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When It Feels Like God Has Abandoned You (and 6 Ways to Find the Truth)

I remember the tears. The days when laughter began to slip away and emotions threatened to unhinge my knowledge of truth.

It was a season in which I felt as though God had abandoned me. Life hadn’t worked out as I had thought it would. I was left in a puddle of emotions and God was nowhere to be found.

Or so I felt …

When It Feels Like God Has Abandoned You and 6 ways to pursue the truth | #Godiswithyou

Have you been there before? In that space and time where the pain is big? Where you cry out to Jesus, and sense only a black wall of silence?

What do you do when you cry out to Jesus but only sense a wall of silence? #hope #notalone #momentsofhope Click To Tweet

A little over 6 years ago, we arrived home from Bulgaria with our daughter. The battle to bring her home had surpassed 2 years. Our biggest cheerleaders were there to celebrate her homecoming and praise God for answered prayers.

But nothing was as we expected and sadly, celebrating wasn’t even an option.

We were left with only one option and that was survival.

Our little girl was not well. Unbeknownst to us, severe trauma had inflicted its ugly wounds into her heart while hidden and untreated physical illnesses were spinning out of control. Emotionally, physically, and mentally she was in a state of emergency. Immediately, the pursuit of healing began.

Specialists, therapists, centers, hospitals, procedures, and testing monopolized our days.

But the most difficult part? Because of what trauma had inflicted upon her brain, our child couldn’t find rest. 24-hour days of hyper-vigilance. Sleeplessness, high anxiety, and raging consumed the lives of every one of us. She would allow no one in to love her.

The cry of my heart was to make this better for her. For our boys. For my husband. For our marriage. I felt as though I were failing because I couldn’t seem to fix anything.

This is where my emotions began to unhinge my truth.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9 NIV

Feelings are Indicators, Not Truth.

The world misleads us and tells us “Follow your heart” or “Go with your feelings.” But our hearts and our feelings are not stable. They sway with the events of each day. They can mislead us as they vacillate and often walk us into the depths of deception and pain.

Why would we follow what is unstable, inconsistent, and unreliable? Why wouldn’t we instead choose to follow an unchanging Truth? The Truth of God.

Our feelings are inconsistent and unreliable. Stick to TRUTH instead! #hope #notalone #momentsofhope Click To Tweet

As indicators, our feelings point to a deeper wound. We need to acknowledge not only what are feeling, but why we are feeling it. For me, it was anger, fear, and desperation.

I had to get honest with God. Yes, He already knew what laid within the recesses of my heart, but when He says, “Come to Me” (Mt. 11:28), I believe He means in complete transparency. Symbolizing our trust, His love beckons a deep exchange.

As I began pouring out in prayer every gut wrenching emotion in my heart, God began revealing truth.

When It Feels Like God Has Abandoned You and 6 ways to pursue the truth | #Godiswithyou

As I cried “injustice”, He revealed:

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine …” -Isaiah 55:8 NLT

As I poured out my fears for the future, God revealed:

I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. –Isaiah 45:2-3NIV

As I purged my desperate desire for healing, God revealed:

And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire. Matthew 26:39 AMP

That season of my life is now just a memory. From the gift of perspective, today I can share hope. I see the work God was doing. I know as He walked along beside me, He collected every tear and gave me just what I needed to take the next step. He brought laughter back and rebuilt our family in a new and better way. I’m quite sure all He put in motion still isn’t visible to me. I may see it yet in the future, but in all honesty, there is much I will never comprehend on this side of the cross.

From the gift of perspective, we can share hope #notalone #hope #momentsofhope Click To Tweet

My feelings tried telling me God had left my side. But the Truth I embraced said God will never leave my side.

So, friends, if you are in that place of hurting. In that place where you feel as though God has left your side. I urge you to continue pursuing deep relationship with Jesus by incorporating these 6 strategies into your everyday life. I promise, a day will come where you will once again feel His presence and see His handiwork.

1. Pray boldly and authentically. Pour out all that lies in the heart.

2. Listen for His answers. Sometimes we speak and do too much, drowning out the subtle voice of Jesus.

3. Praise God for all He is! Gratitude and praise are powerful weapons against pain.

4. Worship Him even when it’s difficult. Maintaining a life of worship keeps our hearts in tune with Him.

5. Read God’s Word keeping it sealed in the heart. Learn of the hope within those pages.

6. Contradict feelings with Truth. Taking every feeling before the Word of God. Rewriting it with the light of His Truth will bring healing and show the traces of God’s hand in each step.

6 Ways to Keep Pursuing Relationship With Christ | Our feelings can lead us astray. That's when we need to cling to Truth! #Godiswithyou

Today, I pray you continue to pursue Him until laughter once again fills your home. And that each time your feelings begin to unhinge the Truth, you stand strong, faithfully reclaiming what is yours. God is for you. He is there with you. And He will never leave you.

*This post first appeared on iBelieve.com

Featured #MomentsofHope Post

The adoption and parenting of our sweet Selah has been a journey of one unexpected turn after another. There’s layers of grief cushioned by moments of deep joy. There’s wrestling with God in the moments of frustration and a deepening of relationship with Him when His grace welcomes me back.

So when I opened Sarah Geringer’s post this week and read the guest post written by Julie Holmquist of Stuff of Heaven, my heart filled with emotion. Julie’s post is about the unexpected turns in life. The kind that turn your world upside down in only a moment. Her sweet boy grew in her belly while our daughter grew in our hearts. But the hopes and dreams of a Mama is universal. And when the hopes and dreams look radically different, embracing the new normal takes work. It takes faith.

And then you see the power of love.

When our hopes and dreams look radically different, embracing the new normal takes work. #specialneeds #parenting #momentsofhope Click To Tweet

Step on over to Sarah’s blog right HERE. What you find will challenge you and give you hope. And it may just push you to lean into Jesus even a little more.

Before you go… Could you use some real HOPE today??

I’ve created the 5-Day Hope Toolkit: Claiming the Victory of a Hope-filled Life just for you!

(Get it here) I’ve designed it so that it breaks these 5 strategies down into manageable pieces.

In it, you will receive a 5-day series of Scripture prayers giving you a solid foundation in how to pray God’s Will through praying His Word. You will also receive:

  • A checklist to determine whether you have a hopeful or hopeless attitude.
  • A beautiful printable image with positive “I am ….” statements of truth.
  • A list of my go-to books, blogs, and websites when I am in need of encouragement.

To get to your 5-Day Hope Toolkit, click HERE!

The 5-Day Hope Toolkit - In this toolkit you will receive a 5-day series of Scripture and prayers that will give you the power of praying God’s Word when you feel discouraged. When we pray His Word, we know we are within His will and that makes all the difference in our prayers. Included is: • A checklist to determine whether you have a hopeful or hopeless attitude. • A beautiful printable image with positive “I am ….” statements of truth. • A list of my go-to books about hope. • A list of my go-to blogs and websites when I am in need of encouragement. - Lori Schumaker

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  1. Happy Monday Lori! Thanks for featuring Julie’s story over on Sarah’s blog. I cant wait to read it. Thanks for hosting the linkup and provide g awesome community! Have a blessed week.

    1. Happy Monday to you, too, Tiffiney! You will love Julie’s story! I love having you here and always walk away challenged and encouraged from your work ♥ Thank you for joining me here and sharing hope with me!

  2. I appreciate your sharing how God met you when you thought He had left town. So often our disappointments loom larger than the purpose He has for us. Thanks for principles that slow us down and give us time to seek His face.

    1. Hi Michele,
      Ahhhhh … yes! So well said. “Our disappointments loom larger than the purpose He has for us.” I’m chewing on that one! Thank you, Michele, for joining me here each week and for pointing to the hope we have through Jesus!

  3. I love hearing how God works through and on the other side of those times we can’t seem to sense His prescence, and our emotions appear to be the only truth. Thanks for this reminder to move beyond what we feel to what we know! Needed a good shot of hope this morning!

    1. Hi Crystal ♥ I’m so thankful God used these words this morning to give you a shot of hope! Feelings can get us in such gloomy places. I am so thankful God gives us an out! Thank you so much for joining me here each week to share hope. You are such a gift!

  4. Lori, so funny that we both wrote about the silence of God today. Wonderful truth-filled post as our God may be silent at times but he is ALWAYS faithful & always at work.

    1. Oooooo Joanne! I can’t wait to stop by your site and read what you wrote! I betcha it’s awesome!♥

  5. Hello Lori! Thank you so much for the feature this week. I agree, Julie’s post is inspiring for HOPE! Blessings to you, friend!

    1. Oh, Sarah! It was such a great post! I was thrilled to feature it! I have loved your latest series. It has provided such a great perspective on the life God has specifically planned for each of us. Thank you for joining me here ♥ I love that you come alongside me each week to share hope ♥

  6. Thank you for these excellent tips. The CARE pastor of our church helped me during a difficult time when she reminded me, “emotions are indicators, not dictators.” They indicate there’s something that needs to be addressed but not how to address the issue. That is a choice. Your steps for dealing with these issues are practical and helpful.

    1. Hi Debbie,
      Grasping that truth is critical to navigating so many situations. Once I’d fully grasped that, I was able to recognize when I was responding with emotions instead of responding with logic and truth. I like the “indicators, not dictators.” That will stick in my memory! Thank you for joining me here. I appreciate you!

  7. Robinality says:

    Beautiful post of love and hope, and God’s truth. He will never leave us or forsake us. Thank you for sharing your heart and your journey.

    1. Thank YOU, Robin, for your kind words and for joining me here each week to share hope! And AMEN! He will never leave us – no matter what!♥

  8. “My feelings tried telling me God had left my side. But the Truth I embraced said God will never leave my side.” These are such comforting words. We’ve all been in those places where things did NOT go as planned, and we don’t know what to do. But whatever happens next, we can know that God will go with us. Thanks for sharing this hope!

    1. Amen, Lisa! Our feelings are so fickle, but God is not ♥ Thanks, friend, for visiting. I am thankful for you!

  9. What a beautiful post! Your words were so eloquently spoken and I feel your pain in those sleepless night. The hardest part is wanting to love a child that needs it but won’t receive it. I love hearing parts of your story. Our stories are not the same but I see threads of similarities. Around here we frequently repeat, “Feelings are not Facts.” One part of prayer that really helped me was forming a prayer team. I actually had two teams. The smaller team waked through the hard yuck stuff and the larger team prayed more broadly without the details. I know our family would not be where we are today without them.

    1. Hi Maree! Someday I hope we have the opportunity to sit across from each other and have a in-real-life conversation. God has woven our stories together for sure and I am so thankful for your presence here. You are a blessing! You are so wise to have prayer teams. I now have a strong group of prayer warriors, but in those first few years, I had individuals who loved and prayed for us, but nothing official. And there was all of one person I could really talk to about all that was going on. So, truly only one praying for the details. I hope your words here are read by others who will do just as you did and create those prayer teams!!!

  10. It is remarkable, that He is right there always isn’t it. He hears every word and every thought. He is ready to heal everything if we are ready to give Him everything. Thanks for hosting!

  11. Thank you for sharing your story, Lori! Great tips about what to do when we feel this way!
    I hope your girl is allowing love to embrace her!