The Season of Disorientation

For many people, the early stages of seeing through the illusion of religious performance, makes them feel as if they got lost. Suddenly they look around and it appears the whole landscape has changed. Places that used to help them now seem to hinder them. The old wells they used to drink from now taste dry and dusty. It’s easy to feel as if you’ve done something wrong, or got lost somehow. But as this recent email exchange will show, this isn’t the sign something is wrong, but just the effects of starting out on a different trail. Yes, that can be disorienting for a period of time. I’ve said this often, no one I’ve ever met who went down this trail didn’t find it well worth whatever price they paid to find it.

I feel as lost as lost can be. Not in the sense of “saved” but in the sense of where do I go from here, what does forward look like? That sort of lost. Nobody calls anymore…they’ve “given up on me.” You see I refuse their “fellowship.” But all they offer me is the same stuff…get in a group and serve the “body.” But the body they are referring to is the machine that ate up my soul, the machine that refuses to question anything it sets out to do. The machine that consumes it’s own like some crazed animal that devours its young.

Is this machine, the one Jesus created when He spoke of His “church”? Nobody in the machine gives the one thing that is precious, time. If I’m truly wrong ,my actions (or lack thereof) then why can’t they spend a couple of days (if necessary) to explain my error?

The answer to that last question is that I have come to believe that they cannot engage in the conversation because they know , they will also have to repent and they will be where I am, a VERY HARD PLACE. It’s just easier to to say, “look at him, he won’t GO to church he is in error…” The definition of “church” is a narrow one…only they fit in it. However I don’t think this is the “narrow way” Jesus spoke of…

Anyway here I am… lost

I actually love where you are. I don’t see you lost at all. You’ve awakened to a greater reality than they can see from where they are? You may feel lost but you’re not. You’re just living out of a different framework that finds the old guideposts to be unworkable. I think of it is people being disorientated. The reality I see doesn’t fit into the relationships I have. That’s a tough moment in this journey, no doubt, but if you truly are awakening to a different reality than they can see, that is the result. You’ve known “fellowship” with religious people. Having rejected the religious overlays that you now know kept you from a deepening relationship with God, you are a threat to people who find their comfort in their religious performance.

How could you not be? And be thankful they don’t have the resource of time to give you, because you probably wouldn’t find it of much help. The one thing I love about religious performance is that it keeps those trapped in it so busy and exhausted that they don’t have much time or energy to infect others with it.

You will find the grace to live in God’s revelation to you and NOT need the validation of those who serve in more religious ways. But it will take time. For now they seem only to make you question your own insights. What you discover going forward is a whole new set of relationships that live in God relationally and then you’ll discover a depth of fellowship you have to date only hungered for. I guess I’m saying don’t look for the old relationships to move with you on this journey as long as they find security in their religious activity. You’ll find a way to love them eventually, but look for the relationships God is bringing to your life now. Just love the next person God puts before you and see where that goes. And keep doing it every day. And soon you’ll find your life full of friends, maybe not all will be fellow-travelers, but they people God loves and with whom you can find friendship.

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14 Comments
  1. Dixie Diamanti September 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    In my season of disorientation at first I wanted to run from my old religious friends because I knew they were gossiping about me and judging me. I had been a leader among them in my legalism and now here I was lost and deserted by everything I had known. It was pretty lonely for a season but I could not turn back. It now felt so phony. Then one day I began to hear the still small voice of Jesus. In my aloneness I realized that in all of my busy-ness I had not heard from Him as intimately as I did that day. From that point on We went for rides together, had fervent discussions, ate chocolate overlooking the beautiful ocean, listened to music, laughed together, and just loved on each other. I was amazed. I had done nothing to deserve this kind of living alive and loving relationship at all!! People couldn’t get it. How could I find such peace and love without going to a building? But there it was. I loved my new freedom. When people would ask me where I went to church now, I went from my standard rebellious attitude of “I don’t go to church anymore. They eat people alive in there”, to “I am the church and let’s talk about my walk with Jesus”. Now, I wouldn’t exchange that lonely, disoriented, and doubtful time for anything. It was just a bend in the road to a journey to such freedom as I have ever known. I even wrote a book about my journey!! Climbing Out of the Box, from religion to relationship!!!

    http://reflectionsofgracehome.wordpress.com/

  2. Dixie Diamanti September 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    In my season of disorientation at first I wanted to run from my old religious friends because I knew they were gossiping about me and judging me. I had been a leader among them in my legalism and now here I was lost and deserted by everything I had known. It was pretty lonely for a season but I could not turn back. It now felt so phony. Then one day I began to hear the still small voice of Jesus. In my aloneness I realized that in all of my busy-ness I had not heard from Him as intimately as I did that day. From that point on We went for rides together, had fervent discussions, ate chocolate overlooking the beautiful ocean, listened to music, laughed together, and just loved on each other. I was amazed. I had done nothing to deserve this kind of living alive and loving relationship at all!! People couldn’t get it. How could I find such peace and love without going to a building? But there it was. I loved my new freedom. When people would ask me where I went to church now, I went from my standard rebellious attitude of “I don’t go to church anymore. They eat people alive in there”, to “I am the church and let’s talk about my walk with Jesus”. Now, I wouldn’t exchange that lonely, disoriented, and doubtful time for anything. It was just a bend in the road to a journey to such freedom as I have ever known. I even wrote a book about my journey!! Climbing Out of the Box, from religion to relationship!!!

    http://reflectionsofgracehome.wordpress.com/

  3. michael September 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Very timely article…

  4. Caje September 23, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I had this experience too, but at the end of the day, it is for good…. it turns out to be the turning point of another new/refreshing beginning of my christian walk. It is like a second reborn type of experience….that daze or bewilderment of why i had to be on that religious rut for so long without even knowing it. This ‘lost’ feeling is a trajectory correction, and you are now heading towards the right destination. Rejoice

  5. michael September 23, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Very timely article…

  6. CHARMAINE DIAZ September 23, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    I feel lost like the write does quit often lately I must say for many reasons . I know God has made us wonderful bbeautiful and in his image but I also know i can never live in His perfect will like He expects me to and He knows that too So I constantly examine myself and just to find all the flaews that still hang around me Most of the baggage of my past are gone but some flaws still remain and I feel being true to who i am helps me overcome that quit often. Because I will never ever be able to live in His perfect will oh His Grace are all suffiecient for me You find those that think that they are living his Gods perfect will they have lots to learn….Thank you my God that you have made me in your image and that I can be myself and be true to you and myself I love you Jesus

  7. Caje September 23, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    I had this experience too, but at the end of the day, it is for good…. it turns out to be the turning point of another new/refreshing beginning of my christian walk. It is like a second reborn type of experience….that daze or bewilderment of why i had to be on that religious rut for so long without even knowing it. This ‘lost’ feeling is a trajectory correction, and you are now heading towards the right destination. Rejoice

  8. CHARMAINE DIAZ September 24, 2011 at 1:55 am

    I feel lost like the write does quit often lately I must say for many reasons . I know God has made us wonderful bbeautiful and in his image but I also know i can never live in His perfect will like He expects me to and He knows that too So I constantly examine myself and just to find all the flaews that still hang around me Most of the baggage of my past are gone but some flaws still remain and I feel being true to who i am helps me overcome that quit often. Because I will never ever be able to live in His perfect will oh His Grace are all suffiecient for me You find those that think that they are living his Gods perfect will they have lots to learn….Thank you my God that you have made me in your image and that I can be myself and be true to you and myself I love you Jesus

  9. Anthony Rose September 24, 2011 at 3:47 am

    Oh yes! The narrow way is only narrow to the flesh. It denies the religious flesh its desire to make rules to live by, work hard to fulfill the rules, and judge those who don’t.
    There is a well-spring of eternal life and love that springs up when you realise that it’s not about rules, it’s about love, it’s about Jesus; not about you, but about Jesus in you.
    Living by the author of the book, rather than the book, is hard for the flesh, but joy to the soul when it’s set free.

    Twenty years ago God spoke to me one day when I started my regular morning ‘Quiet Time’. (I used to do this duty whether I felt like it or not, so that God could speak to me and keep me straight.) He said, “What are you doing?”.
    I replied, “Having my quiet time.”
    “Why?”
    “Uh… because I must. To stay healthy as a Christian”, I answered.
    “I want you to stop. You’re doing it out of duty, as a religious exercise, and it stinks in my nostrils.”
    “Lord… that’s a weird word. This sounds like you, but maybe it’s the devil! Tell you what, I will stop for now and monitor carefully what happens to me. If I start going off the rails, I will start again, ok?”
    “Ok”
    What happened to me? Out of the bare ground began to grow all manner of flowers of love and life! He became my friend! We started reading the Bible together much more often! Whenever we wanted to, at any time of day! The Word came alive to me, and so did He.
    Years ago I came full circle to really wanting to get up early and pray, because I want to walk with Him, but my family needs constrain me for now. But this time round, when I can, it will not be religious, but relationship.

  10. Anthony Rose September 24, 2011 at 6:47 am

    Oh yes! The narrow way is only narrow to the flesh. It denies the religious flesh its desire to make rules to live by, work hard to fulfill the rules, and judge those who don’t.
    There is a well-spring of eternal life and love that springs up when you realise that it’s not about rules, it’s about love, it’s about Jesus; not about you, but about Jesus in you.
    Living by the author of the book, rather than the book, is hard for the flesh, but joy to the soul when it’s set free.

    Twenty years ago God spoke to me one day when I started my regular morning ‘Quiet Time’. (I used to do this duty whether I felt like it or not, so that God could speak to me and keep me straight.) He said, “What are you doing?”.
    I replied, “Having my quiet time.”
    “Why?”
    “Uh… because I must. To stay healthy as a Christian”, I answered.
    “I want you to stop. You’re doing it out of duty, as a religious exercise, and it stinks in my nostrils.”
    “Lord… that’s a weird word. This sounds like you, but maybe it’s the devil! Tell you what, I will stop for now and monitor carefully what happens to me. If I start going off the rails, I will start again, ok?”
    “Ok”
    What happened to me? Out of the bare ground began to grow all manner of flowers of love and life! He became my friend! We started reading the Bible together much more often! Whenever we wanted to, at any time of day! The Word came alive to me, and so did He.
    Years ago I came full circle to really wanting to get up early and pray, because I want to walk with Him, but my family needs constrain me for now. But this time round, when I can, it will not be religious, but relationship.

  11. Richard September 24, 2011 at 10:46 am

    All of the fixed landmarks and sign posts that at that time spelled security for them have been mostly removed, they are being drawn almost compelled to keep going forward, where to they are not certain, and yet an irresistible knowing and gnawing persists, just follow Me!
    It is so easy in the throes of the blood and swash turbulence that seems to accompany this act of trust, following him, to loose ones sense of equilibrium. Often the disorientation, the fear of freedom seems to be too much.
    The toxic saturation from the leaven of religion’s lies make them often feel that a glacier is moving faster than that which is being displaced in them, step by wavering step they take.

    Religion has never and will never make any room for Daddy or for his own children, to quote from the movie Les Miserables, “It’s a pity the law doesn’t allow me to be merciful,” and, “The law is the law, Jean Valjean.”
    Most all many that I am coming to know coming out from underneath the shroud of religion say much the same thing, there was hardly room to breath with the stifling restrictions that had to be kept according to the static templates superimposed upon them.
    During this time of newly discovered sobriety, beginning to think for themselves and sort through so much baloney (BS) they just might not be speaking with much coherency, and those still deeply steeped under the almost comatose influence of religion, are only too quick to highlight their glaring dissonance being attributed to their leaving the flock.

    All I know is that I have NOT remotely come close to having it all sorted out, making room for Daddy in my heart is going to make hopefully that much more room for my precious siblings to further experience the unfathomable wide berth Father has made for each of them as well.
    I truly want to know and grow in being tender-hearted and gracious toward those still tasting, for some the first time, of His amazing grace!

  12. Richard September 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    All of the fixed landmarks and sign posts that at that time spelled security for them have been mostly removed, they are being drawn almost compelled to keep going forward, where to they are not certain, and yet an irresistible knowing and gnawing persists, just follow Me!
    It is so easy in the throes of the blood and swash turbulence that seems to accompany this act of trust, following him, to loose ones sense of equilibrium. Often the disorientation, the fear of freedom seems to be too much.
    The toxic saturation from the leaven of religion’s lies make them often feel that a glacier is moving faster than that which is being displaced in them, step by wavering step they take.

    Religion has never and will never make any room for Daddy or for his own children, to quote from the movie Les Miserables, “It’s a pity the law doesn’t allow me to be merciful,” and, “The law is the law, Jean Valjean.”
    Most all many that I am coming to know coming out from underneath the shroud of religion say much the same thing, there was hardly room to breath with the stifling restrictions that had to be kept according to the static templates superimposed upon them.
    During this time of newly discovered sobriety, beginning to think for themselves and sort through so much baloney (BS) they just might not be speaking with much coherency, and those still deeply steeped under the almost comatose influence of religion, are only too quick to highlight their glaring dissonance being attributed to their leaving the flock.

    All I know is that I have NOT remotely come close to having it all sorted out, making room for Daddy in my heart is going to make hopefully that much more room for my precious siblings to further experience the unfathomable wide berth Father has made for each of them as well.
    I truly want to know and grow in being tender-hearted and gracious toward those still tasting, for some the first time, of His amazing grace!

  13. Emilia October 17, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I know that God has an amazing sense of humor! Because I for one have recently discovered it first hand, I too am in my season of ” Disorientation” quite frankly some day i just dont even know if im coming or going. But the reason I say that i think God Has an amazing sens of humor is because i am 2 months away from Graduating school, whats the big deal you ask ? Im graduating and getting my diploma in Chrisitan Ministry ! Yup thats right i have been edumacating myself willingly for the last few years to become a perfect little schooled leader, because there was noting more in life i wanted that to work for one of the biggest and most powerfull institution around and become a great leader. Boy was i looking forward to this, and here a few months ago i decided to re-listen to the sermon someone gave me a year ago by Wayne…..little did i know that the second time i listened to it, it would really change my life…………long story short here i am a few months later, stuck, lost and confused. I kind of feel like a big fraud being here with everyone else in my class when deep down inside I know that what I once thought was the way, no longer is and that the people im here with still do. Sometimes I forget and open my big mouth and throw out a nice little ” contraversial statement” and then I think why!? oh why did i do that ? their just going to eat me up!! and when thats done i walk away with my tail between my legs because I feel like i just got beet up. To top it all off quite recently I got invited for coffee from a fellow classmate, who after 2 minutes of conversation was just checking on me to make sure I was ok because of the shoking statement I made alarmed her and she wanted to see if im still in the right place. I walked away from there even more lost and confused that I was, because the close people to me who I used to be able to open up to and talk I feel like i need to avoid and hide because I might say something again thats ” Alarming” and they might call the doctrine Police! Its good to see that there are other people out there who have felt the same way as me, and i just need to remember that its only 45 more days ( 33 if you dont count the weekends till Graduation) of pretending that what I once thought was the be all end all is now nothing at all…..

  14. Emilia October 17, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    I know that God has an amazing sense of humor! Because I for one have recently discovered it first hand, I too am in my season of ” Disorientation” quite frankly some day i just dont even know if im coming or going. But the reason I say that i think God Has an amazing sens of humor is because i am 2 months away from Graduating school, whats the big deal you ask ? Im graduating and getting my diploma in Chrisitan Ministry ! Yup thats right i have been edumacating myself willingly for the last few years to become a perfect little schooled leader, because there was noting more in life i wanted that to work for one of the biggest and most powerfull institution around and become a great leader. Boy was i looking forward to this, and here a few months ago i decided to re-listen to the sermon someone gave me a year ago by Wayne…..little did i know that the second time i listened to it, it would really change my life…………long story short here i am a few months later, stuck, lost and confused. I kind of feel like a big fraud being here with everyone else in my class when deep down inside I know that what I once thought was the way, no longer is and that the people im here with still do. Sometimes I forget and open my big mouth and throw out a nice little ” contraversial statement” and then I think why!? oh why did i do that ? their just going to eat me up!! and when thats done i walk away with my tail between my legs because I feel like i just got beet up. To top it all off quite recently I got invited for coffee from a fellow classmate, who after 2 minutes of conversation was just checking on me to make sure I was ok because of the shoking statement I made alarmed her and she wanted to see if im still in the right place. I walked away from there even more lost and confused that I was, because the close people to me who I used to be able to open up to and talk I feel like i need to avoid and hide because I might say something again thats ” Alarming” and they might call the doctrine Police! Its good to see that there are other people out there who have felt the same way as me, and i just need to remember that its only 45 more days ( 33 if you dont count the weekends till Graduation) of pretending that what I once thought was the be all end all is now nothing at all…..

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