walking through dry season with God: 6 symptoms of growing away from Him

Have you ever felt like you were in a dry season with God?

I have. It felt like there was a thick brick wall between me and God. I would try to lift it but always gave up because I was way too tired to try.

I've tasted the joy of walking close with God all day long- of Him being constantly in my mind, of songs of praise going up all through the day. I've walked with Him in prayer all day in short little conversations, and my heart was full to the brim.

So when I felt the arrival of a dry season a few weeks ago, it was all the more devastating to me.

Like a physical season, it didn't come on all at once. It wasn't hot one day, and cold the next.

It was a slow change...just barely noticeable.

My heart started feeling a little more distracted and a bit less focused on God, and before I knew it, it really felt like I started to lose joy in Him too-  but just a little each day. And then after many, many days later, I realized how much different I felt than the month before.

I'd walked right into the dry season without even noticing.

Looking back, here were my symptoms that had developed very slowly:

1. I started reading less of the Bible.
I started reading my one-year Bible in January, and I started 7 days late because- get this- on January 1 I tried like 4 times to either use a daily reading app or to find my special Bible and I couldn't get any of them to work. I made the joke {and the realization too}, I guess God doesn't want me to read it like that, because He sure isn't making it possible. And so I went back to my regular reading for a week.

But you know what I did? I finally found my one-year Bible a few days later and started reading it because I wanted to be able to say I read it through in a year again.

Now- it isn't bad to read a daily Bible by any means, but for me each day had less reading time than I would normally spend by at least 1/2 or maybe more, and I started reading it differently than how I normally would.

I used to spend an hour or more in reading and prayer and would soak up the words. When I started the daily Bible, I started reading it to get done instead, and I effectively put myself on a starvation diet of God's Word. I had been hungry before, and I shrunk my stomach- my desire- for the Word by not listening to the Holy Spirit's leading that I shouldn't be reading it like that, and that I needed more.

2. I started praying less.
My time in the Word became so efficient {ahem} that I felt less need to spend as much time in prayer as I had before. I wanted to go on and get on with my busy day since I was done early, and slowly my prayers got shorter and shorter.

3. I became restless and started focusing on other things.
When I started reading less and praying less, my heart started looking for things to do and my mind for things to think about. What am I not happy with here? Hmmm... what can I fix? What projects can I work on? Previously, I'd been extrememly {and unusually} content, and slowly I felt the contentment grow into discontentment in so many areas.

4. I felt my prayers start to hit a wall, and I knew it without a doubt.
I prayed and asked God to show me what I was doing wrong, and I knew He hadn't left at any time, but that it was something I was doing that was breaking fellowship. My heart felt tired and stubborn, and I didn't even feel like trying. {BIG red flag for me then}. I knew God wouldn't forsake me in this time- and for that I kept asking, even though I felt like I couldn't communicate with Him and didn't know for sure why.

5. We missed church for a few weeks due to sickness and commitments.
Without fail, when I feel my heart start to harden, I remember that we have missed church for a Sunday or two. I promise you, no matter what season I'm in, when I miss church my heart feels parched. The Holy Spirit is filling and He always refuels me even more in the presence of the body of Christ. 

When I miss being in that refueling, I can tell every time. I'm kind of dumb and I forget this constantly, and it always takes me a while to remember it. ;) And what I've found even stranger? My heart can long with all of it's being to be back in church on that first Sunday morning we return, and Satan has a full out war on my spirit that very morning. I kid you not. Every time. It testifies to the fact that the Holy Spirit is there, because Satan sure does hate it like nothing else.

6. My attitude changed.
After having all these symptoms, they all seemed to lead to my joy starting to wane in every area. My heart was feeling more stubborn, more irritated, more unloving, more unhappy- because I wasn't walking in the joy of the Spirit of God. I had let myself get farther away from Him, and my fruits started to look less and less like His.

I hated it. There's nothing like being self-aware and knowing what your heart normally feels like versus what it does when you're away from God. You've tasted the joy of the Lord, and nothing compares to it. You want it back, even though you feel powerless to get it back.

when things started to change
So realizing that about my attitude just felt like my breaking point. I realized over a few weeks my heart was steadily losing joy, but I didn't know why. I cried to God, and told Him I am weak and I have nothing to offer you, Lord. My heart is failing, and my flesh is weaker than weak.

And I wish I could say I instantly got an answer, but I didn't. I kept crying, I kept feeling the wall, I kept trying to figure it out. I was too tired to keep pushing. I even told Him I'd pretty much make the worse martyr/sufferer ever because I give up so easily. I'm pregnancy-tired and I want to quit already. I am terrible at suffering.

But to no credit of my own, I kept offering up those weak, sad little prayers, and God was faithful to answer me in His time.

I didn't know what was wrong- I thought I was merely being discontent, or irritable, but He slowly revealed all of those symptoms to me, and where my outward symptoms had started in the inner person- in my lack of fellowship time with Him. I had wanted to repent- to turn away from seeking after myself, and I needed His help to even see where to start.

I had been neglecting the most important thing in my whole day- soaking in His Word and in His Spirit, for the sake of getting it done and for the pride of reading it through in a specific way, in direct disobedience to what I felt Him leading me to do.

Ick. But I wanted to know what I was doing wrong more than anything. It got to a point where I would rather give up anything than to lose fellowship with Him, and I told Him that. I couldn't stand to be away from Him, even for a little bit at a time for a few weeks.

I really started to understand even more what David meant when he said, "Better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere."

It really, really is. Better is one hour in fellowship with God, than getting more time to myself in the morning. Better is one morning in the house of God than a whole week without the refueling of the Holy Spirit's presence.

Oh, I hate screwing up. I used to cry for hours even in kindergarten when I got a 95 on a test- I cried to the point of having to go to the principal's office. Seriously. I hated being wrong, and I beat myself up for it like crazy.

I still hate messing up, but God is so good to me still. He is faithful when I am faithless.

I see more of who God is, and how much He loves me when He teaches me what I'm doing wrong. Losing fellowship with Him in my disobedience was part of His discipline, and He teaches me through His discipline, because He loves me:
Hebrews 12:3-11
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?  For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

I can't deny it was painful- being away from God, even just a little when you've tasted the good, is extremely hard. I didn't want to walk through something like that, but He loved me enough to show me where I messed up, and how I was seeking after myself rather than Him.

Oh, friends, our God is that good. He is so full of grace. I would give up on myself in a heartbeat, I am so weak and sinful. I can't praise Him enough for showing me my sins- for making me a new creation, and giving me a new heart that longs after Him. He is like water to my soul.

When we are dry, He is the living water. When we are hungry and faint, He is the bread of life. He will not turn away from you, His precious sheep- He loves you with an everlasting love, and longs to pick you up and carry you when you're too tired. I was too tired, and He showed me and carried me through it, even when it was I who wandered away from His care in the first place.

If you're walking through a dry season, I want to pray for you. You are so not alone, I promise you that. Every believer will walk through them, but our God is so faithful to carry us through, even when our strength fails and we don't even have the energy to try. Don't stop believing He can do it. He can, and He will. He is faithful, even when we aren't.

2 Timothy 2:13
if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself. 

Oh, look to the faithful one for strength, sweet friend. He is good. He will show you where you need Him more. :)

Have you ever experienced a dry season? 

What were your "symptoms"?

Are you in one now? I would so love to pray for you today, as would many others! 
oh, it's too hard to try to do it on your own.


Whitney Puckett said...

Thank you for this posting. I just blogged about this exact same thing last night. I'm going through my dry season now, and it's very frustrating and disheartening. It's nice to hear that there is someone else out there that knows what I am going through.

MariLynn said...

Thank you so much for sharing.

Bekah @Lemons & Snickers said...

Oh this is such a blessing to read. Just last night I had that same feeling, of realizing I've been living in a dry season. I would feel drawn to read the Word but would find something else to read, using the excuse "Well I don't want to fall asleep reading the Word, so I'll read something light", when I should have been persuing the Light.

Anonymous said...

This was great and much needed. Thank you for your encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this article...God led me to it because he knew I needed it so much. Each day I just keep pushing Him away and I'm not sure why. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

It is an understatement to say that this is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you thank you for posting this beautiful encouragement.

Tina said...

Thank you for posting this. Your openness will bring encouragement to many. My dry season has lasted for months now. I thank you for your prayers.

Viv Smith said...

Thank you for sharing this. I'm in a dry season too. It's comforting to know I am not alone and you've made me think about why I'm in this dry season and how I can work out of it. Thank you xo

Channon said...

Mandy, you always seem to post what I need to hear (read) at exactly the right time. I have felt so ashamed of myself lately. We are currently having revival at my church and everyone is so full of joy and praise. Normally I would be to. I am still praising him because I know he is more than worthy. I usually feel his presence near to me especially in that building and especially during worship, but these past few evenings, I haven't. I have felt so anxious and sad and every night when we leave I cry the entire drive home. God used this post to open my eyes. I know exactly what it is. I have been so self-absorbed. I need to be absorbing the word and time with my Lord. I have let the chaos of life (out of town visitors, working over extra hours, death in the family) take my attention away from him. I am so sorry. Thank you for always being such an encouragement to me.

Erin R said...

Thank you for this post. This is exactly what I am going through right now. I am so tired! This hit me like a brick, thanks for sharing this with us.

livysmother said...

This was so needed. I have been hitting that brick wall for the last week. Our church has been in revival the last few days but I became ill on Sunday and have not been able to attend. This just made me realize that wall so much more. I know God is with me still but I miss that closeness I share with Him. Thank you for sharing this, it was a blessing.

Erin said...

Ugh. I am there. The heavy weight bears down on me daily.
Joy is missing.
God is good. God is faithful.
He will see me through.
I must be obedient.

Thank you for your words.

Jen Manginelli said...

Mandy - thank you for posting this. I've been in a dry season since a few days after Easter. I hate it. I despise it. I'm tired, weary, and worn. Honestly, my knees are getting sore from dropping to them, but I have to. I need to hear what God is revealing to me. I have no desire to lead my bible study, I have no desire on some days to read my bible. There are days I don't even have the strength to pray. I'm irritable, angry, and selfish. There's a battle between my spirit heart and carnal mind. Talk about double minded and a divided heart! Satan is definitely hovering, but he won't win because that old devil needs to obey the almighty God! I've been feeling SO worthless and like such a failure. I'm a believer and follower who can't seem to get it right. But, God is merciful. He is loving. He is full of grace. And He never forsakes. So, I know the tearing down of the walls is in preparation for Him to build something better. For that, I'm excited, full of hope, and incredibly thankful. Praise God for carrying you through the dry season. He most definitely is my living water and bread of life. Thank you for reminding me I need that daily nourishment, no matter how tired I am. God Bless you :)

Danielle said...

I read this today on my Prayers and Blessings app, and it definitely shook my heart and came to mind reading this:
"My God, I pretend to nothing upon this earth, except to be so firmly united to you by prayer that to be separated from you may be impossible; let others desire riches and glory; for my part, I desire but one thing, and that is, to be inseparably united to you, and to place in you alone all my hopes of happiness and repose."- St John Climacus

Thank you for this post today. It's just what I needed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I am this season now and even though He has not left me, I have felt so alone!

JennyBC said...

Such a great post. I am not in a dry season but just this week have had a much harder time getting up in the morning for my quiet time. It is the start of the bad habits that we fail to notice and then all of the sudden find ourselves in a place we never want to be. Just a little over a month ago, the Lord had a hard discipline session with me. My pride was hurt and yet I know it was an area that needed to be settled between me and God. I had been running from it. So, I would ask any of you, are you running from something God is trying to get you to pay attention to? Face it. Cry with Him. Lean into HIm. Let Him lead you where He wants you to be.
I am closing to go spend some time with my Jesus and then go to bed early so I can get up and sit with Him. Praying for you ladies. I have been there and I know the feelings of being alone and in a silent place. He is faithful and your time of refreshing will return.

Stephanie Erickson said...

This is just what I needed to read. I almost didn't click on the picture I saw on Pinterest that was linked to this. So thankful. Now it is time to try to fix this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing - the Good Lord is working through you Mandy! He has put you in my path for a reason - in a dry season for quite sometime...selfish, fleshly priorites have consumed me...thank you for your honesty and allowing the Lord to lead you.

Jessica said...

I love your quote about looking around for projects or something to think about because that has so been me for the last bit. As a newish mom, I started wondering if this is all there was to being a stay at home mom, what do I think about besides feelings and laundry? There is so much more to dwell on in Christ! Thanks for sharing. Not an easy post, I'm sure :)

Anonymous said...

In tears reading this... I think I'm in the Sahara desert right now, honestly. Thank you for sharing these words.

Anonymous said...

I'm so there right now. I keep choosing sleep over the One who made me. So frustrated with the distance I'm feeling & knowing it's my fault. Thank you for this timely post.

Anonymous said...

Mandi, I know exactly how you feel! I'm 18 weeks pregnant and just recently moved to our first house. I started using these things as excuses. I was too busy to read the Bible every morning now. We skipped church a couple times. I stopped praying as much.

I felt like I was being called to read the Bible at points during the day, but I always found an excuse or "forgot".

Just this week, I started reading the Word again and just broke down for an entire hour! I read the Bible aloud and just cried. Things made sense to me again. I saw the ways I was failing Him.

I've never been more convinced that Satan exists. And it's a scary thought to see how easily he has controlled me. I'm still fighting these issues and praying that God will fill me daily with the passion for faith that I once had.

Anonymous said...

Oh Mandy how I could use some extra prayers today! I feel God leading me into new places and changing me in so many ways right now. I have been struggling with a dry season for several months now but feel God working in me in large ways - I am expecting a baby right around the same time you are (baby #3 for my family) and feel God leading me away from my current job to be home with my children more (and to allow me to homeschool)and am feeling lead to go to a new church that is more friendly to the homeschooling family. Please pray for me and my family as we are on this journey with God. Thank you so much and God bless you and your family! Kristin

{ MELBOURNE ROAD } said...

Definitely in a dry season and would love the prayers of others. Thank you! <3

Life is hard in the first place, but a lot of things are happening all at once and I am a single parent to 4. Seriously need some prayers for strength and a hunger that goes sooooo deep for God's Word and fellowship. I have slipped into small prayers through-out the day and living on devotionals because there is always, always something that I need to take care of or someone who needs me. I.need.to.be.filled.first, but the busyness continues.


mwimp said...

oh mandy - u know exactly what to say and when to day. we too (hubby and myself) have been walking thru a dry spell. i found myself crying in the car rider pick up line at my sons school because this hit so close to home for me. i had to stop reading it so noone could tell. I've been in the know of the dry season coming as we've found excuses and reasons to not go to church on sundays lately, valid but still excuses. i will be praying for you, and i talked with my hubby and we've agreed to be one anothers accountability partners. i need that fulfilling gospel sermon and singing praise each week to help me draw strength from Him not on my own will. thanks so much mandy!

chrystal said...

I've expierenced this as well. I blogged about it awhile back... just about "the shift".
http://mommy2five-chrystal.blogspot.com/2012/08/that-small-still-voice.html Great post, Mandy.

Lindsey Houck said...

Have you ever experienced a dry season?
Yes! I have. I find it very interesting that it's the same scenario for me. The Lord reveals to me that I haven't been drinking from the fountain of His living water! I am so encouraged to dive back into His Word. Thank you for your vunerability! I also have been doing a study "get through th eBible in 44 days", But that too seemed legalistic. The Lord has been putting it on my heart to "GIVE ME THE FIRST FRUITS OF MY DAY"... Just like we give him the first fruits of our income... cool huh?

What were your "symptoms"?
My symptoms were laziness, irritability, selfishness, and specifically depression.

Are you in one now? I would so love to pray for you today, as would many others!
I am in a dry season, I am hearing the Lord call me back to intimate fellowship with Him. Please pray for me. Thank you for the encouragement to press on! God Bless you Sister!!

Lindsey Houck said...


Grateful said...

yes, yes, YES! I had this exact experience last week, it was awful. Skipped my morning reading routine for a week to get a "jump start" on painting before it got too hot out. Skipped church two weeks of course to finish that project, and again (enter the excuse my pastor was in Israel) didn't exercise, ate terrible, after all I was being creative and didn't have time to shop for actual quality food. Skipped my ladies bible study, couldn't pray either, too mentally exhausted from all my great creative planning. Fought with my hubby, had a car issue and pretty much acted like the devil for several days. It was so sad, God never left me, I left Him, I pray I never do that again. So not worth it.

Angela said...

Oh I am here now. My habits have fallen by the wayside, and I no longer feel his presence. Coveting your prayers, please:(

Mandy said...

Praying for you, Lindsey- thank you so much for sharing, girlie! :D I know he can bring you out of it- keep listening! ahhhh so exciting!! :D

Anonymous said...

Thank you SO much for this post! I am in a dry season right now. Last night I was literally weeping to the Lord, "I am too weak, I can't do this". I feel so sinful, so incapable of pleasing Him. I even questioned why He made me. Asked Him why this life is so painful, mainly b/c I am so sick of my flesh. It fails constantly. I woke up this morning, hoping I would feel better. I didn't. But the Holy Spirit tells me to pick up my abandoned Bible & read His word. He reminded me that His word is true, my feelings right now right now are not. I don't feel that closeness with Him I too have tasted. But I hold onto the fact that His word is my measure of truth. And so I will keep reading & praying & waiting. Thank you for posting this & helping me to see I'm not the only one to experience a dry season.

Anonymous said...

I feel like I'm going through dry seasons more than anything else. We home-school and for the first part of the year I started my morning with reading and prayer...shower and all that...by then it would be lunch time (yeah I'm not an early riser..lol) and by the time we started school it would be after 1. By the time we got done it was time for dinner and the chores weren't getting done. So we started doing school right after breakfast and getting done at a decent time. The house is clean and there's more time for other things, BUT I'm not making the time to spend with God. After reading this post I realize I need to sacrifice some of that extra sleep in the morning and get my butt outta bed and meet with my Father. I'm tired of being in dry seasons. There are a lot of other factors to this equation but getting up earlier and making an effort is something I can start doing now. Thanks for your post. It was very encouraging and just the push I needed to see the error of my ways!!!

Mandy said...

Oh! praying for you this week- I know exactly how you feel! thank you for sharing!!

Hayley said...

Oh thank you for this post! You were my wake up call! This is exactly where I am! Without boring you with details, I am simply overwhelmed by life right now. I'm being pulled in too many directions and I can't see an end in sight or a way out. Thank you for reminding me. And thanks for praying for me! I will pray for you also!

A Chance to Die said...

I laid in bed this morning talking to God about how I felt- Like I am dying..in a pit. How did I get like this?
Reading this has helped

Anonymous said...

Exactly what I needed to read at the right time. Of course God can read my mind and see that I have been wanting to put an end to my dry season...it has been bringing me down and I have been feeling the need to get close to him again...this post right here is my sign that he is listening to my thoughts and has not left me. Both my husband and I felt th need to go to church again this past Sunday and it felt great to be back!! So greatful for this post!!

Joanne Warford said...

Wow. I needed this, I to have been going through a dry spell. I am also ten weeks pregnant (first pregnancy). So many things run through my mind and I have felt lost, hopeless and dry. I know my husband has been doing everything to keep me from falling apart sometimes when I im going in a spiral motion down. Just this morning I realized where I was wrong, how Ive been acting and pulling on those around me. My sins are no joke to me, I to hate making mistakes! But I praise God for turning me around and giving me a new hope today. I stumbled across this through pinterest and wow, I couldnt agree more with you. GOD BLESS YOU! and thanks for keeping me in prayer too!

Melissa said...

Thank you for reposting this. I am going through this now. I am 17weeks pregnant with my 3rd. Our second was a miscarriage. I did so great after the m/c but all of the doubt and worrying at the beginning of this pregnancy created a huge wall in between me and God. I am not worrying as much at this point but I still haven't been able to get back in the habit of spending time in his presence. Ugh...

Anonymous said...

I can't thank you enough for this post. I had my first born baby in April...a beautiful baby boy. Four days after being born, we took him for a regular check up and was sent to a children's hospital in the PICU. We nearly lost him. he was released a week later only to find out we would be right back to that hospital a week later for an unrealated issue. After a surgery on his stomach, we came home, and he has been healthy since. We saw Gods hand at work in our lives during that time no doubt, but after coming home, the doubt and blame and depression started settling in. My faith and devotion to God has shrank through this depression, and I so badly want to be near and close to him again. Thank you for your blog. You'll never know how much it has meant to me.

Sarah said...

A friend shared this with me today, and I can't even describe how dead-on you are about all of this. I've been in a dry season probably since February....but I didn't realize it - not really - until recently. I had a miscarriage on Valentine's Day and I have been struggling with my relationship with God ever since. I've made efforts to do Bible studies and commit to spending time in the Word, but it's still a struggle.

Jessica said...

Thank you for posting...I definitely feel like this and I keep pushing starting to read the Bible daily to next week. It seems like there is always next week! I have pulled some great information from your blog and will take my feelings to the Lord and get right with Him! It's amazing the peace that I feel after I give it all to Him! I definitely had 4 out of your 6 symptoms and I will be growing closer to Him this week. We are only as close to God as we choose to be. I choose to be closer! Thanks again!

Chelsea M said...

just came across this. i'm in such a deep dry season, and i desperately need to find Him again. thank you for this list, this "action" list I can use to evaluate where I am, what I need.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing, but God hadn't left you! When we are saved by Him and are grafted into His fold, we know that even when we don't feel Him there, He is still there. I'm a relatively new believer, and I experienced such a dry season that I even doubted my own salvation. But what has come out of it has been blessings after blessings after blessings, God has manifested Himself to me so much and has been so gracious. At the end of the day, despite how important it is to pray and be in the Word daily, it's not our efforts that keep our relationship with Him going- God sustains our relationship with Him. It's all Him! Praise God. If anyone reading this is experiencing a dry season right now, have faith. God is faithful because He cannot deny Himself, He is faithful to finish a good work that He started in you. Pray to Him, offer up as Mandy said any little prayer that you can. Beg Him to help you and He will, He is so, so faithful. Don't let your doubts or worry tell you otherwise.

Mandy, thank you so much for your ministry here. You may not know from your laptop or desktop who is reading this or if anyone at all is reading this, you may doubt at times what you're doing. But I praise God for you and for what you write, it has blessed me immensley and has given me so many ideas and things to pray about for when God calls me to marriage and motherhood. Keep up the good fight sister! God bless you and your family.

But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious,
Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth. Psalm 86:15

Anonymous said...

I can relate with every comment made. I am also experiencing this dry season. I feel insecure, unstable, uncertain and even unsure that God still loves me. I have fallen. I have distance myself from my sisters in Christ. Everything aggravates me, people, pets, the places I go...just everything. I feel all alone and feel as though no one understands. I can't sleep, easily irritable, and eat whatever, whenever. I am ashamed of myself. Though I paint a pretty picture when I need to, I just seem like I am too far gone. I use to help others, now I just want them to leave me alone. I am sad. I am easily distracted and can't stay focus. I google dry season and this is what popped up. I am grateful, to God for this site. Please pray for me. I need strength. I need the fire of Christ to re-ignite within me. I need to hear from God. I need to immediately obey Him. I know God is able. I am in this struggle and it seems as though I can't catch a breath. I don't want my prayers for others to be hindered because of my present position in this dry season, as others often ask me to pray for their situations.
I do not want to be a hypocrite, nor am I able to express my season. Much prayer is needed, please pray. Your Sister in Christ.

Anonymous said...

Brothers and sister, seems like yours not doing to bad, the enemy has tried to put me down for more than 45, years, rightnow i got evil spirit on the attack, becouse what i know, gifts, ect, salvacion take work, yes there a good place, and the lord knows that i know,

Norma A. said...

I am going through a dry season right now & it's the worse. Thank you for sharing your story it helped me to see in what I failed. I need & want God's joy, peace & love in me once again.