When The Illusion Is Gone


Disillusionment, it happens to us all. It is that place from which one could build a stronger belief system by examining what it is we truly want to depend upon when things get tough.

This could be viewed as a ‘crisis of faith’ and could have been a slippery slope heading to disbelief.  I chose to see it as a place to re evaluate, dig in, hold on, and do some checking into what I believed truly. Or find out if it was a belief system belonging to someone else that I had acquired.

It was there that I truly found out who God was, who Jesus was and what job the Holy Spirit had to do in my life.

I read books from authors who had dealt with similar situations. People who had questioned what they were being told when it didn’t conform to their expectations, and who had also gone on a faith search.

Philip Yancey was a man raised in the 70’s in southern Baptist churches who had a head on collision with the thinking of the black and white issue. C.S. Lewis came from an atheist background and found his way to faith. I was in good company. 

My dilemma had to do with what the ‘church’s view was toward people in crisis: People in addiction - people of divorce. I had been raised in a church and a way of thinking that if you prayed hard enough, hung in there long enough, you could overcome all manner of things. But what if the person in the marriage kept up the abuse knowing the partner wouldn’t leave?  What I saw instead were families torn by abuse, pain, and violence that was being tolerated because to divorce was ‘unchristian’. It put me at odds with my church family because that was me. I knew in my heart that God was more forgiving and tolerant than the ideas I was hearing. I pulled away from church, but kept my faith in God. For 10 years I lived alienated from a body of believers, until the day when I found out about Washington Cathedral.

Many changes had occurred in my life in those 10 years. I now had a grand-daughter from a teenage daughter which has been one of the best things that could have happened to our family. Through that, my daughter found her path, embraced motherhood and raised a fantastic daughter. I had remarried and found a loving man but one who came with some brokenness of his own. Washington Cathedral was a body of believers who had a big, collective heart. They accepted people who came broken, hurting, questioning and loved us. I have never regretted the day we walked into the sanctuary, looked at the waterfall and felt “at home” and in the resulting 12 years it continues.

This series we just finished on ‘Disillusionment’ has caused me to look back over my journey and see just how healthy it is to ask these questions and have the discussion. We each have a journey to take, it is so much easier to know we are on it with fellow travelers who can appreciate what we are going through without criticism, but with the understanding that life gets messy and that when it gets really tough, God is there loving us and waiting for us to ask for help. It also helps to have people to talk to who give good counsel from personal experience. I believe that makes for a healthy church. One that recognizes our human frailties offers the solutions and supports that one while time is taken to get to that place of acceptance. 


Faith that Overwhelms Fears

This week, Pastor Rey began Washington Cathedral’s new series: World Reborn. He talked about how not focusing on the fear of problems and challenges can help us to trust and follow God's plan for us.

By Pastor Rey Diaz

Black Friday is for people who love crowds, lines, and chaos.  I prefer Cyber Monday.  From the comfort of my computer desk, I can go to and buy Christmas presents for the whole familoggerly.  I love it.  It’s Dec 1st and I’m already done with all my Christmas shopping.  It’s not just the convenience of shopping but the amazing delivery as a prime member.  All my packages arrive in two days (I promise you I’m not getting a kick back from the people at Amazon, although I should).

Well it turns out that Amazon works with 1,000s of smaller companies.  And although I’m 100 percent satisfied, I have never written a review.  I received a message yesterday that just shocked me.  Here it is:

As a small but passionate American business, we lack the big marketing budgets of larger corporations, and rely on word-of-mouth more than anything. If it is not too much to ask, please help us by writing a short review on Unfortunately, less than 1% of satisfied customers write a review, but 99% of unsatisfied customers do. Your review therefore would be invaluable to us and helps strengthen the Amazon marketplace for all.

I couldn’t believe it.  The numbers are staggering.  The unsatisfied are basically a hundred times more vocal than the satisfied.  We hear complaints, criticisms, and negativity a hundred times more than the good stuff.

It made me think of our spiritual walks with God.  Isn’t the same thing usually true in our personal lives.  We notice and see the bad, the scary, the unfair, the unjust and the darkness.  But the good is sometimes harder to focus on.  Maybe that is why God is constantly telling us, “Don’t be afraid.”  Because our tendency is to focus on the fearful.  The problems.  The challenge.  The difficulty.  Basically, our fears are a hundred times more vocal than our faith.

Matthew 14:22-33 tells the story of Jesus walking on water.  The disciples, who are on the boat, think it’s a ghost and are afraid.  Jesus responds with some of his favorite words, “Don’t be afraid.”  Peter wants proof.  He tells Jesus, “If it is really you, tell me to come out and walk on the water.”

So Peter begins his walk towards Jesus on the water.  He was walking towards Jesus, but instead of gazing at Him, he lets his focus turn towards the waves.  He allows fear to take a hold of him and he begins to sink. Jesus, intervenes and saves him.

With love in his eyes he says “Oh, you of little faith.  Why did you doubt me?”  Jesus takes Peter and leads him to the same place he is trying to lead us to.  A place of fearlessness.  A place of trust.  A place of overwhelming faith.  Jesus wants to grow our faith .  He wants our faith to overwhelm fear.

So that in midst of our problems, in the midst of the storm, in the midst of the waves and chaos, our faith remains steadfast.  Secure and confident in God.


That’s why we follow Jesus.  And as a church, we want the same for your faith. There is a song that speaks of this type of faith.  I have used it as a prayer – “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.  Let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me.  Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.  And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my savior.”

Would you take some time to listen to song? Oceans by Hillsongs United -