grateful amazement

finding wonder…everywhere.

Rest: A 4-Letter Word

on June 3, 2014

{This post is part of the “Finding Spiritual Whitespace Blog Tour” which I am a part of, along with a group of soulful, journeying kindreds. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE!}

There’s a 4-Letter Word I really struggle with.

It’s one that causes my throat to constrict, my palms to get sweaty, my heart pound, and my stomach to feel sucker-punched.

There are probably a variety of 4-Letter Words going through your mind just now – you may even feel confident in venturing a guess or two as to exactly what word it is that causes such an intense physical reaction…but my guess is you’d get it wrong.

Because it’s not a ‘typical’ 4-Letter Word.
It is socially acceptable to say in any setting.
It is not something one would say to elicit shock.
It is even an inviting, sweet word to some ears.

But, to my ears, it is anything but inviting and sweet.

The word in question?

And, as I’m reading Bonnie Gray’s *brand new book* Finding Spiritual Whitespace, I am starting to understand that my violent reaction to Rest is a coping mechanism that has deep roots in my life. Roots that make sense when examined from the perspective of the 5-year-old little girl that I was, but roots that seem to call out for a treatment or two of Holy Root Killer when viewed from where I stand today.

Rest, it turns out, is something for which my heart, my mind, my spirit, my body is crying out…
Rest, I’m learning, is something that has been calling to me for weeks, months, years, decades…

The thing is, it’s hard to hear anything calling to me when I’m running hard and fast in the opposite direction…cramming my days, jamming my schedule, packing my calendar so full that all the things jostling for my attention actually make enough noise bumping into each other that they drown out the whispers that Bonnie writes of in the pages of her life-changing book:

Rest, Jesus is whispering to you and to me.
Let me be with you.
As is.’

When I look at that little 5-year-old version of me, it breaks my heart to see her with her eyes squinched shut, her fingers stopping her ears, her tiny shoulders tensed, and her little mouth shouting, ‘La la la la la la laaaa…I can’t hear you!’ in response to any invitation to Rest.

She knew even then the panic that the thought of Rest wells up in a soul unable to sense safety…like stockinged-feet on a slick, moving surface that aren’t able to find a stable place.

Now, as I think of her – of me – it’s hard to fight the lump in my throat that’s working overtime to hold back the frightened, lonely, overwhelmed tears. In coming face-to-face with just how long this lack of safety, this scarcity of a stable place has been A Thing in my life, it’s really no surprise that Rest sparks within me the response it does.

Having the privilege of being part of the Finding Spiritual Whitespace launch team is, in my estimation, a divinely-timed assignment. One of those ‘for such a time as this’ things.

And I am making a promise to 5-year-old me because of it.

We – she and I – are going to take back that word…Rest.
We’re going to redeem it.
We are going to lean into it and, with Jesus’ help, turn it into one that sounds like, feels like another 4-Letter Word: Love.

Because, this…
‘Jesus is prompting me to step out to rest in a new way with him. It’s so much easier to take care of everyone, to tend to problems and everything else. It’s easier to be strong and not need or feel.
We’ve been taught our feelings are not reliable, so we throw them to the wayside. Trouble is, there is a part of ourselves we throw to the side too. Sometimes the harder path to rest is following your heart and holding on to nothing but Jesus.
Let’s not take the easier path. Let’s take the harder path to rest, paved by new ways of faith. Let’s take those feelings to Jesus and speak to him as friend to friend. Let’s listen to Jesus speak to us in a different way –
in the voice of intimate confidante,
where he takes our tears and shows us where they lead,
so we can whisper all we’ve never dared to share.
This is the harder path of faith I’m learning. Putting our hearts first – letting Jesus love us – is a new way of resting with him.’ ~Bonnie Gray, Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Bonnie’s book is available now – and it’s changing lives already.

I’m so grateful mine is one of them.

Bonnie Gray is the writer behind Faith who wrote a book about her inspiring, heart-breaking journey to find rest, which garnered Publisher’s Weekly starred review. I’m taking the journey to find rest through this guidebook and invite you to read it too. You can get a copy HERE.

{While you’re here, friend, give this sweet, hope-filled book trailer a view…}

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace


4 responses to “Rest: A 4-Letter Word

  1. Elaine says:

    Wonderful, Laura; I love the thought of Holy Root Killer! It’s just what I need to remember is always in stock. Journeying along with you to find Rest in HIm.

    • LauraK says:

      Your comment makes me smile, Elaine! I actually had to do a Google search to see if there really is such a thing as Root Killer. 😉 I love your thought that the Holy brand ‘is always in stock’! So thankful to be sharing this journey with you! xo

  2. Morag says:

    There has only been on season of my life when there was a stable place to rest. I so closely relate to your words and Bonnie’s. I’m so glad we’re on this whitespace journey together. What courage to let yourself come to this point, to see your five year old self and to publicly give witness to her here. God bless.

    • LauraK says:

      Dear Morag,
      My heart is heavy to know you so closely relate. It is a hard thing, isn’t it, to have so little that’s been stable. I’m grateful for your presence here and on this journey to rest.
      Hugs and Blessings to you!

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