Finding spiritual whitespace isn’t about carving out an hour of time to escape the things that stress us. It’s the opposite. It’s getting away from everything we do to distract ourselves from all the hidden pieces – in order to nurture our soul. (Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray pg. 49)
One of the ways I find Spiritual Whitespace is to take Faithwalks. I pack a small back pack with water (& Diet Coke) and I put on my headphones and I start walking the trails. I pray, I sing, I worship, and I take in the beauty. I snap pictures and sometimes I walk fast and sometimes I go slow. This isn’t just exercise. This is exercise for the soul. This is isn’t just sweat. This is tears.
On Monday, I was reading Finding Spiritual Whitespace and on page 59, the Whitespace prompt was this:
“Are you facing a dilemma? Rather than drawing up a pros/cons sheet, which can separate you from your heart, picture yourself as a little girl. What would she choose and why?”
Deep breath. Eyes closed. Gulp.
~I had to pause.~
I put the book down and got dressed to hit the trails. I was thinking about how in my ‘walled up’ heart I can endure uncomfortable circumstances with an exterior smile. I can work extra hard to appear ok and to be okay and to make things okay. If I can just be funny, and crack the tension we can all just get along. Throw me in the middle of conflict and I am like a ping-pong ball that freezes inside while I bounce off of each paddle. These are my logical, fix it and forget it responses. These responses are far from my heart.
Picture yourself as a little girl…. What would she choose and why?
Lord Help Me.
I rounded the corner and was on the trails as I prayed for clarity to even see the answer to this question. I am in my own world on the trails. I pass people and bikes and I am looking deep into the woods past the movement and past the noise to see Him, and to hear from Him. I look up and above me is a tree full of green leaves, with one beautiful yellow leaf. I hear God whisper to me, “It’s okay to be different.”
I didn’t snap the picture but I said it out loud. It’s okay to be different and I texted it to a friend and said pray for me. I continued walking and saw another yellow leaf among all of the green. “You don’t have to blend in”.
Now He has my attention.
I have my camera out and I start to see yellow heart leaves back to back in various places. It was amazing.
It’s okay to be different. I don’t have to do things the old way. I can respond with my heart. I am made new. I can respond in new ways. He created me to be unique. He didn’t design me to blend in and appear okay or to make things okay. He created me to be me.
Who am I?
It just so happened the images I snapped that day were reds and purples along with the yellows, and even those that were similar were not alike. We are all unique. Your red doesn’t have to be my red. Your purple doesn’t have to look like my purple.
I am different. You are different. We are beautiful.
If you understand the need to never stand out, to desperately not want to be different, to not want to be recognized… any attention can make your heart anxious, just blend in…. maybe you will hear the beauty of His response in this whisper…
“It’s okay to be different.”
You don’t have to hide.
New day, new way.
The old has gone, and the new is here!
Be who I designed you to be.
Be you with all of your little girl heart.
Be beautiful you.
Ephesians 4:20-24 (NLT)
But you did not learn anything like this from Christ. If you have heard of Him and have learned from Him, put away the old person you used to be. Have nothing to do with your old sinful life. It was sinful because of being fooled into following bad desires. ~Let your minds and hearts be made new.~ You must become a new person and be God-like. Then you will be made right with God and have a true holy life.