Let’s be honest, having a relationship with God can be difficult. Well, having any relationship is hard when you didn’t grow-up around positive relationships. It’s the “how to” that gets me.
I grew-up with some trauma, not to mention things like an abusive father figure, no idea who my biological father was, a traumatizing stepdad, and other men coming in-and-out of the home. I can’t blame my mother—she obviously didn’t know how to do relationships either.
Mom passed away in 2001, so I can’t heal and grow with her here. All this has truly hindered my ability to have relationship with Father God.
The hardest thing is that I have lacked encounter with God lately. Without encounter He’s not here with me, well He is, but it feels like He’s not.
I go through these phases of building and having a wonderful relationship with Him and then I stall out, so-to-speak. I want to get to the next phase. I want my motivations for relationship with Him to be honorable. And I don’t want to feel abandoned.
But how do I do it when He’s not visible in the room with me, or I’m not in the middle of an encounter?
Now, it’s an obvious answer is to say have more faith. That’s Biblical. And it wouldn’t hurt. It’s obvious to say I need healing, okay. How? I’m a mature Christian who has worked through these relationship issues for decades, including abandonment, victimhood, codependency, and more. So, what am I missing?
Let me put this another way: I think my perception and expectations of relationship and encounters need to change. Encounters have this way of helping us to “feel” Him, to experience His presence. But relationship must be more than encounters.
I think I expect that encounters are the relationship. But they’re not. They are merely a byproduct of the relationship.
I have family I don’t see every day. I know we still love each other and when I do see them, I’m more grateful for the time. So, why don’t I feel that way about Father God? I love Him, I obey His commands and I know He abides in me. So, what then?
Jesus and Holy Spirit are always accessible to me. Why not my Father in heaven? I’m pretty sure He’s not too busy for me.
King David felt this way. In Psalm 30 we read that David was horrified when God hid His face from him. Yet, David kept praising His Name in desperate gratitude.
I think the obvious answer is the right one after all. So, I’ll read and hear the Word of the Lord to increase my faith, learn more about the character of God and my identity as His child.
Excerpt from our new book, Hardwired for Creativity: Art Supplies for the Mind, coming out in the next few months.
Father God in heaven, thank You for other people. Thank You for allowing us to have relationships and to interact positively with those around us. Forgive me for abusing relationships, for neglecting others, and for having a bad attitude at times. Help me please, Jesus to be aligned with Your will for connections and communication in my life. I pray for Your guidance as I work to improve my ability to acknowledge others. I ask You for strategy and wisdom from Your Holy Spirit. Teach me to be open to change my thinking about others, so I can improve my life and the lives of those around me. Please, be the power that fuels my desire to have relationships with others. Anoint me with the confidence, patience and love I need to engage effectively with others. Teach me to be kind, loving and lovable. Allow love to rise from within me with Your never-ending grace and power to accomplish all I set out to do. Thank you, Lord, for Your eternal love. Amen.
“However you wish to be treated by others is how you should treat everyone else.”—Luke 6:31 The Passion Translation
When I have a positive attitude about life, when I’m reading Scripture with a now mindset, and doing tasks — even the mundane — with a focus on God and love, I’m in the now. The now moment is described as a loss of time or being outside of time. The now moment is that white moment when everything in the world falls away except the one thing I’m doing. That moment is the place of peace that surpasses all understanding, of transcendent knowing and perfect healing.
Love is pure, honest and unconditional in the now moment. For example, I feel agape love when I behold my children in awe; that is the now. My words are more caring and I’m more loving to myself and others in the here and now.
When I’m not used to staying in the present moment it can be a challenge to get there. If I’m really distracted and unable to center myself at my foundation, I repeat the name Jesus over-and-over again. I can meditate to seek the now and allow myself to unplug from the world. I quiet my spirit, mind and body to plug into God in my core. The key is focusing on His love and my heartbeat or breathing.
I become increasingly aware of everything around me and in me once I connect. This is the place where Holy Spirit teaches me, where Jesus tells me He loves me, and where I can revere God’s handiwork more authentically. Just saying, being in the now is a wonderful present.
Excerpt from my Book: Hardwired for Purpose: Blazing Trails to Follow God’s Lead (Book 2 of 3)