While I was writing my first book, I attended a party with many others in ministry. When asked what was keeping me busy these days I explained that I was working on a book about the spiritual wilderness. When asked why I chose that topic I explained that I had experienced a long drought in my faith and the Lord had called me back into relationship with Him.
The next question, not surprisingly, was, “When did this occur? Did I know you then?”
Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to be truthful and said that the wilderness was quite recent.
“I may still be in it,” I continued.
If I could have captured on film the shocked looks of the faces around me I would not have to say another word about why wanderers keep quiet and don’t risk breaking the conspiracy of silence. I have to wonder, is it because so many of us struggle with doubt that the subject of unbelief is so threatening? …
Even though I was tempted to gloss over the truth and talk about the wilderness like it was all wrapped up in a tidy bow years ago, I knew God had called me to be honest. The reaction I received was not unusual or even unexpected but it affected me.
I want to be liked. I want people to respect me. The look I saw in some eyes didn’t encourage me to continue being honest. If anything, my mind screamed, “Keep quiet you fool! Can’t you see they don’t want to hear this?”
He has called me to tell the truth about my wilderness and so I am….
Where do you get the courage to break the conspiracy of silence? You get the courage from knowing who God is and what He is doing in your life.
- You’ve experienced a wake-up call.
- You realize that your false god is no longer adequate.
- You recognize that God is pursuing you.
- God wants to extend His grace to you, like the prodigal son He wants you to come home.
- You must take the first step of trust, like Peter. and “get out of the boat.”
This is real faith. This is a faith you can live with. (Excerpt From Faking it to Finding Grace)
I continue to be as honest as I can about where I really am in my faith. I have good days and bad days. Sometimes I “feel” close to God and some days I don’t. Some days I “see” His work in me and around me, some days I don’t. Some days I “know” He is real and personal and always pursuing me and some days I choose to believe that by faith.
Breaking the conspiracy of silence in the church shatters the illusion that keeps so many people out of church. It lets them know we are real, normal, sometimes struggling, sometimes victorious, but mostly honest.