I imagine you’ve struggled with feeling distant from God. Empty. Lost in a sea of messages insisting the God you set your heart on won’t be found.
Doubt sets in as you grieve the loss of that mountaintop feeling—the one that made you excited to follow Jesus. Now the loneliness of the valley makes you wonder if the feeling you long for came from your imagination rather than your memory.
Today I’m excited to share a post from the teenage daughter of a friend of mine. I pray you will see yourself through her transparency. More than that, I pray you will see your God.
That Real Place
By Alia Dyke
“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
So lately, my heart has been far from where it was created to be. From where it belongs… And when you’re far from where you belong you get homesick and lonely, you crave that place of belonging. I didn’t blame that on anyone but me and I tried and tried to sit down and focus on Jesus. To actually take away something when I read my Bible. To feel something… And I just didn’t. I was far enough away from the place I belong that I didn’t know how to get back.
I am writing this post from that place. That place of being lost. It’s a real place.
Over the time period of my heart trying to stay above the waves of the world that were constantly pulling me right back down, Jesus never stopped pursuing me. He never stopped loving me. He never stopped speaking to me. It’s just that sometimes when someone is speaking to you and you are caught up in yourself, you don’t hear anything they say until after the fact.
Knowing Jesus is there but feeling nothing… That is a real place.
My day to day life was me trying so hard to feel the closeness of Jesus, but being too caught up in my feelings to do that.
One thing Jesus spoke to my heart time and time again is that it isn’t about how I feel. He is still God and He is still good. If I feel happy, sad, lost, confused, loved, lonely… He is still God, and He is still good.
Who knew you could be so caught up in your own feelings to feel Jesus.
When we feel distant from God we try so hard to feel something. We try to connect to a good worship song and feel his nearness. We try to read a verse that we know we like because maybe we will feel the way we did the first time it was read. We try to sit outside with our Bibles in hand and feel his peace. We try to go to church so that hopefully we will hear a message that just relates to our life.
That place where all you do is want is to feel something, that is a real place.
But what if we are trying too hard to feel? What if human nature is all about feelings. And Jesus’ nature is not.
So, I sat down and read Psalm 121 without trying to feel anything. I put on worship music and didn’t listen to it just to feel something. I wanted to be still and know that even when I don’t feel close to God he is still God and he is still good.
That place of sitting and knowing God is good no matter how you feel, that became a real place for me.
And you know what? He met me in that real place. Just like he met me in every other real place. I wasn’t overcome with emotion, I didn’t hear an audible voice, or even feel a change in my heart. I told myself that whether I felt anything or not I would sit knowing that God is good.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills, From where does my help come? My help comes from The Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2
Who am I to doubt God simply because I cannot feel him? He meets you where you are. In every place.
God says be still and know. Not be still and feel.
So I sat and knew that He is good. I didn’t sit trying to feel His goodness. And He met me there. And I felt him.
After sitting and knowing, I felt.
And He said to me, “my daughter, it is only from knowing me that you can feel me.”