“Rest became a battle to run away from the things that break me
– instead of allowing the brokenness to bring me to Him.”
– Bonnie Gray
That’s me. Running away. Fighting against the remembering. Spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere but empty and exhausted. But I don’t want to live like this anymore. This numbness, this shutting off my feelings because it hurts too much. This putting on a strong front and saying, “I’m fine.” This letting the words and actions of others give me my identity. This robotic living controlled by what was or is expected of me.
As I write this, steady rain is falling straight down in a peaceful rhythm, replenishing, refreshing, brightening the dependent earth. As I sit and watch, I listen and let the sounds soothe my soul. I breathe in the freshly laundered air, begging God to fill me with the rain of His Holy Spirit. To breathe life into my soul. To break the shackles from my soul and set me free.
Please, Dear God,
May Your Holy Spirit flood my soul,
Wash away all my self-sufficiency,
All the lies about who I am,
Whatever keeps me from resting in You.
I don’t want to be strong anymore,
I want to relinquish all control,
The control I let people hold over me,
The control of wanting my own way,
Not trusting Your plan for my life.
I don’t want to run away anymore,
I want to embrace the vulnerability,
To find the real child in me
You created me to be,
To lean into You trusting and unafraid.
I want to open the doors of my heart,
To journey with You,
To layer by layer
Expose to Your healing rain
Those deep places of pain.
Please break away
These embedded shackles
That trap me –
This shame that poisons my perspective,
This fear that freezes my faith,
This unfounded guilt that eats me alive.
I want to be free, Lord,
To feel, to want, to need,
To allow myself to be loved,
To love myself as You desire,
To nurture my depleted soul,
To open my heart to the power of Your love.
Are these the longings of your soul, too? Do you need rest? Then come on a journey with us to find it. Bonnie Gray’s new book – Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest – has come out this week and is packed with so many insights that I have to read it slowly, trying to process one revelation at a time. It is already changing my life. It has shaken up beliefs that have been instilled into me. This idea of doing God more service if I forget about me and concentrate on encouraging and nurturing others. This doing and not just being. I always feel selfish when I take time to nurture myself, not realizing God wants me to take care of myself – to nurture myself in His bottomless fountain of love and security. I’m beginning to understand why it’s not selfish, because it is only through accepting and nurturing myself as the precious beloved of Jesus who wants me to bare my entire vulnerability to Him for healing that I will be able to nurture others with reckless abandon with the same love Jesus gives.
True rest is not running away from all our vulnerability, brokenness, and hurting emotions. It is leaning into Jesus, allowing Him to love us fully and freely. To go to Him just as we are, not trying to be strong, but raw with all our pain, shame, and fear, not trying to minimize any of it. Baring our hearts to Him, letting Him cut away the cancer in our souls, and wash and restore us with His healing balm of grace and love.
“But there comes a time
when it takes more faith
to fall apart with Jesus
than to stay strong enough
to stop it from happening.”
– Bonnie Gray
“Whitespace. It’s the space on a page left unmarked used to make art beautiful. It gives the eye a place to rest, to bring out all the beautiful colors and images. You and I are God’s artwork. We need space to rest, so we can live a beautiful story.
I’ve written this memoir-driven guidebook — with chapter by chapter journaling prompts and group discussions questions so you can:
~ move beyond surviving to find rejuvenating rest
~ uncover the you God made: explore what feeds your soul
~ discover practical ideas to create space in your heart and schedule to rest
~ understand how your personal story shapes how easy or hard it is to receive self-care and soul care.
~ be inspired with hope, peace and encouragement”
– Bonnie Gray
11 thoughts on “Journey of Rest: It’s Time to Stop Running”
Lovely and insoiring. Thanks you. visiting you this week from COFFEE w/Holley & inviting you to stop by With Heart Wide Open.
Thank you, Shandra, for your kind words and for stopping by. I like the name of your blog. What a blessing it is if we can go to Jesus with “heart wide open!” 💐
“I don’t want to be strong anymore” ooh, that’s a hard one to let go of. But if I want God’s strength instead of my own (and I do!), I have to let go of the disillusionment of my own first. Wasn’t Bonnie’s book good? It did invite me to rest in Jesus, not in me.
Amen, Lisa. It’s sooo hard to let go of our control, to dare to trust in God’s control, believing His intentions are pure and life-giving. I haven’t finished Bonnie’s book yet as I have to take it slowly as there’s so much to process, but I love it! So glad it’s led you to more rest in Jesus. 🙂 Joining you in this journey, Lisa, to let go of our own strength and lean entirely on Jesus. Hugs! 💐
I’m not sure if it’s that we’re all reading this amazing book together, or if we’re all on the same wavelength? feeling a lot of what you are feeling! it’s so HARD to loosen my grip on those things that I’ve been stuffing deep into the wells of my heart. I’m accepting the challenge though…
like you, I’ve been reading it slow. I want to soak it all in! 🙂
What a beautiful prayer!
So glad to be on this journey together!
Thank you. I’m so glad we’re on this journey together, too, Krista. Even though it’s so HARD, we’ll accept this challenge together. Wishing you REST IN JESUS! HUGS! 💐
Thank you so much for linking up with Coffee for Your Heart! I’m so grateful for your words. XO
Thank you, Holley, for your kind words and for stopping by. Your site and your books help me so much on this journey of finding rest in Jesus. So many times my heart is encouraged and strengthened through your words. XO back to you! ❤️
This is such a beautiful thought. It is in the resting that we can find God. When we are running around trying to get things done we over look His presence. Thank you for reminding us of this so beautifully.
Thank you for your kind words, Yvonne. Yes, we so need that rest, don’t we? I just checked out your site, and I so identify with the masks we put on. So glad we’re on this journey together of learning to be “real.” I love your nature pics, too. 💐