Right now, I can't feel Jesus; His presence, His love, His care-they all seem so far away. I've listened to music over and over desperately wanting to feel and believe those words. I've prayed over and over again, although not very eloquently or precise, to feel His presence. I guess you could call it more of a mutter; my prayers that is.
This is the first time in my Christian walk that I have experienced this at this level.
Let me say this about it-
It. is. scary.
Is this it? Will I ever feel His presence again?
Oh, I know He is there. I know He will never leave or forsake me. I know He loves me-so much that this love sent Him to the cross for times such as this. I know He cares. I've taught the Bible enough to know these things.
But I guess I'm at a place where I just don't feel it.
My bones are dry, and they need life breathed into them. My heart is empty, and it needs reminders of things known to fill it up again.
The other night as I was desperately searching and depressed, I told the Other Nut that I just don't feel Jesus. He said he knew.
And he just sat beside me.
I asked him how he loves me so well, especially during this time when I feel so unlovable.
"Because God loves."
So when I can't feel Jesus, and I'm wrestling with the unknown:
The Other Nut comes in as I'm taking a bath, sobbing for relief and the presence of Jesus, and he slips his hand under the water to find mine; and he holds it, praying and crying out to Jesus for me.
When I can't muster up enough strength and courage to go to church, he tells me it's okay and that everything will be okay. Then he gently kisses me as I drift back to sleep in my despair.
Later, when I don't feel like I deserve to go to lunch with my family after church (if I can't make it to church, why should I feel like I should deserve to go to lunch?), he tells me that I'm believing a lie from the enemy. Then, my whole family shows up with take-out just to be with me.
My daughter brings me my favorite, diet coke, sets it beside my bed and gently kisses me.
Sometimes my middle daughter, little Hazelnut, kisses me and tells me that everything is going to be okay when I'm the one that should be telling her that.
The Other Nut sits quietly beside me on the bed as I sleep, usually holding my hand or stroking my hair.
The Other Nut encourages me that I will find my way back, to not lose hope.
When I'm afraid of the health issues with my brain, he tells me he will always be around, right there for me, and that we will find a doctor that can help.
And when I can't feel Jesus:
I get an email every day that begins with "Dear God" from my best friend. It is a verse, and a prayer that my soul so badly needs. It is a prayer that brings much needed comfort. It is a prayer that brings much needed tears, because right now tears are good for my heart. They are helping to soften it.
She is standing in the gap for me 6 hours away, and I so badly long to hug her for these prayers.
And so I realized today that when I can't feel Jesus, other's are being Jesus to me.
So maybe I actually am feeling Jesus?
All of these things are just Jesus in the flesh; loving me, being with me, and caring for me.
I'm not there yet, this place that I want to be. I want to know beyond a doubt that I feel Jesus. I want to be content in the unknown, knowing Jesus holds it all in His hands.
But until then, I have people that are slowly showing me Jesus and helping me to feel Jesus.
And isn't that what this whole Kingdom living should look like on this side of heaven; others showing us Jesus, helping us feel Jesus when we can't?
So, little by little, these dry bones are finding breath again. Little by little this heart of mine is slowly filling up with the things that I know in my head, but don't feel in my heart.
And that gives me hope. I wonder what will come out of this hope?
I can't wait to see!