I come to these moments in my life every so often. I go through spiritual connection droughts and then somehow find myself back where I need to be. The last few months have been one of those moments.
My last few posts (Step Back, Recenter, Finding Balance, Taking a Break) have been depressing. A lot of things have been going on in my life, both personally and professionally. Some got the best of me, and others I have used past experiences to weather through. But I didn’t come through unscathed, nor have I entirely come out the other side of some of those situations.
I like to think I handle most situations the best way I know how. The only way I know how. Thankfully through all of it, I have remained sober. However, I feel as if my mental health has suffered tremendously. I have felt more bouts of anger, frustration, and depression the last few months.
I have spent the last few weeks searching for my grounding. I’ve been trying to cut down on tasks that I have to do daily, culling my interests to things I can actually do, and trying to find balance in my life as a whole. I have cut many points of my life out to focus on the specific few things I need to do to survive, literally.
For the obvious, I have spent more time focusing on my addiction issues and making sure I don’t relapse. I have also been trying to focus on my mental health and trying to find ways to manage without medication. Easier said than done, for both. In fact, I may end up going back to medication soon.
But one thing I tend to leave behind the most, even though I post inspirational scriptures and quotes, listen to spiritual music, and have short Bible studies, it is my faith. My faith has yet again seemed to take a backseat to the rest of my life as the rest began to fall apart.
I always seem to feel as if something is missing when I am going through a difficult time in my life. I focus on all of the other parts of my life and disregard my faith continually. I don’t look at the obvious. Instead, I am looking at the minor, but multiple, details in the other aspects of my life.
Over the last few weeks, I have been building a plan to get back on path in my spiritual life. In ways that fill me, and grow me. That complete me and ground me. That gives me the strength I need to weather the rest of the trials I am going through right now and to endure the ones I am sure to have in the future.
I have been building my Bible study plans finding a way to enjoy the Word more and with more understanding. I have been looking at two methods in particular. One is just a reading plan that can be applied to any translation, and the other is a specific book to help me understand what I am reading even more. The book I ended up on was the DIY Bible Study. It is a yearlong study of what the Bible means.
I also plan on supplementing it with Big 4 topic-specific devotionals and short studies to make sure I can apply my faith and the Word to my daily life. I will try and share those studies as I go through them so you can see how I identify with them and apply them to my life.
Another project I took on the last few weeks was to transfer my entire Bible study world from the physical world to the digital one. I invested in the Logos Bible study platform. I wanted to be able to have all the resources I needed to dive deep into the Word but to also access it wherever I go, with all of my stuff right there with me. This was a headache in itself because I had collected so many notes, highlights, studies, etc. over the years that were in so many different places. But, it’s done. Everything is all in “one” location now. I feel it was very much worth it.
All of this has led to the feeling I had today. I finally sat down, by chance because of something else that happened (by plan and destiny I’m sure), and read a good chunk of the Word. I spent time reading more than I have in my short Bible studies of late.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Romans 10:17 (NIV)
I felt connected, inspired, full, grounded. It is bittersweet because I am at this point in my life again where I have neglected my spiritual life for other things. I don’t like that I ended up at a point in my life where when I sat down to read the Bible today that it would have such an overwhelming filling feeling for me, in this way.
I know the Word can have exceptionally filling and inspiring moments throughout your life regardless of how often or how hard you study the Word, but this moment is unlike the others. It came after I neglected my faith. It came after I felt there was no other option. I am working on making it my first option. It is easier said than done when your genetic makeup causes your mind to deviate from your intentions.
But here I am again, feeling like I have a purpose. Feeling like I have the thoughts and plans ready to power through my current, and future, troubles. Don’t underestimate the power God has in your life. I do, often, and I find myself down. But, after realizing I needed my faith more than ever, I am ready, once again.