Love Moves Slow

by Audrey Assad
The slow burn of intimacy.
Have you ever gone for months, or even years, without hearing God’s voice? I have. And I have seen dear, faithful friends and believers, other women who desire intimacy with God, do the same. It can be incredibly frustrating, painful, and discouraging, as I know from experience.

Not even six months ago, I was pouring out my vexation about this to my spiritual director. I am twenty eight, and I have been a fully invested Christian woman for nine years, raised in a Christian home for my whole life, and I still struggle with discipline in prayer on a daily basis. I have trouble desiring to spend time with God, which looks and sounds even more ridiculous than ever as I type it out on my laptop. It feels like I don’t hear from Him as often as I used to. If you asked me to list all the things I believe about God’s goodness and faithfulness, the list would be long, indeed. I have walked through mountains and valleys with Him in the last nine years that have proven His faithfulness to me over and over again. Yet even still, I fight a gruesome, silent battle with spiritual drought.

It turns out, I am not the only Christian who struggles now in this way, nor have I been the first. I, like many others before me, have “left my first love” again and again, times without number. It is no coincidence that my favorite hymn says, “Prone to wander … prone to leave the God I love.” (- from Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing.) Sometimes daily, I vacillate on a see-saw between spiritual ardor and blasé. I always thought I would be long past that by now. I thought the “further up and further in” I traveled into God’s heart, the less I would struggle with seemingly simple things like ‘desiring God.‘ I thought that roller-coaster type of wavelength between those mountains and the valleys was just for teenagers. Yet here I am, a twenty eight year old woman, and still going up, and down, and up, and down again. So what’s the story?
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