The taboo of a spiritual rut…

“Jesus ain’t rockin’ with me right now…”

“Me and God obviously have some kind of beef”

“I’m just going through the motions but I’m not really feeling it right now”

“WHAT DID I DO THAT WAS SO BAD, GOD?!”

“I’m doing everything you said to do buuuuuut, you’re going to just keep ignoring me, Lord? Ok. I’m going to ignore you too.”

“I’m gonna keep this 10% and buy those boots I want”

“Zzzzzz” – from the bed on Sunday morning.

“I’m just done with church all together”

“Why am I even believing anyway. Those other folks seem to be doing a whole lot better than I am”

“Is what I believe wrong? Because it CANNOT be part of my destiny to go through THIS!”

“I’m tired of praying, doing, helping others, and being faithful to God when it seems like he’s doing nothing for me”

“I teach the youth to trust Jesus but I’m struggling to trust Him myself. Maybe He’ll work out better for them because he doesn’t seem to like me very much right now”

All of those things have made their way out of my mouth. Yes me – exhorter by nature. The girl who believes in and blogs about Jesus. The one girl loves to be in church. The girl who loves to laugh and smile. The girl who is called and loves to encourage, uplift and be an intercessor for the youth. But also… The girl who was silently hurting. The girl who felt overlooked and unappreciated. The girl who was mad at God for so many reasons. The girl who felt defeated but perfected the art of smiling through it all. The girl who was told “Nothing you’re going through is serious enough for you to feel the way you feel about God right now”.

Hearing those words both convicted and enraged me and then enraged me BECAUSE it convicted me. And chiiiile, I was in NO MOOD to be convicted! Lol

Nothing was working, things and relationships were failing, people closest to me felt miles away, my prayers felt like they were just bouncing off the walls. I was tired! And for the most part, what was said to me was right. I’d taken so many of the enemy’s punches without going to God until a couple of small, unexpected blows knocked me completely out. But no matter how small the blow…I was still knocked out – laying on the mat, unable to pull myself back up. Being reminded of how “small” the situations were didn’t help my will to get up. It only made me feel weaker and angrier.

It wasn’t until one day my cousin gave my feeling a name – a spiritual rut – that I was able to begin to pull myself out. Although WHAT she said helped tremendously, it was also HOW she said it that made the most difference. She was nonchalant. She didn’t diminish the severity of it but she permitted me to feel it by admitting that it’s not an uncommon thing. (Thanks Kisha!)

So, to the person in the rut: Even some of God’s right hand men found themselves in ruts! (Elijah – 1 Kings 19:4-14) (Moses – Numbers 11:15) You can come out! Ruts are rough but ultimately you STILL know God loves you (Isaiah 43:4) and has a plan…even for this. (Jeremiah 29:11) Permit yourself to feel what you feel. Take a breather. Scream. Cry. Write. Sing. Read. Let the people who love you love you. Be still (because atan LOVE for you to do something crazy in this temporary season that will cause you strife for the rest of your life). DO NOT seclude yourself. And remember, ruts are not meant to be forever. Let it end when it’s over.

WHEN you come out, look back and realize the enemy wasn’t specifically coming after the “stuff” you may have lost. He was hell-bent on keeping you winded and overwhelmed so you didn’t have the strength to fight back! So, GUARD YOURSELF because he will try again! Fill up on the Word and BE READY to block every blow with a specific word from God about who you are and who you belong to!

Not today Satan!

To the person dealing someone in a rut: Don’t judge. Pray. Advise when needed. Be quiet when necessary. Ask God for direction in both. And most of all…Love.

Keep shining,

-Jess

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