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How do you keep from giving up on God?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Or to be more specific, know that God hasn't given up on you?

When you literally lose everything?

I the past 2 years, a really good friend of mine died unexpectedly, my brother's longtime girlfriend's daughter got cancer and then kicked our family out of her life (we don't know where they are or if she's even still alive), my grandfather died, my Husband left me without warning, lost my home, lost my stepdaughter, my son lost his Dad and his sister and is an angry emotional mess because of the impending divorce, lost all my in-law family, lost most my friends (mutual friends with me and my Husband), lost access to my family in another state (Husband used to be my ride), don't have enough money for food or rent or bills, my brother-in-law threatened me and disowned me because he didn't like how close I was to my sister (and I can't tell her about it or because if she believes me, he'll leave her and take the kids), my Mother keeps having health problems, my phone and computer alternately keep getting broken (this week it's my phone, my son is in another state with family, and I haven't talked to him or been able to tell him why I'm not calling or answering my phone for the last 7 days), I've got an unplanned pregnancy by a physically, verbally and emotionally abusive person who's threatening to either take full custody of the baby at birth, or if that doesn't work, kidnap the baby to his home country, I just found out I'm getting a pay cut in September (I live hand to mouth, can't afford food as it is now), just found out the assistance programs for childcare in my area have been completely cut, so I'm on my own after the baby is born, if I manage to be able to stay in this apartment after January, I will not be able to afford phone or internet, and I already have no cable, so I will have no access to the outside world and no contact left with my family (in another state) and now I am seriously at risk of having to go into a homeless shelter when my lease runs out in January when I'm 9 months pregnant, so I'll lose my home, my belongings, and my dogs (who are part of my family) and probably even my last children (there are waiting lists of sometimes months and they don't often accept teenaged boys with their Mothers in this area, which means I will either have to put my son in a Men's shelter, put him in foster care, or, if I'm lucky, talk my ex into taking him, though I'm not sure he legally can, since he's not his biological Father, and with me in a shelter, especially if I have to sign over rights to my son, I will be in no position to win custody of the baby when it's father files for custody). A friend of mine tells me that God is testing me. If he is, when will he stop, how can I tell him enough is enough, I can't deal anymore? Do I have to lose EVERYTHING? It's all bad enough, but I lost my little girl (stepdaughter) and now I'm at serious risk of losing my son and my baby as well?! What do you do when there's nothing left?! I tried putting my life in God's hands. Many times. But it just keeps getting worse. It's hard to trust in God anymore because he's not helping me, I keep losing everything and I'm almost down to nothing left to lose. How do you keep on trusting that God's got your back when you've got no strength left to trust in anything?
post #2 of 16
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus".

I honestly don't even know the reference for that scripture (Galations I think), but I know it word for word because I have to constantly recite it to myself. I've lost three babies and the first thing that came out of my mouth when I starting bleeding this past loss was "please God let me not be angry with you". I prayed, and I was not angry with him. First I would ask yourself, what is your relationship like with God? Is it a personal one through Jesus, or is it a "I believe there is a God out there somewhere" faith and you just ask him for stuff when your desperate? No judgement here, I'm like that a lot. I forget to talk to him in the good times, I forget to read the Bible in the good times, I'm often just running to Him when I've already gotten myself in a mess and I need someone to rescue me. So I would say, first pray to believe, then if you believe, pray for child-like faith, and with your faith, pray for peace. He will take care of you, He has promised it. And God does not tempt us, Satan does. He's not testing you to see if you'll fall and crumble, He's just waiting for you to ask Him to take over and help move you in the direction that He wants you to go in. In the end it's not about what God can do for us, it's about what we can do to glorify God.

Great passage from Luke:

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifeb? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

So how do you keep from giving up on God? By remembering He has never given up on you. He went all the way to the cross for you. My own life story is proof that He exists and is real and is working. Pray about finding a church home. My church home is my family and supports me through everything.
post #3 of 16
I dont have any words of advice and I usually dont do this here but Im going to pray for you openly right now...

Father, I lift our friend here up into your hands. I ask that you would be her comfort in her sorrow, that you would open her eyes to see you very clearly. I know that a vision of you in times of extreme distress has made me forget about all that and realise who I am in You, who You are and how glorious You are and everything and everyone you touch. My prayer, Father, is that this woman knows in a very real, physical and tangable way just how much you care for her and her circumstances. I do pray, Lord, for her personal circumstances. For a break in the heartbreaking situations. I pray that she recieve something amazing and unexpected to ease her difficulties, something major. I pray that you would send your people her way, to comfort her and help her in her desperate time of need. Lord, I know you will do this. I pray specifially that if it isnt your will she move, that she will be able to keep that roof over her head. That some substantial financial assistance would appear out of nowhere to keep her save and fed and warm. If it is your will she move, Father, I humbly ask you keep her family intact, that you would provide a home for her where she can be at peace, deliver her baby in PEACE! A Home Father. At the same time Lord, I pray you would help her to lift her eyes up to you and seek your kingdom. I pray for an easing in the stresses in the relationship difficulties she's faced recently. I pray specifically for the relationship between her and her sister. I pray her bil would immediately have a miraculous change of heart, that her relationship with her sister would be restored. I pray over her mother's health issues. I have no idea what your will is there, but I pray you are glorified in the lives of all these people in a way that restores their faith in You.

I ask all these things boldly in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, Amen...

There are plenty of reasons the Lord would allow situations like this. He does test our faith, but when we say test, its not to see how strong it is, when we say to 'prove' our faith, its not the kind of testing or proving we often think of. He often strengthens our faith in Him in times like these. Other times He allows circumstances to go a certain way so He can show His power and be glorified thru us. I think of when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. He heard His friend was ill and dying but He didnt go straight away. He stayed where He was for a further two days. Lazarus died in that time. Everyone knew that if only Jesus had hurried and made it before Lazarus died, He could have saved Him from death. Even tho Jesus knew what He was about to do, He wept at their pain. He went on to raise Lazarus from the dead. God allowed the Israelites to go into slavery only to redeem them from it at a time when He would be glorified. I have to be honest. Choosing to walk on with Christ isnt an easy walk. Im saying this from experience myself. I keep walking on with Christ because I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that we cant comprehend His goodness, but I KNOW it. We cant see the big picture, we cant understand His ways, but in circumstances like yours, He's proven to me that He can be trusted. Its not about me tho. Its not about my ease and comfort in this life. Its about Him. He does promise a reward at the end but its still all about knowing Him and about Him. His glory, His majesty, all about Him. But... He shares that with us! Knowing Jesus is my reward and I am blessed whenever I simply look to Him, keep my eyes on Him, walk hand in hand with Him. I cant easily describe that blessing but I know when I meet someone who has experienced it. There are physical, tangable blessings, financial and stuff like that, but even then those dont compare to the blessing of peace and the spiritual blessings I know simply by Knowing Jesus. That 'peace which suprasses all understanding' is something that grows with time. Or it has grown with time for me. I wander, I stumble, I get stubborn and say I simply dont want what He wants for me anymore! But I know better and turn again to Him! And evertime He takes me back and strengthens my faith.

I have no idea if this is at all helpful, but my prayer for you is that you do know that peace. Sometimes a relief of circumstances is what we need to know that God is for us. There are times, Ive experienced, when it seems God tarries. When the difficulties will help our faith, in the bigger picture, in Christ, grow stronger or will actually aid us in some other way and thus are actually better for us then if we were physically relieved of our difficulties. I dont know which God has in mind for your situation but I still pray in hope that your difficulties are relieved.

With much love,
gen
post #4 of 16
What I am leaving with you is peace-I am giving you my peace. I don't give the way the world gives. Don't let yourselves be upset or frightened.
John 14:27

Please know that Jesus will NOT leave you!!! I will pray for you.

May consider reading the book of John. I love the book because it shows Jesus as a friend.
post #5 of 16
I don't know that God is testing you. Sometimes the whys are for mixed reasons. THe economy is bad and many people are out of work, and that is nothing that you have done. In other things, you may find your situation is a result of your actions. Other times, there is no discernable reason. Your list seems to be a mix, and especially heavy on personalities and their actions.

So where does God fit in? I don't think God causes other people to act badly, nor does he bear responsibility for mistakes we make ourselves, oe even really for things like the economy.

But the bigger question is, why does God allow suffering, and pain; and how do we respond to it?

Some people would say that this is to show us that we cannot cling to ephemeral things, that the cannot be what we put our trust in, and that we must cling to God. There is undoubtedly some truth in this.

On the other hand, it is important not to let things carry you along, as if you have no choices to make. God has also given you the ability to act, and so it could be that this is a time for you to do so, to ask for help and to put your house in order.

But it is very very hard in the face of all that to maintain our center and trust in God. I would say the most important thing is to pray regularly, even if you are angry. Go to Church, and take part in the Sacraments if they are available to you.

I'll pray for you, and good luck.
post #6 of 16
I don't have any answers, but I'll be praying for you We have had a really tough year and it has not been easy for me to keep putting my trust in Him, but I try and sometimes I don't know what to do but just cling to Him.
post #7 of 16
OP, I was in a similar space not so long ago. Instead of choosing to question God, I decided to cling more to God. I decided to understand that I was not being tested, I was being given the opportunity to be fully who I really am. And what a wonderful gift that is!

I am not a Christian, but during this emotional, physical, spiritual hardship, I was led to a church that truly believed that God speaks to and through us at all times. They were a teaching church, a church that believed in supporting other churches and being a type of therapist for dysfunctional churches. It was a wonderful experience!

I don't know what your faith is, either, but I'm going to risk posting this scripture from the Bible because it was so significant to me and helped me be able to see what was going on in my life more clearly and because other posts here lead me to believe this won't insult you:

Genesis 29:31-35 NIV: "When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, 'It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.' She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, 'Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.' So she named him Simeon. Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, 'Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.' So he was named Levi. She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, 'This time I will praise the Lord.' So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children."

This passage was so significant for me because it helped me realize how much I was motivated by hoping someone would change because of my actions. I thought, If I do x,y,z then s/he will do x,y,z. I wanted my actions to control other people's feelings about me, behaviors toward me, etc. Even God! I realized that all my relationships were a result of me sacrificing (willingly, lovingly) hoping to influence someone else, even God. I then realized that that's not what God wants. That's not a sign that I am happy. God wants me to just praise Him. Just praise Him. That is it. That is all. God loves me so much that He will always love me, but I need to be devoted. I need to praise God and devote myself to Him and not focus on what other people are or are not doing, because God is with me always.

That helped me shift from feeling victimized to feeling empowered. I hope it can do the same for you.
post #8 of 16
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honestly, at that point, I wouldn't trust G-d. I'd yell at G-d to stop being a f***ing a****** and give me some freaking help already. Seriously. It's ok to yell at G-d and be angry at G-d.

It feels a lot better than empty reassurances that "g-d will help you (when g-d takes his own sweet time about it while you suffer, yeah right that helps" or "g-d is testing you (lovely. ya know, how about a test of like... my english skills? I'd really rather than. this, I don't think I can pass this test G-d)". (or at least, it feels better to me, in situations I've been in which were not nearly as hard).

I find it can be very helpful to yell at G-d, or to cry to G-d. To show G-d exactly how very scared and worried and downright terrified I am. I let the tears flow and don't try to stop them, to ask for help and strength and please change my situation already I can't handle it.
post #9 of 16
A cyber hug to the OP. Sorry things are so hard for you right now.

I've had my "year from hell" I can't say that my faith in God survived it, though. Pretty much the opposite in fact. I gained great faith in myself and my ability to carry on, solve problems, get things done, and let things go. For some of us, taking back control of our lives offers us the best chance at personal growth and healing.

Now, 10 years later, God and I are building a relationship again.
post #10 of 16
I am so sorry for the things that you are going through. I pray that things start to get better for you. I have a tendency to blame God when things get tough. In fact I just took that to confession yesterday. It is also one of the reasons I came back to Christianity after being agnostic for years. Life was not going well for me and I started blaming God. It was then I realized that if I could blame Him I believed in Him!

What I try to remember is that even though Jesus will never leave us, things will not always be perfect in our lives. We all have our crosses to bear and some of us get heavier ones than others it seems. I do have that tendency in the moment to feel like God has abandoned me when things are really tough. Then later He does something that shows me how close he really is to me and I feel awful for doubting His love. In the darkest of times Christ is shining His light in our lives, sometimes we just can't see it. No matter how grave things get He will never leave any of us. Keep praying, even when you don't feel up to it and He will hear and answer in some way.
post #11 of 16
You should consider reading through the Psalms, there's a whole lot of crying out to God in there, you may relate and find strength in knowing that you're not the only one.
post #12 of 16
I find listening to certain songs is helpful and encouraginig. I particularly like this one when I am feeling vulnerable and unsure...

http://www.lyricsbox.com/matt-redman...e-pfs45jc.html
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by vbactivist View Post
I find listening to certain songs is helpful and encouraginig. I particularly like this one when I am feeling vulnerable and unsure...

http://www.lyricsbox.com/matt-redman...e-pfs45jc.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnWKehsOXu8
post #14 of 16
OP~ I am so sorry that you are having such a tough time right now. I have been through some very challenging situations that are similar to yours (divorce from an abusive ex, bad relationships, serious medical conditions, miscarriages, financial hard times as a single mom etc.). There were times when I wondered if I had done something to anger God, to make him feel the need to punish me. However, when I pondered my life circumstances prayerfully, it became clear that God was knocking on the door of my heart, asking to be let in so that I could let go of hurts and hang ups that were getting in the way of my being a faithful servant to Him. It took some time to know of God's will for my life, but He made the direction clear when I asked Him for clarity. I joined a Divorce Care group at a local church, made friends in the group, joined a small group, found a great community of like-minded moms who had been through similar trials, and found that my life began to unfold in front of me. Eventually, I found a great job, got my financial and spiritual house in order, and soon enough.. the man of my dreams walked into my life via my small group (we've been married for almost 5 years now ). I truly believe that if we pray to know God's will, He will show us, even if it is a tough road that requires a lot from us.

OP, I hope you don't give up on God because He will never give up on you. Here are some book/website recommendations. Note: I'm an Evangelical, and these resources have information in line with Evangelical teachings.

Books: "Breaking Free" by Beth Moore. This one is a Bible study that the author wrote while going through a very painful separation from her adopted son (son chose to go live with his birth mom and disassociate himself with Beth Moore's family). Very cathartic.

"Boundaries" Cloud/Townsend. This book is very helpful in giving guidelines for having appropriate relationships with a Christian mindset.

Website: www.newlife.com

, love, prayers, and best wishes going out to you tonight. I pray that you find answers to your dilemmas, and that God shows you His beautiful plan for your life.
post #15 of 16
I visit Biblegateway.com everyday, and this was today's verse so I had to post it: “When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”- Psalm 94:18-19
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovebeingamomma View Post
You should consider reading through the Psalms, there's a whole lot of crying out to God in there, you may relate and find strength in knowing that you're not the only one.
I whole heartily agree. I've had my year of hell this year too. God really spoke to me through the psalms, especially in the really dark days when I just wanted to lay down and die. I would read them, and feel God's peace. I pray that you would feel that too.
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