white space faces fears

When I tell you a story, I want to tell you the WHOLE story.

If we want to create spaces that are safe for the soul, we need to understand why the soul so rarely shows up in everyday life.

Parker Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness

White space is everything I have told you these last fourteen days and more. I cannot wait to share more beauty, hope and creativity that can be found when we carve out white space to tend our souls.

Yesterday I shared my quirky thing of looking at the other side of something I am trying to understand. I gave you some thoughts on what white space is not. All in the hopes of seeing what white space is, a little better and brighter.

Now I want to tell you what might probably will happen at some point in the silence, solitude and stillness, especially if you want to be creative and connect with Christ in that space. There will be resistance.

Stillness is not about focusing on nothingness; it’s about creating a clearing.
It’s opening up an emotionally clutter-free space
and allowing ourselves to feel and think
and dream and question.

Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

But in the clearing, in the quiet, especially in the solitude, you will hear doubts . . .

What if I can’t do this?
What if I blow it?
What if i’m not ready?
What if I am left all alone.
What if no one attends, reads or notices?

Or worse, accusations . . .

Who do you think you are?
You’ll never finish.
You should have known.
You are not ready.
You don’t deserve this beautiful thing. (success, opportunity, friendship, love, forgiveness)
You have nothing to share.
You don’t belong here.
You’re not enough. (good, thin, smart, experienced, quick, you name it)
You are not beloved.

It is easy to think, we’re the only ones who hear these whispers. But we ALL hear them with just the right smooth lie to snare our soul like a bird caught in a net.

For me, it’s . . .

No one is listening.
You’re selfish.
You can’t keep up.
It was your fault.
You’re not brave enough.
Besides you’re fat.
With a whole lot of shouldas on top.

Brene Brown calls these liars the gremlins, little monsters who destroy and manipulate our souls by piling on shame. Julia Cameron calls them the henchmen and says they're part of the deal. C.S Lewis called them Nephew Wormwood and Uncle Screwtape and the book of Nehemiah called them Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem.

Whatever you call them, they are liars who want to keep us from soul keeping. And they come with the territory of tending your soul. Actually, the haters have been there all along whispering to our deepest fears, keeping us quiet. Just ask Eve. We think we keep them at bay when we hide out or keep busy and quick moving, the faster the better.

But our fast living is just running away from knowing deeply how much God loves us and is for us.

I tell you this, not to scare you away, but so you will not be surprised when you carve out white space and the naysayers raise their nasty voices. It is what they do, tear us down, crush our dreams and feed our fears.

Yet, we know Who we go to meet there in the silence, in the stillness, in the clearing. The One who spun us in His image.

You formed my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are your works, My soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:13-14 (read it all!)

Oh, may your soul know that it has been touched by that tender nailed hand and set free! I hope you will keep at it, this carving out of a clearing for your soul to breath and flourish and come out and play, a place to meet your Savior who loves you with a timeless love. Even as you face your fears, may you know you are beloved.

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.
Romans 8:15, The Message

Here is a page from my commonplace book back when I was reading through the book of Ezekiel. Look! God knows our souls are prey for liars, gremlins and henchmen. He has spoken and acted in Jesus so our souls will take wing.

Let's remind each other who he is and who we are in his eyes and in his hands. Together in Christ we can make each other brave and true and free.

Let's celebrate!

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