From Jen

I know it has been a while since I have regularly updated this site, so I am very thankful that people still come and find help here. Nailscars.com was always designed to be a place where people (me especially) could speak honestly about the struggles that face Christians and ministers in particular. Last week I got this honest letter from a reader and with her permission wanted to share it here. Sometimes just hearing that someone else has similar thoughts and struggles is enough to help us through to the other side of them.

I have loved and followed God all of my life but in the recent years, like a plague or cancer, slowly my faith has deteriorated and at times seems lifeless. my heart is fixed on serving God, loving His people, bringing life into this dying world, but amongst all of that, somewhere along the way I lost my balance.  Maybe its from trying to hold it ALL together.  I truly don’t know.  But what I do know is that my heart is aching for change.  My heart is longing for His grace.  My heart is aching to know Him like I once did when I was a teen.  I was on fire.  Nothing and NO ONE could tell me anything that would cause me to question my belief in Him.  Each day it seems to suck the life right out of me.  Trying to do the right thing, be the light, to help, to hold others up, but inside I am dying. Dying to feel Him again.  There are times that I feel the peace that I KNOW that only He could provide, but those times are numbered.  What happened to the girl that no one could shake? The girl that no one could change.  Granted, I had my days of a painful past that still echoes through each day, but what happened to the childlike innocense of just talking with Him?  I just miss Him.  I just feel that I have lost His love for me somewhere along the way and nothing seems to resolve my issue or pain.  To not understand Him is one thing, but to fear that He has gone or never was, just devistates me. 

If you are in a similar position take heart. God has not forgotten you. The creator of the universe, the creator of you, knows you and loves you. More than that when He thinks about you (which according to David in Psalm 139 happens more times than there are grains of sand), when he thinks about you, He smiles. Remember that, hold fast to that, and let the rest take care of itself.

7 thoughts on “From Jen

  1. AmberE says:

    Wow…what she has written sounds just like my life at this very moment. I do so much and try so hard…just so I can be "enough." But it seems as if no matter what I do, how much I do, or how often I do it, it's never enough…never good enough…ever. Thanks Jen, for sharing your heart and being someone I can relate to when I've felt all alone for so long…

  2. Lifetime Christian says:

    I know this feeling well. My faith seems to be shaken to the core, and I worry that maybe I was wrong…all these years. It is a terrifying place to be. I am still in church every Sunday, but there are such doubts and questions that creep into my heart…and mind. I have not even told anyone about all these doubts, because of what people who know me would think. Feels like this dark awful secret lurking in my heart that others would be so disappointed in me to find out. And I wonder about my eternity.

  3. AmberE says:

    Exactly…I'm a youth leader at my church, and am serving in many other areas as well, and still there's this hunger…this thirst…Many people think that those who are more heavily involved with serving and who have ministry positions are actually closer to God…huge misconception. I'm still close with Him in some ways, but in many other ways, I feel like we're billions of lightyears apart…

  4. The Average Youth Minister says:

    Yeah, working in churches can add even more disillusionment sometimes because you get to see so many people at their worst. You see so many people be petty, or two faced, or just plain out hypocritical and it can be frustrating.

    Of course when you are in ministry you also get to see things that very few people get to see. You get to be there when people go through impossibly hard circumstances and come through on the other side with the light of God on their faces. You get to be there when someone hears, really hears, that Jesus loves them for the very first time. Even when your faith is waining and the deep desire to follow God is lost you get to be there when a child, adult, teenager, wakes up and realizes that this God thing really is worth following.

    The cynic (realist) in you knows that it won't last, that their fire will fade like your fire will fade, and it is easy to just ignore it. But that would be like ignoring the beauty of a rose just because it will wither one day. And the beauty of following God is that maybe, just maybe this rose doesn't have to wither and fade. That maybe just maybe there is a way to stay with him.

    And if there isn't here is the wonderful thing. There is always a way back.

    I read a really powerful book by Mike Pilavachi (Soul Survivor you can find it for $2 on Amazon) where he talks about finding passion in the dry places. We are going to walk through dry places, that is part of life, the question is will we run from God or towards him. The modern church has forgotten that life will be hard sometimes. We have made God into some sort of spiritual Valium that makes us always smile and never have questions or doubts. But that isn't life, that isn't reality it is a kids game of pretend.

    What the world, the church needs, are people who are willing to have real authentic faith. People who are willing to struggle with the deep truths of God and let those truths shape their lives.

    So I guess I am saying all that to say keep your head up and keep your eyes on God, but also keep digging through your questions. Don't run from them, don't hide them; embrace them, because in your questions you will find the road back home.

  5. Lifetime Christian says:

    Yea, but do you ever wonder if what you have been taught, and what you have believed all your life, just might not be true? And what if it isn't?

  6. The Average Youth Minister says:

    Of course. There was a really great line by Caedmon's Call called "Prove Me Wrong." The second verse starts "I fear this is all just a game / my friends and my family all play too / to harness the young and give some hope to the old" I think that feeling is something common in Christian circles. But what I love about the song is where the author goes for hope and help. The chorus of the song is a cry for God to "prove me wrong" and "cast out my doubts."

    When you feel doubt you can cling to traditions, hang out with people who believe, read your Bible more, or just run away from everything. But the best solution is to take your doubts to God and let Him respond.

    That is a very churchy answer I know, but it is the best advice I can give. On a practical side I will say that
    1) you are not alone
    2) take a break from the Christian tradition you are following and examine a different form of worship. I wouldn't suggest leaving the faith, but if you are part of a charismatic group the go spend some time in a high church type setting and vice versa. Go and spend time in a church of a different race or even a different language. The idea is to get away from the familiar and let the wonder of the gospel hit you again.
    3) Take comfort in the fact that there will be dry times for all Christians. Think about some of the people around Jesus. Think about how Mary and Martha must have felt at the funeral for their brother when Jesus didn't come. Think about how the Saturday night before what would become Easter morning must have felt like for the apostles. The Bible is full of times when God seems to be silent. You are not alone if you feel these doubts.
    4) Don't give in to doubt, but rather pursue truth. God will not let you down.

  7. Lifetime Christian says:

    God reminded me tonight that no matter what, I still believe. He spoke to me so clearly tonight through a song. It was nice to hear his voice speaking to my heart so deeply.

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