What would you recommend to someone who is in a rut and is having a hard time falling in love with Christ again? I’ve felt so broken for a long time, and have built up so many walls because of messy relationships, and now I’m not even sure how to let Him back into my life. Any ideas? Thanks!
Hey friend: thanks so much for your honesty. I do get questions like this quite a lot, so you’re definitely not alone. Please allow me the grace to link them first, here, here, here, and here. And please feel free to skip them.
You’ve probably heard tons of advice already, but there’s no silver bullet for this sort of thing. I wish I had some cute magical catchphrase to turn it all around, but I don’t.
The thing is, many of us go through roller-coaster cycles of up-and-down faith — I’m an expert on that — and you really shouldn’t feel bad about it. No one can blame you for being human, and God doesn’t either. At times, we will fall “out of love” with Christ just as easily as we dislike a TV show based on a single episode, or your family when they go insane for a night, or relationships when they end up devastating you. That’s life, and it’s okay to say it stinks sometimes.
Occasionally we enter a fuzzy fog that chokes the color out of everything, and the only thing to do is keep walking. That does sound like a catchphrase, but the part they don’t tell you is that these fogs in life can feel like they’re forever — and they’re not.
There are days or weeks or even months when I read the Bible and there are no grand epiphanies.
There are whole seasons of Sundays when I sing praise and feel nothing.
There are times of prayer where the silence kills me.
There are great Christian books and podcasts that I eat up which don’t budge my spiritual life.
There are too many times when I doubt the very existence of God and the sending of His Son. It can all feel like a crazy lie.
I’m probably being too honest — but I’ve found that I’m not the only one who feels this way.
It’s in those times that I ask myself, “Am I out of love with God somehow? Am I losing my faith here? How do I get back to where I used to be?”
But I keep reading my Bible. I keep singing on Sundays. I keep praying. I soak in books and sermons. I serve. I enjoy the company of mature Christians. I enjoy the fellowship of the broken.
And you know what? Sometimes the clouds part and God comes through and His love squeezes my heart and I fall to my knees remembering how good He is. Then I read Scripture and can’t stop weeping and I turn on Christian songs in my car full blast and sing loud enough to scare the traffic. I serve with shaking hands and get convicted by those sermons and soak in God’s goodness all over again.
So I’ve learned over time: I wasn’t really out of love with God. I’m just a fragile human being who changes as much as the weather. I was setting a ridiculous standard for myself that can’t be defined by self-pressuring parameters. I was tricked by the enemy into judging my flesh. My faith is based on His grace and not my feelings. And I think I need to relax.
It’s when I remember that God still loves me despite my cold messed up heart that He jumpstarts the whole healing process back to Himself.
It’s when I know that God is never disappointed with me despite my walls that my walls come down.
I can tell God, “I feel so far from you and I don’t know how to get back,” and He doesn’t bite my head off. He welcomes me right back to the place He had never really been gone.
The fact that you even messaged me shows you care. Your heart is in the right place, or at least heading that way. So keep walking. It’s a process, but be okay with that. God is certainly okay with it, and He’s with you all the way no matter how closed off you feel. If the walls come up again, He is still patient with us.
It could also just be you’re amidst distractions, stress, a transition, or second-guessing yourself, and it’s put you in a dangerous cycle of unfair self-inspection. But your honesty shows me you still want to want God, and all you really need is need. So keep walking.
What I would NOT want for you, dear friend, is to base your faith off a very small percentage of what’s happening to you.
Some days, it really is tough to love God. And the cool thing is, God understands that about us. He has grace for our abrupt distant seasons. He continues to love us through our dryness. Some days are Romans 7, some days are Romans 8. Be thankful for both.
Peter got to see Jesus reveal his glory on a mountaintop, but Peter never tried to recreate that moment. He never tried to get his faith to “how it used to be.” Peter kept serving, kept trusting, kept believing, even when his faith must’ve been beaten into a tiny little mustard seed. But you know, Jesus had grace for mustard seeds too.
The Bible constantly depicts the spiritual life as a walk. Maybe we get nostalgic for those early exciting days as an energetic young Christian, and while those days are nice, there are better days of maturity up ahead.
Find a mentor, talk it out. Serve in a broken place. Challenge yourself biblically to follow Jesus into a difficult story. Read those good books. None of this is to earn God, but only to believe He is who He says He is, and that He really loves you where you are.
I love you dear friend, and you got my prayers.