Finding Faith After Hitting Rock Bottom

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I’ve always been a Christian.

I was born into a Catholic family, baptized as a baby, and I’ve gone to church nearly every Sunday for the last almost 3 decades.

I’ve never doubted if God was real, and I’ve always believed in Jesus as the Son of God.

And yet, if you asked me how strong my faith was, up until a few months ago, I’d have said, “It’s ok, but I wish it was stronger.” When people would talk about their relationship with God, I wouldn’t really know what they meant, because I didn’t have that deep or that much of a relationship with Him.

Until now.

 

Hitting Rock Bottom

Because of the illness I have weathered these last five months, I was brought to my knees in almost every way. Mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. In my life so far, this was my rock bottom.

In those darkest of days, when rarely an hour went by without me bawling my eyes out, I spent a LOT of my time in fear. Fear of what was wrong with me, fear of the future, fear of there being no cure or no healing.

Through those dark days though, a spark was ignited. Well, more truthfully, a spark was always there. But the flame was fanned and it grew.

Through discussions with my therapist, conversations with family and friends about God and faith, and through a challenge with my sister to read 5 chapters of the Bible per day in 2015 in order to complete the Bible in a year, a change began.

I knew that I desperately needed God to get me through my time at rock bottom.

I don’t know if God “gave” me an illness to cause me to wake up and seek Him. Some people might think that. Others might say the enemy [Satan] gave it to me to pull me away from God. My own personal opinions lean more to the side of God not actually causing it, but He may have allowed it to happen because He knew He could use it and work it for good.

I guess it doesn’t matter where the illness came from or why. What matters is what happened because of it.

Finding Faith after Hitting Rock Bottom - Blogger Laura Radniecki

 

Fear versus Faith

This is really a topic that deserves it’s own post, but just a quick point about it: I’ve had many discussions with my therapist and others about faith-based vs fear-based thinking.

Fear is the opposite of faith.

You can’t be in the fear camp and the faith camp at the same time. They’re at opposite ends of the spectrum and each can pull you to the other side.

So when you are in faith-based thoughts, that means you’re NOT in fear-based thoughts.

 

The Beginning of a Change

So little by little, as the calendar rolled from 2014 into 2015, my health didn’t improve but the number of times my thoughts were faith-based went from only a time or two per day to dozens.

My sister and I began our exploration through the Bible starting in Genesis, reading 5 chapters a day.

I dug out my Jesus Calling daily devotional book and read the passage each day.

I had many faith-centered discussions with family and friends who have relationships with God that I look up to. People who knew more about the Bible than me, and who seemed to be more connected in their faith than I was.

Days passed, medical tests came and went, symptoms continued and I battled fear-based thoughts every day. But little by little, I spent more time in faith-based thoughts; in the faith camp. I spent more time in prayer.

I started listening to a Christian radio station when I was in the car. I started listening to a Christian music station on Pandora when I was at my computer.

I replaced my iPhone background with a scripture verse that reminds me of my faith every time I look at it.

And most recently, I downloaded a couple faith-based apps and I’ve created an early morning routine to get my day started on the right foot.

For the first time in my whole life, I can honestly say that my faith is moving in the right direction. I have never had as deep of a relationship with God than I do right now.

And it feels GOOD.

 

Making New Habits

I am at the beginning of my faith journey.

I am starting to learn more about the Bible so that I can really apply it to my life.

I’m just starting to form new habits of seeking God in all things, and trying to put Him first in my life instead of someplace near last.

I believe this will be a lifelong journey, and one where I never really reach the “end” of it.

But it’s been five months now, and the changes I’ve noticed within myself and in the world around me are significant.

I’m excited. And I think God is too.

xoxo, Laura

 

P.S. Do you have a faith story to share? I’d love to hear how you found faith in your life.

8 thoughts on “Finding Faith After Hitting Rock Bottom

  1. Why did God put you in the position in the first place? And he miraculously saved you later on? That is a bit far fetched. Don’t place me in the situation in the first place.
    A hypothetical anecdote.
    An automobile nearly hits me. Was it God putting near enough a moving vehicle to be killed or was God saving your existence from a terrible predicament?

    • Hi Tony,

      I’m not certain that it was God who put me in that position in the first place. It surely could have been God allowing me to go through a situation like that in order for me to experience faith growth, a greater appreciation of the every day moments that are often overlooked, etc.

      But it might not have been God actually putting me in the position so much as this fallen, messy world we live in where sickness and death and other tragedy happens all the time.

      I don’t think there’s any way to know for certain WHY I was in that situation or WHO put me there, but the outcome I know for sure. God walked with me through it and has walked by me as I’m navigating my way out of it.

      • Well, God allowed both “good” and “evil” to exist. I would argue the higher power is both at fault and at praise. He let despair fall upon you and he saved you from your predicament.
        Who did you place blame upon for your circumstances? Satan?

        • Yes, I agree God does allow good and evil to exist. But it goes back to the fall of man; that was the introduction of the evil into our human experience. I guess in a way, it is all traced back to Satan or the enemy, since it was evil’s temptation that caused the fall of man and caused our fallen world.

          There are some people who would directly attribute every negative or evil thing that happens today to Satan. Illness, tragedy, all of it. In my own personal viewpoint, I’m not sure if I think Satan is behind every evil. He could be. I think some bad things just happen because of our fallen human nature, though. But I’m just guessing. I have no idea of the how’s and why’s because I see only a small glimpse of the whole view.

          Our free will factors in there too, with the choices people make sometimes causing evil because of them. I honestly don’t know how it all factors in, but I think someday, I’ll be able to see a clearer picture of it all. When I’m sitting in heaven, having a chat with God. 🙂

          Until then, my goal is to focus my energy on trusting in God’s goodness and in His ultimate plan for my life [and the world at large], instead of trying to determine who to blame for it. That’s easier said than done when you’re sitting in the middle of tragedy or sorrow, but that’s my pursuit.

  2. I have my doubts that entity of pure evil can exist. We cannot even accurately delineate evil. It is a very subjective adjective. God wasn’t always what humanity would qualify as good either. Browsing through the Old Testament, there are many instances of God behaving rather malevolently.

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