Despite being an optimist, I am not often a happy one; most of the time my most positive emotion is relief. Relief that maybe, at last, someone might listen to me. Maybe, at last, the time of crisis is over. Maybe, at last, I have some time to myself. And then I use that time to grieve for all the hard stuff I've been through, before it starts all over again. Lurching from one crisis or difficult phase to another, I've begun to realise that constantly waiting for the calm after the storm and before the next might not be the best way to live.
The new journal I bought says
"We are NOT here to wait for the storm to pass but to learn to dance in the rain".
Since moving to the new realm, I hardly ever see actual raindrops fall from the sky. But the storms of life are just as common above my head here as they were in the old realm. Soon after moving, I determined that I would live my life more restfully, more peacefully, more quietly, in the hope that it would soothe my soul. I have prioritised rest, I have as peaceful a life as I can with the two small people and one big person I live with, I savour the quiet when it comes, but I still struggle with unrest in my soul.
I WANT to know how to dance in the metaphorical rain (I've done the literal version). I'm hoping that I might find the key in the spiritual whitespace Bonnie Gray talks about in her new book.
In her story I am finding strong echoes of my own. She doesn't promise me solutions. She offers only "whispers, etched in pain". But these I trust. If I speak in my "full voice", when I utter truth from my heart, it is never loud. I too, can only offer a whisper of wisdom, or confession.
And I too, know what it feels like to be unwanted. I know the longing of wanting to be known but the overwhelming fear of the transparency that requires. Her gentle prompts to open up to Jesus, and to find the little girl deep inside me - they reverberate in my soul. They help me to believe that hard work, self-sufficiency and "getting on with it" are not necessarily the most helpful practices when trying to move past the wounds of the past. I appreciate her guidance, knowing that she also is a wounded warrior on this pilgrimage of life.
The idea of stepping into 'whitespace' is quite daunting, and yet inviting. A place where 'being seen' is valued at the cost of our hiding places. Striving to survive was not my life's goal, yet it is the place I find myself. I long to be saved, mostly from myself. So I take Bonnie's challenge to find spiritual whitespace and the gentle mercy of Jesus within it. I will stop seeking my own solutions and listen for my Saviour's voice.
Jesus promised us 'trouble' in this life, but He also promised He would be present with us. In all my lonely wonderings about life in the old realm, I forget that He knows, He was there with me, and still is now.
I don't know how to dance in the rain yet, but maybe I hear a few musical notes floating in my direction. And I think my toes are starting to tap! I'll let you know when I've learned a few steps.