Leading Us Deeper into the World: 7 Great 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 unique book by Kathy Escobar.  This book goes beyond clichés and easy answers and takes the reader through a faith shift of deep emotional pain and loss.  Not knowing what to do after Shifting and Unraveling, Kathy gives us options to learn to dream again through the difficult years of Rebuilding something more authentic.  Highly recommended!  Here are 7 quotes from this wonderful book:

  • Leading us deeper into the world

1. “As a spiritual director who has worked with numerous men and women over the years, I’m quite convinced that many of us have been duped into believing our faith life stops with Fusing.  Much of the focus includes an us-versus-them mentality.  Sometimes we subtly elevate church activities and beliefs over the value of people’s souls and deep spiritual development.  During the Fusing years, we are often taught to separate ourselves from nonbelievers and ‘nonspiritual activities.’  By contrast, I love author Henri Nouwen’s wise observation: ‘The spiritual life does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it.’”

  • Unraveling involves loss

2. “Unraveling involves loss.  It’s not a place where we rebuild or find what works or try to make peace with the past – that comes later.  It’s where we experience and respect the realities of losing beliefs, practices, relationships, structures, identity, and purpose.”

  • Opening a space to learn how to be human

3. “I am not saying it’s for everyone, but if you are a spiritual-abuse survivor, sometimes it’s the best hope for healing.  Trying to build a bridge to something new is too anguishing.  A better alternative is to bomb the bridge completely and trust that eventually you’ll either learn to swim or find the materials and tools you need to build something new.  Severing for a while will open a space to learn how to be human apart from toxic religious systems.  You may need time to focus internally and to feel things that were prohibited before…”

  • Providing room for healing

4. “I often tell people in major faith shifts that if the Bible… is too toxic, take a break from it.  A healthy separation (just as when a marriage is in trouble) can provide room for healing.  Many fear that a separation will lead to divorce, but… I’ve often seen it’s just the opposite.  Time and intentional space away can prepare the way for restoration in the end.”

  • Listen more intently to our souls

5. “As part of our Shifting process, we need a time of rest and disconnection from serving and giving.  Yet, at some point, we have to face our fears and come out of hibernation.  We have to try again even though it’s scary.  This time, though, we can pace ourselves and listen more intently to our souls and bodies along the way.”

  • Trust the path ahead

6. “Trust the path ahead, even though you aren’t sure exactly where it will take you.  You’re not lost.  In fact, you’re on a road toward a bigger, better relationship with God, others, and yourself that will continue to develop.”

  • Cautious about giving away our power

7. “Most of us need to be cautious about giving our power away to systems again.  If you reengage and see warning signs, heed them.  If you see leadership structures that cause you to feel squeamish, run for the hills.  If you start to enter a group and discover gender inequality that concerns you, listen to your heart.  You can find communities with healthy balanced power structures.  You may just need to give yourself time.”

Which quote do you like the best?