There was a time about 7 years ago – I thought I was losing my faith.  Have you ever felt like that?  This is the faith I’ve always had, ever since I can remember.  I don’t know anything else.  I’ve never been in New Age, or Buddhism, or atheism – or any other faith.  Yes, it takes a great deal of faith to be an atheist!  There was so much hurt and pain during this time – this time when I thought I lost my faith.

I made a Facebook Live video where I talk about this time in my life.  Watch at the bottom of this post.

Have you ever felt so wilted and dried up that you wondered if you even had a faith? Like everything you had believed before might be completely false? Where do you go from there? What do you do with that? This is my story of walking through that parched season. When I Thought I Lost My Faith

Had I Been Believing A Lie?

The notion of losing my faith terrified me.  I wondered if all I’d ever known was actually completely false.  Was there anything at all to the faith I’ve had since a child?  Have I wasted all of those years pursuing something that didn’t even exist?  Was I ready to throw it all away? 

These were the hard questions I kept asking myself.  Have you ever wondered these kinds of questions yourself? 

This lasted for about 3 years.  I’m serious.  I went through 3 years of this struggle.  So much had happened.  So much had been destroyed in my life.  The relationship I had with my brother and his family was gone.  The very close relationship I had with my aunt was finished.  Looking back, I know for certain the ending of these relationships was for the best.  They were just very unhealthy and they were not good for my spiritual growth.  But they still devastated my heart. 

A Broken Church

Then there was church.  Our church family was broken – there was gossip, secret meetings, hate, anger, bitterness…the list of contention and divisiveness went on and on.  There were church meetings where people spewed accusations and indictments.  I watched as my pastor wept, crumpled on the floor while the attacks kept coming.  Then there was a mass exodus at our church.  Then Pastors were leaving.  And friends were leaving.  I felt completely and utterly lost.  I was broken beyond repair.  So much was being taken away in such a short time.  And I felt very alone.  Everyone else who remained at the church were also in immense pain and were just as broken as I was.  There was no one.

His Grace

And yet, there was His grace…if I wasn’t trying to find His amazing grace, I would have totally missed it.  It can be tricky finding His grace among indescribable pain.  He gave me a wonderful gift in my incredible husband.  Although Marcus was a brand new Christian, God bestowed amazing wisdom upon him.  Somehow, he just knew what scriptures would bring me comfort at just the right time.  I have written before on how Marcus was not a believer when we married and how I prayed and prayed for him to come to know Jesus.  Interestingly enough, I am just realizing this amazing orchestration by God right now.  Marcus came to know the Lord right when I was going to need him and his Godly wisdom the most.  Right during this time – in my wilderness.  The timing could not have been more perfect.  

To Lose My Faith…Is to Lose My Heart

It was because of these struggles and disappointments that I started to feel like I was losing my faith.  These were the most disturbing and confusing years of my life. I could not even bring myself to open my Bible to read it.  It’s not that I didn’t want to, I just did not have the energy to do it, and I did not have the heart to.  I think now about how I felt and how I could not open my Bible, and my heart breaks all over again at the brokenness that I was immersed in.  My precious Bible, the place where I find the hope of life through those beautiful words…and I could not open it

The way I was feeling has no one word to describe it.  I just felt so wilted, desolate, broken, empty, dying.  The main way I was fed besides through my husband telling me special verses was through Christian songs, both worship songs and contemporary songs.  I found much encouragement through the lyrics.  Many of them turned into prayers for me as I cried out to Him. 

Have I mentioned before that I cannot carry a tune even if my life depended upon it?  I mean, I’m the person who goes to a group called ‘closet singers’ in university – a special singing group solely for bad singers to get extra help – and gets kicked out!  I can’t even sing with the bad singers!  And God chooses to use singing and music to breathe life back into my heart and soul.  I don’t know how to play an instrument, either.  So there’s a double whammy!  I think it is amazing…and so like God…to use a form of worship that I am NOT gifted in to bring water to my parched soul.

And I felt like my soul was fighting this whole journey.  I didn’t want to walk it!  I wanted my faith back!  Then I got this picture in my visual-spatial mind:

My Coast Guard

I am in the middle of the ocean; it is dreadfully dark and unbelievably stormy.  The waves are wildly high, they are ready to swallow me whole.  I have nothing to float on.  I am flailing around, trying to grasp anything, something.  But there is nothing.  I can’t seem to keep my head above the water.  Being swallowed up by those waves threatened me.  I am terrified and alone. 

Then I hear the whooping of a helicopter. 

There is a light!  Someone is searching for me! 

I see someone jump out of the helicopter and swim to me.  What amazing strength! 

Then I recognize him – he is the coast guard, the one and only coast guard – Jesus.  He grabs on to me and starts swimming back to the helicopter. 

But…I am still flailing and panicking.  I’m not making it easy for him…or for me.  He tells me that it would be better if I just let Him carry me to safety. 

So, I did. 

I stopped fighting, I stopped flailing, and I stopped kicking. 

I let Him save me.

He Makes All Things New

I knew I had been flailing in life, trying to keep above it all.  And I wasn’t very successful.  I needed my Coast Guard to hold on to me, keep my head above the waves, and bring me to safety.  I had to be still and know that He was God.  And that was enough to get me through this dry phase.

I’d love to be able to tell you that right after that message from God, my faith restored and everything was just fine.  It wasn’t.  But I was learning to let God carry me through. 

A Faith Not Lost

Now, I can’t leave you hanging like that, can I?  You need to know the rest of the story, don’t you?  You long to know what happened…did I ever regain my faith?  Regain?  No. 

Rebuild…now that is something completely different.

We continued attending that other church for a couple more years.  It had been about 2 years since the mass exodus at our church.  And for about a year and a half of those 2 years, Marcus and I felt that God was prompting us to move on.  This wasn’t a decision we took lightly.  That’s why it took so long for us to actually withdraw our membership there.  We didn’t want to find out later on that we were wrong.  We prayed and prayed about it.  And we really felt that God was calling us somewhere else. 

So we told our church family there that we felt God telling us He needed us somewhere else.  Sadly, this was not acceptable to many.  Some came to my husband and tried to make him feel guilty for the decision, saying things like, “after all we’ve done for you”.  But we had to obey God, not man.  Again, we lost friends.  I think that is so sad.  Does it really matter as long as it is another Bible believing church?  It wasn’t anything against them.  It’s just that God wanted us to use our gifts in another place that needed us.  Why can’t we still be friends?

A New Beginning

Regardless, we fit right into our new church.  Marcus quickly got involved in sound.  He loves working the sound board and he is amazingly gifted in making sure instruments and voices sound perfect.  I, on the other hand, needed time to be fed and to just rest.  I was still struggling with my faith, but Marcus and I both knew we had made the right choice. 

After we started attending this new church was when a pivotal moment in my spiritual walk came.  I was driving home from somewhere – I can’t remember where I had been – it was too long ago.  But I do remember that I was crying out to God.  I cried out to God…AGAIN…about losing my faith.  Suddenly, quietness came over my heart and I heard Him speak to my soul. 

He said, “Aimee, you aren’t losing your faith.  I am just tearing down your old one and I am rebuilding a new, stronger faith within you.  One so strong and it will be like a fire burning deep inside a tree.”

His Peace

What a relief!  That made total sense!  Now, why didn’t he say that 2 years before??  Probably had something to do with my readiness…kind of the same idea of how a 40-day journey to the Promised Land actually took 40 years!  That was a huge turning point for me.  I felt my faith grow.  I felt it burn.  It still took time, but I knew He was faithful to his promise!!

I can’t help but get emotional and tear up even now reading what He said to me, even several years later…it still has such an impact on me.  Mostly because now I see just how truthful and faithful He was when He made that promise to me.  He did rebuild my faith.  And it is nothing like it was before.

How Is Your Faith?

Are you feeling like your faith is wilted?  Like you are losing it?  I promise you, your Coast Guard wants to carry you during this storm.  He wants to rebuild your faith in Him. And believe me – it will be amazing!

John 19 10I have since learned that the Greek word for lost in this verse means ruined, devastated, broken beyond repair.  That is what I was…ruined, devastated and broken beyond repair.  Do you know those feelings?  Those names?  Do they reflect your heart and soul right now?  

Well, this verse says that Jesus came to seek us who are ruined, devastated and broken beyond repair.  He came to save those of us who have been ruined, devastated and broken beyond repair.  NOT for those who have it all together and are living the perfect lives.  He came for us…the lost.  He had come for me and He has saved me.  My friend, He has come for you, too.

Will you let Him save you?

 

Have you ever felt so wilted and dried up that you wondered if you even had a faith? Like everything you had believed before might be completely false? Where do you go from there? What do you do with that? This is my story of walking through that parched season. When I Thought I Lost My Faith

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Aimee Imbeau

Aimee is a wife to an incredible husband, Marcus, and mother to three fabulous children. She works from home as a homeschool support teacher and she homeschools her own children as well. She loves writing abut her faith and decided to give blogging a try in 2013. The rest is history...
  • Back in 1997, I think I lost my faith. Not sure if “lost” is the true word for it, but I know I was angry at God and tried to give him the cold shoulder, lol. At the time I had 3 children. And each night I would say my prayers and not ask God for anything, but just thank him for my kids and their health. At church, this is what I would pray during silent time. Just being thankful, not asking for much except to keep my kids healthy and safe. (well, that IS much to ask for, I now realize that) But anyway. Then in February 1997 we were in a car accident. My 4 year old daughter was severely brain injured. She almost died. It was awful. I prayed and begged God to spare her life, to leave her with us. And he did. But now without many changed. She went from a vibrant, can-do-anything four year old, to a severely brain injured child with many disabilities. It took years and years of therapy to get her to walk and talk again. I was so heartbroken that first year after her accident. And I couldn’t understand why God would allow this to happen to my little girl. I don’t think we attend church that entire year. Maybe the year after that, too. But in time God softened my heart. I’m not sure how it happened, but we started going to church again. And my faith found me. And it has been strong ever since. Thank goodness the Lord has patience, and never gives up on us. Right now, I am expecting my 10th baby. A boy whom we have named Aaron. Aaron was diagnosed at 16 weeks with a life-limiting condition. I am now 30 weeks along with this precious boy, and I am not angry at God for sending me a child who will not be on earth with us very long. I have never had one ounce of anger for this. I am sad, of course, but not angry. God has blessed me with a peace, it’s hard to explain. I am grateful to have been chosen as this baby’s mother. When so many would have aborted a less-than-perfect child who might only life a day or two after birth, I fully embrace this precious soul and will see him to the end of his life, which will be decided by God. No one else.

    • WOW – what an incredible testimony. I wonder if those 2 years of not attending church were needed for some healing in your heart? What is Aaron’s due date? I’d like to pray for you and your family – that God gives His strength and peace during this time. And I pray that many will come to know the Lord through your story. Thank you so much for sharing it here.

  • Laura Hicks

    It’s so true that often we need the old torn down to rebuild the new. God is good!

  • Gayl Wright

    Beautiful, Aimee! I’m visiting from Coffee For Your Heart. I think our doubts and questions actually help lead us to a deeper relationship with God. I have struggled in the past, wondering if the faith I grew up with was right. But God has been so faithful through the years. Some of my views have changed, but my relationship with God has only deepened. You are right. Jesus is ” the one and only coast guard.” Thank you for sharing your story. May God continue to bless and guide. Blessings to you!

    • I agree Gayl. Some are afraid to ask questions or express doubt – some even shame those who are honest about these feelings and questions. But as I have searched for the answers, God has drawn me closer to Himself.

  • Debbie Kitterman

    Aimee – I love how God came to your rescue just when you needed it the most and He spoke to you in such powerful ways. The Coast Guard analogy is a fantastic picture! and then the words he spoke to your heart – you didn’t lose anything – He was rebuilding! Love it. I personally have never been through a church split and pray I never do – especially now since my husband and I are senior pastors of a church. However, we have many, many people who have been through one and they have shared many of the same things you did today. My husband and I have always said and sometimes have to remind ourselves weekly, that the people in the congregation are His… not ours – our job is to keep our hands and hearts open – some will come and some will go and some will stay – but they are Gods – not ours… It is sad that people can’t see that relationship is the most important thing – not where you go to church, or where you have left…. Thank you for sharing today at #WomenWithIntention – where I happen to be your neighbor. 🙂 Yay.

    • Thank you so much Debbie. I do get a lot of these ‘visions’ – as you have reassured me that’s what they are in the comment section of your blog. Still, it feels strange to call them that. They are like movies.
      Yes, church splits are very painful. I hope I never go through one again. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I appreciate your wisdom.

  • Aimee,
    This was so beautifully REAL. It’s so difficult to admit our doubt, but I think every believer goes through it to differing degrees and I believe that wrestling match draws us in closer relationship with God each time. I, not too long ago, went through a period similar. I still believed. I still knew He was there, but I couldn’t open my Bible and read. Even when I would force myself, the words were landing flat. It was awful. I am so thankful to have been rescued from that storm!
    Much love,
    Lori

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt that I couldn’t open my Bible. Not many understand that. And it was awful. But, we were brought through it so that we can share with others the Hope we have – that they know they aren’t alone. That, in itself, is always encouraging.

  • Jen

    Aimee, thank you for sharing the hard stuff with us here. I went through my own time of wilderness when we moved a few years back. I was grieving the loss of so many things and not understanding what God was doing in our marriage and our ministry. It was dark. And tough. But I was reminded of how Jacob wrestled with the Lord. He struggled. I think all too often we look down on the strugglers in the church and look up to those who seem to have it all together, but I have a soft spot for the strugglers. I think they ask the tough questions, and the tough questions lead to a tough faith that isn’t easily shaken. Thanks for sharing with us at Grace and Truth last week! 🙂
    Jen @ Being Confident of This

    • I totally get where you are coming from, Jen! Because of what I went through, I am so much more compassionate towards others who are struggling in their faith. Yes, a tough faith that isn’t easily shaken. That is truth!

  • A Mama’s Story

    Good morning! Just wanted to let you know that this post is among this week’s featured and will be shared across my social media sites today. Thanks for linking up at A Mama’s Story.

  • Sg

    This is just what I needed to read today.

    • Sg, I am so glad this post blessed you and encouraged your heart. May you feel His embrace around you and His peace in your heart. Just knowing it’s ok where you are at, that you are enough. I will be praying for you.

  • Tona

    This is such a timely message. There is definitely a rebuilding process in the wilderness. Sometimes we may not understand it but we have to just rest in Him and recognize its going to make us more equipped for the tasks He has planned for us.

    • Tona, I love how you say that the rebuilding and the wilderness equip us for what He will eventually ask us to do. That is very true.

  • Time2Refuel

    I absolutely love this post and the way you write. Thanks for sharing your heart, it has really touched me. I love the thought that He is rebuilding our faith. What a great outlook. I am so glad He guided me to your site. Keep writing what you write.

    • Thank you so much for your kind comments. Yes, it is comforting to think that He rebuilds our faith. He is so good to us. I am so glad He led you here, too.

  • Abby

    Aimee, thank you for sharing such a vulnerable post with such authenticity. I love how God orchestrated the salvation of your husband at just the right time to help take you through that wilderness. Beautiful.

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  • Deborah Panos Meyer

    This post was beautiful and struck close to home. I love the rebuilding theme and cried as I read it. Keep on doing what you do best! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for leading me here. And thanks for stopping by my blog! Blessings. P.S. You are so darn cute!! <3

  • Jon Michael Rosales

    I felt the same way. Yours lasted 3 years, mine lasted a couple of months. Satan was tricking me, I felt it. I just… I felt afraid too. But I started praying. My prayers made me feel as if I was reconnecting myself with Him again. I needed it. Things got better for me when I regained my faith. I hope I didn’t lead anyone away from theirs. I prayed for forgiveness when I felt I had lost mine. But I feel reconnected and I want to keep it. My faith makes me feel better.