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Review: Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray

Finding Spiritual Whitespace

It was a rainy day and I was so tired I fell asleep during Miss 11’s last logic lessons.  I could hardly think to help Miss 16 with her election report.  And yet, I could not sleep well.  There was too much to do to relax…but I could not do any of it because I was too tired.

So I sat down in our verandah with some sparkling water, surrounded by green trees and falling raindrops, and finished Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray.  I was choosing whitespace, healing rest rather than frantic activity… because I had no choice.

And that is what Finding Spiritual Whitespace  is about, but in a much, much deeper way.  The author, Bonnie, experienced PTSD due to her father’s abandonment and her mother’s harshness when she was a child.  Overwhelmed with panic attacks and depression, she learned that God loves her.  Even though her father and her mother forsook her, she learned that God never did.  She needed to accept that, to live it, understand it, and work through it.  She learned to take the time to be with God, because she had no choice.

And in the process, she discovered the idea of spiritual whitespace, “a creative way of spending time with God to slow down and feed your soul, to rejuvenate and enjoy soul rest.”  Rather than building walls of busyness and efficiency to protect herself as she had done when younger, she learned to let the walls crumble and to turn to God.  She moved past guilt and a check-list spirituality to develop a relationship with God.  Instead of feeling as though she needed to earn God’s love, she learned to say, “That’s right, I don’t deserve it.  But God will give me what I need.  I can receive grace—as is.”

In Finding Spiritual Whitespaces, Bonnie shares her story of the past, intertwines it with her faith of today, and encourages her readers to open up and think and pray.  She is a good story teller, and I moved from the story to the practical aspects with tears in my eyes, my heart broken for her ‘little girl’ self.

Now, I do not agree with all that Bonnie says.  More than once she interprets the Bible by reading her thoughts into it.  To a person who is despairing and suffering, God’s Word may speak in a different way, but it is still God’s Word and we may not alter its meaning.

Even so, this book spoke to me in my simple fatigue and busyness, and I am sure it could help those who are really suffering seriously.  According to statistics, many, many people have experienced all sorts of horrors.  Most people, perhaps.  If you are one of them, this book just may help you.  However, beware that, while Bonnie is encouraging and shares her story in a vulnerable and moving way, she does not always do God’s Word justice.

May God bless all those who are struggling due to trauma.  May he give his people the love and compassion to reach out to others even when it is messy or costly, just like the good Samaritan did.

Note:  this book shows that divorce does scar children, despite what some people say.  May God strengthen all struggling marriages.  For marriage help, I recommend The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages (link to my review).

This is yet another book in the in the 2014 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge and is also linked to Saturday Reviews, Works for Me Wednesdays, Booknificent Thursdays, and Raising Homemakers.

DisclosureThis book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

One Comment

  1. I appreciated your honesty in this review. The concept of spiritual whitespace is a new one to me – I’ll be thinking about it for sure! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! Always love having you there!

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