Faith

Intentional Faith

Listening to the conversations of work colleagues over the past couple of weeks has really made my heart sad and caused me to look deep within my own heart. These conversations have been about God and of things that the Word speaks of which is in complete contrast to the worlds views. It is painfully obvious that none of my colleagues know the Lord. They are victims of religion and tradition which has caused them to push God away rather than come to any real knowledge of true relationship with Christ. Heartbreaking!

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All that I am and all that I do, the way I do it and how I approach it has always been because of my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

We started homeschooling 12 years ago because we felt the Lord had laid it upon our hearts to raise and educate our children in a way that was different to the way of the world. My home is my mission field and it is my hearts desire that all who cross the threshold can feel the love and grace of Jesus within it’s walls and for many years this is how it has been.

But I want to be real with you. For the past 2 and a half years I have struggled to feel connected with my Lord. We moved to Devon and it has been as if I just can’t connect with God. I have felt guilty, then angry, then sad, then resigned. We STILL have not found a church family. I feel the life being sucked out of me in the very traditional C of E churches where tradition and social hierarchy reign supreme, ignoring the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit. And to the other extreme, felt uncomfortable with the overly charismatic churches that seem to base so much on feeling and some rather strange teachings that contradict the very Word of God. Both have left me with a feeling of isolation and a little disillusioned with the church if I’m honest. 

Never have I questioned my faith, but I have asked of the Lord, ‘Are you still there?’ Sometimes He would break through and reveal His beautiful self to me, but mostly I felt like I’ve been drifting out at sea on a rubber tube which led to apathy in my faith. I stopped reading the Word, and my prayer life became less. This had a knock-on effect of less joy and trusting Him less and myself more.

But then I realised something, and this is really only recently so I have a long way to go yet in being back in sweet communion with Jesus. I realised that yes, I am on that rubber tube far out to sea with no land in sight, but tied to that rubber tube is a rope. The rope stretches out far, far away. I can’t see the end but I know that at the end of that rope Jesus is standing there, holding on, not letting go. We are connected and He will draw me close once again.

I have set aside my disillusionment. No, we haven’t found a church family yet and I’m not looking at the moment. All I’m looking at is Jesus. It is He whom we need and only Him. We are blessed to have a few good Christian friends with whom we meet up with often and they are an encouragement. I have three very dear friends who I chat with on a regular basis and they are always an encouragement. Their friendship lifts me up, we talk of many things and I love to talk with them about our Lord. They all live up north. I miss them. I would still move back in a heartbeat if opportunity presented.

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The Lord knows my heart. He knows. 

I want my life to once again be infused with His love. I want my parenting, my home-keeping, my faith life to be rooted in Him. I want to see the beauty around me, not just the ugliness.

Have you noticed that when you take your eyes off the Lord you notice all the ugliness of the world and none of it seems redeemable?

It all seems quite hopeless. But when your eyes are on Jesus you have courage to confront the ugliness and shine the hope of Jesus onto the darkness. 

I have realised that I need to be resting in God’s Word. I need to be praying. I need to be washed in is love so that I can share that with others. 

I need to be intentional in my faith walk!

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So even though I don’t ‘feel’ like it, I will open my Bible and read. Even though I don’t ‘feel’ like it, I will close my eyes and pray. I will take my disillusionment, my feelings of sadness, my questions to Him in prayer. And I will KEEP ON TAKING IT to Him in prayer until I hear back. Until my cup is once more overflowing and the peace of Jesus is infused once again into my life, into my daily living, into everything I do. I will trust in Him, not on myself. I won’t make any decisions based on my own wisdom until I have taken it to the foot of the throne. 

I used to talk about the Lord and my faith quite a bit here and with others, but that voice seems to have become a whisper. It’s timid and weak.  But I want to nurture that voice once more, in my life and here on my blog because that is who God created me to be and who I was and who I am which naturally filters through into my blog. I have updated my‘About’page after many, many hours of thinking and introspective dissection. I’ve had to really confront myself on how I have allowed the enemy to create such apathy in my soul. How I have wallowed in the self-pity and sadness that I allowed to take root after leaving our friends and home in the north. So I guess my updated ‘About’ page (the section titled, ‘So What Will I Find Here’) is a result of that little ‘talk-with-myself’ and my desire to have the Lord restore my deep love and devotion to Him.

Please do leave any comments if you have struggled on your Christian journey, I will certainly respond. Thank you for reading and may God’s blessings be with you today…

(14) Comments

  1. Nicole in MD says:

    I went through a dry spell a few years ago and then I found Community Bible Study. I know they have these groups in England. You could try to find one located in your area by looking on http://www.cbsuk.org. I hope this helps.

    1. Shirley-Ann says:

      Thank you so much for that information Nicole! I will get right on that.

  2. Unknown says:

    Hello, I'm feel with you ! I'm going to pray for you. God bless you !
    (Sorry for my bad english, that's not my language … :-))
    Anne

    1. Shirley-Ann says:

      Thank you Anne and no need to apologise for your English πŸ™‚

  3. Gill says:

    It is so hard without a church family, isn’t it.

    1. Shirley-Ann says:

      It certainly is Gill, I'm praying for a church family right now.

  4. mamasmercantile says:

    I have indeed struggled many times but recently my husband had a massive heart attack. I saw many miracles that day. It could be argued that people were in the right place at the right time. In my heart I know that the Lord was with us and gave me a renewed strength. We have been blessed to find a church family that help to sustain our love. I thank God every day.

    1. Shirley-Ann says:

      Lorraine, I didn't realise that you had just gone through that! I'm so sorry but so very happy that your husband is okay. What a blessing that the Lord kept you both in His hand!

  5. Kay G. says:

    I really do know what you mean. I also feel that I don't feel comfortable in church just now but I love the Lord! Keep the faith, and surround yourself with positive people who encourage you in every way. God bless you on your journey!

    1. Shirley-Ann says:

      Thank you Kay! Your message is uplifting and encouraging.

  6. Bette says:

    I think all of us have struggled with our faith from time to time. Christian friends are definitely a help. As DH says, iron sharpens iron. I also have found meeting with other Christians regularly whether in church or small group helps tremendously. Moving to a new area can be so hard. We moved here 4 years ago and I still struggle sometimes with missing my family and friends. Will be praying for you, Shirley and remember God will never let you go.

    1. Shirley-Ann says:

      Thank you Bette, I was heartened to read that you still struggle after 4 years. We've been here for 3.5 years and began to think perhaps there was something wrong with me still struggling sometimes. Thank yo for remembering my in your prayers, I will do the same for you πŸ˜‰

  7. gssfam says:

    I am still in a dry spell. Mine started about 3 years ago. I'm honestly not sure of what the trigger was. We moved to our town 8 years ago and found a church home right away. I felt like I grew a lot in my walk. We were faithful and there were no negotiations in missing church or fellowship with Christ or other believers. I felt like my quiet time and prayer time were growing, not perfect but growing. Then, one September we just stopped showing up at the foot of the throne, at church, any kind of fellowship time. We have yet to get back to where we were. I struggle a lot with it, and mostly don't say anything. We have visited other churches but none of them are HOME. I have come to realize, of course they aren't home, there isn't anything wrong with MY church home or church family-it's my heart that needs a cleaning not theirs. I am working on me. I am working falling on my knees at the feet of Jesus. I have let too much of Satan and this world creep into my heart and plant seeds, water and watch them grow. I am more aware of it now and prayerfully working on it. I will be praying for you as well.

    1. Shirley-Ann says:

      I hear you. I feel that I too have let too much of Satan and this world creep in and that makes me sad. Like you I know that I need to work on my too and am determine to keep pressing into Jesus until I'm back in that beautiful place of sweet communion with Him. Thank you for remembering me in your prayers and I will do the same for you too. Xx

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