I’m sure most people can think of times in their lives that felt like a low, hard spot. If you haven’t, you may just need to live a little longer. 🙂 We aren’t ever promised a life without hardship. Though I can point to a few times in my life that certainly felt like low spots, my mind most frequently returns to the Fall of 2015. The previous year my father-in-law had passed away from cancer, my husband took over managing the family farm, we began the process of building a house on the farm (which is a blessing, but the process was a hugely stressful experience), and I got pregnant with baby #4. By the time September of 2015 rolled around, I had 4 kids 6 and under including a brand new baby, my husband not only was farming but had also taken over the business he had worked for for the past 8 years, and we had moved from town to the country. I only had 1 kid in school full time, so most days I was alone on the farm with 3 little kids, postpartum hormones, and felt so lonely. In town, I was used to neighbors, daily quiet walks, and friends and parks that were a few minutes away. None of that was available to me here, and I can say that I felt truly depressed.
I grew up in a Christian home and have had a relationship with God for as long as I can remember. God has always felt real to me, but when it came to reading my Bible, I would be on and off again. I’d do pretty good for a few days, maybe even a few weeks, and then I’d fall off the bandwagon with my discipline. I wanted to be constant, but I had no idea how to get there.
Finally, in this low point, I cried out to God and I declared that I truly needed Him more than ANYTHING else in life – and I decided that if I didn’t want to live depressed every day, I had to stop being on and off again and START reading my bible daily. I can’t explain it to you, but in this moment, I made the decision and it stuck – which shows you that it wasn’t ME, it was the power of the Spirit within me. Even with a newborn I either would get up early to read my Bible or I’d find a time during the day, but for the first time in my life, I was consistent.
I think a lot of times people want to feel a DESIRE to read their Bible, and I hope that eventually they do, but I found that my desire to be in the Word came AFTER some consistency. It was like reading my Bible stirred up my desire, and eventually, my heart longed to be in the Word and be with the Lord b/c it truly was my daily bread – it brought more strength to my life than physical food.
Since that decision in the Fall of 2015, my life has completely changed. God became more real to me than He had ever been, and He began speaking truth over me and showing me where I had been getting it wrong – where I was getting stuck in what my identity was found in and what lies I had been believing that were holding me captive. It was this one decision – to get in the Word daily – that brought me freedom, changed my marriage, my parenting, many decisions we’ve made, and my career path. It has given me boldness in sharing the gospel and praying for others and has led me to things I never could have imagined. I keep learning more about my Father’s character and who I am in Him, which gives me the ability to live in my original design as HE created me and die to fear.
Friends – I’m not unique or special. This same God pursues YOU, and if you’ve struggled to find consistency in reading the Word daily, just ask. Ask the Father to help you – He’s a PERSONAL Father who wants to have an intimate relationship with you! If you’re feeling distant from Him, I can tell you that from personal experience that it’s our own hearts that are keeping Him there. Don’t wait to FEEL something – just start! And if you truly want Jesus to change your life and you’re ready to surrender all to Him…watch out, b/c He’ll do it.