Has your spiritual growth ever felt stuck in neutral? (Conclusion)

April 17, 2014

In the conclusion of this series, Shantell was asked has her spiritual growth ever felt stuck in neutral. Because Shantell’s response sufficiently summed up this month’s series, I decided to print it in its entirety.
Shantell responds: “I was in a very serious neutral state spiritually until I yielded to God and God then began to move miraculously in my life. I had walked away from my position as Youth Director of my Baptist church because my Pastor would not accept my call to ministry. I began really searching desperately to fulfill my calling and became an active Associate Minister at a new non-denominational church and became a children’s leader in an international Bible Study Fellowship group.
“I was thriving spiritually for a good year or so…but then things hit a stand still. I was working like a slave at my job at the time (easily 60-70 hours/week plus a daily commute of 1 hour each way). I was stuck in a ‘situation-ship’ that was absolutely terrible. I was not ready to make the decision about divinity school/further pursuing the ever-increasing pull for more in ministry. It was then that my health started to be affected – and I underwent a battery of tests so that the doctors could figure out what was going on with me. That ordeal lasted from approximately November 2012 to February 2013. I stopped going to church. I stopped studying. I stopped praying seriously. It wasn’t that I was mad at God or even remotely under the impression that He was to blame for anything that was going on – I was just tired and shamelessly unmotivated. What did I do during this time? I was honest with myself. I was honest with God. I didn’t over-spiritualize anything at that time. I told God and myself that I did not know how to fix the funk I was in and was unsure if pushing through it via praise and prayer was anything I was able or willing to do.
“I think that realization is what brought it to a head. I resisted the process at first. I had been so accustomed to this extremely intimate relationship with God – one that was very much aided by a feeling of His presence. When I didn’t feel that anymore, I completely dropped all my stuff and sat there like a feeble little child. What I didn’t realize is that all the time that I had spent with God in the months prior to that season was a sort of spiritual ration that I had no clue I was storing. Prior to November, I must have fasted seriously at least 3 times. Each time was different, led by the Holy Spirit, and completely up to God. I believe, in hindsight, that it was all the praying, fasting, and studying beforehand that is what God used to hold me over during my time of neutrality. When I began to see Him moving in spite of my incorrigibility – I realized God, and God alone, had moved me to another spiritual level. Despite my inactivity, He had begun working in me a quiet confidence and sense of resilience that I otherwise may not have had. He restored my health. He helped me decide on applying to divinity school. He blessed me with a new job that would allow me to work full-time, AND go to school full-time. All God needed me to do was be open to the process of the changing of seasons! God knew me through and through and He knew that I would struggle, yet, in His grace He let me feel around in the dark for just long enough for me to come to the end of me and come to beginning of Him again from a new vantage point.”
Beloved, if we all had an honest moment of transparency, we all would admit we have experienced a few difficult season(s) in our life where our spiritual life seemed to be in idle position. We didn’t plan for that to happen, it just did. Like Shantell, when we find ourselves in a spiritual rut, we can reclaim a growing spiritual life through daily prayer, praise, fasting, and employing the spiritual disciplines of reading and meditating daily on God’s Word. Engaging daily in these spiritual disciplines will help believers maintain an active and vibrant spiritual walk with God!
Next Month: The Pain of Loneliness
The writer does not assume responsibility in any way for readers’ efforts to apply or utilize information or recommendations made in these articles, as they may not be necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. Rather, the objective is strictly informative and educational. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.