Beginning in August of 2008, I went through a period of explosive spiritual growth. God was opening my eyes to so many truths, and every day I was falling deeper in love with Him. I had so much joy, so much faith, so much expectancy. I could say with Job, "My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you," (42:8). I swore I would never go back to the way I was before. I swore I would never forget all the beautiful things He had shown me. I swore I would stay in that place of rest forever.
I broke my promise. Slid right back into the valley. Right back into complacency, discouragement, doubt. I'm not saying my spiritual life has been utterly unfruitful. I've still been seeking God, and I can definitely say I've experienced Him in some powerful ways since my spiritual high wore off. But it has been sporadic, and often fraught with the old insecurities and distractions and apathy. Something has changed. Sometimes when I'm praying, my heart will begin to ache because He seems so far away, and I'll whisper, "God, I miss you."
This is the place I'm in the middle of right now, and to be honest, it terrifies me. The thought that for the rest of my life I'll be looking back on that brief moment of time when everything felt so right, and longing to be that person again. And I hear the Enemy taunting me, you'll never go back to that place. You failed once, and that's all you'll ever do. Try to climb out of the rut, you'll just find your mud-battered body sunk right back here. There is no escape.
Of course, it's a lie. God has promised great things for His kids. He has not called any of us to a life of mediocrity. His plans for us are so much greater than any American dream. He has already set us free.
Still, when you've been in the valley for such a very, long time, it's ridiculously easy to forget that truth. It's easy to give into the mentality that "this is as good as it's gonna get." Because we get tired of fighting. And waiting for things to change. And wondering if we did something wrong, or if there's something we're not doing right.
But I have been to a better place. I have seen the face of God. It's not just a part of my past; it's a promise for my future. I don't know why I've been in this desert of waiting. And when I get scared that I'll be stuck here forever, I simply have to trust and pray that when God is ready for me to move, He'll open my ears to hear His voice and give me the courage to act. Maybe one day I'll look back, and this will all make sense. Even if it doesn't, I know God's plans are a heck of a lot better than mine, and I'll just have to rest in that. What I won't do is settle. By the grace of God, I will remember His promises to me. And I'll never give up hope.