A family member passed away last year, leaving two children under the age of 2 without a mom. For the first time in my walk with Christ, I really struggled to open my bible.
A very wise friend of mine once talked about running to or away from God when faced with loss. For the first time, I felt I had to make that decision, but I soon realised it wasn’t as easy as I’d expected. So here I was, trying to get my head around something that made no sense and for all the encouraging verses I would spout, secretly I felt utterly let down. That’s the best way to describe it. The prayers of my family and friends had been unanswered, and above all else, I felt a crushing sense of disappointment. I’d never witnessed first-hand the struggle of losing a loved one. My family was shaken by it, and I couldn’t comprehend how my cousins were feeling. I felt hopeless and angry for them, and as much as I wanted to want to run to Jesus for comfort, hurt and confusion was holding me back.
I know this is a tough read and I do want to make it clear that whilst I was struggling to run to Him, Jesus was present during this season. I never completely stopped talking to Him altogether, I just didn’t work through my feelings with Him properly and a little seed of bitterness grew in my heart as day after day my Bible was left closed.
It was around this time that I stopped blogging as regularly. Without God’s word in my life I felt like my creative well was running dry. I lacked vision and heart for writing, and before I knew it sitting down to write a blog post had become a chore, until eventually I stopped altogether.
For a few months, my prayer life was dominated by Why?’s. I felt the only way I could find peace about the situation was to grasp what God was up to and make sense of my family’s pain.
What I didn’t realize is that I should have been looking for the answers in Scripture. As soon as I forced myself to pick my Bible up I found more comfort and peace than I’d ever expected.
This might surprise you, but I wouldn’t take back those difficult few months even though they SUCKED. My attitude towards church, prayer, and Jesus himself were tested but I’ve realized my need of God’s word.
Never had I come to his word with such thirst than after living a few months without it.
Everyone will face loss at some point and I know I’m yet to experience the most tragic of losses, but I have experienced how pain can grow into a closed heart if it isn’t worked out with our Saviour. This isn’t something I share often, but I wanted to talk about this time in my life because it was the biggest challenge I’ve hit spiritually since becoming a Christian. My hope is that there’s something in my honesty that connects with you.
If you’re staring at your closed bible right now, even if you really don’t feel like it, I encourage you to just hold it in your hands and scan through a page or two. Remember what it feels like to read His word and let Him be apart of your healing process.
And, if you stare at it for a while and still decide to leave it where it is, just for the time being, I want you to know that’s ok. His grace is sufficient for you and His arms are waiting for you when you’re ready.
‘My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Where can I go and meet with God?’ Psalm 42: 2
words by Ella Connolly and photo by Clara Espe