I want to thank everyone who reached out to me yesterday, and for the comments you left for me on my post. Yesterday was emotional.
After writing my post, I reached out to a few people. I talked to them about the basics of what I was feeling, and they helped me identify some underlying problems that I wasn't recognizing.
One friend told me to lean on God because "He will never abandon you."
I've been experiencing a faith crisis. I'm really struggling with my testimony of certain things, but I'm trying to hold on to what I know and let that guide me. I don't feel like going into detail, but it's similar to what Ben wrote about on his blog today.
So while I've been experiencing this faith crisis and feeling like I'm going through a funk, I've been withdrawing from basically everyone around me. Including God.
Friend: "Turn to God. He will never abandon you."
Me: "But, I feel like I'm abandoning Him."
Bring on the sniffles and kleenexes.
I have felt like I'm abandoning God. I've had major trust issues with Him, which I think is understandable, and I'm trying not to be too hard on myself about it. I know He is there. That is one of the things I hold on to in my faith. I know I can be healed through Him. But when everything seems so hard, well, so do the things that bring me closer to God and help me feel peace. So, I take baby steps every day (I study my scriptures, thought it may not be as intently as I feel like it should be. Or I study my scriptures and feel really good, but when I'm finished, all the things I pushed aside during scripture study come back with full force, as if I never even tried to bring the Spirit in to my heart.). I study my scriptures. I pray. Sometimes my prayers are, "Heavenly Father, this is really hard. I hope you can see that, and I'm sorry I feel like I can't say more."
But while I take these baby steps, sometimes it's more of a robotic, "I must do this because it's right," rather than an actual heartfelt effort. And then I spend much time wallowing in self-pity or questioning God.
I guess that's not total abandonment, but I have just felt like I am abandoning Him. And with that feeling has come the fear that maybe He will give up on me. Maybe He will get tired of my little games (I don't think they are games, but maybe He thinks they are) and whining and give up. Maybe He will give me space to teach me a lesson, and I'll reach out to Him and will have lost my chance.
Fear. Lots of fear.
I've definitely felt Satan tugging at me. I've actually seen a clear image of Satan tugging at me. I know this negativity is not me. I know Satan is trying to bring me down. I've got some things on my plate that He would love to trash. So I'm feeling a constant battle going on.
Last night, I asked Ben to give me a blessing. I've actually asked a few times in the past month or so, but then I get scared and say nevermind, or I don't remind him if he forgets when he gets home from work. Last night, I told him it had to happen.
Beforehand, I said a little prayer asking God to build on the faith I have to help me find the peace that I need from the blessing. I asked for clarity and strength.
The blessing was beautiful, and it was certainly one of the most sacred experiences I have had in a long time.
The thing I want to share from it was the promise I was given that God has not abandoned me, nor will He ever abandon me. And He understands. He understands the fears I have. He understands my faith crisis. He understands my trauma, my depression, my "funk." He understands my pain. And He has promised to be there for me when I am ready for Him. And He has promised to heal me.
God has not abandoned me. Even when I feel like I am abandoning Him, He loves me so much that He is still there for me. I'm so grateful for that love.
And I know He has it for all of us. He is always there for all of us. He understands your pain, your suffering. He understands your crisis of faith. He understands it all because He has felt it. He knows exactly what we need to succor us. And He is there with open arms.