I don’t know about you, but I have felt like a freak in the faith ever since 2015 when I received Christ. If I could be anything in the world but a Christian, that would be me. I am not one of those people that “get it”, and feel stuff all the way down, or feel on fire for God. I don’t have a salesman personality where I can evangelize others, I am an Introvert. I feel disconnected to things that others don’t, and have a warped view of God. See if any of these fit you:
Twisted perception of God-ex: He is a: bully, tyrant, killjoy, mood buster, wants to take everything from you, difficult to trust and surrender to. You don’t see him as a God of love.
You feel numb towards certain passages in the Bible.
You are numb towards accepting and feeling emotion over the concept of grace, and what Christ did for us
You feel like Christianity is a bunch of unfair rules that ruin your life
You are massively picky about sermons but don’t want to get away and believe in fake gospels
You are afraid to be yourself because you feel like the aspect of sin implies all of you, including your personality and how you were made is considered evil.
You pretend to be okay, and put on a fake face but inside you feel like screaming
You do not fit into most ministries at church and struggle to find one that fits you
You are afraid of what God will do if you give him control over your life
You feel miserable more than happy even though you do pray and ask for God’s help
You feel entrapped by the religion because you know as the Bible says, if you leave, there are consequences, so you stay but don’t really want to.
You have no idea how to feel about God, but put one foot in front of the other anyway
I realize it is rare to feel this way, and yet…maybe it is not?? I got away from God twice. Once in early 2018-late 2019, and then again during the summer of 2020. I came back in September of that year, and learned a lot since then.
I know in 2018, and 2019, I read a lot of atheist, agnostic, and ex christian articles and felt like I related to everything that they said. They asked questions that were spot on. During my time spent with others, reading and listening, it is what made me leave the faith. It is very soothing to let go and want to leave something and if you can tell yourself God does not exist, than you think all is well. Sadly, once you are a child of God, you cannot go back to being evil. You will be convicted and brought back to Him at some point. When this happened to me in November of 2019, I was in bed. I had no desire to go back to God, and I felt the Holy Spirit pushing on me hard, my heart was beating fast like Tell Tale Heart, and I kept asking: What?What is it?? After tossing and turning for an hour, it slowly and gently came up. That I needed to go back to God. I miserably woke up the next day, repented, and went back. I read my Bible every day again, went forward deeply unhappy and very hurt that I had to let go of the life of sin I liked so much.
In the Spring of 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, God dropped a live in job on me that paid huge! He took care of me and protected me during the trying times, and I never got Covid. He must have foresaw the health problems I was about to have, and took care of all of them. In that summer though, I was worn down, depressed again, hot, tired, I had been in extreme pain from two cavities in my teeth that ended up being an extraction, and a month later, another tooth was infected and had been for months, that also came out. So I was exhausted on every front, and just lied around, fantasizing and was not praying.
In September, once again I felt the spirit hit me up and brought me back. People who say God does not exist, does not get it. Conviction is very real, and it does NOT come from me. It comes from something else, and that something is straight from God himself.
I understand what it is like to feel all the above things I mentioned. I understand how upsetting it can be to be a Christian. What I had to found out slowly was this: Whenever God asks you to surrender, He will give back.
In other words, to me it always seems like God is taskmaster, a taker. He wants us to do everything for Him, and live for Him, but we don’t think we will get anything back from it. I am slowly learning that it can’t be true.
For instance, when I fear and worry, I force myself to pray and give those burdens to God. He really does take them and takes the burden off of you, and you actually feel better! He gives peace, he gives strength, he also gives joy. The problem I have is I will ask for these things, but doubt God will give them to me, because I am not good enough, His word doesn’t imply to me, so he holds back I am assuming on giving too much of it from lack of faith, so it really is shooting yourself in the foot. Yet, I still do it.
Another thing I can add to the list I gave earlier, is maybe you have discussed your issues with others, only to receive either hateful, stern comments, or judgement? People are shocked when you tell them you see God differently, it does not compute, but here is the deal: I guarantee you, that they have issues themselves deep down, but refuse to admit it to themselves. Everyone does. I have never met a Christian yet, no matter how perfect they seem to act, that does not have issues you can see underneath or displayed in their life. Living in denial is easier, so most think it is even a sin to question these things, but it is not.
What is funny is that as I am writing this, I feel like God is at peace with this, how crazy is that? Meaning that it is always better to admit how you feel, no matter how ugly you think your thoughts are, than deny them and shove them deep inside in hopes they will go away. They will never go away, they will ruin all aspects of your life.
I am the kind of person that barely gets along with other Christians, and is terrified of what they will say that will wreck the faith for me.
A few years ago, I went to Nouthetic Counseling, which is to me the most abusive counseling out there. The man who counselled me was a Pastor at another church. He wanted me to open up about painful things, but the very second I did, he gave a fake smile and handed me a brochure that said everything I felt was a sin. I was depressed at the time, so he said that was a sin, anger was a sin, which by the way in itself it is not, only if you lash out, and I was so upset by him, and having to expose myself, it carried over into therapy I had in Spring of 2020.
I went online to Faithful Counseling and had a wonderful, strong minded, healthy Christian, who wanted me to be open about what I was feeling, but I could barely speak, and get it out, I did confess to her that I felt like I did not like what Christianity was all about in general, and she did not say anything that helped me. She just stuck with the basics. I told her I was miserable, and she said.: “You can always leave you know”. And I had to remind her that there were consequences to that, so I didn’t want to, but a few months later that is what I did.
There was a crack in my armour, from several things that happened that God tested me on, and instead of passing the test, I failed miserably and got angry and left again.
If people want to judge me, that is fine, If they want to shake their head and think how awful I am, I could care less. I decided that if God is okay with it, I want to share these things to see if he can use them somehow, and that others will not feel alone, I think that is very important.
It takes courage to admit that you have doubts about God, that you feel weird about the faith, that you don’t feel good enough ever, or hardly ever have any positive experiences. I find myself jealous when I read happy Christian writers on blogs and articles, books, say that they had moving experiences with God. I have had some, but nowhere near what many other do, and that is after I implemented some of the same things they said they did.
I have had moments with God in nature, I have been moved to tears several times and never know why, I have felt moved in church over a song, or a sermon, but personally it is hard for me. That is why I talk so much to an annoying extent in other blog posts about Bonnie Gray. She says in her books to rest in God more, and to find things you like to do(non-sinful things), and enjoy them with God. This is a new concept to me, and one I have been working on for weeks.
I just feel like every step forward sometimes is two steps back, as I discover more heartache, more fears, more doubts, and more layers to sift through. It is almost embarassing what I feel. I can’t for the life of me understand what God feels or thinks about me, and don’t understand people that claim to.
I just know I slowly go forward every day, and ask for God’s help, and read, and look for the little things in every day. I had to give him this blog helplessely, with my hands up and open. I had to surrender most things lin my life which terrifies me to see what he will do with them. Some have not shown progress yet, and I don’t know what will happen, but I still go forward.
Just know if you read this, and you feel alone, you fit a lot of what I am describing, do the following:
No matter how you feel, pray. I know you don’t want to, force yourself and tell him exactly how you think, how frustrated, how painful, how unfair it all is, as long as you say it.
Ask for the spirit’s help in prayer at the start of the day, again regardless of how you feel. This ensures that even in the craziness of our lives, God will magically do something you might not even be aware of, that could be exactly in line with His Will.
Read right away upon waking up, even with sleep in your eyes. I suggest strongly to start off always with a Psalms. Go by the date, reverse the number, multiply by two, and read several verses. Psalms is the only book in the Bible that deals strongly with human emotions and the pain they cause, but also speaks highly of God and his ability to get us through.
Find a hobby, enjoy the outdoors, do crafts, watch something funny, enjoy a moment, and give God a thumbs up, and invite him to enjoy it with you. It will feel awkward and weird, but it shows that you are trying.
Give all of your burdens as they came up, once a day if you can, to God and try not to think anymore of them that day.
These are the best things I have so far, and they have magically gotten me through each day with peace. They are simple and exact, but work well.
As far as what we feel, know regardless of others say: Your feelings matter. Do you need to read that again?
Most Christians say are feelings are worthless BECAUSE we have to push through them in order to pray and to keep God in our lives, but don’t misunderstand it to mean that your feelings, your issues, your heartaches, mean nothing to God and need to be shoved aside. I am going to write about this in another post, but say what you can about your feelings to God, through a letter to him, or in prayer. Say what little bits come out at a time. Healing might come slow, but 90% of the time I have realized we have to let God in. And take it from me, that is the hardest thing ever when you have a negative opinion of him.
Imagine being curled up in a little ball and nobody can unwind you from it, that is how feel a lot. It is a protective mechanism, and we all do it on something in our lives, half just don’t realize it.
So if you feel like an outcast, an imposter, a freak, know that their are people out there that feel the same as you! Half will never mention it, and that is why we think it is rare. I have to get gutsy, and put this post out there in hopes it reaches someone. During my time away from God, I saw TONS of people that wanted to leave the faith, that were on their way out, some had given up completely and never wanted to go back. Some were severely traumatized and misunderstood everything the Bible says.
Accepting grace is hard.
Accepting God is hard.
Rules are hard
The only way out is through, and with Him, and I really don’t want to sound typical because I read this sort of thing all the time, and it makes me roll my eyes. The same old sentiments don’t cut it with me anymore, but at least I admit to it, and that is the beginning of wisdom as God says. 🙂