Religious burnout and unshakeable faith

Ok let’s talk about faith.

Recently I have been learning that it’s normal, and actually ok, to have peaks and troughs in our journey of faith. I used to think that I would be on a constant upward trajectory in my faith. Feeling closer and closer to God and becoming more and more like Jesus as my life went on. Until I reached some sort of ultimate enlightenment when I reached old age where I never sinned and basically just was nearly perfect.

Actually I don’t think this is true. I think that is a bit of an intimidating concept and can actually hinder your relationship with God. See, I was in a valley for a long time. After I had the girls I felt so far from God and it’s only been since the beginning of 2019 that I’ve felt like I’ve finally been making my way out of the fog.

Like so many I think I turned to religion in this time. I paid lip service to God. I went to church every week because I thought I had to, when in reality it was pushing me further and further away. I forced myself to read my bible every day and glazed over the words and began to resent every time I did it. And over time I just started to feel like I actually wanted nothing to do with God at all.

And it wasn’t some prodigal son thing, it wasn’t “falling away” or “backsliding” as some Christians put it. My faith and belief in Jesus has never faltered. I can say with full assurance that I am saved and am confident of that.

For me, since having the girls I felt completely exhausted. Mentally, emotionally, physically drained day after day. And after giving myself completely to my children it just felt like there was nothing left for God. Others may experience this feeling after they’ve just got a new job or after they lose a loved one. It can happen for all types of reasons and those reasons also may be a catalyst for good in other peoples’ relationship with God. It may draw others closer, we are all different.

The important thing is to be honest and real with God. Don’t bother being fake because he sees through it all anyway. Tell him you’re tired or you’re busy or maybe you’re bored. A heart felt 2 second prayer is better than a fake prayer that lasts 30 minutes.

And remember that God will always be there waiting for you when you’re ready to climb back up that mountain. He’s gracious. He’s loving. He cares. And actually you will look back on those moments in the valley and see just how much God was with you and sustaining you without you even knowing it.

Those two and a half years were tough but I know God was what sustained me. He grounded me and kept me going. I saw God in the raw, unconditional love I felt for my children, in the kindness of strangers and friends and in the endless sacrifice.

He was always there.

Matthew 11:28-30 The Message (MSG)

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”


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