Posted in focus on faith

What happens when you lose your faith?

prayer-2003386_640Palms sweating, heart thudding, I darted glances at the others in the room and quickly lowered my head. I had learned in elementary school that the best way to be overlooked was to evade eye contact with the teacher. Forty years later it was still an effective avoidance tactic. I hid my discomfort behind a well-rehearsed “poker face.”

There were only a dozen or so of us there, ostensibly all for the same reason. Only I knew different. I knew I was the only one there because I had to be. I was the only one who had no choice.

I waited, hoping against hope that someone else would take the bait and answer the question I couldn’t answer. Well, not truthfully anyway. No one did. So the pastor repeated the question with an encouraging smile. And waited.

“What has God been doing in your life this week?”

I began leafing through my Bible, pretending to look for that elusive scripture that had supposedly impacted me one day last week. If I could just locate that little gem, I would be happy to take the floor and tell everyone about the marvellous insights and life-changing tips I was daily gleaning from my personal devotions. It was a ruse, of course. There were no personal devotions. The last time I had opened my bible was one week earlier, same time, same place, same reason.

Relief washed over me as a woman spoke up at last. The group sharing time where the pastor asked the inevitable what-has-God-been-doing question was done. Now I just had to join a talkative group of fervent pray-ers and let them do most of the work and the toughest hour of my week would be over. I had survived another Wednesday Night prayer meeting with my secret still intact.

As I drove away from the church, it hit me once again how I had come full circle — from darkness to numbness with an exciting interlude in between. I felt hopeless and alone. If only I could just walk away from religion and quietly lead a hermit’s life of tending my flowers and decorating my home I would be so much happier, I thought for the millionth time. But I knew that was impossible. I was a Sunday School teacher. I played keyboard in the worship band. Church was a huge part of my life. Not only that, I was married to the church: my husband, once a pastor, was still in full-time ministry. I knew that in order for him to live out his call, I must be a supportive wife. If I didn’t share his living faith, I needed to pretend, I thought.

I kept coming back to the same thing: the only choice I had was no choice at all. Telling the truth was not possible. Because if I told the truth — that I had once been a fervent believer but had somehow lost my faith and didn’t know where to find it — my husband’s ministry would be over. If not over, then seriously hindered. The only way I could stop living a lie was to leave him and dissolve the marriage. That would kill his ministry even quicker! I loved my husband. I loved my family. Divorce was never an option. So I had to keep faking it, I thought. For my husband’s sake. Once again, I felt hopeless and alone.

And that’s how my story began in From Faking it to Finding Grace.  Married to a minister but so spiritually dry that I now doubted everything I had once believed; I no longer prayed, read my Bible, shared my faith, taught my children, prayed before meals, sang worship songs, or practised any spiritual disciplines.

How and why did this happen?

Where did I find help?

You know someone who is in this same condition. Maybe it’s you. Stick with me for the next several blogs and I will take you on a journey of grace where you will see the work of a pursuing God and His effect on the life of a dried up believer.

Are you with me? That’s the most terrifying question a blogger ever asks. What if no one is…with me? I know that 80% of believers experience spiritual dryness at some point in their journey of faith so whether or not you comment or share, I know you’re out there. This is for you.

Author:

Christian writer and speaker trying to follow God one yes at a time.

3 thoughts on “What happens when you lose your faith?

  1. Thank you for this Connie! I am there! Tired; no, exhausted most of the time! Spiritually I am in a desert 😥 Once excited and eager to serve and thirsty for God’s Word; now discouraged and not knowing how to get out of the pit! Anxious to read more!

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    1. Dear Virginia, thank you for your bravery in publicly admitting your current spiritual status. I have heard from a lot of people over the years and many of them start with “I have a friend who…” when in fact it is they who are desperate and hopeless but scared to “come out.” The road out of wilderness is typically similar to the road in. what I mean is, if you drifted subtly into dryness you won’t pop out like a jack in the box! It will be a journey, walked one yes at a time. There are probably a few factors to consider Virginia if you are wondering how and why this happened and I hope to be addressing those as I blog about this. I would greatly appreciate your continued input as you are able. Meanwhile, my heart goes out to you!! Please know that we have this PURSUING God who truly never leaves of forsakes. He has never left you. He is not mad at you. His heart aches for you. He’s pursuing you now and always. The important steps to wilderness recovery include admitting you are dry and telling others so you are already on your journey toward help and healing, toward a new, workable, simple, satisfying faith. You won’t walk alone. HUGS, Connie

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