In my favorite poem by Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay, he reminds us that like the seasons of nature, life is one season melting into another, and quickly fading away. This is my attempt to document each season in my life and my family.

He’s Been Faithful

Filed under: Faith,Me — Rachel at 12:09 am on Saturday, March 12, 2016

~I’ve felt lately like God is calling me to write here again. I know I’ve made a few attempts that didn’t succeed at reviving this blog, but this time it’s more than just wanting to blog again. This time, I feel like God is telling me to write, so, for better or worse, I’m going to write. ~

 

For those of you who’ve followed this blog for a long time, you’ve probably wondered what in the world has happened to me. When I first started blogging, something like eleven years ago, I was a young mom of two babies, a housewife, and married to my first husband. I was deeply entrenched in Fundamentalism. Some of you read for that very reason; we had a common bond in our particular brand of Christianity.

Over a decade later, I feel like a completely different person than the girl who started this blog. In a way, I am. I’ve been on quite a journey, and I feel like God is pressing me to share some of that journey with you.

During the near silence on my blog, I’ve struggled with a lot of things. The biggest struggle has been my faith. I nearly lost it all together. I touched on that here , here and here before I mostly stopped blogging. During that silence, I continued to go to church because I felt like I needed to take my kids. That was about the extent of my faith life. I didn’t pray. I didn’t read Scripture. I didn’t believe it mattered. At certain points, I wasn’t sure I even believed in God anymore.

And, to be honest, it was a relief.

It was a relief to let go of the desperation I felt when I wrote the above-linked posts. I was making myself crazy with my intense need to understand. I wanted answers to my questions, and I had none. So, I gave up. There was always a deep-seated desire to have faith again. When I filled out my Match profile, I even said that I was looking for a man with a strong faith. Faith was important to me on a very deep level, but, on the surface, it had ceased to matter.

Here’s the part that gets me. Here’s the part that won’t let me go. Here’s the reason I’m writing this tonight.

I was unfaithful to Him, but He was faithful to me.

I didn’t pray. I didn’t consult God on what I did. I stopped caring. I didn’t read my Bible. I didn’t even know where it was for a while. I didn’t do anything that a Christian should do, other than continue to go to church for my kids. I expected bad things to start happening to me to “lead me to repentance.” I looked for them, but they never came. Let me tell you what happened instead.

  • I got into nursing school, and I finished my first year at the top of my class.
  • I met Matthew, fell madly in love, and married the man of my dreams.
  • I got to quit nursing school, which I didn’t like, and pursue my dream of writing.
  • I finished my first novel.
  • I got published five different times.
  • My serial got picked up by two different papers.

My life was going better than ever, after I lost my faith. I wasn’t doing anything I knew I was supposed to do as a Christian, and life was fantastic. I wanted to have faith, but I didn’t. Matt and I would have long conversations about how I wanted my faith back, but I just couldn’t pretend to believe something I didn’t. It upset me if I thought about it too much, so I just didn’t.

And then, right around the beginning of this year, God came and got me. I don’t know how else to say it. I wasn’t looking for him. I wasn’t praying. I wasn’t trying to “get right with God.” There was nothing on my part, and suddenly He was there. Without any intention to do anything differently, I found myself in a place where I just wanted to be with God. Our church was doing a 30 day devotional together that our pastor wrote. The church gave the books to everyone for free. I took one home, and started going through it. My mother-in-law gave me and Matt a “Jesus Calling” devotional for Christmas. I started doing those two devotionals every morning and reading my Bible. The same Bible that caused me to abandon my faith out of pure frustration was feeding my soul. Every day, I got a little closer.

Honestly, I thought it would take me a long time to feel like I was “back” to where I was before, but after a couple weeks I felt like I had never left Him. The only difference was I didn’t care anymore about the things that tore me apart a few years ago. They somehow didn’t matter anymore. I didn’t get any answers to any of my questions, but God was more real to me than he had ever been. When I read my Bible, the Holy Spirit gives me something I need. My faith has increased in ways I never imagined would ever be possible for me and my skeptical, questioning mind.

I don’t know why He waited patiently on me for years only to pick me up out of the blue and tell me I’m His. That’s how it felt. It felt like I was his teenage daughter going through a phase, and he just let me dye my hair pink and listen to edgy music and grow out of it. When I was finally able to see past my angst, He was still there. Not angry. Not waiting to punish me. Just there. Loving me. Finally, I had what I needed more than anything . . . peace. 

I have no motivation with this blog post other than to be obedient to what I feel like God has been pushing me to do. I just want to testify. I’ve been through some really low and lonely times, and He never left me. Not even when I thought He was gone. Not even when I thought maybe He never existed in the first place. Even then, he was taking care of me. He sent me Matthew. He gave me the life I wanted to have. Every day that passes, I get a little closer to my dream of being a writer. He is a good, good Father.

 

He has been faithful to me, even when I was unfaithful to Him.

I’m so grateful.

 

4 Comments »

Comment by Jennifer B.

March 13, 2016 @ 4:05 pm

Beautifully written and perfectly said. Love it. 🙂

Comment by Rachel

March 15, 2016 @ 1:08 pm

Thank you, Jennifer. Love you!

Comment by Rachel

March 15, 2016 @ 1:10 pm

Comment via Facebook:

Debbie Hunsaker: I love this. Every week my husband preaches “stop trying to do more, try harder, get better”. Jesus already did everything. As you experienced firsthand, God never changes, only we do. He waited patiently while you were hurting. He hurt with you. And, when you were ready, he was still there, as he had been the whole time. I wish more people would realize that they don’t have to “have it all together” to be a child of the King. And just a side note, EVERYONE has times where they struggle with faith.

Comment by Cassandra

May 30, 2016 @ 5:45 pm

I have struggled with some of the same things as you have, Rachel. I struggle with trying be a ‘perfect pastor’s wife’, when really, who even IS the perfect pastor’s wife? There isn’t one in the Bible, when did we as Christians start setting the standard?! I struggle with faith. We planted a church four yrs ago, and it’s been an uphill struggle the whole way. So I struggle with faith, and then I struggle with feeling guilty over lack of faith, and then I struggle with feeling guilty. It’s a constant roller coaster of emotion, and I think most of the time it’s pressure I put on myself….it’s certainly not God doing it. I am finally to the point where I want to just give up and let go of the worry, the self-doubt, and the panic over not doing everything 100% exactly right. I am focusing on falling in love with Jesus and not worrying over the trivial things. So glad you are blogging again. 🙂

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