I relate to your experience, at an important moment in my life I also felt a gaping absence of God. While it felt crushing at the time today it fits into my life story and plays an important role.squarepeg wrote:. . . During that illness, which began seven years ago, I felt for the first time in my life complete abandonment by Heavenly Father. I cried out in desperate prayer countless times. I was doing everything I could, trying my best to follow the commandments, and my heart was humble and contrite. I could not (and still cannot) figure out why He would just not be there at all, and for such an extended period of time. I also had asked to be shown the solution to my illness or just to be shown something that would help. When that failed too many times I asked to please just feel His presence. That also failed. I know for a fact that I had enough faith to be healed. I had all the faith that it was possible for a person to have, with no doubt at all. But the healing did not come. And I felt a shocking absence of any heavenly care or love or concern of any type whatsoever.
You remind me of feelings I used to have. I don't know if my story will be useful to you but I'll throw it out. Ironically my faith crisis opened a personal path of spirituality for me that had been blocked before. My problem as I see it now is I was looking for the same experiences that other people told me about. I had an image of what I thought they experienced, and I assumed I would have that same type of experience. When nothing came that matched my expectations my entire "house of cards" eventually came down.squarepeg wrote: Sometimes now I can feel the Spirit again. But I still feel like it isn't true when the scriptures say, "Seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you."
One day I simply decided to be open to whatever the universe might share with me, without any expectations going in. At the time I was even uncomfortable with the term "God", it held too much baggage with me. I simply opened myself up to any connection that runs through humanity. It is very important to stress that I had completely shed all expectations and even hope, and that my curiosity was genuine. I was in a very real way walking a tightrope without a net. What followed I can only describe as the most powerful spiritual experience of my life. It didn't even confirm to me that God exists in a way that I would have accepted before, but it was the planting of a fertile seed in that moment. The experience defies description, but the closest word is love. I opened myself up, and it came.
Obviously just as I could not relate to the experience of anyone else, I don't expect you will duplicate mine. I only hope you can release all the expectations that may be holding you back, and take whatever comes to you.