It’s been quite some time since I posted anything faith-related. It’s honestly because it’s been a pretty dry season for me for a while now.
The “drought” all started when we got to Texas. I left all my friends behind, my husband started working longer hours and was busier, and the worst of Claire’s sleep regression was right when we arrived. I had to unpack my house but felt like a zombie. I was in a new house and town where I didn’t know where anything was or who anyone was with a small baby. I felt a little abandoned and overwhelmed. Plus, sleep deprivation made me
a little nutso for a while there.
The whole new-mom, not sleeping, and now suddenly not having any friends combo was not what I ordered. Back in Boston, I was getting almost daily time with other moms going through the same exact thing at the same exact time. I was so lucky and I miss those friends. But in Texas, I didn’t connect with many people and feared doing so because we would be moving away so soon anyway. I believed the lie that I wasn’t worth investing in just because I couldn’t be a long-term friend. Because this season has been isolated, I haven’t gotten any perspective and a lot of what I’m sure are “normal” things feel like a big deal to me because I’ve experienced them alone.
For months, my prayer life has dwindled, my devotionals have collected dust, and my community has been almost nonexistent. Sometimes I’ve felt desperate, like this is just a not fun part of life that I must suffer through. But as I feel this season coming to a close, I know it wasn’t all in vain.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
Just because your faith isn’t flourishing doesn’t mean you don’t have faith. Or that there isn’t some point to a period of time not being that close to God. Or that your struggle isn’t worth sharing.
Do I like admitting that I haven’t felt close to God lately? Not at all. But it’s 100% true. At times, I’m tempted to believe I’m not a “good Christian” just because my faith life isn’t all together right now. Do I want it to be better? Of course. But it doesn’t make me any “less Christian” just because I am having a less-than-perfect time in life. The hard seasons are usually the ones that grow us the most anyway.
Community is essential. Do whatever you can to have community, whatever that looks like to you. And for me, that community needs to be face to face and not just online. Although, I love all my not-close-to-me friends! They’ve literally been the ones to get me through this rough patch.
Distance with God is all in your head. God never just decides to not be close to you one day or walk away. The “walking away,” whether literal or figurative is always all on us. But the good news is that you can walk back to Him at any time. And sometimes the “walking back” is not as easy as a one-time decision. It’s an active decision you have to make every day.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6
Not every season of life is meant to be fruitful. I know God created us to live with Him as our guide and that we should always be seeking Him to live fruitful lives on track with what He wants for us. But not every season of life can be great or even good.
When I first became a Christian, while I still had struggles in my life, I had a few amazing years of faith with the Lord. Closeness with Him that sometimes I look back on and wish I had now or wonder if I will ever get again. I believe that He gave me such a long period of good faith to get me through the not-as-good-faith parts of life.
Unfortunately, every period of life we go through can’t just be better and better and better. Sometimes we are going to regress or fall away from things that were once good. I believe it’s all part of His plan, and even though in worldly terms it looks “bad,” it’s all for a purpose and just something we have to deal with.
Being self-focused is not what God intended for us. At least for me. The more I focus on me, my problems, what I’m working on or not working on, the more I run off to worldly things to “solve” my problems. It’s obvious when I put it that way. But as I’ve been in a lot of solitude for months now, it was easy to get blinded by being focused on me since not a lot else is going on and I haven’t had the gift of perspective from outsiders lately.
This is a slippery slope for me. I recognize now that one of the most powerful tactics of the enemy is to make working on ourselves look so attractive and good when in reality, it can be a really ugly thing that pulls you away from God’s actual plans for you. It’s not to say that working on things for myself is bad, but when that is my whole life’s focus, it’s dangerous and unhealthy for my faith. Looking to God and what He wants and focusing on His truth is always so much better.
Good faith doesn’t look the same in every season. Going back to my years of “good faith” that I just referred to – what my faith looked like in those times is crazy different from what my faith looks like now. I was able to spend a full hour in prayer each morning for over a six month period at one point doing some serious meditation.
I would absolutely love for that to happen now, but it’s not. And I also don’t think it should. My life demands have changed and I’m okay with that. Faith is still faith, whether it takes an hour or fifteen minutes.
I feel like this season is closing for me as I’ve found myself much more readily available to pray and truly desiring quiet moments with God. I also feel that a change of scenery in a few weeks when we get to Hawaii will bring a fresh perspective on everything, especially because this awesome opportunity to move there was ALL the Lord’s doing.
Where ever you are in your own journey of faith, I hope that you could take something away from what I’ve learned. I know none of this is very profound or new information, but just writing it down and reading it through puts a lot into perspective for me right now.
Have a great weekend 🙂
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4
Questions for You:
- Does talking about spiritual “dryness” make you uncomfortable? Should it be talked about more?
- Are things fruitful or dry for you right now?