Q & R: 13 and feeling lost …

Here’s the Q:

Hi Brian. I feel like I don’t even know God anymore. Please help!
I’m a thirteen year old girl from [a state in the south] and I go to a Christian school. About two years ago, my family and I left our church. We still haven’t found a new church yet. Being under the influence of other teenagers all the time may be the cause of this. I have been thinking about my Christian faith for quite a while…it has shaken. I still love God, I just don’t spend enough time in His word.
My questions are:
-Even though I have lost touch with Him, can I gain that “friendship” back? And how?
-I read the Bible sometimes and I don’t feel anything. Why don’t I feel Him anymore?
-How can I break old sinful habits and make new righteous ones?
I would really like to find my Christian identity that I seemed to have lost. It would mean so much to me to have a response!

Here’s the R:
(I sent a private email to this sincere young Christian with some additional suggestions including this one: “… do you have a friend whose faith and life you really respect? Maybe you could ask them if you could start attending church or a youth group with them.”)
First, I want to encourage you by telling you something you may not realize: you care! You care about whether you’re in touch with God. You care whether you’re living a good life. You care whether you get caught up in unhealthy habits. You want to experience closeness with God. These are amazing things! I know you’re feeling kind of down right now – but I didn’t want to say anything without saying, first, what a remarkable thing it is that you care. A lot of your peers, I think, wouldn’t give any of this a second thought, you know?
I would rather have one young adult like yourself who cares but is frustrated than a thousand who don’t care and are satisfied! What’s essential (as I explained in my private email) is that you find some mentors – some folks a few steps farther down the road who will listen to you, encourage you, let you be 100% honest, and share with you what has helped them keep pressing forward in the Christian faith. (You could even show them this blog to give them an idea what you need.)
Of things I’ve written that might be helpful, at the top of the list would be my book “Naked Spirituality.” And a close second would be “The Secret Message of Jesus.”
I hope we’ll get to meet someday in person. You’re in my prayers today – and I know a lot of readers will join me.