For the past two weeks, I have felt disconnected from the presence of God. I noticed that whenever I listened to worship music, or read and studied the Word of God… something was missing. There was no emotion or feeling with it… I felt like I was just going through the motions…listening and reading but not engaging in any of it… I was like a robot.
Has my relationship with God become routine?
Have I grown distant from God?
Any other time, this would have alarmed me and I would have stopped and prayed for God to show me what was going on. But, this time I just kept going about my daily routine, ignoring the warning signs that were going off not only inside of me, but around me as well.
I am so thankful that I serve a God, who will not allow me to stay distance from Him too long.
This morning He woke me up with a song in my spirit, Bethel by Shana Wilson. I played the song a few times while I took my shower, but to be honest it still did not change anything inside of me or move me to worship.
I still went about my morning routine, in the same robotic manner; Get dress, eat breakfast, drop the kids off at school and head to work.
While in my car, I was listening to my usual Christian radio station when the song Beautiful Day came on by Jamie Grace. First, I started thinking it is not a beautiful day here, it is raining, traffic is backed up, which was going to make me late for work and I immediately wanted to change the station. But, in that moment, God brought to my mind how the young lady on the radio has Tourette’s but when she sings you would never know it. As she is operating in her gift, Christ has made her whole. Despite her diagnosis, she could sing about the goodness of God and find beauty in life.
I could suddenly feel my whole mindset began to shift…Despite what it looked like outside, I started to thank God, tell Him how much I loved Him, and something…something broke in me… I started to feel emotions again and tears began to well up in my eyes.
In the midst of true worship and finding the beauty of God’s blessings and declaring it IS a beautiful day despite what was going on around me… I was able to feel the joy and love of the Lord, but immediately following joy came a sense of sadness.
Lord what is this sadness I feel?
God began to speak to my heart and He showed me how I had built up an emotional wall.
Two weeks ago, I lost someone close to me, my cousin Mike. Even though, I am the oldest by a year, he always looked out for me like a big brother.
Losing Mike is the worst pain I have felt in a very long time and I am not sure how to process it all. It just all seems so surreal.
The pain and thought of never seeing him or hearing him sing his goofy birthday songs… breaks my heart. My heart hurts for his parents, his children, his granddaughter, his sisters, his wife… and the rest of my family. We are left with a void that none of us can even begin to comprehend.
So, I was surprised to learn that what I thought I was actually coping and healing, was not. I was in DENIAL and avoiding my feelings, not dealing with them at ALL.
When I first learned of his death, I cried for days and completely shut down on my husband and kids. I did not go to work or eat… I just sat on the couch in an emotional stupor.
After the funeral, I shut down all emotions so I could function. The burden was too much to carry and I could not go around crying all the time and I still have a family to care for.
Little by little I began building a wall…
Once I returned home to Charleston, it was a little easy to carry on with my life and just kind of pretend all was well. I do not see family members every day to remind me. I do not have to attend family functions and not see him. I avoid talking to my mom on the phone because I do not want to talk about him. I even avoid looking at his picture or anything that reminds me of him.
What I didn’t know, was by building an emotional wall, it was also affecting my relationship with God. I had blocked Him out of my heart, as well. I was walking around numb to any feelings… just trying to pretend I am ok… when I am not. I am not allowing God into my heart to heal me and fill that void with His Love. God’s words says “God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matt 5:4 NLT)
The burden I thought I had to carry was not meant for me to carry. The Bible says, “Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you.” (Psalms 55:22) His Word also says, He is close to the brokenhearted and has come to heal and comfort them. (Psalm 147:3, Psalm 34:18, Isaiah 61:1)
Why was I not allowing God to do, what He promised me in His Word?
You see, this morning when God placed the song Bethel on my heart, He was calling me to a place of worship. He wants me to stop running from my feelings and allow Him back into my heart so He could do what only He can do… heal me and make my heart whole again.
As I begin to worship Him, I draw Him close to me… I am aware of His presence and I allow Him back into my heart to reign and rule. As I begin to worship Him, I am reminded of His promises to me, that He is with me and He will never leave me nor forsake me, but not only me … my family, as well.
Just as in, Genesis 28, when Jacob was on the run from His brother, God showed him a heavenly staircase in his dreams. God appeared to him at the top of the staircase and once again declared his promises not only to him, but his family, also. He assured him He was with him and that He would not leave him nor forsake him.
I hold tight to the hand of God and His promises for me and I say Lord, I trust you to comfort and heal me.
Lord, I trust you to heal and continue to carry my family. You will lift up your countenance upon us and give us peace. (Numbers 6:26) and for our mourning you will give us new found joy in You.
I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow. (Lamentations 3:20-25, 31-33 NLT)
No matter what you are going through, keep holding on to God’s unchanging hand…. Keep drawing near to Him with your worship and as you draw near to Him, He will draw near to You. (James 4:8) and in Him, He brings great and precious promises of comfort, joy, healing…. Whatever you need… He IS the great I AM