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#1 of 38 Old 04-29-2010, 01:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You can stalk my posts for specifics, but this has been a really crappy year for me and I basically felt like my church abandoned me during my time of need.

Right now, I feel nothing.

I want to make it clear that I believe in God 100%. I believe that Jesus died for my sins. I have listened to other people talk about their various beliefs and religions, but none have ever felt as right to me as God sending His son to die on the cross for me. So if I believe that firmly, and I do, then why don't I feel anything at all anymore?

I feel far from God. At first I thought I was just depressed. But really, in every area of my life, I feel so happy. I am happy where I live, I am happy where I work. The church situation broke my heart, but I don't feel that I am in a depression because of it.

I think maybe God doesn't want me anymore? Maybe that is why I have zero desire to pray, zero desire to go to church. You know I used to listen to music and songs like "Shout to the Lord" would come on and I would really *feel* something. I felt God moving through me.

So if I believe all of these things to be true, if I really believe in God and can accept no other alternative, then why don't I want to read the Bible and pray and go to church? I worry that He is done with me and doesn't want to use me for anything.

Then I wonder if it is because I am so obese, that He is disgusted that I abuse my body so much? Or if perhaps He is upset that I let my husband abuse me so much and did not ever step out in faith and try to get my life back together.

Or maybe this all means that I really *don't* believe in God?

I am very conflicted

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#2 of 38 Old 04-29-2010, 01:29 AM
 
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I'm sorry to hear you are having such a hard time. I don't think you have stopped believing, I just think you feel a little let down. I've been there and you can move beyond it. I think it's just a time thing. You need time to heal from this abandonment I think. But thats just mpo.
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#3 of 38 Old 04-29-2010, 01:40 AM
 
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I just wanted to give you hugs and tell you that Satan is a liar. He is shooting those thoughts about God not wanting you or needing you into your mind. Reject those thoughts and tell Satan to go jump in the lake of fire! I am serious. Declare the facts and Praise the Lord regardless of how you feel. While you are moving about your house or driving start declaring the facts. This is an exercise that will make the enemy flee because he hates to hear these facts.

You must do this out loud and as loud as you want. You can do it in your head if others are around, but doing it out loud really releases me from Satans attack.
Do you believe in spiritual warfare because you are in it right now?

Here are some facts you can declare to God and to Satan:

Jesus is Lord
Christ is Victor
Satan is defeated
The blood of Christ cleanses me
Satan look at the blood
Satan go jump in the lake of fire
Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords
Satan is under the Lord's feet
and under my feet!
Sin is judged, old Adam finished!
Praise You Lord Jesus Christ!
Jesus is my Lord
Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess
Jesus Christ is Lord
Hallelujah, hallelujah hallelujah!
Jesus is Alive
Jesus is risen
Satan is finished
Praise God
Jesus lives in me
Satan cannot touch me
Jesus is my refuge
Jesus is my joy, my strength and supply
Jesus is my life and my life supply
Death cannot hold the resurrection life
Resurrection life is in me
My spirit is Life
I love you Lord Jesus

I could go on and on. My dear sister, this really works to get me out where you are right now. Keep declaring the facts until you feel released!

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#4 of 38 Old 04-29-2010, 02:29 AM
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don't know entirely what to say right now other than, love and prayers your way.


the Lord loves you, despite any sin in your life. God does not see your sin, he sees your new identity in Christ. He sees you, pure and beautiful.

philippians 1:4...6
I always pray with joy... being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.

the Lord will not abandon you!


John 15:7
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.

I have tested and found it true! You can ask for anything that is promise in scripture, in the name of Jesus, and it will be given to you


Matthew 7:7-8
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Ask the Lord to show himself to you. Ask Him to show you any sin that may be separating you from Him (i bet Shami mentioned that )
And when you ask, know that the Lord has promised to open the door to you. Do not doubt. Have joy in knowing the Lord will answer your prayer.


and also, Romans 8:23-39 might be encouraging for you to read.

with Christ you can do all things. trust in Him and he will carry your load. and He will bless you tremendously, on the other side of this trial.

praying for you, mama
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#5 of 38 Old 04-29-2010, 09:05 AM
 
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Well, why do you think you should feel something?

Christianity is not about your feelings, it is not about attending a church that makes you feel happy or full of emotion, or whatever. It is about knowing God and doing his will.

It is normal for every person to go through periods of spiritual dryness. And it is these periods, not the times when we feel filled with God and the Holy Spirit, that we grow spiritually as Christians. These are the times when we begin to build a relationship with God built on more than how we feel.

There are many examples in the Bible and in history you could meditate on. Christ in the desert, or Job. Perhaps try reading some of the writings of Mother Teresa, who for many years felt no connection to God - she never had that feeling you are worried you have lost.

And consider Christ on the cross, who felt himself to be abandoned by God. God is never happier than when one of his people pray, even though they have no desire to. That is what love is about, and that is why he allows us to go through such times.

Do keep in mind that times like this are also likely to be times we are attacked, either with despair, or through the body.

I have read your other posts, and I really think you need to find a new church, one with leaders who are a lot more spiritually mature than the ones at your old church.

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#6 of 38 Old 04-29-2010, 10:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone, I just printed this out to be able to read the suggestions and scriptures daily for help. I appreciate your thoughts

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#7 of 38 Old 04-29-2010, 11:00 PM
 
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Would it help, too, to know that some of the greatest saints went through periods of spiritual dryness? I know St. Therese of Lisieux did, and she was one of the gentlest, sweetest saints that ever lived. I found this quite from her:
Quote:
When I am in this state of spiritual dryness, unable to pray or to practice virtue, I look for little opportunities for the smallest trifles to please Jesus, such as a smile, a kindly word when I would rather be silent. . . . If no such occasion offers itself, I try at least to say over and over again that I love Him. --
I believe Mother Teresa went through it as well, and St. John of the Cross called it "the dark night of the soul". So you are in good company. I know you're not Catholic, but I guess my point is that feeling far away from God is not uncommon. I think it tends to be more pronounced and more devastating when you're from a background that tends to put an emphasis on feelings and emotions. I hope you can find some peace soon.

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#8 of 38 Old 04-29-2010, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Would it help, too, to know that some of the greatest saints went through periods of spiritual dryness? I know St. Therese of Lisieux did, and she was one of the gentlest, sweetest saints that ever lived. I found this quite from her:


I believe Mother Teresa went through it as well, and St. John of the Cross called it "the dark night of the soul". So you are in good company. I know you're not Catholic, but I guess my point is that feeling far away from God is not uncommon. I think it tends to be more pronounced and more devastating when you're from a background that tends to put an emphasis on feelings and emotions. I hope you can find some peace soon.
That does help, actually, thank you!

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#9 of 38 Old 04-29-2010, 11:28 PM
 
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I agree with Bluegoat that Christianity isn't about our feelings/emotions and also with AnnetteMarie that many who came before us have experienced similar issues. I really have my ups and downs too.

Here is a passage that would be good to memorize and meditate on...
Romans 8 (NIV) -
Quote:
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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#10 of 38 Old 04-30-2010, 01:10 AM
 
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I wanted to say a little more in response to some pp that said it is not about feelings or how you feel. While I understand your point and agree that we need to pursue the Lord regardless of how we feel, I think there is a need to point something out.

Feeling dry and feeling like you have lost the presence of the Lord are two different things in my own experience.

When I feel dry, may not have any hunger for the word nor any desire to listen to hymns. I may still talk to the Lord or pray, but I don't have the sense that I am receiving much grace or light. I still know the Lord is there and I believe in Him, but I may not have much desire to contact Him or spend time with Him. I view this feeling of dryness as quite a normal part of my christian life and just wait and pray for it to end.

On the other hand, feeling like I have lost the presence of the Lord is the scariest thing ever to me and I hate when that happens. I feel blocked and stuck regardless of how much I pray, sing, and read, I sense the Lord is gone. Usually it has to do with an offense toward another member of the body. Sometimes it has to do with a sin that I need to confess, but more than likely it is due to an offense. Offenses with other Christians can really hinder the flow of the Spirit because the same Lord that lives in me, lives in the person that I am offended with. When I am offended with another believer, in actuality I am offended with the Lord, too, sort of indirectly.

OP I don't know which is your case. I do know that you left the believers you were meeting with, and if you haven't gone to the Lord about it, that may be something that is hindering your relationship with the Lord. Even if you were right and they were wrong, you may have some things in your heart to let the Lord shine on and heal you. Talk directly to the Lord about it. Many time I am mulling something over in my mind and I think I have given it to the Lord, but really I am just in my mind wandering around. Try to have direct conversations with the Lord.

Fellowship of the Spirit is very sensitive. There is vertical fellowship which is the Lord as the Spirit flowing to you, and you flowing back to the Lord. Horizontal fellowship is the Spirit flowing among the believers. If a water hose gets blocked with dirt the water can't flow. Likewise, if our heart gets clogged up with unforgiven offenses or unconfessed sins the Spirit can't flow.

Hope this helps and sorry if I am stepping too far out there. I don't mean to presume anything. I'm just throwing some concepts or principles out there for your consideration.

DH, and Me plus baby girl (10/07)
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#11 of 38 Old 04-30-2010, 04:10 AM
 
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I'm not christian, so maybe I come from a different perspective.

I'd say that it's perfectly ok. It doesn't mean you don't beleive in G-d, or that G-d rejects you. I think what it means is that you have been through a really really rough time lately. You may need to focus on earthly you for a while, and your healing, and when you are feeling a little more whole, you may be feeling more open to your connection to G-d. G-d is still there, and loving you if need support, however G-d can also understand and wait while you get yourself a little more straightened out, while you devote your energy to healing yourself.

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#12 of 38 Old 04-30-2010, 04:32 AM
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when a community acts poorly, it can create a situation where you feel less inclined to do things that will remind you of that church and that injury they caused you. this is pretty normal.

as an example, i belonged to a yoga community that went far awry. it came down pretty hurtful. while i still practiced (and taught) yoga, there were certain things i stopped doing like going to a favorite restaurant that i used to go to with friends from there, or even wearing certain items of clothing purchased there. i used to love those things, but at the time, doing them reminded me of what happened and caused me great upset.

so, that's one angle.

another might be simple what St Theresa of Avila talked about. she was a great mystic, and often had very intense experiences of God. but she also had experiences that she called "desert times" where she "felt that God was distant from her."

so, i think that if one of the greatest mystics who lived could experince that feeling of distance from God, then perhaps those of us who are just plain normal might too. and it's not that God doesn't want us, or that we do not want God, but rather that it is just that feeling of distance.

so, perhaps it's one of those "it happens" situations.
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#13 of 38 Old 04-30-2010, 09:44 AM
 
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Hebrews 2:1-2

1 Therefore let us also, having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, put away every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us and run with endurance the race which is set before us,

2 Looking away unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down on the right hand of the throne of God.

3 For compare Him who has endured such contradiction by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary, fainting in your souls.

Magelet I most sincerely respect your perspective and hope that you won't be offended when I contradict it. All perspectives are welcome on mdc, but I must gently say something here which will contradict your perspective. This is not to take away from your post because I know you wrote it with care in order to help the OP.

Look heavenly, Bunnyflakes, it is the earthly things which entangle us and weigh us down. No runner can run with heavy clothing on. Look away unto Jesus and He will heal you.
Stopping your pursuit of the Lord in order to heal yourself could result in years spent away from His loving presence. May the Lord have mercy on us all to continue to run the race.

Phil 3

13 Brothers, I do not account of myself to have laid hold; but one thing I do: Forgetting the things which are behind and stretching forward to the things which are before,

14 I pursue toward the goal for the prize to which God in Christ Jesus has called me upward.

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#14 of 38 Old 04-30-2010, 10:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Shami View Post
Hebrews 2:1-2

1 Therefore let us also, having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, put away every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us and run with endurance the race which is set before us,

2 Looking away unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down on the right hand of the throne of God.

3 For compare Him who has endured such contradiction by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary, fainting in your souls.

Magelet I most sincerely respect your perspective and hope that you won't be offended when I contradict it. All perspectives are welcome on mdc, but I must gently say something here which will contradict your perspective. This is not to take away from your post because I know you wrote it with care in order to help the OP.

Look heavenly, Bunnyflakes, it is the earthly things which entangle us and weigh us down. No runner can run with heavy clothing on. Look away unto Jesus and He will heal you.
Stopping your pursuit of the Lord in order to heal yourself could result in years spent away from His loving presence. May the Lord have mercy on us all to continue to run the race.

Phil 3

13 Brothers, I do not account of myself to have laid hold; but one thing I do: Forgetting the things which are behind and stretching forward to the things which are before,

14 I pursue toward the goal for the prize to which God in Christ Jesus has called me upward.
I don't think Magelet was saying anything untrue. Sometimes our spiritual life is affected negatively by our physical life, and in that case at least part of the solution is dealing with the physical or situational issue. For example, illness can sap our energy and so seem to be sapping our spiritual life. But it may not be accurate to look for the cause in our relationship with God in such a case - it is the result of physical distress. Healing the body will go far in improving things.

A situation which taxes our emotional resources - which are part of the body - can have a similar effect. So time to build them up may be the answer rather than some sin or spiritual solution.

The thing is that we are animals as well as spirits, and so it is normal for the fluctuations of the body to affect our spiritual life. It is important to learn to recognize this and work with it.

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#15 of 38 Old 04-30-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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No Magelet is not saying anything wrong according to a non christian point of view.

Wouldn't you agree that as a christian we should not take a break from God to focus on earthly things?

I've always thought that endeavoring to get closer to the Lord is the goal no matter what situation we are in...no?

Regarding need of physical healing, the Lord is our great Physician. We cannot heal our selves apart from Christ. Sure we can do things like exercise and take supplements or medicine if necessary, but the Lord is the One whoheals us both physically and emotionally.

Respectfully disagreeing.

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#16 of 38 Old 04-30-2010, 11:34 AM
 
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No Magelet is not saying anything wrong according to a non christian point of view.

Wouldn't you agree that as a christian we should not take a break from God to focus on earthly things?

I've always thought that endeavoring to get closer to the Lord is the goal no matter what situation we are in...no?

Regarding need of physical healing, the Lord is our great Physician. We cannot heal our selves apart from Christ. Sure we can do things like exercise and take supplements or medicine if necessary, but the Lord is the One whoheals us both physically and emotionally.

Respectfully disagreeing.
It isn't about taking a break from God. It is a matter or determining the cause of the problem. A 'feeling" of not being emotionally invested might not originate from a spiritual cause, but a physical one. Prayer for healing would be a good thing (and at such a time other spiritual disciplines might be important too), but one would also have to address the physical issue. That might be quite different from how you might approach a spiritual problem that was having physical repercussions.

And it is a mistake anyway to think that emotion is some kind of barometer of one's relationship with God. Why then work to try to achieve an emotional state - you can take drugs if you are just interested in that. We need to do what God calls us to, not chase after feel-good spirituality.

Suffering can be a kind of Christian calling and witness. I can't help but mention again Mother Teresa, who for years felt abandoned and unloved by God, or felt as if he did not exist.

 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
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#17 of 38 Old 04-30-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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I feel far from God. At first I thought I was just depressed. But really, in every area of my life, I feel so happy. I am happy where I live, I am happy where I work. The church situation broke my heart, but I don't feel that I am in a depression because of it.

I think maybe God doesn't want me anymore? Maybe that is why I have zero desire to pray, zero desire to go to church. You know I used to listen to music and songs like "Shout to the Lord" would come on and I would really *feel* something. I felt God moving through me.

So if I believe all of these things to be true, if I really believe in God and can accept no other alternative, then why don't I want to read the Bible and pray and go to church? I worry that He is done with me and doesn't want to use me for anything.

Then I wonder if it is because I am so obese, that He is disgusted that I abuse my body so much? Or if perhaps He is upset that I let my husband abuse me so much and did not ever step out in faith and try to get my life back together.
Or maybe this all means that I really *don't* believe in God?
I am very conflicted
s. My thoughts (again opinion) is that sense of community is damaged for you, by what your church did to you as a member, an active caring member. Shameful!!

I agree with Zoebird, and Annettemarie and was coming to offer just my suggestion from a different perspective to look for the little things. The joy in a sunrise or sunset, the laughter of children, the smile of babies, the cool breeze on a hot day. The divine works all around us, and even when we feel alone, abandoned, shunned - it is still working, just "whispering", nudging us and trying to direct us back to our paths in life or in new directions we need to be going.

treehugger.gifAnd you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.treehugger.gif

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#18 of 38 Old 04-30-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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It isn't about taking a break from God. It is a matter or determining the cause of the problem. A 'feeling" of not being emotionally invested might not originate from a spiritual cause, but a physical one. Prayer for healing would be a good thing (and at such a time other spiritual disciplines might be important too), but one would also have to address the physical issue. That might be quite different from how you might approach a spiritual problem that was having physical repercussions.

And it is a mistake anyway to think that emotion is some kind of barometer of one's relationship with God. Why then work to try to achieve an emotional state - you can take drugs if you are just interested in that. We need to do what God calls us to, not chase after feel-good spirituality.

Suffering can be a kind of Christian calling and witness. I can't help but mention again Mother Teresa, who for years felt abandoned and unloved by God, or felt as if he did not exist.
How I view emotions: not to be trusted because they fluctuate from one moment to the next.
Instead of the the word feel, insert the word discernment. We can have a spiritual discernment about situations. We can discern if we have the presence of the Lord or not. My pursuit of the Lord is not based on my not feeling anything or feeling something. I think we may be missing each others' point due to language barrier.
But anyway, what triggered my response to Magelet's post was that she said to focus on the earthly you, and heal yourself, then maybe you can reconnect with God.
My point is that Bunnyflakes should always endeavor to reconnect with God and then the healing comes with God as the source of her healing.
If you do a word search on "earthly" it is not positive. The Bible tells us to look away unto Jesus. Magelet admitted that she is not christian and I completely respect that and I completely respect her point of view. However, because I am christian and so is Bunnyflakes I thought it would help the op to point out certain principles, like looking away unto Jesus.
I know that our physical bodies can have a profound effect on our spiritual pursuit, but still believe we should look to the Lord for all things.

I guess that my main issue is that God should be the source of her healing. Focusing on the 'earthly you' and healing yourself takes God out of the picture all together.
Hope that makes sense. I don't know if we are disagreeing, Bluegoat, or if we use different terms to mean the same thing.

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#19 of 38 Old 04-30-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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As I said, I'm not christian, and my point of view might not be appropriate for some Christians. To me, there is no certainty that there IS an afterlife, and what is certain is that G-d put us on this world, for THIS life, and sometimes, being connected to G-d might not be possible, because you may have healing in this world to do first. Whether it is healing of yourself, or healing of the world, that is an act which brings you closer to G-d, in fact, working to heal the world is, essentially, the biggest act that brings you closer to G-d's purpose, more even than prayer. Prayer is important, however if one is feeling distant to G-d, one can instead focus on doing their part to heal the world for the time being, and let that work, and time, bring you towards G-d.

Like a PP, I agree paying attention to things like sunsets and majestic forests and children's smiles can help, by showing us G-d's presence in the world. they are such beautiful, powerful awe-ful things that they are clearly OF G-d, and thus a reminder of G-d, or perhaps a gift from G-d.

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On the other hand, feeling like I have lost the presence of the Lord is the scariest thing ever to me and I hate when that happens. I feel blocked and stuck regardless of how much I pray, sing, and read, I sense the Lord is gone. Usually it has to do with an offense toward another member of the body. Sometimes it has to do with a sin that I need to confess, but more than likely it is due to an offense. Offenses with other Christians can really hinder the flow of the Spirit because the same Lord that lives in me, lives in the person that I am offended with. When I am offended with another believer, in actuality I am offended with the Lord, too, sort of indirectly.

OP I don't know which is your case. I do know that you left the believers you were meeting with, and if you haven't gone to the Lord about it, that may be something that is hindering your relationship with the Lord. Even if you were right and they were wrong, you may have some things in your heart to let the Lord shine on and heal you. Talk directly to the Lord about it. Many time I am mulling something over in my mind and I think I have given it to the Lord, but really I am just in my mind wandering around. Try to have direct conversations with the Lord.

Fellowship of the Spirit is very sensitive. There is vertical fellowship which is the Lord as the Spirit flowing to you, and you flowing back to the Lord. Horizontal fellowship is the Spirit flowing among the believers. If a water hose gets blocked with dirt the water can't flow. Likewise, if our heart gets clogged up with unforgiven offenses or unconfessed sins the Spirit can't flow.

.



I was thinking about those posts and was going to say soething like that, but didn't know how to say it.

I know that when I go to church on Sunday morning, I try to let absolutely everything go, and I feel as I let them go, I am more in tune with the Holy Spirit. It is so amazing, and maybe it's because I am a new Christian. idk. But I always try to let as much of it go as I can, the Lord is so wonderful and amazing, I really crave that closeness.
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#21 of 38 Old 05-01-2010, 01:33 AM
 
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Bluebirdiemama, yes, this is what I am talking about. Whether you are a new christian or an old christian, this is such a healthy way to go on with the Lord and with the other believers. We can become spiritually sick because of unforgiven offenses.
Every week at the Lord's supper, before I take the bread and the cup, I ask the Lord to wash me and I confess any offense that I have with another member of the body, usually it's an offense with my dh. I declare by faith the I am one with the Lord and one with the body. I also declare that I love all of the members even if I don't feel it. I especially tell the Lord that I am one with my husband, even if I don't feel it.

In John, just before the Lord went to the cross, He prayed that all of the believers would be one, even as He and the Father are one. The oneness among us is way more significant than we realize.
Sometimes I wonder if I belong on some of these threads because when I have a disagreement with another believer I feel it is spiritually unhealthy and it does not build up or encourage the other person, or me, for that matter.

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I am still getting through the first page But before I forgot, I wanted to comment on one thing:

I think the reason I think I *should* feel something, is because I *used* to feel something. So that is why it is strange for me. But if I look at it from the angle that I am not supposed to feel something, then yes, it makes sense. I just used to feel such powerful love for God. I can't put it in to words. But it was like this rush of emotion and happiness and sobbing with joy at the same time. I suppose maybe I think it should always feel that way? Well, not always, but you know, once in a while, at least.

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I wanted to say a little more in response to some pp that said it is not about feelings or how you feel. While I understand your point and agree that we need to pursue the Lord regardless of how we feel, I think there is a need to point something out.

Feeling dry and feeling like you have lost the presence of the Lord are two different things in my own experience.

When I feel dry, may not have any hunger for the word nor any desire to listen to hymns. I may still talk to the Lord or pray, but I don't have the sense that I am receiving much grace or light. I still know the Lord is there and I believe in Him, but I may not have much desire to contact Him or spend time with Him. I view this feeling of dryness as quite a normal part of my christian life and just wait and pray for it to end.

On the other hand, feeling like I have lost the presence of the Lord is the scariest thing ever to me and I hate when that happens. I feel blocked and stuck regardless of how much I pray, sing, and read, I sense the Lord is gone. Usually it has to do with an offense toward another member of the body. Sometimes it has to do with a sin that I need to confess, but more than likely it is due to an offense. Offenses with other Christians can really hinder the flow of the Spirit because the same Lord that lives in me, lives in the person that I am offended with. When I am offended with another believer, in actuality I am offended with the Lord, too, sort of indirectly.

OP I don't know which is your case. I do know that you left the believers you were meeting with, and if you haven't gone to the Lord about it, that may be something that is hindering your relationship with the Lord. Even if you were right and they were wrong, you may have some things in your heart to let the Lord shine on and heal you. Talk directly to the Lord about it. Many time I am mulling something over in my mind and I think I have given it to the Lord, but really I am just in my mind wandering around. Try to have direct conversations with the Lord.

Fellowship of the Spirit is very sensitive. There is vertical fellowship which is the Lord as the Spirit flowing to you, and you flowing back to the Lord. Horizontal fellowship is the Spirit flowing among the believers. If a water hose gets blocked with dirt the water can't flow. Likewise, if our heart gets clogged up with unforgiven offenses or unconfessed sins the Spirit can't flow.

Hope this helps and sorry if I am stepping too far out there. I don't mean to presume anything. I'm just throwing some concepts or principles out there for your consideration.
No, that does help, and the way you explain it makes sense. Perhaps I am just dry right now and not lost. I am very upset about being abandoned by a faith community that I invested so much of my life in to. So perhaps that is coming out in my current feelings.

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#24 of 38 Old 05-01-2010, 01:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not christian, so maybe I come from a different perspective.

I'd say that it's perfectly ok. It doesn't mean you don't beleive in G-d, or that G-d rejects you. I think what it means is that you have been through a really really rough time lately. You may need to focus on earthly you for a while, and your healing, and when you are feeling a little more whole, you may be feeling more open to your connection to G-d. G-d is still there, and loving you if need support, however G-d can also understand and wait while you get yourself a little more straightened out, while you devote your energy to healing yourself.
Yes, I agree. It has been a crummy year for me and I am trying to rebuild and really figure out who I am. I lost so much of myself in an abusive marriage. I am realizing that the person I pretended to be all these years does not exist and embracing the true me is proving difficult.

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#25 of 38 Old 05-01-2010, 01:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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s. My thoughts (again opinion) is that sense of community is damaged for you, by what your church did to you as a member, an active caring member. Shameful!!

I agree with Zoebird, and Annettemarie and was coming to offer just my suggestion from a different perspective to look for the little things. The joy in a sunrise or sunset, the laughter of children, the smile of babies, the cool breeze on a hot day. The divine works all around us, and even when we feel alone, abandoned, shunned - it is still working, just "whispering", nudging us and trying to direct us back to our paths in life or in new directions we need to be going.
I have been doing that. I have been close to tears lately by things I have seen. So I am feeling some things.

This has been such an interesting thread so far, I am still not done with the first page

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My point is that Bunnyflakes should always endeavor to reconnect with God and then the healing comes with God as the source of her healing.
If you do a word search on "earthly" it is not positive. The Bible tells us to look away unto Jesus. Magelet admitted that she is not christian and I completely respect that and I completely respect her point of view. However, because I am christian and so is Bunnyflakes I thought it would help the op to point out certain principles, like looking away unto Jesus.
I know that our physical bodies can have a profound effect on our spiritual pursuit, but still believe we should look to the Lord for all things.

I guess that my main issue is that God should be the source of her healing. Focusing on the 'earthly you' and healing yourself takes God out of the picture all together.
Hope that makes sense. I don't know if we are disagreeing, Bluegoat, or if we use different terms to mean the same thing.
Yes, I see what you are saying here.

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Like a PP, I agree paying attention to things like sunsets and majestic forests and children's smiles can help, by showing us G-d's presence in the world. they are such beautiful, powerful awe-ful things that they are clearly OF G-d, and thus a reminder of G-d, or perhaps a gift from G-d.
I have been doing this lately. I did not realize that it could be a means to get closer to God, but I see how it could be now.

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I was thinking about those posts and was going to say soething like that, but didn't know how to say it.

I know that when I go to church on Sunday morning, I try to let absolutely everything go, and I feel as I let them go, I am more in tune with the Holy Spirit. It is so amazing, and maybe it's because I am a new Christian. idk. But I always try to let as much of it go as I can, the Lord is so wonderful and amazing, I really crave that closeness.
That is how I used to feel.

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In John, just before the Lord went to the cross, He prayed that all of the believers would be one, even as He and the Father are one. The oneness among us is way more significant than we realize.
Sometimes I wonder if I belong on some of these threads because when I have a disagreement with another believer I feel it is spiritually unhealthy and it does not build up or encourage the other person, or me, for that matter.
I think everyone has been very respectful here and I appreciate that so much I value everyone's input and am thankful that we can disagree, but in a gentle and understanding way

My initial thoughts are that perhaps I am just tired. I mean, it has been a bad year. I realize that I have been living a lie for 8 years. It is hard to come out of an abusive marriage and realize "Hey, this is not who I am!" Would things have been different for me if my church had rallied around me and supported me through the medical trials and the marriage troubles? I am not sure, honestly.

I was a very active member of my church. I think the thought of rebuilding that is daunting. Do I want to risk that? I mean, let's say that my next MRI has spots on it and I find out that I have MS. Can I get through it if my new church doesn't support me? Do I want to rely on them anyway? I think I need to concentrate on a support system of friends, perhaps. I felt so distant from my family when I was with my husband and he always went out of his way to make any potential friend feel so unwelcome. So maybe now I can reach out and form strong bonds with people and I wont notice if a church I attend cares about my problems or not.

That sounds so harsh, I don't mean it to sound that way. That is just how I feel.

I feel that perhaps I was silly to expect so much of people. This was not my first church. I was an active member of another one but I moved away. And at that church, I was almost too supported They were very involved in my life and encouraging me and even awarded me a scholarship for some of my education. If someone in my family was ill, they reached out to me. So perhaps I expected too much from the new church, if that kind of outreach is abnormal. But I don't really have anything to compare it to, really.

And perhaps having MS isn't as bad as I am making it out to be in my head? I realize that worrying about it wont do a single thing one way or the other. They will either find problems down the road or they wont. My temporary blindness was either caused by MS or a fluke. No answers there. No answers to be found.

At least with my marriage I am pretty much clear of that. I never have to be treated poorly by anyone again if I don't chose too. So that is something off of my mind.

Wow, sorry to have written so much! My thoughts are just flowing and I have always felt very safe here at MDC. Even with all of the members here, I have never once felt judged or mistreated, so I feel comfortable saying my feelings.

I have always had trouble praying. My mind wanders. I think a lot and I can't concentrate. I have never been able to be still with God. I have tried so much. I have OCD and I think that plays in to it. Like I want God to think that I don't love Him or that I hate Him because I want to keep Him away from me, perhaps because I don't believe that I deserve to be loved like that? I was never even able to work through this in therapy because I could never say outloud the problems I had with prayer. I really don't know why I have such trouble with this.

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#27 of 38 Old 05-01-2010, 02:20 AM
 
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I am still getting through the first page But before I forgot, I wanted to comment on one thing:

I think the reason I think I *should* feel something, is because I *used* to feel something. So that is why it is strange for me. But if I look at it from the angle that I am not supposed to feel something, then yes, it makes sense. I just used to feel such powerful love for God. I can't put it in to words. But it was like this rush of emotion and happiness and sobbing with joy at the same time. I suppose maybe I think it should always feel that way? Well, not always, but you know, once in a while, at least.
Yes, I do believe you should/could/will feel this every now and then. The weeping with joy and a rush of the Lord being so real, the feeling of being filled, that light and supply. Sometimes my dry times go much longer than I'd like. Someone once told me that the water runs down into the valleys, too. Have you asked the Lord to water you? Maybe not in those terms, but ask the Lord to fill you, water you, supply you, make you hungry. Our God is a God of recovery. He is so ready to recover you back to Himself. He will restore your joy because of who He is, because He is faithful. Try asking the Lord to restore the joy of your salvation.
I am not sure of Sister Theresa's situation or relationship with the Lord. I am not the judge of that. However, I believe that something unhealthy is going on if the Lord's presence is gone. In a normal healthy relationship with the Lord, you can sense that He is there. Also, in a normal healthy relationship with the Lord we will experience hills and valleys, wet times and dry times.

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#28 of 38 Old 05-01-2010, 08:09 AM
 
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I have always had trouble praying. My mind wanders. I think a lot and I can't concentrate. I have never been able to be still with God. I have tried so much. I have OCD and I think that plays in to it. Like I want God to think that I don't love Him or that I hate Him because I want to keep Him away from me, perhaps because I don't believe that I deserve to be loved like that? I was never even able to work through this in therapy because I could never say outloud the problems I had with prayer. I really don't know why I have such trouble with this.
What kind of prayer are you using, Bunnyflakes? If you are having trouble with spontaneous prayer, perhaps a habit or discipline of "pre-written" prayers might be helpful. I know that people often feel this isn't "real" prayer, but I find when I am at loose ends, to go back to these regular, what some might call rote, prayers is very helpful. It makes sure that there is at least one time each day that I have set aside to spend with God; and it gives me something to say when I don't feel like saying much. And such prayers have the advantage that they are to some extent didactic - they teach us about God and his relationship with us, which can be very helpful in such situations.

I belong to the Anglican Tradition, so I use the Daily Offices in the Book of Common Prayer this way. I like Compline the best, it is fairly short, very beautiful, it is said late so the kids are in bed, and so peaceful.It's designed for two or more but is easy to adapt for one. Here is a link if you are interested, or any other prayers you like might accomplish the same thing.

 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
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#29 of 38 Old 05-01-2010, 08:35 AM
 
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Bunnyflakes. There has been a lot of useful advice here already so Ill just say what I think about it. Im in a very similar place. And Ive been here for a few years. I dont know about you but while I struggle with the same feelings you do about God, does he hate me now, have I done something wrong? I dont feel that way but its crossed my mind. I dont feel the joy of my salvation and my prayers lately have surrounded those feelings. I sometimes feel God has led me into a situation that I didnt ask for. I feel like if I had taken control out of his hands and let myself have faith in myself, I wouldnt have to deal with the pain of some of the things I dealt with over the last few years. At the same time I can see the beauty of wha God's doing with my life. Its not what I would have chosen for myself. I was naive and made some mistakes at a young age, just at the same time when I was saved and I know the Lord led me into the situations Ive faced... with Him knowing I would go thru them. Ive felt betrayed by God, Ive walked thru similar dry and dark places you described. Despite all of this, I can also say, simultaneously, that I do still trust God. I do still love Him with all my heart. Ive learned a lot about God during this time. Ive wrestled with a lot of things about God too. Ive been angry with Him, Ive even been tempted to say I hated Him, but I always stopped short, chosen my words carefully and said 'I really hate what Im going thru with ALL my heart!'

Here's the thing. I wonder if when we feel like you and I are feeling right now, that we may be on the cusp of something... big maybe, more growth, more freedom in Christ. Im so glad you know Jesus. One thing Ive learned during this time was that no matter what I said or did, no matter what Ive been thru, no matter how messed up in the head I feel, God is still God. He does still love me, he has never forsaken me, just like He promised. There have been times when I wanted him to just let me go, I didnt care if he let me die or let me burn in hell. Honestly, its a little painful to admit that, but its true. Whats amazing is that He never let me go. He held onto me with what I felt was a thin thread and he never let me fall. I still struggle to stay positive about things. Im working thru trusting again. You mentioned not feeling anything!! I can very much relate to that. I dont feel that rush of joy when praising, that welling up with squishy feelings that felt so good. Even when Im praising. I think this is about maturing, about our foundation in Christ becoming even more solid! This is whats happening to me. When I thought I was ready to throw in the towel, really what was happening was God was strengthening my faith in Him, growing me in wisdom, emotional and physical strength and I am just not the same person I was even a few years ago. I KNOW God more!! More about Him. Ive been thru all this with Him, my knowledge of God and my relationship with Him is all new again, different, more depth when I thought I had gotten there just upon being saved! ykwim? Its scary, but again my trust in God is sometimes bigger then I give myself credit for. I think I just dont want to go thru some things.

One thing I can remember from when I was first saved was this (). When I didnt want to read the bible, I thought it was satan making me feel that way (lol) so what I did was make myself read the bible. Now, Im at a similar place as you. I really sometimes cant take anything in when I read my bible. I get distracted, my mind wanders. But something that helps with that is to just read the same verses over and over..... and over and over and over and over again. This is meditating on the word. I take it real slow, with a determination that I AM going to understand this and it WILL go in! Psalm 139 has been so blinking inspiring for me right now! Check it out.

hugs to you!! Big hugs!


One thing I wanted to add is that what we are doing, that nonbelievers just cant understand and I honestly dont mean to sound patronising, but what we are doing is learning about God. Growing in the knowledge of Christ. I would encourage you to explore that a bit. Who is Christ? (The depth of this is what Ive learned over all this difficult time...). Oh my goodness... what he said was that we will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Knowing the truth about Christ, no matter what anyone says, He was here first, ykwim? If anyone knows truth, Jesus Christ does, lol. Im not here to debate this but to encourage you to explore this with the bible.
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#30 of 38 Old 05-01-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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"I want to make it clear that I believe in God 100%. I believe that Jesus died for my sins. I have listened to other people talk about their various beliefs and religions, but none have ever felt as right to me as God sending His son to die on the cross for me. So if I believe that firmly, and I do, then why don't I feel anything at all anymore?

I feel far from God. "


This is really a common feeling. I get this on a fairly regular basis, as do a LOT of people I know. For me, it tends to be when I am not willing to go where He is leading me or let go of an attitude or something that He is wanting to change. Sometimes I know what they are, but often these blocks are so very subtle that I don't.

I read the Psalms then, because they are such intimate conversation with God. They are confession, praise, despair and hope all mixed together. Also, I bring the anger, resentment, 'why are you crushing me', 'why am I so far from you', 'I want to be close again', etc, to Him in prayer. I speak in my thoughts, or sometimes out loud if I am alone, and I speak as if He is right there beside me, as if He is there in my mind with all of the confusion, anger, and grayness.

Psalm 51 is a good one, as is 55. Seems like the 40's and the 50's would be helpful. I just flip through and read and pray what catches my attention, then move on to the next one. 42 and 43 I think speak to this very thing; here is Psalm 42:5.

"Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him "



"I think maybe God doesn't want me anymore? Maybe that is why I have zero desire to pray, zero desire to go to church. .... I worry that He is done with me and doesn't want to use me for anything. ... Then I wonder if it is because I am so obese, that He is disgusted that I abuse my body so much? Or if perhaps He is upset that I let my husband abuse me so much and did not ever step out in faith and try to get my life back together. Or maybe this all means that I really *don't* believe in God? "


These are all lies. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but I think that's the best way to be with a lie. These are straight from the enemy who prowls around like a lion, looking for people to devour. He is a liar, and these are his lies.

God always wants you. God never leaves you. God is never disgusted with you. God never judges you based on appearance. He knows you, He knows your heart. He knows what you've been through, He knows what you've suffered. He doesn't hold that against you. In addition, you are also forgiven in Christ. Anything in your past that is your mistake is forgiven, washed away to the bottom of the deepest ocean, as far as the east is from the west.

Here is a song for you, by Audio Adrenaline called 'Ocean Floor'. It's one of my favorites.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_i2xsRiXDU
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