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.
"Let nothing disturb you. Nothing distress you. While all things fade away, God is unchanging." Prayer of St. Teresa
I'm trying to type words onto the screen.
But, there is only blank space staring back at me.
If you've ever experienced anxiety -- the kind that wraps around your heart with the cloak of stress -- you'd understand how it can tether you back.
It keeps you silent.
Keeps you in your home.
And on the hours or days you need to be with others, you may end up retreating from being seen. Or heard.
You are working hard. You are getting things done.
But, you might feel like I do, unsure if things can really be different.
Whether you can really be known.
This is soul wearying.
Because you may have been hurt, like I've been -- by words that wound you still -- that made you regret that you shared.
Words that made you feel even smaller than how you're already feeling.
Words that make you feel pressured to get over what you can't get over.
Words that make you feel more alone, standing on the outside of where you want to be: belonging, loved and understood.
It's then, at that moment, you and I chance upon a glimpse into our soul.
To the little girl inside us who is broken, feeling cast off and lonely.
It's hard for me to whisper to her, as I really long to --
I see you. And I won't put you to the side anymore.
Because Jesus is bringing you closer to me --
I'm learning to make a place for you in this world.
Jesus has a way of slipping in his love notes, to reach that little girl in me.
Just this morning, as I listened to some piano music streaming from Pandora, the words He shared with His disciples those last hours floated its way to me:
"Don't be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father's home,
and I am going to prepare a place for you.
...so that you will always be with me where I am."
A place for me.
Just for me.
I've always read these words, as words for the future, when I'll be able to look into the eyes of Jesus and finally lean into the sigh of His arms embracing me.
But, this morning as I heard them, I felt the still, quiet whisper of Jesus speaking to the little girl in me.
There is a place here and now that Jesus has been preparing for the little girl in me.
That place is my heart, where Jesus has been doing deep, healing work -- to accept her as she is.
To let her know, there is a place in this world for her.
Because Jesus understands her.
Because jesus loves her. as is.
His words to her now, in this very moment is --
You will always be with me where I am.
You will always have a place with me.
So, even though we are all grown up and capable -- carrying the load of daily chores, caring for others, so they don't have to feel the strain we've had to endure -- will we dare to ask ourselves:
Can I make some space for that little girl in me?
To begin a journey to walk out into the world?
To share her voice.
And even if she should be rejected -- which you and I know she will -- we can remind her that Jesus loves her.
And that, even so, we can try to find a friend.
Encourage her to believe -- there is a place for her in this world.
Comfort her when she cries and doesn't believe.
Show her kindness.
Don't give up her.
On that little girl in you.
And in me.
Faith after all, just can't possibly be journeyed alone. Even if everything tells us it can't be possible.
We can learn to offer each other the kindness of Jesus and moments of safety.
These small moments may be few, but they are enough.
Because love's imprint can never be erased.
And it speaks to us through the words we share here.
This place in our hearts Jesus has made.
Just for us.
How is God encouraging you to make room for the little girl in you?
How are you walking by faith out into the world?
Pull up a chair.click to comment. Share your heart as it speaks to you here.
If you're on the journey of faith to walk out into the world, I'd love your company. join me on my blog as I stumble and journey in community together. Let's keep speaking words of encouragement and friendship with each other in our faith stories -- as it's being made and lived. As is.
Bonnie Gray is an inspiring Christian writer and blogger, offering encouragement to keep faith fresh in the daily grind. Her writing springs from the belief that the beauty of faith often takes place when life goes off script. Bonnie is founder of faithbarista.com and featured writer for Hallmark subsidiary DaySpring's (in)courage. Bonnie is currently working on her debut book, to be published by Revell Books in 2014. Bonnie is a native Californian living in the heart of Silicon Valley with her best friend Hubby, wrangling their two heaven-sent boys on the homestead.
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