If you’ve read some of my posts from the summer, you’ll see that I had a hard time feeling connected to God. I didn’t hear Him like I used to. I didn’t feel…anything. During a heated argument with my parents, I even blurted out “I’m not even a Christian!”
It wasn’t true. It wasn’t how I actually felt. I was just extremely frustrated with the silence. But I’ve experienced this so many times in my “Christian walk”. I knew that silence always comes to an end.
And it did. Somewhere along the way, I decided that even though I didn’t “feel” anything anymore, I didn’t care. So I started doing my devotions like I normally did. I started listening to my favourite worship songs again. I started prayer-journaling again. And within a week, things were (almost) back to normal. I say almost because your relationship with God is like any other relationship. And unfortunately, I neglected said relationship for almost 3 months. So, yeah. It takes some time to repair the damage.
Sometimes it takes more than a week for the silence to end. Sometimes, it may take two weeks. Or a month. Or six months. Or a year. Or five years. Every one is different and if you are reading this thinking to yourself “Yeah, well, God has been giving me the silent treatment for 10 years”…I really don’t know what to say or what to tell you. It’s different for everyone. But I’m pretty sure that at some point, for some period of time, every Christian experiences this “silent treatment”.
There are ways that people deal with it. Some completely give up and turn away from God. I was very close to doing this, but there was always something keeping me from doing that. Some sort of tether.
Other people respond by switching things up. Trying out some new spiritual practice to “spice” up their spiritual life (okay, yeah…that sounded weird). I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with this. But I’ve tried it, and for me, it usually doesn’t make a difference.
Some people even go so far as to try new churches. Meet new Christians who can give you a fresh perspective on things. Which I also think is fine – but you have to be doing things like this for the right reason.
Anyway, what (apparently) worked for me was to spend some time in personal reflection and figure out what I really want. I needed time away from God. Well, not REALLY time away from God. Just, time to think and reflect and doubt and decide what I believe in and why I believe it. And you know what – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Many believers will go through this, especially those of us who were raised in Christian homes and really know nothing else. As a teenager, I went through this. For months. Maybe even a year or two. And now, I had to go through it again for three months.
But every time it happens, I come out feeling stronger. Because I know what I believe. I know why I believe it. And I know that those three months sucked, and this one week of being “back on track” feels much better. It feels right.
I know that though this time, I may not have felt God. But He was there. He was “dragging” me through all the crap I had to get through in order to be where I am now.