How to Believe Again – My Personal Journey to Hope
Have you ever struggled with believing God? Notice I did not ask if you struggle with believing in God? Most people will easily admit the first and stumble on the latter – if they are honest.
About a year ago, I came to the realization that my level of belief was not at the 110% that I thought. In fact, I had no problem telling others that God loved them and He would come through for them in their specific circumstances. But truth be told, I didn’t believe He had my back in everything. I was comfortable believing Him in the easy areas like new customers for my business, taking care of my daughter, a roof over my head and food to eat. But when it came to my heart – believing was not so easy.
I had trouble believing that God even cared about the lingering pain and disappointment I carried around in my heart from a history of unmet needs and expectations. Why? Because I had been carrying them for so long, I honestly thought God had forgotten about me in those areas. I was content (or so I thought) to carry it all around like an old worn out backpack that I was stuck with for the rest of my life. Besides, I told myself, if He hadn’t dealt with it by now it was probably always going to remain broken and I just needed to get used to that.
Was I happy about this? Heck, no! In fact, I was even more disappointed because…come on…He’s God! If He really wanted to meet my needs in THAT area, He could have done it a long time ago. Can I get a witness?
All jokes aside, my moment of truth about being stuck was when I first realized that this doubt I was permitting to remain a part of my daily life was poison to my faith. The more I held onto it, the further away from God I was actually becoming. It wasn’t until a session with my wise and wonderful mentor/coach that I was able to face this hard truth and admit that I did not trust God in every area of my life. Any hope for changing the direction of my personal journey depended on believing God and taking Him at His Word.
How to begin believing again was the question I needed to answer.
♥ I was mad, because I felt like I did what He wanted me to do.
♥ I got saved, because I thought He would make my life better.
♥ I was frustrated, because this was the life I was stuck with.
Disappointed was an understatement! So, with the cat out of the bag, now what?
Well, the first step for me was admitting it! (Yep…it always comes back to that). I had to stop pretending that I was this perfect Christian with all of the answers for everybody else and I had to take off my mask and get real with myself. Who did I think I was fooling?
Being angry at God caused me to lose my desire to want to read the Bible and pray. I didn’t want to talk to Him anymore, let alone listen. As a result, believing was just too difficult.
I began to journal my true thoughts and feelings. I did not hold back. My journal was a judgment free zone, one I willingly and consistently ran to, expressing everything that I had been holding inside. What a healing this was to my spirit and soul!
From there, I picked my Bible up and started reading again. Not long passages, but short verses here and there. I also picked up books. Two that were of particular help to me were: “Defeating Depression” and “Lord, I Just Want to be Happy,” both by Leslie Vernick. Those books spoke volumes to me!
I couldn’t hide from the truth anymore.
One thing I did not do was force this change that was taking place within me. That’s what got me in a predicament in the first place – trying to be this perfect little Christian on the outside, while suffering on the inside.
The combination of reading and writing led me to begin to open my mouth, as well as my heart, to pray to God. I didn’t use a bunch of fancy words. I simply talked. I shared with God my disappointment…and an amazing thing happened. In my sharing, I rediscovered my absolute need for Him. I began asking Him for help. I needed help with the broken areas. I couldn’t do life on my own anymore. From there, rays of hope began to invade my heart where doubt and unbelief had slowly shut out all light.
How to begin believing again was no longer the question for me. Hope was back!
My personal journey to hope was not an overnight process (I am still on the path). But I can say that at least I am moving! The key to believing again and regaining hope is progress. For too much of my life, I was stuck in a holding pattern and now I am progressing.
Will I ever be perfect? Will my broken places all be fixed? Probably not. I mean, do you honestly know ANY one who is perfect and flawless – other than God? But am I happy and enjoying life? Do I believe that God loves me and desires good things for me? You bet!!!
Question: What about you? Are you stuck in areas of your life where hope has died? Share your story with me and let’s get you back on your own personal journey to hoping and believing again!