Long time no write…...
If I’m being 100% honest, I haven’t been able to write because I have been distant from God. Since September a new blog has been “loading” but here I am almost into December and I’m finally writing. I don’t think people speak about their time away from God often enough, so I’ll walk you through mine.
These past few months have been ridiculously challenging and it is almost impossible to not feel defeated sometimes. Despite how challenging things were and how rough the road got; I would turn to God with everything. Each day we walked together, there was no way I could start my day without Him. My routine was free flowing….as soon as I take my first breath, I thank Him and as I go through my morning routine it’s like having any other regular conversation with friends but with God. My heart was open and receptive, and my focus was fixed. That means regardless of what I was going through or surrounded by, He was my center and the most magnified thing in my line of vision. Somewhere along the way, I lost my focus. My lens was shifted, and other things began to be magnified and He became blurred and far away.
I still try to understand how I got lost in the cracks, but the simple truth is that I got caught up in this sense of independence and thought I could take my joy and peace into my own hands. God had been carrying me and I threw Him on the backburner because I was “in a good place”.
My Time Away:
First and foremost, I must state that my time away doesn’t mean I stopped going to church. I would still serve and go to church but just because you go to church doesn’t mean you are in close proximity with God. I never missed a Sunday or bible study but my gosh did I feel the distance grow further each time. I was so disconnected from His presence…. there was a shift in my worship. I felt like a stranger before Him and would just be ready to run back to isolation. I began to go out way more than I ever have. I would find myself in drunken escapades that only lead to unfortunate breakdowns and I would cry out to God just to ignore His call to run back into His arms. I was not myself and I knew it.
Throughout this time God was relentlessly chasing me and speaking to me in different ways but I was comfortably uncomfortable in my shell. What I mean by that is that I hated where I was, and I heard His voice and the reminders of the love He has for me, but I was too consumed by shame, so I was comfortable being away because I felt unworthy. I remember waking up one morning and I planned to go to Saturday prayer, but I changed my mind and somehow, I woke up extremely early with no alarm. I still said I’d just lounge around in bed instead of going to prayer. I had no rest and my spirit was not at peace and eventually I was like whatever and said to myself…. “God, I don’t know why I have to go but I will.” I won’t get into all the details, but God had a word and a promise for me, and I heard it. One specific thing that I’d like to mention is when I was prayed over, I heard God say, “I don’t just want you on the weekends, I want you back on the weekdays.” Even though I was running, He was waiting for me.
Through this time period, I lost my job I loved so much and was now working in an environment I dreaded going to every single day. I would always be angry, and I was desperately trying to get myself out of there. I remember getting placed at an interview by someone who thought of me highly, the interview went well, and I thought to myself, God you have this lined up perfectly so let’s just seal the deal…. I never got a phone call. I almost lost my life, but God preserved me. I had just dropped a friend off and was driving home. I remember being awake one second and the next thing I remember was hearing a loud crash and waking up confused. When I woke up it was as though there was something holding my car from going over the ledge of the highway and flipping over. As soon as I woke up and regained consciousness, I drove straight home in shock and fell into bed. I had passed out randomly while driving and I don’t know how long I was out for but the only damage to my car despite how bad I crashed was on my rims. Not a single dent or scratch. I thanked God for my life and kept drifting aimlessly.
A lot more happened in between but after the course of a few weeks, as the month of November drew close to the end, I realized I was done telling God “tomorrow”, “I have to attend this friend’s birthday but next week I’ll start”, “it’s homecoming week, I have to be with everyone.” I remember being in the middle of the club I was at and all I could think was God I’m ready.
Coming back to the heart of worship:
I knew I didn’t belong where I was; the shoes I had on belonged to someone else. I had stepped outside of my identity in Christ and was lost. I had allowed so many things to distract me and those things became louder than the voice of the Holy spirit. It was such a struggle to even pick up my bible, but it was time. I had been so distant I didn’t even know where to start but I began to pour it all out to God even though He already knew, there was a freedom to be found with outwardly acknowledge that I was lost and could not depend on my own strength or wisdom.
I began to counter all the voices that told me I was too far for God to reach me with the truth in His word and the truth is that in Deuteronomy 31:8 I am promised that God will never leave me or forsake me and that He has already gone before me and all my obstacles. One of the greatest truths comes out of Romans 8:38-39 and it says “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 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.”
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
I just began to press in and go back to the feet of Jesus. I share all this because for some reason this is what God put on my heart to share. There is someone that is going to read this, and you are in this season. You feel as though that you aren’t worthy of coming back to the feet of Jesus and I am just here to tell you and testify on what I have walked through that you can NEVER be too far for God to reach you and that He is waiting with open arms to accept you and all your shortcomings; ready to refine and mold you according to the purpose He has put on your name. That’s the beauty in His reckless and relentless love. Always ready to leave the 99 just to chase after the 1. I don’t know your situation, but God doesn’t care if this is your 100thtime having to surrender it all back to him. He gifted us grace for this specific reason because He knows that we will mess up and fall short. Don’t believe me? Ephesians 2:8-9 is here to remind you…. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” God doesn’t call us to be perfect but He does call us to be willing vessels.
The question to be resolved within yourself is have you recognized the distractions around you? I had to decide to tune out everything that overshadowed my focus from being on God. Not all these things were necessarily bad, but I needed to go up into the mountain (obviously not literally lol) and position my heart and ears to hear from God and that required tuning out and intentionally separating myself from certain things. Begin to recognize these things and wherever you are just turn around and you’ll see He is right there behind you.