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Surviving’s Easy – Rest Comes Hard

on May 29, 2014

#spiritualwhitespaceI’m good at surviving.

After all, I’ve survived a chaotic, broken childhood that fueled destructive choices during my teens and early twenties, many serious health challenges (including a rare esophageal disease, more than a dozen surgeries, autoimmune thyroid disease, a very aggressive form of breast cancer and the reconstruction that came along with with it), an abusive addict husband (who is currently in recovery and with whom I will be celebrating 25 years of marriage this year), raising four spirited daughters, difficult and broken family relationships, and the sudden, confusing loss of friendships I held dear for a decade.

Survival. Resilience.
I’ve got that part down.
Looking at that list, it’s obvious I’ve had lots of practice.
(And the help of some amazing mental health professionals over the years. *smile)

What I’m NOT good at is rest.
Historically, rest has not felt safe.
Rest has left me vulnerable.

Enter the breathtakingly amazing timing of an opportunity to be part of the launch team for Bonnie Gray’s new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul To Rest.

And this line from the book: ‘I am very good at surviving. I am an expert at figuring out how to do things right and do them well. I am not afraid of working hard, swallowing whatever might get me down, and pushing through.’

{I actually put a box around that whole passage instead of just underlining it because it resonated so deeply in my soul as I read it. For the record, though, I have underlined, double-underlined, starred, asterisked, and exclamation-pointed close to 90% of what I’ve read so far. It’s. That. Good.}

To be honest, though, rest – even the thought of it – causes panic to well up inside of me…squeezes my chest with anxiety…blasts at full volume the voices that try to convince me that rest is not for me. That rest is not a thing I am worthy of. That rest is a sign of weakness. (Huh – maybe the contradiction woven in those voices should be the first clue that they’re lying?)

It’s no accident that the concept of Spiritual Whitespace has entered my life during this season…

I have one baby left at home (and at 17, she’s not much of a baby anymore).
I’m near the anniversary of the fourth year since that cancer was found.
As Baby’s boyfriend informed me a few weeks ago, I’m only three years away from turning 50.
And, as I work to discover what God has for me to do in my Second Act, I know He’s calling me to rest. In Him.

As Bonnie so beautifully, invitingly puts it, ‘Finding whitespace is daring to discover the places in your heart that are virgin, tender, soft, untraveled, wounded, or broken – so Jesus can make those places yours and his.’

I’m going to be looking for whitespace over the next few weeks and will share what I find with you here, friend.

And I hope someday soon to be able to say ‘I’m good at resting.’

Whitespace Community Linkup @

8 responses to “Surviving’s Easy – Rest Comes Hard

  1. Christina says:

    Beautiful, and I love Bonnie Gray.

  2. Sorry you had to survive through so much pain, Laura. Resting in Jesus with a wounded, vulnerable heart is so hard, isn’t it? I’ve only started Bonnie’s book, but so much has already spoken to me. I’m having to read it slower just to process. Joining you in the whitespace journey!

    • LauraK says:

      Thank you for your kind, compassionate words, Trudy. Going slow is just right when the subject matter is so life-changing, I think. 😉 Grateful for your company on this journey! xo

  3. Renee says:

    Wow…wow, wow. You are certainly a survivor. Resting not so easy? Sounds so familiar…… I am finding Bonnie’s book so amazing and like you can identify with her journey. God bless..

  4. Cari Jean says:

    I can relate – rest causes me anxiety too. I too have suffered medical issues and am the mom to a special needs daughter. I feel like I have to be on the go at all times and the more I do the more fulfilled I feel. My husband is constantly reminding me that I don’t have to do it all and that I should only focus on the important, Kingdom of God things and let the rest go. I try to take one day a week where I TRY not to DO anything – to take a real Sabbath day to help me re-fuel! It’s much harder than it sounds!

    • LauraK says:

      Grateful to be walking with you, Cari, on this journey to allow permission for ourselves to rest. And, Yay, You! for practicing the Sabbath God designed and modeled for us! 🙂 I wish you well.

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