The last few months have been a struggle. I have never really suffered with mood swings, but this last year has been hard. Assuming these dark and isolated feelings were because of the pandemic, I had been trying to just get on with life and manage the rollercoaster ride of emotions. Failing miserably, I closed the door, turning my back on God and all the joy that I know he brings, and allowed myself to feel suffocated in the black cloud of despair hanging silently over my head.
I wanted the light back; I wanted my life with Jesus back, but did not have enough faith to seek God. So, I visited a dear friend. She looked at me and just said: “you have lost your sparkle of joy my dear”.
We prayed and sipped tea together and she gave me this verse – Isaiah 50:10 (AMPC): “Who is among you who [reverently] fears the Lord, who obeys the voice of His Servant, yet who walks in darkness and deep trouble and has no shining splendour [in his heart]? Let him rely on, trust in, and be confident in the name of the Lord, and let him lean upon and be supported by his God.”
Discovering the cause
Later that week I watched a programme on menopause brilliantly presented by Davina McCall [Sex, Myths and the Menopause]. It made me question whether what I had been experiencing could be a hormonal imbalance and sought medical help. I now feel hopeful that I might get my “shining splendour” back – albeit with HRT.
My rollercoaster ride has meant that I have been struggling deeply with my faith. Not feeling connected to my Zoom home group or church meant it was easier to stay away. Some days I have felt so disconnected from the beautiful world that God has created that I stopped walking with him.
Crying out to God
Just before writing this, I decided to catch up on my church’s online service. It felt like it had been written just for me. Our minister suggested we each ask ourselves: “Where am I struggling to have faith in God at the moment?” I wanted to shout out: “In every single part of my life!” Instead, I cried out to God to rescue me, falling to my knees and sobbing. I then said this heartfelt prayer: “I am a mess Lord and I feel unworthy of your love. Pull me up out of this pit of despair and help me to walk with you again Lord. Let us take each step slowly and carefully together. I so want our walks to become familiar again.”
I was reminded afresh that God is with us during every season of our lives – however difficult they are, and however alone we might feel. If you are struggling in your faith journey right now, here is a prayer you may find helpful:
Dear Lord, every time I fall you rescue me. Your love is constant even when I cannot feel it. Please restore my faith, Father, and help me to feel your presence. Ignite that spark of joy in my heart, which I recognise only comes from spending time with you. I pray that you fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit and walk slowly in step with me as I heal. Amen.
Maxine Hallett is based in Kent and works for her local church. This blog was first shared on her Facebook page Walking with God.