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Note from Team LO: We are SO excited to bring you this month’s post from our LO sister member, Alex Freeney! If you want to be a part of this incredible community, you can join today for FREE! Find out more about this online sisterhood HERE. And for more info about what LO sister is all about, visit our Instagram Page!

Now, enjoy today’s post from Alex 🙂 

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A few weekends ago, I sat at a brewery with friends old and new, and as the night went on, I listened intently as many around the table shared how hard it feels to get back to church in these days. One of the new-to-me friends talked about growing up in a structured denomination, and that she was struggling to find God there as an adult. Another had experienced a deep wounding in her last church, and she didn’t feel ready to re-enter or really practice her faith at all until more healing came her way.

There were many more stories shared, but at the end of the night, we all agreed that these are the topics that need to be talked about more. Maybe not from a stage with a harsh slant, but around tables in the safety of community. Finding God or returning to God as an adult can be a complex process, and for many, deciding to make this return or to pursue healing often requires an abundance of time, space, and support to grapple with God.

I won’t pretend to have all of the answers to finding God again after these recent years, yet if you, friend, will allow it, I hope to share how God led me back to himself amidst my own doubts.

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In the months before COVID, if I’m being honest, I was considering checking out of Christianity altogether. This wasn’t a decision I was loud about– it was one of those considerations that came up on long drives or restless nights. I carried an inner tension of having heard from past leaders just how great it was to walk with Jesus, but I personally wasn’t experiencing anything beyond church culture and boxes to check. It felt like I was doing a lot of work without a lot of benefit that I could see.

I remember holding this tension as I walked into the Passion conference at the end of 2019. Having gotten a free ticket the day before, I stood in the top section wondering if I was too old to be there, but also desperately wanting God to show up for me in that space.

As the clock struck midnight and we entered into 2020, I prayed a silent prayer to God— “I just don’t see you right now. If this is all there is to Christianity, let me check out… but if you’re real, show me…”

When I released that prayer to God, I assumed that He would take a few weeks or months to respond, yet within hours, I saw Him move. I kept seeing and hearing the word ‘scripture’ all around me. At the time, I wasn’t typically one to get a ‘word’ from God, but deep down I had a feeling that this was God speaking to me— “Get into Scripture”.

I was truly surprised by this. I thought God would take my prayer and run forward with it. I didn’t expect him to turn around and tell me to do something— especially something that I thought I had tried. I had been reading scripture on and off for years– what would be different now?

I decided to trust that in whatever I felt God was asking me to do, He likely had a purpose behind it. I spent the next several weeks waking up early and learning more about God in Scripture most every morning. There was no method to what I chose to read– I simply pursued what felt compelling that day (which was usually one of the Psalms).

What I didn’t see coming was that in March 2020, this would become a life-saving rhythm. When COVID hit and the loss of a family member shook me up, I found peace in remembering and meditating on the truths I had been reading in the months prior. I read that God would be faithful to me, and He showed me this truth in those days in very tangible ways.

He didn’t stop there though. He kept answering my prayer and showing up in the quietest ways— pointing me toward small, yet significant ways to find Him. He led me into starting a small Bible study of women reading scripture together. None of us were experts in our faith walks, but we each had a desire to find God through His word. That group ended up growing into a 20-person community that met virtually every weekday morning for a year. We read through the entire New Testament together as a group, and it transformed all of our faith walks. God used a small prayer of doubt to grow something significant.

Just months after praying that desperate New Years Eve prayer, God has used scripture to bring me back to Himself and back to his people. It required a few leaps of faith and moments of blind trust on my side, yet He led me each step of the way. In those days, I learned just how much God’s word can transform us, grow us, challenge us, and change our hearts. Scripture is living and active, it’s the word of our God written with us in mind, and it has proven power to awaken faith again.

Maybe you are like my new friends at the brewery– grappling with church hurt or looking at your childhood faith with more questions than answers. Or maybe you have a story like mine, and you find yourself in a season where you just don’t see or feel God anymore, and just maybe you are closer than you want to be to walking away from all of it.

If I were sitting across the table from you, I would first say how real these feelings are. You are not alone here– I’ve talked with many friends who share these feelings, especially after these last few years. I would also encourage you to give God a chance to show up for you here. You may not feel ready to walk into a new church or join a small group again, and that’s ok. God is not bound to these spaces– He sees you right where you are.

What I might also suggest is the small step forward of writing down a prayer to God of where you are. And if you are comfortable, starting to read Scripture— even just a verse a day. These small steps have the power to change us over time.

God has shown me over these last three years that He is bigger and more faithful than I ever imagined, yet he showed me these truths starting in the small moments– showing up in Scripture each day and watching Him do the rest.

If you haven’t already today, I invite you to join me in reading a few verses of God’s word. My prayer for both of us is that as we take these small steps forward, God would take them and multiply them– bringing us into nearness with Him.

Wishing you well and praying for you, friend.

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Alex Freeney

Author Alex Freeney

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