Temptation, Anger, and Boredom in the Wilderness
There was a time when I found myself starting to get very restless and angry. I was finding myself tempted in ways that I had not been tempted in a long time. I started feeling so weary.
There were also areas in my marriage that needed healed (that I had been praying about for years), and all I heard was silence when I prayed about it. I was feeling such incredible guilt, shame, and condemnation. The horrible dreams I used to have came back, and it felt like I was living one life at night and another one during the day.
Seemingly every part of my life had become so incredibly difficult, and God became silent.
I started to feel like I just spent my whole life avoiding things and not letting myself do this, or do that. I felt like I had to keep myself locked in a prison to keep me safe – from myself. I didn’t trust my thoughts or where they would take me, and I felt like I was living in such a limited little box. It was a safe box, but I didn’t sense any life in it at all.
Every time we sang about freedom in church, I just wanted to run out of the room. I started to wonder if freedom was even real. (This was a little scary, considering my husband and I were leading the Freedom Ministry in our church. 🙂 ) I just wanted God to finally set me free, and I was starting to resent God not moving any quicker than He was. This is from my journal during that time:
“I feel lately as if every day all I do is just withhold things from myself. That’s my life. Withholding things from myself that I want but know I can’t (and shouldn’t) have…things that won’t bring me ultimate satisfaction anyhow. I am somehow living the opposite of freedom, and I am so tired of that word “freedom”, anyhow. What is freedom, anyway? At this point, freedom seems very boring to me. It’s an illusion. I keep walking towards it, thinking I see it up ahead, but when I get there I discover it was just a mirage.
I know it can’t be true, but I feel as if you have abandoned me, God. You have just forgotten me. Why do you heal some people so quickly, but I always have to wait forever? I can pray for others to be set free, but I can’t seem to find it for myself. I’m just so tired of this.
People keep telling me that you are doing a deeper work in me, and You will use it to help others someday. I have always cared about others, but right now I would rather just be healed. What about me for once? When will I be healed? I have had enough. A small part of me knows that this has to be part of the process…a very necessary part of it. I keep trying to encourage myself, but I am so tired of this. I just want to be set free. Jesus, please set me free”.
Further down the road now, I can definitely say that true freedom is not a life of chaining yourself up in a prison with a list of “do not’s”!
While at times my walk would feel very narrow with very high and boring walls on each side of me, I began to see that one day I would come out the other side with no walls. No chains. No bondage. Freedom is not boring. There is a path that leads to freedom, but the destination is not at all boring.
There is life in freedom. That seemed like such an illusion to me for so long, but I’m so glad I fought for it! Jesus had life for me on the other side!
I still have areas in my life where I am seeking freedom, and I probably will until the day I die. I see now, though, that if I gave up I wouldn’t be where I am now. I am in a place where I am experiencing so much peace, rest and intimacy with Christ, and it’s something I could have only imagined before.
Is there something that you have been waiting a really long time for? Maybe it seems like everyone else is getting healed, but you fear that God has passed you by (again). The road to get there can seem so long sometimes, but don’t give up! Rest when you should, and get back up. Ask Him for help. Ask Him for wisdom. Let Him refine you. Continue to seek after Him, even in the silence.
If you don’t have anyone to talk to about this, pray that God sends someone to you who you can trust. Talking through these things (even if the other person just listens) can be so helpful. God will give you the grace to walk to the destination He has for you.
You can do this with His help.
He is fighting for you!
Galatians 6:9, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
Isaiah 40:31, “But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
Feeling tired all the time and battling with my mind please pray i dont feel in control over this
Thank you for this post Amy. As I was reading it I thought, “Wow it’s good to know I’m not the only one.” My life is really rocky at the moment, battling for freedom. I am dealing with “withdrawals” (can I even call it that?) and it makes the journey seem so impossible. Pains and aches, sleeplessness, headaches, shaking, deep sadness and a desire to isolate myself, intense cravings, and feeling like I am having a mental breakdown. And when I go through these things I get stressed, which triggers me and makes them get worse because I refuse to go back to sin. It becomes a horrible cycle, and it is hard to know what to do. (Did you experience any of this?) Sometimes it looks like: is this it? and if so where is the freedom, the life and the joy promised? I want so much to please my Father, and by His grace I am able to live above sin, but it certainly does not take away the severity of the battling. I want to trust that God knows what He is doing, yet my impatience gets the best of me sometimes. I have had to be casting out the lie “If it is taking this long, you will never be healed. In fact you’re not even a Christian, because Christians don’t struggle with sin this long.” Thank you for the encouragement. I know He is fighting for me. And I know I can do this and strive every day towards that true freedom in Christ. Please pray for me, that I will be strong, and have the patience to take each step as God shows it to me, no matter how hard it is. God bless you Amy.
Hi Bethany, I will most certainly pray for you! I understand very well your use of the word “withdrawals”. I did go through something similar to what you have described. I often talk about the incredibly deep needs I had that I didn’t know if Jesus could ever fill. I didn’t even know those deep needs were there until I stopped looking at pornography and fantasizing all the time. It was when I stopped that I started feeling the agonizingly deep needs that were being covered up before. It was agonizing, and there were times my heart physically hurt. I didn’t know that was possible until then!
This is definitely not the end of the road for your freedom. I went through agony (in repetitive cycles) followed by extreme boredom. I was afraid that was what freedom would look like for me, but that definitely was not true at all.
It can take a long time for our hearts to be healed and to sense a solid kind of freedom from this. You are right that it is a lie that you will never be healed if it is taking this long. This is such a process. Sometimes it may seem like nothing has changed in a very long time, other times you may feel like you are going backwards (you probably aren’t) and other times God will show you something that takes you a few giant leaps forward. Christians do deal with this. Strongholds affect us as well. God sees your heart in wanting to be set free and to not sin in this area, and that pleases Him. I had to learn how to rest in Him, trusting that He was going to keep walking with me as I continued my (imperfect) journey of healing.
I will be praying for you! You are not responsible for making this go away (or you would have done it already!). Keep your eyes on Jesus, and He will continue to walk you through this. This is not your final destination. 😊
Hi Amy Just found you blog.I been struggling with friendships my expectations were different and I realise when I was 14 what was happening so I put it all in a corner in my heart and close the door.Couldnt talk about it to anyone,I was sexually abuse by my brother and my mum had a relationship with another women that was my swimming teacher. This happen when I was 8 I was always around were my mum and other women will meet to me that was what friendship was groing up with the wrong idea and finding myself looking for love and just get so attach to my friends it was scary and I walk away from all of them not knowing what I was doing wrongI found a awesome church and support but same thing was happening I just wanted to run.I had it .I always blame my broken childhood but we have a choice and I find making choices are so hard because I had so many broken friendship.I got bitter and more angry.Till Sunday I pray with a really hurt but open heart.God reveal everything all the memories that I blocked out that I did my best to forget and I did but it was a big part of my life and effect all the choices I made.My mum and dad got divorce when I was 21 and that was first time I found out about her relationship with another women I then realise what happen .I put on weight to cope with all this.It is a strugglethe shock is gone and reality kick in and I am angry frustrated and I also convince myself I am a new creation but there is know really relationship with God because of shame and guilt pain hate myself for so long.I am at a place no one can help but God but I don’t know how to let Him in to help.I been on this journey of weight loss .I loss 45kg in 6 month but its all because of my struggle with food that got me to this point to find the root why I never happy and cant have friendships with something going wrong.Thats my story.I also feel God lead me to your Blog Today is the worse day I had since I realise what is happening and I am struggling it hurt I am angry so angry and I just want this to be quick but its going to take time .Its 26 years of pain mistakes hurts and regrets.Have to face the giant.I would love to stay in touch pleaseI read some of your blog and seem to have more hope .Thank you for helping
Hi Izzy, I appreciate your transparency! It sounds like you have been through an awful lot. I am so glad the Holy Spirit encouraged you through some of these posts, and I pray that He continues to encourage you along the way. Jesus is able to forgive everything from the past, and it is definitely not too late for Him to begin the process of healing your heart. He loves you! Thank you for taking the time to write some of your story. ~ Amy