I am going to be very honest. I don’t know the last time I spoke to God about things concerning my life. The big things. The things that scare me. The things in my heart to do. The things that I struggle with God about in some major ways. I just…haven’t had the words, per se.
This is not new, though. I’ve gone through a few periods where I have what can only be described as a mental block about talking to God. I can and do pray for others without hesitation, I say small prayers for safety and for strength in those particularly stressful or high anxiety times. The loss doesn’t seem to be in my belief of who God is but rather what God feels about me.
Growing up, there were tons of different theological ideas thrown at me. I recognize that a lot of how I conceptualize God to be is filtered through my experience with those who call themselves God’s followers. I’m not unique in this regard. So it shouldn’t surprise me the ways in which I still find myself side-eyeing things but I’m stuck and can’t seem to get past this.
I’m sure some of my apprehension still comes from my recovery from the Good Girl Club. In my mind, I’m still working through the ways I was let down by the indoctrination of being a “good girl”; I was told that if I do all the right things, things would just fall into place. Once life really became life, all I knew about those promises went down the drain to my dismay. There are still remnants that I am working through – I still struggle with perfectionism, I want to be perceived in the best light, I am actively working to break down the superiority complex that comes with constantly being shown off as an “example” while working through the cognitive dissonance because I know I am not happy with where I am right now. So in the middle of all of that, and the shifting of the faith of my youth to a fully-owned faith/spirituality of my adulthood, there are so many questions about what I can still afford to believe about God and what I simply cannot.
“I believe. Help my unbelief.” – paraphrased from Mark 9:24
So. I can’t pray about myself. There’s a part of me that doesn’t trust that God isn’t just this big bully in the sky who will get what God wants anyway so what does it benefit from praying anyway? There’s a part of me that doesn’t trust that it’s worth it because of previous seemingly unanswered prayers. It all boils down to trust and the ability to actually speak to God about the issues on my heart in an uninhibited and honest way. I have had a hard time believing that I really can ask things of God and speak in terms of what I’ve put in and with faith that God can build, expand, and complete. Why can’t I believe that just as God is waiting for us to listen, that God is waiting to listen as well – and not with the intent of changing my life into all of these things that I don’t want but with the intention of relationship, first. Why can’t I believe that God actually wants to hear those desires of my heart and that as I sow seeds that God is willing to grow them into the harvest that is necessary for my life.
As one of my new favorite people, Whitney Bond, ministered within our shared group, it is really OK for us to ask God things concerning ourselves – who taught us that it wasn’t?!?! It sounds simple enough but y’all…when you have struggled with it, sometimes the simple truths crack the door to freedom. Prayer is used for so many different things so it makes sense that prayer would be used for us to not just “seek God” about things regarding our faith or spiritual walk but that we would be able to talk to God on those things that affect us at our core. I want to believe that God is big enough to care about all the things that concern me.
What have been your experiences with this? How have you dealt with mental blocks in communicating/praying/talking to God? I would love to hear from you!