Thursday, November 29, 2012

Breaking the silence

It's been a while since I have done any writing here. Not because I haven't had any good ideas for writing or reasons to do so. My absence from the blogosphere is mostly because I haven't made it a priority. There is also the issue of my not feeling worthy of talking about things in an intellectual frame that I am not experiencing. Here is my effort toward putting a foot forward in that direction.

In much of my most recent soul searching I have come to realize the dangers in being somewhat of a loner in my walk with Christ. Aside from the most obvious feelings of loneliness and isolation as I have yet to commit myself to a body of believers who meet regularly, there has also been a void in my progression of spiritual growth. All my dreams of belonging to a family of believers who are devoted to learning to live by the indwelling life of Christ together remain in the dreamworlds. Maybe my dream is too big. Maybe I'm just growing impatient. Maybe my dreams are toxic to others and The Lord is protecting everyone from me. Maybe I'm about to round a corner and see some light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe I should just give up.

The stillness is unsettling

The darkness is unnerving

The uncertainty is uncomfortable

The doubts are overwhelming

The temptations seem inescapable

What do I do? Where do I go? How do I respond? Who else has had this experience? When will it end? I'm full of questions without answers. So my pen remains horizontal and my pages empty. Hopefully, that will change...soon. As I attempt to overcome all that I lack and share what it's like to be inside my own head, be prepared, I suggest you be on guard. They say that an isolated Christian is a dangerous Christian and





  1. God is not finished with you yet. In His timing he will lead you. Be ready, He knows your heart.

  2. You might be isolated brother but you are not alone. We have been in a bit of the wilderness for a while. We tried a few different groups locally but they mostly seemed to be interested in finding ways to keep the rest of the church away. We thought about starting a group but that never happened. We have been attending a "regular" church for about a month for the sole reason that it is about a minute from our house and some of our neighbors go there. So we have been adrift a while and it seems that our choice is to give in and go back to the institution or just be by ourselves in the wilderness. Neither are palatable choices.

    My blogging has also slowed way down. Why talk about something that isn't happening and shows no sign of fruition? I feel like a broken record.

    It is hard but you are not alone in these feelings. I often just wish we could all move somewhere and gather in community but until that happens we simply need to trust that God will direct us.

    1. One day we will all be together, bro. It's the longing for that day that keeps us going, hoping for just a glimpse of that heavenly glory here on earth.

  3. I'll do some armchair help which means it might be totally worthless but if it will not benefit you, perhaps someone else.

    It may be that you are not really seeking a body of believers as much as another believer. Yes you may have a believing spouse and relatives but within any body of believers, I think we are seeking another soul with whom we can grow in the Lord and a co-worker in the faith. I am an introvert but not generally shy (public speaking and talking within a group I know is no problem). I can feel alone in a group of people but I often can find that one person with whom I connect and am blessed when there are more. I like the others and am glad to be with them, but it is the few or the one that makes me not feel isolated.

    As men, we typically have a hard time making that one connection. Richard Simmons III, who writes and speaks on men's issues, said the average man has "less than one" close male friend (.1-.49 average). Our spouse or other family members cannot fill the position. We all need a Paul, Barnabas, Silas, or Timothy in our lives with whom we can work and worship, who is not dependent on us, who will keep us accountable, and sharpen us "as iron sharpens iron." Seek that one among the believers and I believe your feelings of isolation will dissolve into feelings of acceptance.

    If you feel this is helpful, God be with you on that search.

  4. The brother I work with every day and I share Christ with one another often. Our relationship continues to grow as we become even closer as friends and brothers. Our fellowship is what keeps me afloat, from sinking into despair of it all, but it also increases my desire for more of what I receive from him. More of Christ manifested through The members of His body.

    Thank you for reminding me to be thankful for what I DO have.

  5. Bobby, THANKS for sharing so openly and so deeply. Your words encourage, edify and comfort me. We are part of a very small gathering of just a few people who meet organically. I have been detoxing for about a year now along with coming into experiencing the Father's grace and love after being a believer for 35+ years. Keep going, My Dear Brother!

    Dear Bobby. My spirit resonates with your feelings. I wrote the following four years ago.

    "Such loneliness..
    Friday, Aug 1, 2008

    Well this is my online diary, I guess. And it does feel a bit better to let it out.
    I miss the Body so very, very much. I thought my family was enough. I thought my one friend in this world was enough. I thought You Lord, were enough.

    I was wrong. I miss the rest of Us. I miss the fellowship. I miss worshiping, praying and sharing with the Others. I miss giving myself away to them.

    All I have are my memories of sharing the Life, the Wonder that is Christ in us...together.

    I miss Home. If it weren’t for my family, who needs me, I’d have no problem asking my heavenly Father to take me Home to be with Him and the Others together...forever.

    I hate feeling vulnerable. I hate being overwhelmed by emotion. This yearning for the Body seems to consume me every two to three months.

    I’ll get over it. I always do.

    In the meantime...

    You are My God.

    The Little Birdie in the Desert, robin"

  7. I noticed from the images in the sidebar that your daughter has your smile,

    Let me tell you, Bobby, that you have your Father's smile.

    And just as you love your daughter and pick her up in your arms and move her to a place she could not reach by herself, so he will do for you.

    He knows your heart and he hears your cry and he is thinking, 'What I have in store for my son is better than he can ask or imagine'.

    1. ...a reminder of our Father's love for me.

      Just what the doctor ordered.

  8. I appreciate your transperancy in this article, Bobby. Most of us have been there to one degree or another. If we haven't been there I'm sure we will be one day. ;)

  9. Thank you for your transparency. I have gone through similar feelings as we went from a fundy-lite church to a small gathering in a bagel shop, to a smaller gathering in another bagel shop, to meeting with one brother. We went through a few months of just resting and recovering.

    Fortunately, God has led us to a genuine community of followers of Jesus who truly desire to live out the Gospel with each other. I don't know how the Father will lead you, but there are others out there who have the same dreams you do.

  10. I have learned that most of us do have saints that we live with and who we already call family. Express Christ to your family, brother. What is the point of meeting regularly with other saints, if we aren't living Christ at home? You aren't isolated, you have your wife and kids! Share and enjoy Christ with one another. Our Father will build you together with other saints, but enjoy the ones that He has already given you now.

    1. Thanks Peter. Now I have that song "love the one you're with" looping in my head :)

  11. Bobby,
    isolated as well. Stopped going to institutional church 2 yrs ago and found that I grew spiritually in many ways after I left. I think there was a lot of toxicity there and (sadly) in many other places. but glad God has me away from that. I NEEDED it. Have had a lot of healing after walking away. Lonely yes, but much more at peace. My best to you on your journey

    1. We share a similar testimony brother. My best to you as well

  12. Bobby,

    Thank you for this post. I can't really add anything that hasn't already been said. You're one of those people who I would love to hang out with regularly. Maybe one day...


  13. Bobby, my heart aches for you ... thing is this will never change ... you are part of a Body. That means you are born to be in sync with other members. Note the plural - not another member, because that will always be only part of the Body. "Where two or more are gathered in My Name ..."

    I know the pain you are talking about and I know you can experience this pain even while being in a huge congregation! But I have, by God's grace found peace and comfort in the small inner circle and mentoring of the very few like minded members He led me to. Hold on fast to that. And cherish that inner circle ... even Jesus gathered three closely, intimately around Him. May God grant you wisdom and discernment in this desert season. If you can't find the solution, BE the solution. May God open doors in His perfect timing even for you to start a group like what you dream about. I can truly see it happening!

  14. Bobby,

    What you are going through is not forever. I went through a similar season years ago. What stands out to me of that season is that He did a work in me that can only come about through utter dependence on Him. It was a deep and profound work in me. It can only be phased as it was like being split down the middle, and such an inner turmoil that seemed as though it would be better if I just died. Yes, that intense, my brother. I want you to know that when this season is over, you will be more grateful to Him than you could ever hope to express. There were times when I cried to Him and yet I knew not what I wanted, just a faint deep sound of what seemed like torment to me. I gained more Life during that season than I can put into words to describe. Do you want to know how to make it through this season? No matter how you feel, think, what's going on, how confused or lost you feel or appear to yourself, I would suggest that you remember these words: He will not forsake, no matter what! My brother, Trust in Him through it all. This is all about entering His Rest, that Trust in Him, and only He can bring you through the work He is doing in you. And Bobby, later, you will be grateful for every single moment. Trust Him.

    It is a very wise thing you do not write what you have not lived, experienced. We can always tell when someone is writing out of experience or mere head knowledge, and the later reaches not one heart. Carry on in full and utter trust.

  15. Hey Bobby, this may sound weird, but you're not alone in your isolation. I have felt like I'm on a deserted island even in the midst of a fairly large and caring congregation of believers. It has more to do with what I think God is teaching me about how to love and do life in a completely and outrageously Christ centered way. I find this is not an overly popular position to be in, even in church. Too many Christians I know have no real interest in going deep with Jesus. They are satisfied to remain on the surface. It makes it hard to connect deeply with friends who refuse or are afraid to go deep. So, I sit on my island with my invitation out, and trust God to show me the way to go. I trust He'll show you, too. Your writing in the past has been very helpful to me, and I will pray for you and your family.

  16. Hi there,

    I can relate to how youre feeling,it's a terrible place to be.since I left my church 2 yrs ago (for what I thought were very good reasons)Ive been wandering.Ive been going to a church but have not really gotten rooted there yet. Wandering ist good because there's no real path you're following...there's no companion for the journey because you're not really headed any where specific.The body is made of believers who are all gifted by the Lord in different areas for our building up,edification ,growth and strength.Ive felt the darkness, uncertainty, doubts and temptations..and it is unnerving to say the least, particularly because prior to this season I had a season of feeling so full of the Holy Spirit, sooo I question whether I was wrong,perhaps Ive hypocritically hrshly judged or been critical toward God's people, or perhaps I'm harboring offense and by doing so have brought separation, not only with the body but therefore with the Lord Himself. ALL christians are in error in some way,including me,none have perfect doctrine, and we won't until the Lord comes again and we are united with Him and with each other.So Im in no position to judge His servants, we must testwhatever teaching we receive by the Word,but we must be very careful how we do this and how we react, particularly in relationship to our bros and sisin the Lord whom were called to fellowship with, love,bless and forgive at all times. The Lord hates division, the only division He called for is between us and the world,He has called us to unity knowing that there are errors and problems with every church group. Its the enemy who seeks to divide us so wemust always question who is leading us to separate.Ive realized secondary doctrines mustnt be cause for divisionand to be honest what caused me to leave my church was for the most part secondary doctrinal issues.Now Im not convinced that I left at the right time nor in the right way.I did the best I could at the time for my level of understanding,I didnt attempt to stir up strife within my church,after some discussion with my pastor and a couple of close friends there I just left...however there were some unresolved issues as the pastor didnt believe I should leave and our last conversation did not go well. I believed at the time God was leading me elsewhere but the Lord was leading me then why the turmoil and struggle sincein my spirit? I wonder if perhaps I needed to stay and work it out,like you I question when will it end? After 2yrs of praying,and admittedly much carnal reasoning I am weary...the temptation to give up is nearly overwhelming at times...but I hold on,hope,and trust Him to lead me into the light andbring deliverance from all that weighs me down. I love the Lord, I want to serve Him,theres no other name under Heaven by which I can be saved and theres no one else to whom I can go all I do is pray that if there be any pride in me,error, deception,bitterness that has separated me from Him or His body that He showme and restore the meanwhile I feed off crumbs of revelation, crumbs of peace, crumbs of His presence , in no way do I feel like Im seated at the table, reclining on my Master's bosom, feasting on His love as I once did....clearly the Lord is not wrong, not unjust, not unmerciful, not unkind, nor has He left me nor forsaken me for His Word says other the problem must lie with me in some way, and without a doubt my mind is not helping me much at this thing we know, an isolated christian may be dangerous but they are also in danger..the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour...shall the isolated sheep think he has the same protection as those who are tightly knit together? you may or may not relate to what Ishared but either way I pray that you and I both find the joy of our salvation restored once again and that He
    lead us and have His perfect way in our Jesus name.

  17. Sorry for typos, bad grammar,sentence structure etc.. I had it all typed up then it wouldnt post unless I shortened it to a certain amount of letters, as you can
    see its still a bit wordy! Let me tell ya after the fact editing in that little window is a challenge! :)
    Anyway be blessed. I appreciate your post and honesty, it helps knowing that there others struggling..I hope you find some encouragement or help in my experience, may the Lord grant us more grace.

  18. Many of us have felt the same way. I'd recommend pondering Bonhoeffer's Live Together. And then rejoice in this Advent Season that we have entered.

  19. Amen, brother! Thank you for posting what I also feel.

  20. Bobby,
    Long time reader, don't think I've commented before though. My wife and I left the institutional church almost 6 years ago. Been through various stages of isolation ever since. Not sure how many house churches there are in your area, but I'd encourage you to seek some out. Although they are often hit or miss, I've found many good Christian friends that I've kept, though we left the house church.

  21. Bobby, I'd also say that if you were ever inclined to move for whatever reason, my wife and I would be glad to welcome you and fellowship with your family here in Kansas City.

  22. I wonder sometimes about the people who don't feel like this. We talk about the New Testament community of believers, and yes, there is such a thing - but maybe not what we think it is.

    As a child I thought being an adult would feel more like a situation of accomplishment and capability. I did not imagine being the same person but with more memories and fewer transporting delights. Now I envy children and their pleasure in the moment.

    But maturity, I think, is a step further on--appreciating not just the free naivete of youth but also the deeper gratitude that runs parallel to grief.

    We read about New Testament community and, I think, we ignore evidence of New Testament grief and isolation. Paul felt it. Jesus felt it. Paul's heartbreak is astounding if you listen to it.

    It doesn't mean the fellowship was a lie. But the prophets most often gave us the promise of redemption in the midst of their laments. The souls of the saints cry out "How long, O Lord?" at the altar before the Spirit and the Bride say, "Come."

  23. I agree Arlan,
    I think the exuberance of early Acts gave way to the grim isolation seen in 3rd John. Comparing our life to that of Acts is unfair. For hundreds of years in the middle ages, most Christians didn't get to experience that type of revival and excitement.


As in a biblical church gathering, my word is not complete or final. Participation is allowed, encouraged and expected. Please, don't leave without adding something.