I feel very ashamed lately. I was once radically on fire for The Lord. And now I am so distant. My heart longs for him, but I don’t know how to get back to where I was. Any suggestions?
Hey my friend, I’m really sorry you’re going through this. Please allow me the grace to point you to some previous posts.
You don’t have to read any of these: but I hope you can see that
1) You’re totally not alone in this, and
2) We all have seasons of doubt, confusion, and frustration in our spiritual journey.
None of this makes you a bad person or that you’re somehow “off” with God. It could just be growing pains or the natural rhythm of your life or just a particularly vulnerable week that perpetuated some condemning thoughts about yourself.
The feeling of “distance” never dictates where God is in your life. I know that sounds like a cute thing to say: but I’m so dead serious. People who feel far from God are hardly prepared to feel this way, so they end up feeling a double-guilt about it. They feel bad that they feel bad: when God is the closest in those moments. It’s when you’re far that you can feel secure in telling Him, “I feel far from you.” And it’s His grace that will break through, however slowly and steadily.
A father most feels like a dad when his kids are messing up: because the dad steps in to take care of his children. And your Heavenly Father draws nearest to the hurting (Psalm 34:18). God won’t ever demean you for those feelings or lack of feelings.
So tell Him. Everything. And your faith will stretch and twist and dig deeper, not always as it was before, but into something more solid than those first on-fire feelings.
My friend: continue to be curious and pursue Him. Keep serving, keep loving, be honest with others about what you’re going through, and keep an open line with Him. He loves you through all of it.
“I read once that when a person falls in love the brain creates a chemical that bonds the person to their love interest. Sadly, after two years, that chemical subsides and another chemical is created that continues the bond (if nurtured and protected) but the bond is less passionate, less energetic and more thoughtful and familial.
I suppose that’s how I feel about Jesus now. I feel like He’s family. Or, more appropriately, I feel like I’m in His family. It’s almost like we once had a passionate thing and now we’re just kind of growing old together.
Often, when people try to get me worked up about Jesus, zealous and emotional, I don’t necessarily feel like it fits me. I’d have to fake it if I acted that way. To me, faith is about maintaining and protecting a solid relationship in which there is now about fifteen years of history, too many memories to name, lots of great, slow work to do and plenty of other people to introduce Jesus to so they can start their relationship as well.”