Living With the Unknown: 6 Fabulous Quotes from Kathy Escobar’s New Book – Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart  

by Mark Votava


This writing by Kathy Escobar is one of my favorite books I have ever read!  It will awaken your soul to the beautiful ways that God works after we have lost everything.  If you only read one book this year make this one your choice.  It will take you through the depths of despair, pain and confusion to a place of greater honesty, vulnerability and freedom.  Here are 6 quotes from the book:

  • It’s always best not to judge someone else’s story

1. “Part of the struggle is sometimes feeling guilty.  We may worry that others who are still Unraveling or haven’t rebuilt anything will think we’re stupid, playing it too safe, or selling out.  This can be extra tricky if we live with or are very close to someone who is still Unraveling.  Some deconstructors wear a badge of honor that says, ‘We picked it all apart, and we’re a lot smarter than everyone else.’  I realize now how unfair that is.  We each have our own experiences, and it’s always best not to judge someone else’s story.”

  • Reengage with greater wisdom, maturity, and authenticity

2. “Hope still exists when all appears lost.  A shifter’s overarching desire here is not to leave faith altogether but to rebuild something.  This time, we can reengage with greater wisdom, maturity, and authenticity.  We can color outside the lines and create something more fluid, creative, and artful.  We can rediscover old spiritual practices and bravely develop new ones.  We can begin to rebuild an active, passionate, simpler faith with fewer pieces but more depth.”

  • The process of Unraveling (and eventually Rebuilding)

3. “Some have likened the process of Unraveling (and eventually Rebuilding) to giving birth.  As a mom of five children, I did learn a thing or two through my birthing experiences that seem to parallel faith shifting.  Midwives coached me through three of the deliveries.  If I compare my midwife births to the one with a doctor (when I had my only daughter), there is no comparison in terms of the love, care, nurturing, and support that I received.  My midwives were gentle, strong, challenging, present, wise, compassionate, and patient in a time of extreme pain.”

  • Ignoring our real feelings for the sake of belonging

4. “When we are honest, most of us realize we experience uncomfortable feelings about God and church at some point, or at many points, in our faith journey.  Unfortunately, because there are few safe places to talk about the churning inside our souls, we squash it or pretend it doesn’t matter.  Worse, we believe – or are told – these feelings are somehow sinful, something we need to repent of.  We wonder if we prayed more, believed better, or tried harder, these doubts and questions would dissipate.  The powerful forces of affiliation, conformity, and certainty in Fusing can cause us to stop listening to our souls.  Our natural instinct is to ignore our real feelings for the sake of belonging.”

  • Sticking with the crowd

5. “It’s easier to go back, tuck away these new ideas, and stick with the crowd than to move into the land of even more disturbing questions…”

  • We have to live with the unknown

6. “We can’t know the ending once we’ve started.  In childbirth, we know a baby will be the end.  There’s no promise how long our labor will be.  In Unraveling, we aren’t quite sure what will emerge or how long it will take, and we have to live with the unknown.  If we think, Once I get through this, I’ll get my old passions back, we will be sorely disappointed.  The old is definitely gone, new is coming, but we don’t yet know what it looks like.  This is a tough point to embrace – that our faith experience as we knew it will never be the same.  The past is indeed gone and a new future is before us.  The good news?  Over time our faith can become much stronger and freer than we ever even hoped.”

Which is your favorite quote 1-6?