This is a hard blog to write. But what good are words if they don’t convey truth?
Something new happened to me this week. I don’t understand it, but there is a lot that I don’t understand. I am praying that I can use this experience to learn, not to judge.
Since the moment I received Jesus into my heart I’ve been on a continuous path of awe and amazement in my new relationship with God. That awe and amazement has powered this Blog, among other things, and has led me to study His Word and to set out in earnest to root out and repent my many sins – some of which I’ve written about here and some not. It has all been fueled by a supernatural energy that surely is the hand of God, as it is nothing I could have created myself. I found myself full of gratitude that some of my longstanding demons like self-hate seemed finally to be healing. I have felt filled with God’s presence and guided by His hand.
And then suddenly – I literally woke up Thursday morning – this enormous river of energy and awe seemed to have evaporated. I don’t know what happened. I felt like I was powering myself again, an arrangement that never worked well, and that caused me to seek a better relationship with God in the first place.
I prayed. I read scripture. I listened to Christian music. I watched my church’s Sunday sermon on line again. Twice. I knocked off 2 more lessons in the on-line Bible class I’m taking.
But I found myself living almost entirely as the old worldly me for the past two days – the me that I was before I found Jesus. I’ve been grouchy and cranky. The demon of self-hatred and self-doubt crept back into my life. I started wondering if I was doing something wrong, if I had offended God, did I commit some terrible sin that caused God to abandon me, am I just a big fraud (my old buddy, the Imposter Syndrome)?
God knows everything about me – did God just look into my heart and say, “You big fake! You are not good enough for me. Get out of here!” (It occurs to me that maybe I’ve been reading too many Bible verses in which Jesus condemns hypocrites & fakes. I could feel a doubt starting to form in my mind as I was reading, “Uh oh, what if I’m really one of those? I mean, what if I’m really one of those but just don’t realize it yet? God will already know… He knows me better than I know myself!”)
Maybe this is a normal thing. Maybe these things go in cycles. It was pretty mind-blowing to think that the high level of God’s power that energized me during the first few weeks was going to remain at the same intensity forever.
I’m working on not succumbing to my worldly inclination to sink back into self-hatred – I could SO easily go there (“See, I’m a fake, a fraud, a totally worthless piece of crap and God already knows that. What did I expect?”). But God has commanded me not to do that — it is a sin. Perhaps God is taking off the training wheels and giving me a chance to take responsibility for choosing not to commit that sin, not just to lazily rely on Him forever to always do that for me?
I pray that God will show me the lessons to be learned, and that I will take them to heart to grow spiritually rather than falling back into the worldly sins for which I am seeking to repent. I also pray that God will help me be less of a jerk toward others in this world while I navigate this spiritual challenge.