Monday, 3 April 2017

Those desert experiences

(originally journaled Oct. 31, 2016)

Dear God,

Maybe I'm feeling "down" because of the grey, rainy weather, and because I'm so tired due to this constant arm pain from my summer injury.

But I was wondering, starting a few months ago, why I had "wandered" from You so much. I remember being happy that I had learned not to worry (and I thought I was trusting You). But then, somehow, in my "not worrying" I slowed down the amount of time I spent with You. And I spoke up for You less and less. And I called down aspects of the "institutional church" (and Christian schools and so on) more and more until I must have appeared to a lot of people to not believe in You at all. And it was at that same time that I was so, so, so exhausted and had to take a full year off from all my volunteer activities and even some of my business activities.

But with my recent efforts and longing to really follow You again, I am being reminded how it seems that the harder I try to follow You, the more discouraged and depressed I seem to get, and how I don't seem to have hardly any "joy" (or peace, for that matter).

There are so many voices in my head arguing at me all the time against You. It has to be the enemy. You promised to be with us. Can You please give me Your power and strength instead of me relying on my own "trying," and also give me some joy and peace to confirm You're with me?

I know about "desert experiences" and "long nights of the soul." And I feel like I've gone through that for a long time, maybe as many as 6 or 7 years, ever since the "great depression" that hit during that time of great losses (the death of both my parents, the loss of a job, the implosion of the church we were attending, and so on).

I'm so tired again ... just when I was starting to feel upbeat and happier and stronger before my arm accident 3 1/2 months ago. And I feel like I'm spiralling down again. I know my troubles are nothing compared to lots of people, so I shouldn't be complaining. But I do need Your help to battle the arguing voices and the depressed feelings and the tiredness. Even a few rays of sunshine now and then? (Well, I had a couple good laughs with the grandkids this weekend. Maybe I'm just not looking for the bright moments?).

My eyes are sore, and it seems like the peripheral vision on my left side is getting bad (I keep knocking things over) and my right ear still has ringing (mostly quieter at this point, thank You) a lot of the time. And my arm still hurts so much, and I'm too tired to exercise most of the time.

I also feel like such a failure spiritually. I hear those voices that keep telling me that I "denied You" and that therefore You have denied me. That I "turned back" and am no longer fit for Your kingdom. Of course, that is the enemy talking. Yes, it is! Because if it was true, You wouldn't still be drawing me and speaking to me. So ... I guess it is spiritual battle time. And yes, I guess the enemy likes to take advantage of physical and emotional down times.

Well! Now I'm getting angry at You, satan!!!

Oh dear Jesus, please help me. Please take this burden and lift it from me and help me rest in You. Please give me joy and peace no matter how other things go. Please help me love You, obey You, trust You, serve You. Truly.

Thank You, Lord.

In Jesus' name, please pour Your Spirit into me and make me strong in and for You. And please, please forgive me for all my denials. Please. I am so sorry. I did give in to the negative messages of the enemy. And I "threw out the baby with the bathwater" to a large degree. It's true. And I am truly sorry. Please forgive me, and help me to leave judging others up to you. I'm sorry ... I get annoyed by other people judging, and then I go on and on doing it myself. Please forgive me and help me. "Judge not lest you be judged." "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us."

Please help me to seek reconciliation with You (and with other believers whom I have judged...). In Jesus' name.

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