I received a copy of Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul To Rest, written by Bonnie Gray, for the purpose of generating a review. Italicized quotes are from the book. The opinions expressed here are my own.
When I read the title of this book, I thought I knew right where we would go. Another resource for figuring out how to slow this life down long enough to be still and know God is God. Finding a calmness among the activities of life.
The author thought she knew where we were going too.
And we both turned out to be wrong.
She ended up working her way through a year-long bout with post traumatic stress disorder. Not because she was a war veteran. But because there was a battle raging inside of her that she’d never really faced.
“Prior to experiencing PTSD, I would’ve told you I was pretty good at being restful. I drink tea, love hiking, friends, and pastry joints, and sip coffee.”
A confident person who’d always seemingly had it all together, she found herself suddenly, hopelessly, broken.
“I step out to share my story with you because it is in these unexpected places of brokenness I’m hearing Jesus speak more tenderly - and I feel his hand fold into mine more gently - to lead me deeper into new places of rest. I would’ve never chosen to write to you about finding rest from these broken places.”
The entire book you find yourself learning about the need for whitespace. To accentuate to the art God is creating on the canvas of your life. But also, you are following the story of a little girl inside of an adult who carries some real wounds. It’s a memoir that touches you while it teaches you.
She had to learn to rest when her anxiety ran so high she couldn’t sleep. She couldn’t find rest in the way she’d always studied the Bible. No amount of self-discipline brought her soul rest.
“I no longer have the luxury of writing about spiritual rest behind the safety of studies, numbers, anecdotes, and experts’ advice.”
The author has a good grasp of Scripture and weaves verses and whole stories throughout the book.
“I am beginning to hear Jesus’s words, even though I tremble to accept it; I love you broken.”
This book doesn’t offer a formula for getting physical rest. It has space for you to journal about your own memories. Also ways to meet your need for creative whitespace. There are exercises at the end where you can map out activities to help you seek true soul rest. The author explains, and I agree, this takes a person on a much different path.
“This is why I choose to write, even if it means I’ll feel broken for a season. Because the other side of brokenness is restoration; the hope - the journey - is wholeness.”