> > >
Chapter 6 is anything but a nice, light reading for your week. Much like the events in our country over the past week, this chapter covers intense topics like confusion, crisis, and the "dark night of the soul." Although it is challenging to read, there are several things we want to highlight from this chapter in hopes that they bring you encouragement when you face your Wall.
This blog will focus on identifying the WALL in our lives, however, we do want you to begin by taking some time to read through the stages of faith on page 119 & 120. Evaluate your life today: where do you think you are? Knowing this will help you continue on this journey to emotionally healthy spirituality.
What is the WALL?
Quite simply, it is a season in your faith when you feel stuck, lost, or confused.
Even though we are taught that God is good, when we encounter all the mysteries and confusion in life, we come face-to-face with the question, "is God really good?" This is what the Wall is all about.
Scazzero describes hitting the Wall: "We discover for the first time that our faith does not appear to “'work.' We have more questions than answers as the very foundations of our faith feels like it is on the line. We don't know where God is, what he is doing, where he is going, how he is getting us there, or when this will be over."
Have you ever experienced this before? Are you experiencing it right now? When you look at all that has happened in our country and around the world in the past week, you might be asking, "where is God in all of this?" What other questions do you have? What about your faith isn't “working?" Do you feel alone or abandoned by God? What walls have you experienced in the past? How did you walk through them, or did you run from them? Don't be afraid or ashamed of how you answer these questions.
Now, why is the Wall so important? Scazzero highlights it is where we can find God, know Him in a more intimate way, and grow into the mature, free people he created us to be. Scazzero describes how we are changed when we come out the other side:
"We have tasted what it means to live in union with the love of God through Christ in the Holy Spirit. We have learned...the secret of being content in any and every situation. We have become whole and holy. We have become, finally, our true selves in Christ."
Again, the goal is to uncover our true selves and continue to shed the layers of our false selves that we have taken on over time. We know that we are free in Christ and that He desires to continually teach us how to be free, and the Wall is a huge part of that. We have to make it through the Wall(s) in our lives in order to continue to move forward as the people God has created us to be.
> > >
So, where do we start? Being able to journey through the Wall requires an emotionally healthy faith in God. Let's start by evaluating our faith using the following questions:
>> Can you admit when you are confused, frustrated, or angered by the circumstances in your life?
>> Can you admit that not everything in life makes sense?
>> Can you admit when you feel like God is far away or has forgotten or abandoned you?
>> Can you admit these things without feeling guilt or shame?
Next, it is important to be able to identify when you have hit a Wall. Scazzero writes that there is a big difference between a trial in our lives versus the Wall. Use the following questions to help identify if you might be hitting the Wall:
>> Do you feel like God has gone silent? Do you feel like your prayers fall on deaf ears?
>> Do you feel spiritually dry, helpless and weary?
>> Do you struggle to "encounter God?" Does your normal routine not work anymore?
>> Do you want to quit? Quit going to church? Quit trusting in God?
>> Do you feel stuck?
>> Do you question yourself, God, and/or the church?
If these questions resonate with you, you might be encountering a Wall.
> > >
Finally, how do you journey through the Wall? Don't give up. Persevere. Don't run from the pain, mystery and confusion. Instead, lean into it.
Scazzero writes, "God powerfully invades us when we persevere patiently through this suffering. Our great temptation is to quit or to go backwards, but if we remain still, listening for his voice, God will insert something of Himself into our character that will mark the rest of our journey with Him."
Next time you face the Wall, walk through it. Allow it to change you. It is at the Wall that we learn what true faith is–trusting in God even when we don't feel Him.
> > > by Stefanie Drawdy