Spiritual Vertigo

Julie at julie unplugged writes about her experiences with "inexplicable vertigo" in her UPI column entitled Spiritual Vertigo. I liked the way Julie related her experiences with vertigo to her vertigo-like spiritual experiences. I particularly liked the way Julie relates the following:
To stand.

To be immovable.

I have always wanted that. I want to know that I am secure, won't fail or fall, won't be wrong again, that I can say, "Here I stand" and mean it. But Rich Mullins sang, "We are not as strong as we think we are." Inside I know he's right — all the way to my core.

When my wife died in May of 1994 my spiritual world was rocked to the core ... I found that I was not as strong as I thought I was ... it was a humbling experience as I discovered that I could no longer maintain many of the daily 'spiritual disciplines' that had brought my ego so much validation ... it was like vertigo.

One dictionary gives this definition for vertigo: "A confused, disoriented state of mind." I think that God designs many things in life to confuse and disorient us ... to bring us to a place where we examine who we are and why we are. I am reminded of a quote from our American history

“These are the times that try men's souls,” wrote Thomas Paine, who rode with the army during a retreat from Cornwallis, a time of low morale, wavering popular support, and abandonment by Congress of Philadelphia.
I think that it is in these trying times that believers shine ... when all is lost ... when everything is dark ... when we are depressed and despondent ... this is the place where faith can rise and hope can be born. Only in these times can we understand Paul's words to the Corinthians:
For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh." (2 Corinthians 4:6-11)
The truth of the matter is that you only need light when things are dark ... you only see a need for God when you have come to the end of yourself. Life is designed to bring us to this place ... where only God will satisfy ... where nothing else will do. This place can only be found through humility, vulnerability and transparency ... it is not an easily traveled road ... it often costs us ... but it also brings us to a place of discovery.

For me one of the discoveries was that spiritual formulas, principles and philosophies were impotent when I began to deal with my pain. Only Jesus could heal my heart ... only He could free me from the bondage of religion. Only Jesus could deal with Spiritual Vertigo ... but not in the way that I wanted Him to.


  1. That's great, KB...you're so right. All of our strength, healing, truth, lie in our reliance on Him...only Him. No one, or no doctrine can help us.

  2. There is much truth in your post, thanks!

  3. If we trust our faith, we will fail ourselves, and we will be disappointed. But, if we trust that the cross is responsible for our redemption, we cannot fail. Because it is.

    It is only when we know we can safely remove ourselves and our feelings from the "salvation" equation, that we find life. We will always fail. God never fails.

    I believe that it's only when we stop trusting ourselves (our theology, our faith, our beliefs, our doctrines... and start trusting the message of hope the Father sent the Son to deliver, that we can ever find peace.

    But, hey... what do I know?

  4. I agree with you Bruce but isn't this ...

    "start trusting the message of hope the Father sent the Son to deliver, that we can ever find peace"

    ... a bit of theology ... at least a doctrinal statement ... or maybe a belief?


  5. Very good post, needed it today.


I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply.
You can click here to see my comment policy.