Have you ever gone through a time of isolation?
If yes, how did you stay focused?
I have found this to be an intriguing question and one that I would not normally think would be a prominent one asked. It actually requires some pondering to properly respond to this question. But let me give it an attempt.
“Being isolated” and “feeling isolated” are two different and yet over lapping issues. Then you have another question within this question to consider – isolated from whom? From God or the body of Christ, family, friends etc. So this is a huge question with many tiers and lots of tears that comes with it.
I would definitely say I have “felt isolated” and in my reality did experience “being isolated.” Let me briefly share three examples with you. One deals with isolation with people, the second with the sense of being alone or isolated from God Himself and the third a combination of both.
ISOLATION WITH THE BODY OF CHRIST
Years ago, in 1989, I was a part of a team of leaders in Kansas City that became known as the Kansas City Prophets. My identification with this group of leaders made some glad, some sad and some mad. For me, it is still one of the highest honors I have even experienced in my lifetime to help pioneer what is common in many circles today – the prophetic movement. But it did come with a high cost.
When I associated with this emerging group of leaders, I was instantly put on a backlist by a prominent leader in the Midwest and was forbidden to minister at several area churches or even maintain by previous strong friendships within that circle of churches. It was tough. Actually, it felt brutal to Michal Ann and I at the time. Over night we lost years of credibility, ministerial influence and close friendships. People were told not to associate with us – as the thought was – I was now associated with a cult. A lot of confusion, hurt and isolation ruled for several years.
Yes, we felt isolated and at times very forgotten. But the only way to win is to forgive unconditionally, wage a love war, and be open to correcting any possible errors on your end. You never win by attempting to correct others or by being defensive – though that is the natural reaction. Patience will have its work in you and character to carry the gift will be formed – if you cooperate!
THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL
A second time Michal Ann and I felt isolated or forgotten was by God Himself. This was when we endured the “Dark Night of the Soul” when we desperately desired to have children and eventually found out it was medically and physically impossible for us to conceive. That was a hard blow. This story is written up in some detail in my book The Prophetic Intercessor.
Michal Ann did not hear the Lord speak to her for a solid year. I felt like I had the “bad touch” and not the “Midas touch”. As a young pastor and budding prophet, I could pray for others and things happened, but when we prayed into our own situation – nothing happened – except delay and disappointment.
It just did not seem fair. Then we had to make a basic decision that the fault did not reside on God’s end but on the Devil’s and we had to put the blame where it belonged – not in God’s court but in the camp of darkness. As most of your know, eventually we had numerous supernatural encounters, and miracle touches of the Holy Spirit and ended up with four miracle biological children.
But yes, we felt so isolated, cut off, and alienated from God for a long period of time. But a life message of Prophetic Intercession was built within us and waves of that still ripple across the globe to this day. Praise the Lord. By the way, I have four wonderful grown young adult kids today who all love and serve Jesus!
THE GREATEST TIME OF PERPLEXITY
Now this next one, I honestly am still walking out. It deals with the loss of my dear amazing wife, Michal Ann Goll, the only woman I have ever loved. Michal Ann graduated to be with Jesus and be a part of the great cloud of witnesses in heaven, almost three years ago, after a very hard fought battle with colon cancer that spread to other organ systems. She was one of the most Christ like people I ever have known.
During this ordeal, I have felt cut off from God and from people both. Though I know that I know that I know, that God is good all the time and His mercies endure forever, the pain and anguish my four kids and I and others have endured has at times been almost unbearable. One of my kids remarked the other day, that something died within me when mom passed away.
Job’s friends surrounded me who had all the supposed simple reasons why we succumbed to such an ordeal. These remarks did not help me garner trust at the time. Not in the least bit. Some days I just wanted to stay in bed, pull the covers over my eyes and pretend is was all just a bad dream.
I sobbed for days on end. I wept over the loss of Michal Ann for weeks and months. I am still hit to this day with the sense of loss and pain. The “why question” has been the enemy creeping at my door – but I honestly – just do not go there.
I have learned to praise the Lord in all circumstances. I have pushed the trust button all over again. I declare daily that God is good all the time and all things work together for good for those who love God and have been called to His purpose.
I still do not like what has happened to our lives and ministry. But I will always love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my strength! He is worth it all! I love Him and that settles it! Case closed!
Well, that was a lot – right? Want to ask another question? Ha!
Honestly, Jesus is my best friend. He sticks closer to you than any human being. So have I ever felt isolated? Yep! But I choose to run to the lover of my soul and bless the body of Christ no matter what. Is Jesus worth anything less?
James W. Goll