Dear Church,

This is probably one of my more difficult posts because it addresses “ the church”. Who am I to write a letter to the church, right? I’m stepping out in faith here, for sure!

In a previous post, I shared the moment I felt this inner desire to leave church for a while. The thing is I did not leave church due to preaching styles I didn’t agree with or a belief system that seemed different.

In the midst of an illness I had an encounter/revelation that pulled me inward. And I simply needed “desert time”.

I wonder… in this stilling season for us, is God calling us to our own desert time? Not just as “the church” but as individuals. I know in my own life, for years, I was just traveling on life’s gerbil wheel, simply running around and around and around in the same circle only to arrive no where, questioning, Where am I? Who am I? What is my life’s purpose?

I was in desperate need of introspection.

I wonder… might these be some of the same questions posed for “the church”? Who are we? How is God calling us to “be” in these times?

God lifted me off of life’s gerbil wheel where He placed me on holy ground.


“Be still and know me… and teach others the same.”

So here is what I sense…

In these moments of uncertainty, I imagine God wanting to turn our cheek towards Him.

“Yield. Pause. Acknowledge Me.”


How many times is that word mentioned in the Bible?

I recall a wise minister saying to me, “Helen, you have been ‘doing church’ all of your life.”

At the time of this deep discernment period
I knew he was right. I was “doing church”, “doing life”, “doing work, and “doing family”…


I wasn’t “be”-ing.

God’s Divine Whisper, again, being confirmed.

I knew I needed time away to just be still with Him and allow Him to “teach me” so I could somehow, prayerfully discern and pass along this message to others.

Over a decade and here I am… writing to you, “the church” in whatever form that is. We have seen the church taking on many forms over the years.

As I was praying while on a prayer run recently, I saw a large flock of geese flying in their perfect V formation; a community in flight.

I came to my resting spot, a bench, my Jesus Bench. I continued to pray… “God, I truly do carry the burden of this message; that others come to a stilling place so they come to KNOW you in a real, authentic and transformative way. Inside the massive influx of podcasts, social media, online devotionals and services, where is YOUR Voice? What is my role here? How am I to be your message of stillness in a sea of a million voices?”

In that moment, I look up and notice another flock of geese flying over, only this time there are 5 geese in a V formation… a smaller community in flight.

So here’s my heart’s whisper to “the church”… in whatever formation it may become, He will make it so…

It’s not about the numbers. It’s about the hearts inside the numbers.

We are all in the desert wandering, seeking and searching for the One, True Voice.

Everyone is on a journey and His language is understood only to the level it is “known”. In the same way we can only preach/teach to the level that we know.

“The true light which enlightens everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, yet the world did not know Him. His own people did not know Him.” John 1:9-10

And what was the apostle Paul’s prayer and deepest desire as a result of his own revelation of Christ?

“ I pray that the eye’s of your heart be enlightened in order that you may know…”

THAT has been my most fervent prayer for years since my own revelation… for the church and for the many lost souls, including believers… to come to know Him in the way He yearns to be known.

Just because one believes in Him doesn’t mean one truly knows Him. That’s hard to swallow… especially inside the religious system.

I believe we must step aside from all the motion and movement and become still and listen for His Inner Wisdom.

We must at some point recognize this is not “business” as usual. We have been given the gift of TIME… a spiritual time out, time to be still and listen for His Voice… in the NOW. It’s not a numbers game. It’s not about the most “viewed”.

It’s about hearts being enlightened and awakened; taking notice of Something and Someone in a new way.

The flock of geese speaks quite a profound and wise message.

We are truly “walking” the 40 days. I believe it’s important that we stop and smell the roses; be in awe and wonder again, discover the riches of his glorious inheritance.

As we travel this unknown territory, I read a devotional that made sense. “Wilderness is not just about geography. New responsibilities, new unfamiliar challenges, and transitional times are all different experiences of the ‘wilderness’. They require as much faith as wandering in the desert.’

Times of unfamiliar wandering can seem lonely and scary but not so much when you come to know the One True Voice. We may have to take the time to wander and flounder for a while. Be okay inside the gap. Accepting of the fact we don’t know it all. Begin to notice the doors he has shut and those He’s flung wide open… and also be okay standing at the cracked one where He whispers, “Just pause and wait awhile.”



“Be patient in the slow work of God”… one of my deepest take -aways from my studies at Shalem Institute for Spiritual Direction.

Let’s embrace the gift of TIME. I believe Real time spent with Him clears away the clutter of our minds and egos and brings us to our knees.

It is through releasing that we gain a more clear vision.

I do not believe His intention and vision for the church has ever been over programming, packed calendars and full agendas, pushing out prayer and discernment. I believe He is calling us to “rebuild the temple” a whole new way… the temple of our hearts.

This is a good time for us to open our hands, empty them… so we can bravely take hold of His, leaving behind all old agendas and plans.

For He has the plans…

Wiping the slate clean seems scary. Letting go is never easy.

It’s time we bring to life what we preach. Step out in faith.

Open our hands. Allow them to be empty. Begin anew.

The tomb… empty hands, resurrection, new life, new hope.

Discern. Cease striving.

P.S. Susan Beaumont, a friend and classmate of mine during my studies at Shalem Institute, has published several deeply insightful books on the soul of the church. We connected from the get-go at Shalem. We shared in the same peer group and it was evident she  just “knew”. Her academic study and research pairs well with her own personal, spiritual knowledge. She shares true wisdom in our times. Her website and books are worth reading; her most recent… How to Lead When You Don’t Know; Leading in a Liminal Season. Timely I’d say… the thing is when I created The Gap I was not aware of her new book. So you can’t help but wonder… this message, this theme, this pattern. He’s awakening us to something.
Be okay in the “in-between”… embrace this liminal season with empty hands and open hearts.




And be patient in the slow work of God…


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