I learn things the hard way many times and because I have a call on my life to share my heart no matter how uncomfortable being vulnerable is, here I go again…I was listening to “Your Presence Is Heaven To Me” by Israel Houghton. It’s a great song. It made me think about the rough patch that I’ve been in the middle of and how I’ve been desperate for the Lord’s presence and have not felt Him much lately. I know the truth. One of His greatest promises is that He will never leave nor forsake us and I’ve been holding on to that, but the struggle has continued anyway. The enemy loves when I struggle for a good amount of time because he knows I grow tired. That’s his perfect opportunity to get through with his lies: “God isn’t with you” or “You are no good”, or “God is no longer pleased with you”, things like that. They are horrible thoughts and are flat out lies — THE DEVIL IS A LIAR. But when your challenges linger on and seem like they’ll never end, it’s hard not to start doubting that God is near. I’ve become a strong woman of God, but even I have moments of wondering if He’s mad and has walked away from me. What can I say…I’m only human.
I’ve had a very difficult time feeling my feelings now that I live a sober life. Feelings are the worst part of my sobriety, but thankfully I don’t dread them enough to throw my life away again. I’m super grateful that I don’t make things worse by trading out my old addiction (alcohol) for something else that could numb me out. Those days are long gone. Suffering with God wins over suffering without Him every time and it amazes me that not everybody chooses to live that way. There are times when I really need to feel God, but can’t. And what I don’t want to feel (like way too many emotions), I feel. It’s been a tough battle lately but I’m finally winning this latest one. I am grateful that each time this happens and I persevere, the Lord continues to turn my battles into blessings. He’ll do that for anyone who puts their entire life in His hands.
I’m learning so much through my journey with my Lord Jesus. Every trial I’ve been through has prepared me for the next one. Each one has been tougher than the last. But if I hadn’t gone through what I’ve gone through in the last couple of years, I don’t think I’d still be standing right now. And because I was taught early on in my journey to surround myself with godly people (those I consider my human angels sent to me from God Himself), I am able to remain steadfast. There’s no way I’d ever make it without them. (You all know who you are and I am incredibly grateful for every single one of you.) Nobody should ever try to walk this walk alone. Not ever.
I think God just showed me today that the reason I haven’t been able to feel Him lately is because a barrier had come between me and Him. He’s been there all along, just as He has promised, but the barrier became too much for me to be able to sense Him. I think He wants me to share that the barrier came because I allowed worry, fear, and doubt (just to name a few) to enter my heart. No wonder why the presence of God was suddenly being blocked as well as His peace, and all the other great things He wants to bless me with. He also showed me that through this whole time I’ve been seeking His presence and was thinking He wasn’t anywhere near, that He was really there through all the people He moved to reach out to me through phone calls, text messages, emails, hugs, etc. So many words of encouragement and prayer have reached my heart reminding me that I am good, I am loved, and God is with me. Even the prayers that I wasn’t aware of have reached and have blessed me. Wow. His presence through His people and I was missing it! Not anymore. My eyes and heart have been opened once again and God’s mighty and powerful hand is on me helping me to break the barriers. I’m sooooooo grateful.
I make a lot of mistakes on this journey that cause me to fall, but I’m learning through each of them. I keep getting up and dusting myself off and with God’s help I keep pressing forward no matter how hard it gets. I hope that someone else going through a rough patch who’s thinking that God has forsaken them will read this and think again. I want to encourage you to seek God’s help to recognize and break down any barriers that may be from worry, fear, or any other weapon of distraction by the enemy — it only takes a tiny bit. We need to keep trusting in God even when we can’t feel Him. God’s Word is Truth, it’s not about feelings. That is a hard lesson that I have had to learn over and over again, but I think I’m finally catching on. I’ll always be a work in progress, but at least I’m headed in the right direction. And even though my challenge isn’t over yet, I’m choosing to believe that it will be coming to an end soon for I know God is going to get me to the other side of it because He’s not finished with me yet.
I have all kinds of words of God pouring from my heart right now but I think this is what He wants me to share at this very moment for someone out there going through a tough time — this one is helping me a great deal: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” (Isaiah 43:1-3) Wow. That is a powerful and comforting Word from God. Can I get an AMEN?
“Lord Jesus, Your Presence really is heaven to me and I pray it is to many, many more. Please help us to see and break down the barriers that are blocking Your amazing blessings from pouring in. Thank You, Lord!”
May God bless you through this heartfelt message (that wasn’t so easy to write). 🙂