To all the women who love God
I am writing to women who love God and feel stuck.
The maternal one who loves God with all her heart, and still stays awake at night worrying over her kids and family.
The newly graduated one, who loves God on Sundays but hasn’t figured out how to bring God into her everyday life.
The career one, who loves God and mastered the art of compartmentalization. There are work related things, and spiritual related things, both can mix but rarely do.
The one of faith, who loves God and tries to obey his commands. She can not bring herself to slow down and sit quietly with God, so she keeps looking for good deeds to further the kingdom of God.
The accomplished one, who loves God but rarely gets to spend the time she wants with him. There are not enough minutes in the day for everything she has to complete.
The falling one, she loves God and knows there is something wrong. She feels the pull to change, but does not know where to start.
I have been every one of these women, searching for a way their life can become a reflection of the God's love. Each woman searches for a way to change, yet the Christian answers come up empty, and the nagging feeling deep within is not taken away.
I earnestly tried following the popular Christian answers that left me empty :
(praying and waiting) Pray with thanksgiving and asking for what I want, then wait on the Lord. When does the waiting end? “When your prayer is answered, or your time in heaven has come.” Asking God for what I wanted did not bring me peace, and waiting on the Lord was so vague.
(recognizing) Reminding myself of how good God is, and playing the game in my head “if God is a good God, and he works everything together for my good; then why do I still worry? What is wrong with me?”
(reading) Study the Word of God more. Knowledge of our good God left me even more depressed. The people of the bible were able to lament to God, but somehow also carried God’s peace with them through their distress. All my lamenting brought zero peace. All the knowledge that God is so good brought zero peace.
(thanking) Don’t look within yourself and your prideful nature, give gratitude for everything outside of you. “Change your perspective. Stop thinking negative thoughts and start thinking positive thoughts of praise for God”. Depression would set in, I would intentionally thank God for everything in my life, but the gratitude did not produce peace.
(helping) Look for ways you can help others, just like Jesus. Stop thinking just of yourself and your own worries, help others and feel the reward that gives you. This sounded wonderful, but gave me more to worry and stress over. I was already pushed to my limit mentally, and looking for additional good deeds to accomplish. Jesus gave of himself to the point of the cross, why couldn’t I handle a few good deeds?
After all my attempts failed, I came to the conclusion ‘this is just how God made me’. What was I to do, except accept this fate and continue the cycle of reading, knowing, helping, praying, thanking, and waiting.
Finally, I was ready to change my life, but it took me years of wandering before God revealed what had been missing. God was preparing my heart during those years of wandering. My pride was stripped, he showed me time and again that he was in control - not me. I learned boundaries with toxic people. There were many times where I felt down and defeated.
But God. God kept picking me up and placing me back on his path. These years of wandering prepared room in my heart for the Holy Spirit to change me from within. Asking the Holy Spirit to change my heart was the most courageous and smallest action. That small action led to amazing changes. The biggest change was the sense of deep peace he provided throughout every circumstance.
Once I encountered God's peace on a daily basis I was hooked. "Sign me up!" I was all in.
I worked on my past hurts, dug through my negative behavior pattern, and prayed constantly throughout the day. Reading the Bible was no longer a chore. Instead the Word strengthened my relationship with God.
God's peace was what I was missing. Before I was focused on what was happening to me, outside of me through knowing, reading, thanking and helping. Now I am focused solely on God. When I loose God's peace I pray for God to turn me back to him. I immediately give up whatever was taking my focus off of him and put him back in control of my life. Every single woman in whatever life circumstance can make these tiny shifts. They produce a stronger, more alive, relationship with God. Stop feeling like something is missing, and make a change - a God led change.