God has really been speaking to me this week. I use to be very devoted in spending so much time worshiping, journaling, reading the Bible, and other devotional related texts. I first noticed I was slipping when I started dating my husband. I started skipping journaling every now and then. Then pretty soon I found myself taking my worship time to spend on the phone with my boyfriend. I kept cutting God out and putting my new found "love" in. It got to a point that life suddenly began to be very difficult and instead of looking towards God, I looked towards my boyfriend for comfort. I knew that I was turning away from God and I felt that as long as I read the Bible once in a while I was good. Pretty soon, this sweet connection that we (God and I) built together was no longer there. It got to a point that even thinking about spending time with God was something that was annoying and would take too much time. I associated the feeling of devotion with how I feel about doing homework. Worshiping at church felt like a waste of my time. I cannot tell you how many times I dreaded the weekends when I had to play on the worship team at church. I kept telling my husband that I was going to tell the worship leader that I wanted to quit the team. But something kept happening to me that prevented that. Something in my heart would spark and light up, and the world would feel light and I could not help but give my talents to God. By the end of the weekend, I would be looking forward to the next weekend that I would play. Those feelings would be short lived.
I tried to get myself back into the habit of daily devotions, but have failed. I put my devotional on the kitchen table where I sit every morning to eat breakfast, so that I would see it and take the time to read it instead of watching youtube videos on my phone. That worked for about a couple of days. I tend to not sit in that spot on weekends with JD. I tried putting it next to my bed with my journal so I would do both things, but that didn't work. I would either be going to bed so late that reading or writing would be pointless because of how tired I was. Then I put my devotional in my backpack so that while on the lightrail I would remember to read the devotional instead of my Kindle. The only problem with that, is I should have taken out my Kindle. Ok, fine. I will take out the kindle. Now that I consciencely know that I don't have my Kindle, I don't even bother to look inside my backpack for anything to do. Rather I would go on my phone and study Japanese vocab cards. Ok, so that method has also failed. Then I realized that I have the Bible app on my phone. So I had it set to remind me at the same time everyday. Except there is something wrong with the app, so I would send me an email rather than a notification on my phone, and when it would send me a reminder, the app would only load half the page so that didn't work out so well. I gave up trying. For a couple months actually.
Recently, I went to visit my sister in New Mexico to help her and her husband move into their new house. We drove there. It took about 7 hours to get back home. When I drive, I always, without fail, reflect on my life and think about where I have been, where I am now, and where I would like to be. And I spent the first 4 hours of our drive home, thinking about my relationship with God, and how it has gotten to the worst point ever in my life. Even when I was struggling with suicide and self harm I STILL spent everyday reading the Bible and journaling. I have never had a moment when I went days, weeks, months, and in this case, years, without spending diligent time in devotion. I made a plan to read 5 chapters of the Bible every day. That was what I started out doing when I was 12 years old.
I have read throught the BIble many times. You would think that I would know everything that it says, but I don't. I could read the same passage everyday, and have something new spoken to me each time. Now I have faced a new challenge. I have used yearly Bible plans of various kinds to keep the my interest, but I didn't want to have to keep track some where and remember to write it down or look at something before reading. So, I came up with a brillient plan that works perfect for me. I still read 5 chapters of the Bible everyday, but I only read one chapter from each book. On my Kindle, it keeps track of what pages I have and have not read. So I am going through the Bible by reading only the first chapter of every book. Then, when I am finished with the first chapters of all the books, I will move the second, then the third, and so on. It keeps reading the Bible interesting and I find myself looking forward to it. I have been doing that for about a week now, and already I feel that God has so much to say to me.
God is using songs that are not inheritly Christian to speak to me. Such as Down by Jason Walker to help me realize that I need Him to succeed or I am just going to keep failing. The song has helped me. I need to keep looking for God and stop relying on only myself. Another song that has really touched me is Say Something by A Great Big World. The first time I heard it, it made me cry. All I could picture was God saying all those words to me at the end of all time saying that because of my actions I chose on earth to ignore Him and no longer listen to His guidence, I was eternally punished. If you listen to the song, it says "I'm giving up on you." Seems a bit harsh coming directly from God, but think about it, if God is saying that I am damned to hell, and I'm pleading for Him to have mercy when my fate has already been decided, what else is He going to say but sorry, you chose death, and death you shall have. You gave up on me, so I'm giving up on you.
God speaks to hearts of those He loves the best way he knows how. And he knows that there is no better way to get through to me than through music. Those songs weren't "christian" but honestly, do they really have to be? If He can use them, then what is the difference?
I cannot blame my husband for my falling out of my relationship with Jesus because it was a choice I made. I decided to give up Christ so that I could spend more time with husband when it should be the other way around. I should have included JD in my devotions. Not excluded them altogether. The only one to blame is myself.
God is not finished with me yet. I don't think he will ever be done working in my life. He will always have something to improve, and always have something to say. My only hope is that I will keep my ears open to hear his voice, and my heart prepared for his convictions.
Here are the links to the songs that I found on YouTube if you would like to have a listen to them.
Say Something; A Great Big World
Down; Jason Walker