prayer time I would just sit there and cry. Forget about reading the Bible! But a very interesting thing happened. At 6A (when I usually pray) one friend started calling me on the phone and we prayed together. No, correction. She prayed. I was silent.
Church is also not working out for us. We were in a very active church. We served, had friends, and an active church life. But we had to leave because of theological differences. Don't ask! It's a long story!
But in fact it was a good thing, because my horizons broadened. I saw that Christendom was big and that there are believers outside of the local church. I needed to rethink alot of things. I grew as a result of that.
But ultimately it's not about how well you pray, how much Bible Study you do or how great is your faith. It's not about the local church even. It's about you and Jesus.
"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:28"
"if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 2Tim 2:13"

He remains faithful and no one can snatch you from his hand.

blythe_ann
08-10-2014, 10:54 PM
Snooch-- thank you. It is good to hear that I'm not alone. It's scary to feel this far away when He has always been so close. And I totally understand what you are saying in your description of friendships at church. I had some very good (so I thought) relationships at church for a while and was always a servant in those relationships because I tend to take that roll, but I needed a break from being the servant and pulled away a little and I noticed no one tried to keep in touch, which hurt. I admit it's my fault that I didn't go back into serving them, but I just really needed someone to be a mutual friend. I do have one dear friend who moved away but who has been my constant companion through all of this and I'm grateful for her!
Diane, thank you as well for your response. Thank you for the verses and your personal experience. I appreciate it so much.

I'm just hoping to fall in love with Him again... like I told my husband tonight...even if the moment He becomes clear again is Him telling me I will never be a mother, I would take that. I just desperately want to be His again (I know techinically I still am His and He is still with me, but you know what i mean).

katzankatz
08-11-2014, 12:21 AM
I don't have any advice or anything, but want you to know that I just prayed for you.

purple
08-11-2014, 03:19 AM
I'm so sorry Blythe,

I'm not going to add much to Snooch or Diana because I would only be reiterating what they say.

The only thing I would say I addition is there is no shame in how you are feeling.

The images I got while reading what you put was of a small speaker. In the first, the world was calm, the wind was still and the sounds from the speaker could be heard even though they were quiet. But in the second there was a storm, the wind was howling, rain pouring down on yen roof and thunder rumbling around, there was still noise coming from the speaking but it was impossible to hear above the world :(

I know what that was saying to me, but I find it best to just pass the images over and allow them to speak (or not) rather than put my spin on them.

I'm praying for you xx

DIANAC
08-11-2014, 08:47 AM
Blythe, hi, again! I am more interested in things that you believe about God, and things that you no longer believe. It is my observation that our personal theology deeply affects our life.

blythe_ann
08-11-2014, 01:40 PM
Diana, I can sure share that, though I'm not going to go into incredible detail because, like you said, it really affects our life and can be very involved and complicated and might be a bit long.
I believe the basic theology of God creating the earth, sin entering (and separating us from God), the only payment for sin being death, Christ was that sacrifice and by accepting His sacrifice I can have a personal relationship with God and can spend eternity with Him instead of apart.
My recent realizations have been more about what I know and what I was actually believing. While I was taught, in words, correctly (I think), the focus was never on the positive. For example, while it was mentioned here and there that we were forgiven for our sins and God loved us, most sermons were about how we were scum not living up to the perfection we should be so we should feel incredibly guilty all the time. I thought accepting a compliment was sinful, because that would be admitting I did something good, and that's not possible because I'm scum.
I no longer believe that. I believe that I'm sinful by nature and that I want to do selfish things and am sinful enough for hell and what not, but I don't think I'm scum anymore. I believe we can do good things. It feels weird even typing it because I have refused to think I could be at all good for so long. But, I married a good man. Yes, he's a sinner, but the overall arch of his life is good and Godly. And I'm tired of always living in guilt of not being good enough, instead of being happy that Jesus was enough.

And another example would be what I know is the truth and what I really believe on God answering prayer. I know God doesn't just answer prayers because we ask or in our time grame. But, the way I have been praying for most of my life has been a cause and effect. If I'm a good girl, then he should answer. When it's not answered, maybe I wasn't a good enough girl. Even recently, I've caught myself thinking "well, if i were reading my Bible more, maybe I would be pregnant".
My brain knows this is crazy and not the case, but it's the way I react initially when things happen.

It's strange being in this situation. My faith has never been situationally based. I have felt close to Him through storms and trials and through good times. It's just like the phone line from me to Him has been disconnected. And every month that I'm not pregnant is like another reminder that that connection is missing.

DIANAC
08-11-2014, 02:58 PM
Blythe, did you come from a Calvinistic background?
On one hand all sins equally separate us from God. A sin is a sin. In the same way there is no such thing as a white lie. It's just a lie that is whitewashed.
But even the Bible tells us that there are degrees of badness and goodness in people. Some are bad from birth, some are decent people, some are just foolish and sin because they picked up bad habits, but some are evil. If you came from the Calvinistic church, I suggest to revisit Total Depravity theory. Even unbelievers are doing good things. And some unbelievers are "better" people than some Christians. It's just the way things are.
But each person has sin in his DNA. When we come to Christ we might repent of some sins that we know at the time. But usually we repent of Sin that we inherited from Adam. Only later on as the Spirit enables us we start repenting of various specific sins. That's God who grants us repentance.
I was always told that I am a good girl. And I was. I was obedient, did everything I was told, helpful, one of the best students in the class, etc. But as I came to Christ I started understanding that my goodness was not good enough and that Christ came to save even good little girls. I am still understanding depth of sin in me as the Spirit opens my eyes.

About God answering prayers...It's good and wonderful to be young. But one thing you lack is time. Some prayers take a long time before God answers one way or another. I keep a prayer journal. I started that many years ago so I don;t forget what to pray for. And because I started noticing that God answers prayers and I wanted to write those things down. I also wanted to make sure to thank Him.. I have to tell you that there are prayer requests in my journal that took 20 years to get an answer. But what's 20 years for God?

DIANAC
08-11-2014, 02:59 PM
I like what you said
"being happy that Jesus was enough. "
Super!

blythe_ann
08-11-2014, 04:44 PM
Thanks for your response, Diana. I was raised in a strict Calvinist church (funny how you could tell). I know that under that teaching I took it too far, though. I couldn't accept a compliment or believe that anything I did was good or worthy. I don't think that's what God wants. I know the depths of my sin quite well and I know the depth of my need for a savior, but I also want to be able to look in the mirror and think I'm pretty, or do well on a clarinet solo and be proud of it, or feel good about doing something nice for someone.

Sam
08-11-2014, 04:49 PM
:hug:

blythe_ann
08-11-2014, 04:49 PM
And, I would like you to explain your comments on prayer because I didn't understand the being young but lacking time thing? And I'm not sure their relevance. I just know that every time a prayer doesn't get answered, though I logically know His timing is perfect and sometimes He doesn't answer with a "yes", I still try to justify why He would say "no" with "maybe if...". It's wrong, but it's my reaction sometimes.
At this point, I am frustrated with God not answering my biggest prayer-- which is bring me closer to Him. I don't understand how in any universe letting that one sit for 20 years would be good. If He were to make Himself known again in my life by telling me I would never be a mother, I would prefer that to the loneliness I feel now.

judy02
08-11-2014, 04:51 PM
I feel a little nervous or unsure of commenting much in this thread, as I have felt like a backsliding Christian recently, and haven't always had good thoughts, but wanted to just add a few comments...

it sounds like you are deeply hurting, and are feeling really frustrated. For that I am really sorry. I can't imagine the pain and frustration you are going through first hand, but I am sorry :hugs:

But just wanted to add too, if it helps, to also release your burdens, and be honest with God about how you feel, frustrations, anger, hurt, assuming you haven't already. Some Christians and churches sometimes teach that we can only pray good thoughts all the time, but God knows where you are at, and how you are feeling. He knows our deepest thoughts anyway, and he is your ultimate friend (closer than a brother). Rant to him if you need to, cry out, be angry...be honest and real with God about how you are feeling. Release your feelings, and all the frustrations onto him and let it all out. And ask him to help you deal with and cope with how you are feeling and how you are right now. A genuine friendship is where we are able to be honest with another person, and we don't have to put on a happy front all the time, and God is our ultimate friend. And honestly, I really think God can take it! He knows how you feel anyway, and sometimes in order to get past our hurt, I think we have to come to God, by being totally honest, frustrations and all, and let raw emotions come out sometimes. And pray God can help you understand, and to carry you through this dark, confusing time.

I don't know if everyone will agree with what I just posted, but I can honestly say from my personal experience in the past, I've felt better when I've prayed and been honest with God about how I'm feeling, anger, frustration and all, instead of putting on some good Christian front, which isn't really how I'm really thinking or feeling at the time anyway and usually felt closer to God and felt more aware of his presence after telling him I need him to help me through. Because we're not perfect, and we don't always understand things life throws at us. Sometimes we can feel frustrated, and be tempted or do sometimes take it out on God. We're people and I don't think any of it takes God by surprise! The Bible is full of imperfect people God still used. And sometimes, when I'm honest with God, hand over and confess my honest frustrations with him, and am my most vulnerable emotionally, sometimes that can be when God can seem to speak and you can be aware of him in a deeper way in your life. And even if you don't always get the feeling of feeling really close to God (because I have been there before too), I think you feel better letting off some steam and handing over your frustrations over to God in that way.

Anyway, I don't know if any of my comments I just mentioned actually helped...if not I'm sorry, and I really hope I haven't said anything to make you feel worse and feel free to ignore anything if I did :( I was worried about that before I posted. The last thing I want to do is upset you further. Just sometimes, for me, I've found being honest with God has helped me rather than being burdened with saying and doing all the right things, because I think God meets us where we are at, with our shortcomings, frustrations and all. I also agree with Diana, that it's about Jesus and or relationship with him, and leaning n Christ. Forget the rules about reading the bible enough, praying often enough for now, (we never do that perfectly anyway!) and just lean on Jesus, and take each day bit by bit. You're likely feeling much too overwhelmed with things right now, to be worrying about whether you're doing everything "right" and perfectly, especially right now will likely only add on to your guilt even further which you really don't need.

I'm not sure if I did help or not in anything I said...if not sorry :/ just some of my reflections from my life. But I will be praying for you anyway. And really hope you feel a bit better soon

DIANAC
08-11-2014, 04:53 PM
We worshiped in Calvinist church for 7 years....And we had to leave. Ah, Calvinism! Pastor's wife used to get very uncomfortable and did not know what to say when I complimented her on her 4 children. She looked confused and said "But they are little sinners!". Yes, they were! And they were good children too. :)

judy02
08-11-2014, 05:01 PM
Diana that is so sad :( I haven't read up that much on Calvinism academically yet, although know it seems to be growing in popularity amongst the very young generation these days. (I'm sounding old! :/)

All I would say is that something about it just seems to make me feel a little uncomfortable/uneasy. That something about it is not quite right.

DIANAC
08-11-2014, 05:07 PM
Blythe, what I meant about being young is that you get the bigger picture of how God works when you have more years on this earth. I am not talking about your biggest prayer request. I am sorry! I really understand your heart.
It's just as I waited years for some prayers to get answered I learned so much. I learned and am learning how to be still and know that He is God. How to abandon my wants and desire only His will. Praying sometimes is not about the end result. It's about my relationship with the Lord. I learned that I can not pray "good" enough or long enough to move His hand.

DIANAC
08-11-2014, 05:10 PM
Diana that is so sad :( I haven't read up that much on Calvinism academically yet, although know it seems to be growing in popularity amongst the very young generation these days. (I'm sounding old! :/)

All I would say is that something about it seems just seems to make me feel a little uncomfortable/uneasy.
Judy dear, if you are "old" then I am..hmmmm....antiquated! :)
Yes, Calvinism is a problem.

judy02
08-11-2014, 05:17 PM
Thanks, I am feeling older recently :P I will miss being in my 20s!

blythe_ann
08-11-2014, 06:51 PM
Diana, thanks for explaining. I just couldn't connect the dots :).
And Judy, thank you as well. God has definitely heard me yelling a bit the past few weeks. I've never struggled with telling Him how I feel, so I agree with you 100%!

And Calvinism, probably one of the reasons I'm going through this particular struggle right now is realizing how crazy some of my beliefs were being in that. I don't know if Calvinists are wrong... they are just... harsh? But just like you said, Diana "they are little sinners!".

Work was slow today, so I have been reading articles online about feeling God is ignoring you and things like that. The problem with many articles is they seem so flippant. "Just trust in Jesus" sounds beautiful and good when you are feeling near Him, but when He's far away it doesn't feel like a solution. I did find a few more that were a little better written.

Well, I am busy tonight, but thank you again ladies for your comments.

Manna
08-11-2014, 11:37 PM
I can't possibly add to the words snooch and Diana have shared, but I wanted to chime in and thank you for taking a chance and sharing your struggle with us. I am going to be praying for you as you wrestle this out with God.

My pastor's sermon from this week kept jumping to my mind while reading your posts. Which is funny, because I didn't get as much out of it this week as I typically do. I wasn't going to mention it, because I don't like to make people feel any pressure to read/watch/listen to things I share. But the strength at which it keeps hitting my mind makes me think that maybe you would benefit from listening to it, if you're interested! He brought up many things that are directly related to things you have said here.

If you listen to podcasts, it's under Gateway Church, and the message by Robert Morris on 08-09-2014. Or you can watch it here:

http://gatewaypeople.com/sermons/247796

No worries if you have no interest in viewing it, I just felt I needed to share!

purple
08-12-2014, 01:31 AM
Psalm 13:1-6 NLT
O L ord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
Don't let my enemies gloat, saying, "We have defeated him!" Don't let them rejoice at my downfall.
But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the L ord because he is good to me. …

DIANAC
08-12-2014, 09:21 AM
I can't possibly add to the words snooch and Diana have shared, but I wanted to chime in and thank you for taking a chance and sharing your struggle with us. I am going to be praying for you as you wrestle this out with God.

My pastor's sermon from this week kept jumping to my mind while reading your posts. Which is funny, because I didn't get as much out of it this week as I typically do. I wasn't going to mention it, because I don't like to make people feel any pressure to read/watch/listen to things I share. But the strength at which it keeps hitting my mind makes me think that maybe you would benefit from listening to it, if you're interested! He brought up many things that are directly related to things you have said here.

If you listen to podcasts, it's under Gateway Church, and the message by Robert Morris on 08-09-2014. Or you can watch it here:

http://gatewaypeople.com/sermons/247796

No worries if you have no interest in viewing it, I just felt I needed to share!

Thank you, Manna. I watched it. Good sermon! In fact sometime ago i was in the same verses as your pastor was preaching on trying to figure out how to get rid of root of bitterness.

15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Hebrews 12

I did not understand the connection between grace and bitter root. But then I saw this!

It says that we are the ones who allow bitter root to grow. How? Because like Esau we are impatient and want to satisfy our needs right now (Esau was famished). And if we do things on our timetable it can have catastrophic consequences and in addition we become bitter. But, if we wait upon the Lord and remain for a season in the position of weakness (Esau was famished), then we will receive grace while waiting. And grace is the one that will make us strong while we are waiting.
"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.2 Cor 12:9"
Grace will keep us from sin and from becoming bitter.

Can you imagine Esau's testimony? "I was about to die from hunger, and was tempted to fall into sin. But God gave me strength and kept me from sin"

Well, this might or might not be related to Blythe's post. But I think this topic is always timely to explore.

blythe_ann
08-12-2014, 10:33 AM
Thanks again, ladies. I"ll listen when I have some free time today, Manna. I'm just popping in. I really do feel your prayers and can tell this is just a "dry spell", which gives me hope for the future.

ETA: Listened, Manna. I have no comments, but thanks for sharing.

jgonz
08-13-2014, 07:12 PM
I haven't been here for awhile, however I saw your post and responses and felt like I could add something.

I understand the deep _need_ of wanting a child. Our 3rd child was born with birth defects (the worst was that she had no esophagus). After 4.5 months in the NICU, she passed away from complications from surgeries trying to 'fix' her.

In a nutshell, I was angry with God because He'd shown me a vision/dream of her healed and running around, happy and playing. Then she died. It was too cruel. How could God DO THIS TO ME???

I spent the next several months being furious with God, going into my bedroom, shutting the door, and whisper screaming at Him. (I had 2 kids I didn't want to traumatize more than they already were.) I did this day after day... a few times I even threw my Bible against the wall in anger. One time DH was home and heard the thump from my Bible hitting the wall, came in to see what was going on, and I yelled at him to GET OUT. He got out, quickly.

At the same time as I was dealing with all this anger was this deep _need_ to have another baby. I was scared at the same time.... And DH was saying No Freakin' Way are we trying again. Every month I dealt with this.. up and down and up and down with the hormones... ugh.

I came to a point where I couldn't sleep one night, and told God that I surrendered ever having another child to Him. If that was going to be His will, then so be it. It was deep. It was heartbreaking. And I had hit the point where I meant it. I gave my childbearing years to Him~ whether we ever had another child or not, it was in His hands. I resigned myself to the possibility of not having any other kids, and started moving on.

It took awhile, but I stopped being angry with God. The bitterness started going away, little by little. The 'place' I was in started feeling comfortable... and then God shoved me out of that comfortable place and shoved me into a new place that wasn't comfortable at all.

Several months later I got pregnant (quite unexpectedly, and after I was honestly starting to be ok with not having another baby).

God is in charge. Our ways are not His ways, and our thoughts are not His thoughts. We have these tiny finite minds that can't see the big picture (and if we could, we'd freak out).

I have no words of wisdom of how to forgive God for not answering your prayer one way or the other. But until you learn how to forgive God, bitterness will continue to grow in you and you'll turn into a person that you don't like much. IMO, you not only need to forgive God, but you need to forgive yourself.

Maybe do a study on the Grace of God, and who you are in Christ. You are a beloved woman to Him, a rose, beautiful. And there is a season for all things in your life.

blythe_ann
08-14-2014, 04:22 PM
I'm sorry to hear about your loss, jgonz. I couldn't begin to understand what that would be like.

If you've read my posts, it's not as much about the deep desire to have a child (though that is definitely there), it's just feeling so far away and not having him answer "bring me closer to you". I do feel like I've been closer to Him the past couple of days, but I am still struggling to understand why He wouldn't answer that prayer right away. Of all prayers, a pleading that I would be drawn into Him seems like it should be answered. But, time will tell what this is about. Just as someone who has always had Him close, to feel so far away is lonely and scary.

jgonz
08-16-2014, 11:10 AM
Yes, I get it. I had, what I thought, was a great relationship with the Lord before all of that happened. I was in a desert for quite some time after that.... I knew He was there, but I couldn't connect. Part of it was my anger, but even after I got through that part, the distance was still there. Eventually it all changed, and my relationship with Him was even stronger.

Whatever He's doing with you, you'll get through it. No one could know how long you'll be in this 'place', but while you're there, do the best you can to Do the things you know He's asked of you in the past. Be obedient even if you're not 'feeling it'. However, Don't go overboard and add to His words, or add to what He has _actually said_ in the Word. Don't listen to people, read the Word, and above all, wait.

(((hugs))) I'll be praying for you.

blythe_ann
08-30-2014, 12:25 PM
I don't like to leave things hanging, so I thought I would update on here quickly.
Spiritually, things are looking up. I realized that I was praying a lot that God would make me interested, instead of just making a concentrated effort myself to be interested. So, I have made it a habit to read the Word before bed and pray for a majority of every run in the morning. While these things don't heal everything, I do think the prayers of others and God's movement is changing my life for the better.
I do believe, however, that my discontent with God was not only coming from this place of feeling abandoned by Him and desiring a child (though, they were a part of it, most definitely), but it was also about how I've been feeling abandoned and set apart from God's people, and I think that had a bigger part of it than I realized.
I haven't been carefully listening to sermons because my pastor has brought up a few beliefs that I wasn't sure I agreed with. I haven't been spending time with the women at church because they have all been too busy and I stopped inviting them myself because I was tired of being the organizer. I haven't been enjoying my time on here as much because I feel I have stepped on a few toes and don't want to be a problem. I haven't been to church events because there are a variety of people in our church who I don't care to spend time with right now (I know that sounds terrible. It's just the constant prodding in a rude way about us having children, or the overly loud and opinionated ones, or those who just want to talk about my weight because I'm "fit".). The only groups I'm actively involved in are full of older women and are somewhat proper, and as much as I would love to be that way, I'm not. I showed up to a meeting on my bike and the women were shocked... I'm awkward and young and don't really fit in but I try.
Sorry, that was a long paragraph just to say that I think a lot of why I was feeling so separate from Him was I had very little encouragement from His people, which I never thought I would rely on. But, as I have been going through my beliefs on secondary matters (I say secondary because they aren't salvation specific) and finding I don't agree with a lot of my peers, and it's been hard to feel alone. For just a quick example on this, my church has two opposing beliefs on God's discipline. One belief is God still disciplines and can do so through a natural disaster (sending a tornado, for example) and they believe that is what tornadoes are. Others believe God wouldn't send a tornado. I believe in the middle, where God can discipline however He likes but we aren't the judges of whether or not that is what the tornado is about, so we just try to understand what it did to our own lives and what we can learn from it.
As far as the child thing, it varies on my cycle time whether it bothers me or not. Mostly, I can remember that longterm, God knows when the time is right (if there is one), but sometimes I get jealous or really sad.
Anyway, that's where I am at. Just thought I'd fill you all in.

snooch
08-30-2014, 01:01 PM
I'm glad to read your update. It's encouraging to me when I can see how someone makes a concerted effort to pray, read the Bible, and be introspective about where they are spiritually, and it makes a difference to them. It's a good reminder of what I should be doing when I'm feeling isolated, alone, awkward, and apart from God. I'm glad you are feeling in a better place right now. :hug:

purple
08-30-2014, 01:41 PM
Thanks for the update, I was only thinking of you this morning :)

I haven't been enjoying my time on here as much because I feel I have stepped on a few toes and don't want to be a problem.

:( I'm sorry you feel that way... Please don't stay away...You haven't stepped on my toes...

Mostly, I can remember that longterm, God knows when the time is right (if there is one), but sometimes I get jealous or really sad.

This sounds like a completely reasonable place to be at if you ask me!
Even though I would say I'm 'over' the whole not having kids issue, I still have times where I get jealous or sad or angry... and there is nothing wrong in feeling that way..
Hang in there, God will make his path on this one clear in his time and while you are waiting live for him as much as you can and it will be worth it

Continuing to think about you and pray for you in this as I have some understanding of where you are in this - feeling for you darling xx

DIANAC
08-30-2014, 09:56 PM
.

purple
09-09-2014, 06:22 PM
Been thinking about you today...

blythe_ann
09-09-2014, 06:56 PM
Thanks, purple :) it's nice to know I'm being "thinked" about (my neighbor girl says thinked, and I get a kick out of it).
I have been doing pretty good, lately. I know it's silly and unrealistic of me, but I'm still kind of holding out hope for an answered prayer to just be obvious again. I remember so many times when God would answer a prayer in only a way He could for me, and it was such an encouragement and I haven't seen one of those in a while. But, I'll be patient, it's not like I can talk God into doing something!
I've been going through Genesis lately. I've been drawn to the stories of the Bible recently, as opposed to the letters to churches and such. I finished Daniel a while ago and loved re-reading it. So, if anyone has a good "story" book in the Bible, I'd take suggestions. I'm thinking the story of Ruth is next for me, because I love it.

snooch
09-09-2014, 07:19 PM
Before I got to your last line I was going to suggest Ruth!

purple
09-10-2014, 04:38 AM
Esther is a good story :)

mkgal1
09-21-2014, 05:09 PM
I haven't posted here in *years*, and I happened to come across this thread yesterday (when I randomly decided to pop in and read a bit). I've been praying for you, Blythe Ann....and trying to put some thoughts together (because I definitely can relate to how you're feeling).

It seems that any time God has changed the direction of my life, there seems to be a time of preparation first (if I'm paying attention enough). It never seemed like a time of "preparation", though.....more like "time in the wilderness" (like you're describing).

I can relate to so much of it---feeling distant from others at church.....feeling lonely and a bit outcast, because of that.....feeling even God was distant. But...that did always lead me (like it did you) to do some introspection (and maybe that's what God wants....without the voices of people we used to rely on to interfere...?? For us to maybe hear, instead, the voices that will lead us).

Maybe this can be likened to birthing pains.....when a new life is about to emerge---YOUR new life (with a new outlook on your beliefs).

I came across this verse today and thought it may be encouraging:

“My brothers and sisters, you will face all kinds of trouble. When you do, think of it as pure joy. Your faith will be put to the test. You know that when that happens it will produce in you the strength to continue. The strength to keep going must be allowed to finish its work. Then you will be all you should be. You will have everything you need.” James 1:2-4

Scripture also says that one day,
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

mkgal1
09-21-2014, 07:48 PM
Another good story is Exodus (but after you read Esther and Ruth).

tiredwalker
09-24-2014, 08:58 PM
I just saw and read the entire thing. I'm glad things are looking up! I don't know if it helps or not, but I went through a very heavy period like this. I even admitted to many in this group that I didn't feel I could call myself a Christian--an agnostic at best. Now, I've come back to my Christianity, but with a completely different view.

Basically, I grew up as a Christian (Messianic), attended Christian college, watched as my dad got his MDiv and Doctorate in Biblical studies. I was a pk! I married a pk, and then he deconverted. He was a mix of honest doubt (he's got a scientist's brain) and anger for some of the things done to him in the name of Jesus. He didn't want me to deconvert, but he wanted me to understand where he came from. Over the course of our 12 years of marriage, we've had many, many conversations (though they started as fights).

I did come to question some of the things I'd been taught, and God seemed not to answer my prayers. After a while, I just quit talking to him or reading the Bible. Soon, anything having to do with God rubbed me the wrong way. I hated hearing Christianese or lame-o sayings as a way to dash from a rational conversation. I didn't like hearing "God works in mysterious ways" as an answer to why ugliness is allowed in the universe. Why would people be so certain about other's morality, but when their own was questioned/when their God was questioned, there was some catch phrase and an "I'll pray for you." (Please don't!). Why wasn't it okay to say, "I don't know."?

My heart did yearn though. I really thought for years about all of the answers to my questions--God answered:

-I can't explain his existence through science because science is a means of exploring/explaining nature. He made nature and is, therefore, outside of it.

-He gave us freewill because choosing is better than robots--even if people choose great, great evil. It deeply saddens and angers God, but he lets us have our choice.

-Faith is not simply pretending to believe something you don't. It's admitting that you can't find/see God, and still choosing to love, worship, and be committed to him.

-Saying "I don't know" doesn't mean the answer isn't there or that you're wrong. It simply means you don't have the answer. That doesn't mean God doesn't exist; it also doesn't mean you're not a good Christian. It simply means you must keep searching.

--etc!

There is so much of the Bible and God that I simply can't box up. However, now that I've let go of having to have the correct answer, I've become much more able to understand the "feel" of God's spirit. It is much easier for me understand the thinking behind a "rule" than to see why people think of it as a rule to enforce (Don't drink to drunkenness--It makes a person vulnerable to attack, manipulation, and temptation. Not "because it's bad and makes you a bad Christian.")

I don't know if that helps, but it sure fills up a bunch of space on this page! Hugs to you. It's so distressing to feel that way!

blythe_ann
09-25-2014, 11:08 AM
Tiredwalker, thank you. Hearing others struggles makes me not feel so alone! And yes, things are still looking up. Circumstances haven't changed, and I don't know if I'll ever understand some things that happen (like fertility) but I know that someday I will look back and understand at least some of what happened.
But thank you, I appreciate your story!