Bonnie Gray is the soulful author of Whispers of Rest and Finding Spiritual Whitespace. An inspirational speaker and retreat leader, she has touched thousands of lives through storytelling, visual arts, nature, prayer and meditation. Bonnie’s writing is featured on Relevant Magazine, DaySpring (in)courage, and Christianity Today. She lives in California with her husband and their two sons. Visit Bonnie at www.thebonniegray.com and connect with her @thebonniegray on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Faith isn't faith until Jesus is all you're holding onto.
I didn't think I had much left.
I was past my prime.
I'm not talking about my age.
I'm speaking in Marlon Brando-esque language. I'm talking about time and opportunity.
"I coulda been a contender."
A contender for what? you ask.
I wasn't exactly sure.
God created us for a purpose, of course I know.
But, was I living my life the way He intended?
Sometimes, when you've run the course as best you can, you may end up at a place that feels dry and bare of creativity or insight.
You may feel tired.
You may feel ordinary.
Don't be alarmed.
The truth is your faith in Jesus holds extraordinary value to Him.
A Series of Letters
Before Faith Barista blog began, I reached a point in my life when I wasn't sure what it was God wanted me to do. I'm not talking about the everyday stuff, like putting gas in your car, buying just enough bananas for the week or even doing what it takes to pay the bills.
I'm talking about the what-is-God's-purpose-for-my-life type enigmas.
As I entered into a weekend alone with God for spiritual whitespace, I decided to write Jesus a series of letters. It wasn't planned. In fact, I signed myself up for a women's retreat at a church I didn't even belong to, held at a very attractive beach side location. I registered last minute for the purpose of desperately needed rest and sleep.
It turns out it wasn't just physical rest that I needed. I was in deficit of spiritual rest.
I needed relief from --
Too many questions and not enough answers.
Feeling trapped by the pressure of inaction, yet at a loss with what to do next.
Doing too much and not enough.
Nestled in the sand, writing against the sound of waves creeping up on the shore, I made my case to my captive Audience of One.
At points along the way, I dropped my pen so that my tears -- and then my silence -- would carry the conversation.
All I Had Left
During those hidden moments of ordinary me, God spoke.
One thing was undeniable.
Faith in Jesus was all I had left.
Faith in Jesus was all that I needed.
If you feel faith is all you have left -- among the plans that go off-script and dreams that grow out of reach -- you have more than you may believe.
It doesn't matter how small our faith is.
It doesn't matter how little of it we have to give.
What matters is that we use whatever faith we have.
Use all of it --
To change what we can.
To let go of what we can't.
To fall down.
To get back up.
To start again.
To believe God is faithful to finish the work He's begun in you.
When you feel threatened that you may not live up to all God has for you, remind yourself of this:
Our faith is worth far more to Him than what we can do or what others may see.
I am reminded of this by Jesus in Mark 12:41-44. When wealthy people were dropping rolls of hundred dollar bills into the temple's offering box, Jesus noticed a widow who just slipped in one cent.
Jesus said that she was the one who gave the most because she gave away all that she had.
The life we are living right now holds extraordinary value to God, when all we are holding onto is our faith in Him
As for those letters? God was faithful to answer them that weekend. His letters are all about faith and they are still being written. Here at Faith Barista is where I share them with you.
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." ~ Hebrews 11:6
How is God encouraging you in your faith?
For more encouragement and words of rest for your soul, read Bonnie’s book Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest, which garnered starred review praise from Publisher’s Weekly.
Bonnie Gray blogs at Faith Barista, serving up shots of faith in the daily grind. She has been named Top 6 Notable New Religion Authors by Publisher's Weekly and writes for DaySpring (in)courage, Revelant Magazine, spotlighted by Christianity Today and Catalyst Leadership. A UCLA graduate, Bonnie served as a missionary, ministry entrepreneur, and Silicon Valley high-tech professional. She lives in California with her husband, Eric, and their two sons.
*Don't miss!* If you are new to Faith Barista, click here to subscribe by email (free) and get each blog post hot and fresh directly in your mailbox.