When It All Stops.

Sister. 

It’s me, again. 

I know- it’s been days and weeks and months- what feels like ages, since I’ve written. 

And I am not here to say sorry- 

But I would like to say, thank you for your patience, for your love and thoughts and prayers. 

I did not mean to be gone for so long. 

But, if we’re being honest- I am glad that I was. 

Sister, 

I lost the fire that I once had. 

It came in the form of a season, and passed like so. 

And now, being here again, 

I come to give you hope, 

And encouragement, 

And love, 

And truth- 

When in the midst of a season where you don’t feel it- 

Where you don’t feel Him, 

Where you don’t feel. 

About ten months ago, 

I had a fire for the Lord that I could feel in the depths of my bones. 

I’m sure you know exactly what I mean- that fire that is gentle and fierce- it’s the most peaceful, rich, exhilarating, ferocious thing to spark in a soul. It’s the fire that brings our dead souls back to life in a single gulp and in the twinkle of those eyes, and it’s the most divine conception- God Himself- His Spirit dwelling on our hearts. 

And I felt it. 

And I lived it. 

And sister, I am sure that you do, too. 

And then- nothing happened. 

Nothing and everything happened at the very same time. 

My heart suddenly went from a flowing well, to a stone. 

And it stayed like that.

It lasted months. 

I come to write to you, if you have even the slightest inkling of knowing what feeling I’m talking about. 

I had years of passion, 

And then it all halted. 

Have you ever experienced this? Oh, I know- I get it. And my friend, I need you to hear me as I say this: if you have not experienced this, one day, you will. 

And it will be one the most beautiful times in your life. 

Your heart, once on fire for the Lord, will feel like a stone. 

Your lips, once begging to sing the praise to the Lord, will stay closed. 

Your eyes, once reading and reading and reading His Word, will stay still. 

And your devotion to gathering with your church, your community- will be gone. 

And it will be one of the beautiful times in your life. 

Because my sister, in this time- whether days, or weeks, or months, or years- decades, and decades, and decades-

The Spirit, unfelt and unknown, will grind a faith so deep in your saved and gritty and hardened and hopeful soul- He will grind a faith so deep in your soul- that you will stand deeper and stronger and harder and wiser and truer and more faithfully and more beautifully and more passionately and more desperately in love with Jesus after it all. 

I promise you. 

If, 

If you do not give up. 

I need you to know, that you think too little of the thought of the Holy Spirit inside of you. 

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith- that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:8-11) 

Oh, that I may KNOW my sweet Jesus, 

Oh, that I may know the power of his resurrection, 

Oh, that I may stop clinging to everything else and fully take hold of a faith that has roots in the most ancient of days with fathers and apostles and priests and martyrs, that I may take hold of the faith that was told through creeds and councils, that I may take hold of the faith that beheld miracles and resurrections and provision and callings and persecutions, that I may take hold of the faith that God indeed told in the prophets, and lived and died and rose in His Son- the faith that His Spirit beautifully weaves together, over ages and generations, spiraling into you and me today, and who will tie it all up at the time when Jesus, hair as white as wool and a voice like the sound of the rushing waters in victory establishes the reign of His kingdom- His Kingdom, forever and everlasting. 

Ages and generations of longing Jews looked and hoped and prayed and clenched their firsts and wailed for and gritted their teeth for the day when God’s Spirit would seal the hearts of believers. 

Oh, sister, this is you and me. 

I need you to know that the power of God, lives in you. 

I need you to know, that the power of God, lives, in, you. 

And so when you feel the intense fire and praise of His glory and beauty, 

And when it all fades away in a mere moment, 

I need you, 

To hear me: 

This faith that we share in, the faith in our sweet Jesus Christ, 

Has endured in every age and generation since the cross, and before. 

There have been countless, countless, counted believers before you, who have lived years and years in a lifetime longer than yours. 

And they are now, with Jesus, in His glory. 

And that will soon be you. 

But for this time in your life, for this moment, 

When your soul feels like a stone, 

When your lips no longer open to praise Him, 

When your eyes no longer graze over and over His word, 

When your devotion to your church has left, 

Endure. 

Embrace the raw, gritty, deep feeling of nothing in regard to your Savior. 

Embrace it; feel it; go deep. 

Cry out to the Lord in agony and confusion and frustration and helplessness. 

Cry and scream and pray and let those bitter frustrations and disappointments be felt. 

And then, 

Endure. Be devoted. Be steadfast. 

You are not out of God’s love. 

He has not left you, nor abandoned you, nor forsaken you, nor forgot about you. 

Oh, my sweet sister, He is in the hardest and most rewarding way, making you stronger. 

I promise. 

I know that you are going to wake up every day, and not want to read His Word. I know that you are going to think in your head, but not pray to Him. I know that you are going to fight going to church. I know that you are going to clench your lips during worship. 

Devote yourself to His Word. 

Devote yourself to prayer. 

Devote yourself to worship.
Devote yourself to get to church. 

Be steadfast in your pursuit of your sweet Jesus, fired up or not. Walk in step with the Spirit with a pace that is in line with the repeated beats of your heart. Let your brothers and sisters carry you and pray for you and hug you when it all seems lost. Pray, and pray and read and read and keep showing up and keep singing fearlessly and recklessly.

Because the Holy Spirit is grinding down, in your deepest heart of hearts, a faith that is mightier than you could have ever prayed for. 

A faith that is real, that is true and genuine and deep and strong for the long haul of your life. 

At the end of this all, you will be devoted to Jesus Christ in a whole new way, and you’re going to fall in love with a devotion that goes deeper than feelings. 

It will be one of the most beautiful times in your life. 

One day, when you breathe your last breathe of the stale air here, you will join the ages and generations of believers who endured unto the very end of their life- we will be with our sweet Jesus, and we will be greeted with those rich words, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” and our hearts will explode with joy as we are made new- a glorious body and a heart with passion, and eyes that are locked with the gaze of Jesus- we will live forever and ever and ever in our real home called heaven. 

The fight will be over. We will be with Him forever.


And it will all be worth it. 

With much, much love. And a whole lot of grace for this life. -Melissa 

16 replies to “When It All Stops.

  1. Thank you for this. What a special post you have written, as I’m in the “stone” phase of my faith – once again!! It is so frustrating to find myself here time and time again. That I can allow my faith – which, if I profess it to be the truth, would and should be the most meaningful and important thing there ever was – to fall away from me without even giving it the simplest second glance. We are so fickle as humans, it’s disgusting.
    But hearing your perspective – that it will not always be like this, and God will always send His Spirit to be with those who are his followers – has given me something to think on. And that’s a step in and of itself.

    Thanks for your gracious beautiful thoughts.

    Like

    1. Sophia- YES and amen. You are so right. It will not always be like this- you are going to be even stronger and more mighty in your faith after this season than you could’ve ever dared hope. May God give you strength, each and every morning. Much love my sister!!!!! Thank you for your encouragement!

      Like

  2. Melissa! Amazing post! Beautifully written, heartfelt, incredible love coming through! I have been in the ‘stone age’ and the desert at different times in my life. Now that I am older I know to keep hanging on no matter what lies are whispered in my ear. What a miracle that he fashions a lesson for us in the depths of our despair. We may not ‘feel’ him but he is always there loving us. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
    May I share your post on my blog? All credit yours, of course. I think more people need to see this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Melissa,

    As always, your words are timely and blessed of the Spirit!
    How well I know this place!
    And, we’d never trade these phases, because the fire that continues to burn is in a deeper place, a safer place, more guarded, and purer. We don’t realize how deep sanctification can go because… well, He hasn’t done it yet! I can’t tell you how many times i didn’t think i could be humbled any further and yet, God manages to easily do it!

    “Because the Holy Spirit is grinding down, in your deepest heart of hearts, a faith that is mightier than you could have ever prayed for.

    At the end of this all, you will be devoted to Jesus Christ in a whole new way, and you’re going to fall in love with a devotion that goes deeper than feelings.” <————THIS. THIS AND THIS.

    This last year, many times came where I felt that I was "getting better, deeper" in faith, and light would come, and the days would feel fresher, and spiritually invigorated… and then lately, it feels as if I've wandered into a desert. The only emotion felt is… to cry. If that's an emotion.
    But then this morning, the thought quietly came… He grew up in a desert. He knows it very well. He spent long hours and days out there, and even once days and days and days… without even one of the comforts I enjoy every day. Without food or even water.
    And as we trust Him, He will lead us to the well of water that is even deeper than the one we have now- the one that he drank from in the wilderness, so that he didn't need even a drop of our earthly water!
    May you drink from waters ever deeper and fresher, dear Sister. Keep on CLINGING!

    with love from the idaho mountains,

    hannah

    Like

  4. Effectual Prayers

    Part Ten

    Knowing Jesus

    “Jesus answered and said to her,
    “If you had known the gift of God and who it is saying to you,
    ‘Give Me to drink,’ you would have asked Him,
    and He would have given to you living water”
    John 4:10

    It is in our coming to know Him wherein rises the prayer for the “living waters” of Christ Himself. It is here where the magnificence of Christ becomes the cry and the desire of our heart. He does not measure the gift of this living water, it flows in the abundance of His heart and His life. The measure of our partaking, our seeking and our asking will be in proportion to our knowing of the vitality of all that He is. He is the poured forth one; ever pouring out yet never running dry. His grace and mercy are as endless as the love which causes them to spring forth in the cascading wonders of His invigorating life. The greater the thirst of His own the deeper are the depths of His Supply.

    “…thy name is as ointment poured forth,
    therefore, do the virgins love thee.
    Draw me, we will run after thee…”
    Song of songs 1:3-4

    We see Him meeting the woman at the well and in the span of seven bits of conversation goes from a complete stranger to the revelation of Him being the Christ. While she tries to drag Him into irrelevant religious discussions; Jesus cuts through the chitchat of men’s doctrines and brings her to the seeing of God’s Heart. He beckons her to drink deeply and to be transformed by the miracle of pure life.

    The great test of His continued ministration to her came when He asked her to go get her husband. It is at that moment she stood on the precipice of His continued ministration to her. For He is ever looking for truth with which He can work with. It is the honest heart that draws from Him the waters and ministrations of life. She could have stayed within the confines of the hypocrite or she could venture into the land of truth where vulnerability and honesty lay. She chose the path of honesty and discovered this man to be nothing less than the Christ Himself.

    It is here where we find the grace of God to come and uncover ourselves, to open our hearts in the full disclosure of all that we are where we find a grace and a comfort beyond our comprehension. Honesty with men and with God will propel the true in heart into the very core of all that He is.

    Pretense and appearances will cloud our seeing of Him, will rob us of our secret place of prayer and communion with Him and will leave us unchanged and fettered by the bondage of self-deception.

    Christ calls out to the downtrodden, the burdened, and the faltering…

    “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
    and I will give you rest”
    Matthew 11:28

    His invitation goes out to all who are weary of self, the situations and the strife of the world around us. Come with an honest and open heart. Come and find in Him the power for transformation and change. Come to Him as you are to discover Him as He is. Let the opinions of men fade, be free from seeking approval of others and discover the joy of His Life becoming yours.

    The portals of prayer are open to the honest of heart, who live what they pray and through prayer find the ability to live. How good, gracious and pure is He to the pure in heart.

    Brian Troxel

    Keep going, growing and finding Him.

    Like

  5. Melissa,
    I don’t know you, and to be honest, I don’t even know how I found my way to your blogs several years ago, but I have been checking in ever since to read them. Let me tell you, the Lord has used you to speak into me so many times… Times when I feel like no one understands, times when I feel like a failure as a Christian, God has pointed me to your words and shown me that I’m loved and that it’s going to be okay because of Him. Thank you for letting the Holy Spirit speak through you, thank you for being raw and honest, thank you for not giving up. Dear sister, I thank God for you, and I’ve never even met you! Your life and your devotion to God, through the good and the bad, is inspiring and beautiful. I’m praying for you! Keep pressing into Him!

    Like

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