Appreciating Our Uniqueness: 9 Wonderful Quotes from Kathy Escobar’s New Book – Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart.

by Mark Votava


This is such a great book, Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart!  I appreciate the honesty, vulnerability and wisdom that Kathy Escobar brings to the table.  She is a guide to help others through shifting, unraveling and rebuilding.  This is difficult stuff to talk about and many of us do not know what to do when it comes to understanding our own formation process.  Here are 9 quotes from the book that are helpful:

1. There are no hard and fast rules

“There are no hard and fast rules for knowing you are ready for Rebuilding your faith after Unraveling…”

2. Humility, willingness, desire, and openness

“One of the hardest things about my shift has been interacting with other believers who maintain a list of what is necessary to believe and do in order to fit their narrow definition of a Christian.  It’s also a primary reason so many people shed the description of ‘Christian’ when they deconstruct and reconstruct.  I decided to hold on to the word in my effort to be part of redeeming it, but when people ask me if I am one, I usually say, ‘It depends on what you mean by Christian.’  When I look at the Gospels, I don’t see a long list of beliefs the first followers needed to sign off on.  Rather, I see Jesus calling the disciples to recognize their spiritual poverty and to move toward God with humility, willingness, desire, and openness.  These attitudes are incredibly important to the season of Rebuilding.  What we call ourselves isn’t.”

 3. Appreciating our uniqueness and embracing the freedom to be who we are

“Part of Rebuilding is appreciating our uniqueness (maybe for the first time) and embracing the freedom to be who we are (and to let others be who they are too).  Most church systems are built on a central path; people inside the system receive a message that ‘This is the way’ to connect with God.  When we aren’t wired the same way or we’ve shifted, such rules can really mess with our heads.”

4. It’s important not to reject or remain bitter about the past

“As we continue to move toward greater hope and freedom in our faith as part of Rebuilding, it’s important not to reject or remain bitter about the past…”

5. Looking for signs of life

“As we keep traveling forward on this bumpy, beautiful road looking for signs of life, we turn our attention to the passions we have inside of us to love, serve, create, advocate, and cultivate some of our dreams…”

6. Too jaded to dream

“Sometimes when I talk to groups of men and women about pursuing their dreams, I can actually feel people begin to shut down.  They are extremely wary of believing that dreams are possible.  Thoughts of pursuing passions beyond stable employment seem too much.  Often the unraveled are too jaded to dream.”

7. More expansive definitions of what community can be

“We’ve got to create more expansive definitions of what community can be.”

8. Greater freedom to reframe with new models

“A lot of us might be more open to church if we felt greater freedom to reframe it with new models…”

9. Into diversity, mystery, and freedom

“The path for spiritual refugees like us rarely leads back to where we were.  Usually it takes us around the next corner, and the next, further and further into the unknown, into diversity, mystery, and freedom.”

How have you lived into diversity, mystery, and freedom?


My new book The Mystical Imagination: Seeing the Sacredness of All of Life (2015) is finally done! It is available on kindle and paperback!

“Our crowded, overly-consumed, hyper-active, digitally-addicted lifestyle is draining the life out of us. We are desperate to transcend the chaos and find a better way to live. We need a mystical imagination. Get ready to be transported into the depths of meaning as Votava breaks open the contemplative path and shows you how to live your life to the fullest.” Phileena Heuertz, author of Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life and founding partner, Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism

My first book The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together (2014) is available on kindle and paperback also!

“Inside everyone there is a longing for community, to love and be loved. We are made in the image of a communal God. But in out hyper-mobile, individualistic, cluttered world… community is an endangered thing. And community is like working out – it takes work, sweat, discipline…  without that our muscles atrophy. Everybody wants to be fit, but not too many people want to do the work to get there. Mark’s book is sort of a workout manual, helping you rediscover your communal muscles and start building them up slowly. It is an invitation to live deep in a shallow world.”  Shane Claiborne, author and activist