Saturday, June 21, 2014

Connecting with God

Does anyone else feel like the way to spend time with God is an idea you need to explore? I'm ready to hunt through all its pockets, turn it inside out and shake it! Of course there's the textbook answer of prayer and Bible reading, but I've found I'm not much of a textbook girl. Or maybe I just want advice that's more specific. 

My spiritual life feels a little like a metal detector. I hover, hover, hover until I find something that speaks to me and then I light up or sound off or whatever metal detectors do. I used to struggle against this rhythm, feeling guilty that there were ups and downs - confusing how satisfying my walk was with being hot, cold or lukewarm. Doesn't the hovering and coming up empty feel lukewarm if not cold? I understood my relationships with people have ups and downs and my connection with God would too, but I wasn't okay with it. Since God's perfectly relating to me, then I'm the one dropping the ball if we're not in sync. Why couldn't I just get myself together? 

You know what I found out? Hovering when you're coming up empty isn't cold. It's freakin' hot.
Because giving birth led to depression for me, I found out what it was like to go to church out of sheer determination. When people said hello to me and asked how I was, I said, "Okay," about a thousand times because I wasn't suicidal, but I couldn't even remember thriving. I longed to be able to honestly say something better. I also learned what it was like to live without the stirrings beauty usually awoke in me. I'd always considered these God's hugs since he's the only reason anything in our world is still beautiful. I'd listen to music, touch something soft, or eat something wonderful, but none of it registered. My heart felt dead. I thought if my soul had eyes, they were glazed over. What did it mean? I sensed God withholding - giving me the silent treatment in my most desperate moment.

Prayer wasn't happening much either, since talking to the one who knew how I really was made me admit my pain. The weirdest thing about depression is that you're numb, and being numb is very painful. You grieve the feelings, I guess. When I acknowledged God was around, the aches I tried not to think about would start throbbing and, frankly, my capacity for pain was maxed out. There was a line in Grey's Anatomy when a friend described her friend's emotional pain by saying, "She's always at an eight." And that made perfect sense to me.

My counselor suggested maybe God was still loving on me, but I was in such a pickle (chemically imbalanced) I couldn't hear it, see it or feel it. After finding a medicine that put those chemicals right, I got it all back. All of it. And I looked back at those painful years and knew one thing for sure. Duking it out with God, forcing myself to go to church, showing up when I knew I probably wouldn't be satisfied was how I showed my love. It was how I hung on to his clothes and said, "Bless me. You'll have to drag me around until you bless me." That's not cold, friends. That's hot. 

So when I take a few posts here to explore spiritual connection and how to nurture it, I wanted to get this out of the way. Don't judge your relationship right now as not good enough. Don't reprimand yourself for not being as "on fire" as you once were. If you want to be with God, it'll be alright. Not that we're ever okay with feeling disconnected. I hate it when Brian and I can't seem to connect no matter how we try, but I've come to realize the closeness and security will come back. And while God relates perfectly to us, he/she's still hidden behind a veil so we only see darkly. I'm honestly sick of the veil. Not seeing Jesus, God my father or the Spirit or feeling them with me. It stinks. But on another level, I know it'll be okay. It's a matter of time, not whether I'm in or out. I want him. When my head's on straight, he's all I want. So it'll be okay. I'm just ready to find out how it can be better, this side of the veil.

P.S. How about a Pinterest-friendly photo? I know...what will I do NEXT?!


  1. Kendra, as always, you're timing and words are such a blessing. So much has been happening in my life, I haven't been able to even sit still to really pray and engage with God. Something about dropping my walls and letting go seemed to scary, even though I know he will handle it all. I had a reconnecting moment this morning during my yoga class. It refocused my whole day, and I pray tomorrow I can continue to keep my heart open to his goodness and provision. It's always there. We just need to accept it.

    1. I'm SURE your life is up-ended right now - as it should be! I'm glad your heart's been able to notice him next to you on the roller coaster. :) That's incredible!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Anne! So sweet of you to take the time to read. :)