We we live in a world that says busier is better, multi-tasking equals maturity, and you can rest when you're dead.
We're also told to leave the past behind, sponge away our bad memories, and be decorously positive even if it's fake.
Imagine Bonnie Gray, a Christ-follower, wife, mother, and blogger at FaithBarista . com. Imagine beginning a book about the need for whitespace in our lives, about making room for spiritual beauty, rest and peace. You would think that writing such a book would be a restful experience right there, but it wasn't. When Bonnie began writing, the worst panic attacks she had never even thought of came along with the words, and along with the attacks came old memories.
When this book came from Revell for review, I gave it to my Mother first. She has had panic attacks, and when she (rarely) reveals her experience implicit question linger: "Why would YOU have panic attacks? You're all grown up, you've got your own family. You're not a returned soldier, you're a Stay at Home Mom. You don't deserve to have PTSD. So you had a bad childhood? Too bad! Focus on the happy memories. Parental alcoholism and feelings of abandonment, well, that's just how it was done Back Then. That's no reason to wig-out on us now."
It has taken Mom years to come to this conclusion: If you tell me to forget the past, you're telling me that God wasn't there with me in those times. And you're telling me that some part's of me and my life are too broken for God to repair.
That's kind of what Bonnie learned... It's Ok to admit you are wounded, as long as you give the wounds to Jesus and let Him carry you when the journey to healing is hard.
Mom loved following Bonnie's story, because this isn't a self-help book, it's a book of personal sharing. This story is inspiring because Bonnie is honest, and it deeply impacted my mother. When she gave me back a much-dogeared volume and a glowing endorsement, I knew we had acquired a keeper.
What if what we all really need is rest, right now, in the present? What if we need to learn how to rest right in the middle of our grateful and messy and laughing and aching and broken and hopeful lives, right here in whatever this is?
I think I'm going to give copies of Finding Spiritual Whitespace to family members.
Thank you Revell Reads Blog Program for giving me my copy.