I was done with signs. Done with trusting the intuition I felt God had given me from being in constant communication and relationship with him. Done with scanning my life, both exterior and interior, for leadings, messages, and hope. I felt cast off from my former status of much-loved-dear-daughter and it hurt. The saddest part was not the lack of fulfillment of where I thought I’d be, but the hard stop of a pattern of living that was like breath to me until that point. It was done. If there were signs, I didn’t trust them. If there were messages, they were quiet and my ears and eyes were decidedly blocked. What now to make of a God who had been alive, active, close-by and in full color, now turned black and white and so very far away? Maybe he doesn’t speak after all, I thought. Maybe the church checkmark is all there is. Maybe it’s about obedience and not relationship. Maybe the details are mine to sort out, on my own, after all. Maybe when you step out on a branch in faith, you’re bound to crack and fall.
My heart had gone from squishy soft and earnest to hard, hard, hard and God was oh, so quiet. I didn’t recognize myself and I couldn’t hear him. My singing suffered, my prayer was nonexistent, and I had trouble processing the smallest things. Without a real, active, lively faith, I felt lost, two-dimensional, abandoned.
In a season like this, you can only put yourself in the path of grace and hope something sticks. I travelled to the beach, reached out to praying friends, tried to serve, retreated. I journaled and made attempts at prayer that felt like running a marathon; exhausting, winded, tired, stretched. I was not feeling it.
And it’s a hard thing to explain to people whose daily experience of God is not ultra-personal. What was I missing, exactly, except everything? Only how I take in information and come to terms with challenges and hold out hope for change and restoration. Only how I feel loved and special and held. Except for that stuff, everything on the outside looked totally normal. I moved though days the way most people do, I guess. It was terrible.
END PART ONE
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