I need Jesus in a stable not on a stage

Every part of me is struggling.

Every part. I thought that leaving our church of twelve years would be good.


I was listening to what God was telling me to do. I was listening to the wrestling in my heart for over a year now and I was sure this was how I was to obey. So I did.

I left. We left. We said our goodbyes and started on a new path.

What I didn’t realize was that this struggle was only the beginning.

This journey is lonely. This limbo feeling. This in between, of being let go of where you were, and not connected to where God is leading you to be.

With questions all along the way.

It is a quiet and lonely place to be.

When you see things from a different view, but no one wants to invite themselves into that conversation. Between what is being said and what is not, is a space of angst and confusion.

So you follow God and meet Jesus there.

He has always been safer for me. Jesus.

The Jesus at the well.

He is where I feel I can bring every distrust and broken part of me.

The parts where the sadness and hesitations intertwine.

He is where my feet are bare waiting to be washed.

And my soul is thirsty for truth.

I find myself at the well lately. Asking questions and finding a soft calm for my unsettled heart.

I stay there.

Most days now I stay and just listen to him whisper who I was, is not who I am. He reminds me that this wrestling in my heart is not with him it is with the church.

What is happening is not how he intended it to be.

He reminds me that the peace I long for came in a stable, not a production Sunday morning.

The peace that I long for came quietly. Gently.

I plead with him to breathe new life into my heart. A heart that aches and mourns.

A heart that pulls away and longs to be close again.

So I am gentle with myself as he teaches me new things. He leads me back to routine and the healing that comes in the memories of the prayers prayed as a child.

This space. This in between is a hard place to be.

I don’t think I am the only one here. In the between. The space where you want to ask questions and listen for answers. The space where you want your voice to be heard without being silenced by status. The space where you feel safe enough to show your heart without it being shunned by authority.

This space. The space where the broken and bruised are healed. The space where the thirsty souls are fed. The space where your questions are welcomed and heard. The space where grace meets you at the door. The space where the wounded tell the stories of their scars. The space where truth is set free.

The space where Jesus is.

That is the space I long to be.

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  1. Joe Cooper says:

    Nice Shellie, know the feeling. Church surfers pretty much since the MHeart days.

  2. We live in the country near a village with small, dwindling churches. When we accepted the full-time care of our schizophrenic son we did not know how thoroughly supervised he should be, but we took no chances. That meant withdrawing from church life except for personal friendships that became awkward and fleeting while we coped with our son’s illness and addictions. The few who stayed close in the Spirit kept us hoping for and seeking answers. Eventually, answers and healing came. Then, years of rehabilitation. People who plow new ground are lonely. Jesus becomes larger in their lives. I thought I was drowning in a backwater of life until I attended a church conference and discovered I had been led into the deep waters of the Spirit. Then, I attended a conference of medical and music specialists that confirmed my neurological discoveries are on the cutting edge of medical science. That knowledge was put to vital use last month in another son’s left-temporal-lobe stroke treatment as I contested the drugs being used in the ICU that worsened rather than improved his level of consciousness. Music is helping him to recover his cerebral integration. Now I can explain the similarities between left-brain infarct and schizophrenia. When we come close to Jesus, we may feel lonely and apart because we have turned away from what has been familiar to us, but we are actually in the heart of human progress and learning. Many followers of Jesus have moved away from the formalities of church life (which I miss; I love liturgical forms of worship) into a closer relationship with Jesus. Such relationships with Jesus ARE the church and always have been. Shalom.

  3. Hey Shelli, I’ve been in this place a few times and it has always been painful. That in-between limbo can be excruciating and we long to rush into the next thing so we can be distracted from the quiet and the loneliness. It’s a crucible. Be present. He is enough.

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