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.
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.
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.”
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!
I 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?
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