Today I want to start talking about my journey back to spiritual health. I’m not going to get into my faith background and I’m definitely not saying that I have this figured out. I am just your average Christian girl who has a deep love for Jesus but hasn’t been nurturing that relationship. I’ve let it slip to the background, and although it will always be the foundation of my life, if I’m not growing in this area I am falling away.
I want to be brutally honest for a second: my relationship with God began to suffer once I had kids, and not just because they are so much work and keep me so busy. I mean, I was so grateful for my babies and I prayed for them…sometimes. But not nearly enough. In reality, they became my gods. I began to feel that my life would be worthless without them. They are incredible gifts from God, but they are still his. And how can I raise my kids to know God when I’m not in a good relationship with him? Because I think they’ll be able to tell if I’m faking it.
One thing that I knew needed to happen was to set aside some time every single day to spend alone with God. When I was on maternity leave my women’s group at church began a Bible study so I joined, and I am happy to say that I completed that study (it took 12 weeks) even though I couldn’t continue going to the weekly meetings once I started work. It was exactly what I needed. Most importantly, I got into the habit of waking up early to make this a priority. If I don’t wake up early before the kids, it’s just not going to happen.
So when I first get up I make coffee, then I sit down on the couch with my Bible, my study book (if I’m doing one), and my journal. I read and I think and I write and I pray. In my journal I write how the day’s reading has affected me, personal assessments, prayers, or just stream of consciousness. When I have this time, it changes the course of my day.
I admit though, I haven’t been attempting to wake up early on the weekends. I want to change this, but I do want to say that even with just having my devotionals most weekdays (sometimes kids wake up extra early and foil my plans) I have felt a definite shift in my relationship with God overall. For a long time I’ve been going to church and singing the songs and listening to the sermons and not really feeling much. Now I become emotional almost every week. I crave that worship and learning time and want to feel more of God’s presence.
I don’t want my spiritual journey to stop here. I’ve been thinking of what else I need to work on and brainstorming ways to keep reminding myself of God throughout the day. Some ideas I have are: intercessory prayer, scripture memory, more worship music, accountability, service, and giving. As I work on these things I’d like to continue to share with you in the future.
Can anyone out there relate? Have you ever had to take similar steps, and what are some things that have worked for you?