Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Wilderness Experience

I've been MIA from blogville a bit in the last few weeks. Usual reasons would be because I've been busy. But it would be untrue for me to claim that. In fact I've just had my least productive month ever. It's a long story and I don't even know if everything really makes sense to me at the moment.

Has anyone ever had a "wilderness experience"? Have you ever felt so disappointed and disillusioned with yourself and with God? Have you ever gotten tired of the Christian race? Do you feel sometimes like you are losing your faith and God seems far away? I have been feeling like that for some time. Towards the end of September, I hit a brick wall in some areas of my life. At first I was angry with God for a really annoying weekend that hubby and I had. Then everything went downhill from there. The anger slowly disappeared but was replaced by a feeling of gloom that nothing could shake. It felt like there was a huge dark cloud hanging over my head. Probably because by that time I was so far away from God that I couldn't even function properly.

So of course what happened next? I developed a severe case of writer's block and my brain went into meltdown. I lost the motivation to do most things I usually enjoy, even reading a good book. I felt like I couldn't do anything useful with myself. I couldn't pray and I couldn't write. When I wrote that "Totally Random" post, I was trying to force myself to do something I normally enjoy but it wasn't the same. So I just scrambled the words together and gave up. I began to operate on auto-pilot because it was like something had sucked out all my joy and enthusiasm for life. The funny thing was that all this was an internal battle and I seemed perfectly fine on the outside. Even when I was in church I would sing, clap, smile and do everything else, but inside I felt like a fraud.

About ten days ago, I actually started to get tired and fed up with feeling this way. In church last Sunday, the speaker said that sometimes he too got tired of the Christian race and felt like he had no strength to go on. I totally understood what he meant and I hoped that I would finally regain some hope, faith and strength. During the week I told a good friend of mine how I had been feeling. She really encouraged me with her words:

Our Lord is so loving that He won't let you go. He is faithful and even though it looks like nothing seems to be working out, there is no question He loves us. Keep reminding yourself that. Lord knows we may go through times like this and ...... He never forgets that we are human, we grow tired, weary and frustrated with issues.
Gradually I was able to draw some hope and strength from her and finally I was able to get on my knees again and talk to my heavenly Father. I actually read my bible and devotional again after ignoring them for more than a month. One of the readings even said that when God brings you out of a wilderness experience, it's because He is preparing you for the next level. I really hope so! I'm glad to report that I'm feeling much better now. Actually the fact that I'm able to type this is a good sign. Last week I couldn't have strung words together that made sense.

I'm still not sure what God is trying to teach me through this experience though. Sometimes we may get the full picture and sometimes we may never know why God takes us through some situations. I guess it's a test of faith or endurance and I failed woefully. Hmmm.

One thing I now appreciate more, is the joy and blessing of having a good Christian friend around. And I have to thank you too, Believer.