I’m Told It’s Normal

If I could use one word to describe my current season, I’d say it was….disheartened.

Hope deferred…
Promises broken…
Efforts ignored…
Kindness rejected…
Love scorned…
Frustrations galore…
Expectations of what really should be considered “decent human behavior” continually let down…
And a gulf between God’s word and the reality surrounding me that seems about as wide as the distance between Heaven and Hell itself.

I mean, it’s been kind of a lot.

I’m told it’s normal.
I’m told it’s how God works.
I was even told I was in an “Elijah season”…

You know Elijah, the major Prophet of the Old Testament who one day called fire down from Heaven that burned up a soaking wet alter and killed over 400 prophets of Ba’al…and then the very next moment was hiding in a cave terrified of a woman and crying out to God “kill me now!”

Yeah. Elijah was the most badass prophet EVER… but the calling on his life was heavy. Poor guy was only a man and after a major victory and demonstration of God’s awesomeness he just emotionally spiraled out and crumbled under the weight of circumstances following said victory.

Dude, Elijah, I feel you so…freaking…much right now.

So the last few months I have been in an unprecedented season of hearing from God. I mean, I’m used to hearing from God at different times but for the last few months, I’m pretty sure I was either getting a specific word or getting an intense and specific vision about my life on a daily basis. It’s been unbelievable, intense, specific, and consistent. All around awesome, if I say so myself. Certainly what I would call a spiritual high.

I mean…until it stopped…abruptly…and circumstances took a hard turn in the opposite direction of all those words and visions. At which point I promptly spiraled into an Elijah-worthy freak-out sesh accusing God of being a liar and deceiver “just like every other man I know.”

Yep. That’s real. Add that to the list of my super proud faith moments…

In my defense, the last few days I haven’t been able to hear or even connect with God at all. Like, barely a week ago I could hear His voice with sharper acuity than ever and now it feels like He’s a distant idea. Not even a reality but…an IDEA. [Enter freak-out sesh] I mean, what the ever loving eff…

How is my connection to God, the only one to make sense to me my entire life, this unstable?
How is my trust in Him, who has kept me my entire life, this unstable?
How is my hope and joy in Him, who has lived in my being my entire life, this unstable?

I don’t know. I honestly don’t. But I guess we could ask the same question to Elijah, Jonah, Moses, Abraham, Sarah, and the entire nation of Israelites in the wilderness…who all experienced massive miracles and demonstrations of God’s power and goodness only to immediately turn around and question/doubt Him.

You’d think I’d be better than this. You’d think I’d have more faith than this. You’d think I could hold onto promises of God for longer than this. But yeah…I’m not. I don’t. And apparently…I can’t. Oh Elijah, I feel so you so much right now.

In the midst of my spiral, I was reminded that today is Wednesday. My church has revival nights on Wednesdays and I’ve been meaning to go to one but haven’t yet. Given my mental/emotional state today (full spiral mode) I figured it was either revival night or way more whiskey than my lil’ body should intake – so I decided revival night was probably the right (albeit less appealing) option.

I got my roommate to agree to come with me and we spent 2.5 hours in worship and hearing a message that no-doubt was God speaking straight to my heart. It wasn’t the personal word/vision thing that I was, and then wasn’t, getting. It was more like a graceful and loving reminder/correction to my utterly unbalanced and one-sided emotional state coming through the well-prepared message of my pastor. Which, you know, is really just as good.

The entire message was on God’s love and what it looks like. I couldn’t connect to any of the mushy stuff, but I felt the loving correction I needed to feel in order to shake me out of the spiral. I connected with the reminder that valleys are just as much a part of God’s love as the mountains. The reminder that utterly terrible circumstances don’t reflect on God’s love and actually, counter-intuitively, factor right into His perfect plan of teaching us faith and endurance. And that the ups and downs of our emotions are not God’s love changing but rather our love changing.

Do I know what to do with all those visions? Nope. Do I know what to do with my current surroundings that all appear to be the opposite of those visions? Nope. But I do know that neither visions of the future nor current surroundings reflect on the goodness of the one I’ve committed my life to following. And once again I lay down not having the slightest idea of what’s happening around me, but totally trusting the One who does.

Yeah…I’m told it’s normal. I’m told it’s normal to spiral out right after an intense season with God. But I really don’t want it to. I really don’t want my love for Him and even my faith in His love and goodness to be that unstable. I’m told it’s normal. I’m told it’s “human.” But I really, really don’t want it to be.

 

 

 

 

 

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