Book Review: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

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The Boring Part: Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray is a breathtakingly honest work on how to find spiritual whitespace and authentic rest from a place of guilt, shame, and fear. To find peace and hope in the desolate places. Seeing things from an artist’s perspective, where whitespace makes a piece, Gray writes: “Whitespace is not blank–it breathes beauty and gives the eye a place to rest.” This is the premise of a book full of words that resonate with the cries of the reader’s heart and soul-searching journal prompts to help one find their own place of spiritual whitespace. If you are tired of trying harder, of hiding behind walls, and are hungering for rest, then let Gray guide you on the path to beauty, faith, and hope in your most vulnerable places.

Spaces for a Story: Bonnie bares her soul in Finding Spiritual Whitespace and somewhere in the process of reading this memoir, I found my soul being stripped bare as well. I know the feelings of guilt and shame, of fear, loneliness, and desolation. I too attempt to numb the stillness “by doing rather than by become vulnerable and real.” And when Bonnie led me to realize that finding rest, of finding the elusive whitespace, was not a matter of trying harder, or of more discipline, I breathed an audible sigh of relief. In the midst of training for a half-marathon, of finishing a long school year in a country not my own, of walking with high school students through grief and loss and goodbyes, I cannot try harder. All my trying has been tried. And I see in my life and in the lives of my students the truth that we often “prefer safety over intimacy” and have lost the ability to freely receive. When I’m hurt, whether it be physically or emotionally, my immediate reaction is to stand up and insist that “I will be okay.” Those who know me best have seen it often. But Bonnie insists that it is “more vulnerable to say: I need loving. I’m tired. I can’t do it all. I need others. I’m not okay.” I don’t know if I can do that. Its more than a knife wound to my pride. Its a stick of dynamite in the walls that I’ve built up over the years to keep people at a safe distance. At a distance where they can’t hurt me. And so as I read this book, I felt as if I was walking through Bonnie’s story with her, reliving her experiences as my own, and craving rest just as badly. As the joys and beauty of discovering her spiritual whitespace became clear, I rejoiced with her, excited with the possibilities. Tattooed on my shoulder is the phrase “Live Beautifully.” I see the world with the eye of a photographer, and beauty, light, perspective, and whitespaces are all a part of that. The verse that is a theme for this blog, Isaiah 61:3, expresses God’s desire to bring beauty and joy out of brokenness, and so it excites me to see that reflected in Finding Spiritual Whitespace: “Rest is a living journey: a relationship. We walk by faith with Jesus into our most vulnerable places…Rest comes from awakening our hearts to fully open up in our relationship with Jesus” “Whitespace signifies space for a story.” What is your story?

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for a sincere review of its contents. This review is my honest and personal review of the book and was not edited or changed by the author or publisher in any way.

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