stars_emdashpaperco

I have been hungry for a long time.

Soul hungry.

I’ve longed for the cool mist of light spring rain, but I’ve been wandering in the desert.

The desert of my soul.

I haven’t forgotten the memories of my youth, where the sun kissed summer into my hair as I lay lazy on the quiet river of yesteryears.

But I’ve wondered, could the girl with stars in her eyes ever come back to me?

Because that little girl grew up.

She discovered with each loss she sustained, she felt stronger when she didn’t look up at the stars.

She laid awake in her bed instead many nights, unable to sleep, trying to soothe her heart by hiding her dreams and covering her need.

She was doing it all, yet something inside felt unsettled.

But she never said anything. She wouldn’t want anyone to misunderstand and think she was ungrateful.

She didn’t want to need comfort. Because maybe doing so would make her want it more and well, that would make life more complicated. She would have to make hard changes that would leave too many broken pieces in her story.

And she didn’t want that.

She wanted to fit in with all the happy, unbroken people in the world.

The truth is she didn’t believe God could use anything she thought was weak. Or broken.

The truth is I didn’t believe God could shine his light through me weak and broken.

Because if I really did believe such a thing, I’d have to speak in my broken and weak voice.

And I definitely did not want that.

A Piece of Herself

The little girl in me didn’t know it, but every moment she stopped risking and chose safety instead, she quietly lost a piece of herself.

Every time she swept away the tears from her voice, she seemed to speak more boldly.

But the truth is, the intimacy she once nurtured with God flickered into a dimming memory.

She knew Jesus loved her — but she forgot what it felt like to be loved. As is.

Her heart was tender toward others — but she forgot what the tenderness of God felt like against the skin of her soul.

She lost her spark.

Becoming Beloved

The little girl in me tried to recapture that spark by working harder, smarter, becoming better at doing life.

She tried to recapture it by being happy for others.

She became an expert at spectating life, rather than experiencing it fresh for herself.

And she felt selfish and guilty whenever she longed to sparkle again.

She didn’t understand those criticizing voices were lies from the past, who taught her that becoming beloved was only a truth to accept instead of an experience to boldly and wildly receive.

God loved me too much to allow me to hide my heart anymore.

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He brought me into a deeper journey of intimacy with Him. God re-awakened my soul to rest by letting it feel the pain of loss again. So I can recover the memories of my past and re-write them. And each time I did, the little girl began breaking through. 

I’ve been coming back alive, with each memory lighting up the darkness of pain.

Sometimes it takes more faith to fall apart with Jesus than to pray for faith to keep it from happening.

Sparkle

As I followed God on this new journey of soul rest, I heard the most beautiful, intimate whispers from God. And I began to remember what it felt like to sparkle.

I will be enough for you, Bonnie.

When your hands have finally let go of all your strength and you are only left with empty hands …

When you finally accept that you cannot carry the burdens you were never intended to carry …

When you finally collapse at the weight of denying your story …

You will find that as you fall, fall, and then fall — you’ll find that I will carry you. (Is.46:4)

And like the stars that shine across the void of darkness, because I chose to light them thousands of years ago, so you could see them sparkle today — all those thousands of deaths your heart sustained on this journey will only show how great my love for you has been, is and will be.

Your mother and father may forsake you, but I will never leave you. (Ps. 27:10)

And in those moments of greatest darkness, I will love you with an everlasting love. Again and again. (Jer. 31:3)

You will no longer be called forsaken or desolate. You will be called my delight. (Is.62:4)

You will be renamed and remade by my love. (Rev. 2:17)

You will sparkle like a diamond in the sky.

Intimately Near

When I think of these tender, beautiful words Jesus is whispering to me on this journey of rest, they are too beautiful to keep to myself.

I picture Jesus’ hand. How He reaches out to me. And you.  

In our broken memories. In the battlefield of our stories.

So even though the scariest thing for me is to be weak and uncertain, I know that is where Jesus is most intimately near.  

Beloved

If you wonder if you could ever find your spark again — remember this:

What God wants is for you to be known.

To be loved.

To find rest.

The way to find rest may not be the way you have imagined it. But, when you dare to be known, you are resting in the arms of Jesus.

And it’s there, resting, that you’ll see the stars fall down on you.

God’s love will rain on you like stardust as you look up at the sky again. He will carry you, even as your arms hold no strength from all your weariness.

Let God love you. Give yourself permission to rest.

Through telling your story, you will give others permission to be known and loved too. They will find space to rest.

Go where Jesus leads you, even if you feel no one else will find any worth in what you have to offer.

Remember, God’s power is made perfect when we are not enough — when we become the Beloved.

“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”
Isaiah 40:26

~~~~~

Are you longing to sparkle again?

Whisper a prayer and confide in your story. Let your light shine bright. As is. 

Pull up a chair. This is a quiet space for you and me. Click to comment.

{Photo credit: hand-letter & calligraphy art by emdashpaperco; leaf photo by vinothchandar.}
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  • http://www.bushmaid.blogspot.com Jasmine Ruigrok

    Thankyou so much for this… I’ve been discovering more and more of late that when we hide who we are when we are broken and hurting, we become more and more alone inside. When we have the courage to dare to show one another our weaknesses, we not only free ourselves, but also those who are experiencing the exact same thing. Isn’t it funny how we are always surprised to find another person is just as human as we are? It must make God smile. Thankyou for sharing this, Bonnie. It was such a blessing. Keep shining.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      it’s so anti-intuitive… i’m still being surprised. and you being here brings a warm surprise to my heart. a knowing kinship across the miles Jasmine… #kindreds

  • Christina Little

    Bonnie ~
    Thank you for being real and genuine. I breathed easier and smiled while reading your post. I understand the place of rest. I’ve been “tired” all my life and couldn’t never “rest” but God, thankfully, has had mercy on me and forced me into rest. I’m terrified sometimes, uncomfortable sometimes, but mainly all I can do is smile (in my heart and on my face) as I go about my day with Him. It is painful and beautiful and so healing like never before. I’ve been on survivor mode for way too long. The little girl no longer has to survive, her Heavenly Daddy is fighting for her and I am resting while He does. I’m not even sure I’m in a valley or not….all I’m left with is God’s rest and love washing over me. I want to say I don’t deserve it and I don’t, but not because Christina is worthless but because (1 John 4:10) God showed His love in that He loved us not that we loved Him (my paraphrasing). So….I’m meant for more (as Lysa Terkeurst states in Made To Crave). I too am loved and nurtured and can be God’s mouth piece. Thank you again Bonnie. I can’t express how beautiful it was to lay beside you in the lawn while you looked up in the starts and took us through your heart.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      thanks for being with me this morning… as awoke to find your story here… thank you for making this place more real, Christina. you. here. looking up at the stars as we rested on the grass as #kindreds.

  • Claire meechan

    Oh my ! You so speak to my soul here it’s where I am right now lost my sparkle , feeling numb and tired out from life’s traumas but there’s reassurance in that God doesn’t want me to live that way , I long for my sparkle to return !

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      your sparkle is still there… and it sparkles here among all the words shared here, Claire. beneath the numb, your light, His light shine through. #letssparkle

  • http://walkingwellwithgod.blogspot.com Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God

    Bonnie,
    You express so well the groans of our heart that the Holy Spirit makes to intercede for us. So much of your writing resonates with me, with a lot of us. The line, “Sometimes it takes more faith to fall apart in Jesus than to pray for faith to keep it from happening.”…really hit home for me. I have learned that is okay to fall apart in Jesus and in fact takes more faith than praying that I won’t fall apart and that pain would elude me. Thank you for giving us the permission to be broken and to be a cracked pot through which God’s brightness can shine. It’s then that we truly sparkle. Many hugs to you in your brave journey…
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      thanks for being such a part of this community … wherever you shre your words, your heart shines through, Bev.

  • trista

    Wow. This.is.me. Thank you for sharing. ❤️

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      you warm this place. you. here. thank you for sharing this space together. trista. :)

  • http://hopeingodforever.wordpress.com Katie

    Dear Bonnie,

    I cry tears as I read this and write. It could be me writing these words of hiding my story, my pain, my dreams. Even though I have been learning to embrace my story and share my heart with God and others, I still feel so completely alone sometimes. I know the truth, I am NOT alone, God is always there. I have several dear friends walking with me (including emailing you at times back and forth). Tonight was a sleepless, night wishing for rest and sleep. Turmoil surrounds my heart. Your words bring comfort and a reminder to continue this journey. I want to see the sparkles and believe in dreams again. I am not enough with Jesus, it is enough.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      hi katie, i hope you can hear with clarity and certainty in this very moment, even in your turmoil, you are not alone. and if it feels too alone, i hope you can confide in someone again and again so you don’t have to carry the loneliness without relief. it’s too much when it’s too hard. so no when you need to, be courageous with those “no”s. and surround yourself with friends who can walk you through the storm. so sorry it’s just too hard right now.

  • http://forever31mama.blogspot.com Krista

    “God’s love will rain on you like stardust as you look up at the sky again. He will carry you, even as your arms hold no strength from all your weariness.”
    So needed this. Your words are always so soothing Bonnie. :)

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      i thought of your last name and often think you are “Krista Sparkle” .. yep, that’s how I’ve often remember your name, girl! :) extra hugs for this weekend…for your heart.

  • http://www.peachneitherherenorthere.blogspot.com Samantha

    This is so beautiful. I pray we open our hearts to His love for us even when we are broken and weak. Lord, please help us embrace our stories so you can embrace us in them with us.
    I am a fellow adult adoptee and on the journey of embracing the grief and asking Him for healing.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Samantha, what a tender journey you are on… grief is so hard and painful… surround yourself with tender-hearted and kind kindreds who can walk with you… and give yourself permission to take the time you need. feed your soul with everything and all things beautiful, as you embrace this open-soul awakening of your story. #yourebeautiful

  • http://faithbarista Cheryl

    wow, I sit here with tears running down my face, this could be my story. Thank you so much for
    sharing. <3

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      cheryl, what an honor it is to meet where it’s most tender in our stories. tears are beautiful. the sound of a heart awakening. #kindreds

  • Lisa

    Thank you again, Bonnie, for sharing the healing truth you have found through your brilliant writing. Keep shining like a star for the LORD, Whom we praise, in Jesus’ Name, Daystar.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      lisa, what poetry your words are. thank you for sharing your beautiful soul. #sparkle

  • Kim J

    Bonnie, your words always leave imprints on my heart! You speak from a place that we all have been in some way or another, broken. I am learning slowly, that it’s in those places that God shines so brightly. He never intended us to hold it all together, because then we wouldn’t realize our need for the One who holds us. Thank you for sharing your heart and brokenness with me today, what a blessing your words have been!!

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      what beautiful wisdom you’re *experiencing* :) … it’s soul-moving to be able to hear about your story as it’s being shaped and lived, Kim. thank you. #kindreds

  • Rachel Te Grootenhuis

    You spoke my words and the words gave me hope that some day even on this earth I might sparkle again too.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      the spark that is *Rachel* – no one else can reflect but you. may God’s whispers continue to echo His reassurance that all you felt today is true of you. again and again.

  • http://gennyheikka.com Genny

    Bonnie,
    Beautiful, inspiring, and so filled with truth… thank you for your words. Your story is such an inspiration to me and to so many others!
    Genny

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Genny! so good to hear your voice… how are you? may you feel as special as you are… and may God bless your words.. through your writing, your life… through you. refreshing your soul. again and again.

  • http://incourage.me Nikkisha

    This is the writing on the wall for me. God speaks. I now have a more profound understanding of what it means to rest…thank you Jesus for blessing us with this wisdom.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      thank you Nikkisha… what a BEAUTIFUL name!

  • Valerie Hohenberger

    Bonnie, my soul has been restless for a while now. I guessed that I needed a ‘vacation’, and even looked at brochures from travel companies…what I REALLY need is JESUS REST. I started relaxing when I saw the card on the afghan, I could feel myself sinking down into its cuddly softness and so on…Thank you for sharing your story!

    Valerie

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      i hope you take that vacation too.. :) and give yourself the beauty and rest your body and soul longs for. i loved imagining you sinking down into cuddly softness… soul goodness. thank you Valerie!

  • Lisa mixson

    Thank you so much for this. I really needed it today.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      thanks for sharing this space this morning, Lisa.

  • http://jeannetakenaka.wordpress.com Jeanne Takenaka

    What a beautiful post. I so appreciate your transparency. One line (of many)that struck me contains my word for 2014—Enough: “Remember, God’s power is made perfect when we are not enough — when we become the Beloved.”

    I needed this reminder today. You phrased so beautifully what God is teaching me about this word. Thank you.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      enough. it’s such a rich and beautiful soul word. i’m so excited for the soul journey you’re on, with “enough” as God’s heart echo to you, Jeanne. bound to be very soul-changing. :) read your words as family and I headed outdoors and they kept me company. thnx for sharing.

  • http://www.lighthousepowerhouseministries.com Juanita

    Bonnie,
    Thank you for these words of encouragement. I have been in this place for the last couple of months. God has taken me to a place of rest and is teaching me how to rest in Him and His love. I especially appreciated when you talked about
    “She knew Jesus loved her — but she forgot what it felt like to be loved. As is.

    Her heart was tender toward others — but she forgot what the tenderness of God felt like against the skin of her soul.”
    I’ve been right there and crying out to God to remind me what that tenderness feels like. What a deep intimate relationship with Him looks like. One of my dreams is to be so passionately in love with Jesus again that He radiates throughout my life. I’ve been praying for clarity in what that would look like. I believe God used this message to give me a small glimpse into what it will look like once again.
    Thank you.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      thanks so much Juanita for being vulnerable to share your story and let us into your journey. may the prayers you’ve prayed now be your guide and comfort as you take steps to dare yourself — give yourself permission to experience rest — and *explore* the things that feed your soul. i’ve found on my journey to experience rest, clarity was the last thing I found — because faith is taking steps in spite of what seems unclear. Clarity often comes only after we walk out and trust ourselves with being unsure and doing it anyways as the beloved. I don’t think I’ve had any clarity over what it means to be beloved (had no idea), but it’s been a risky and amazing learning process, stepping out of my comfort zone to discover what that might look like. be courageous! it’s your time!

  • Bettina

    You have no idea how much you described ME! Your raw, honest words touched my heart and let me know that I’m not the only one traveling this path! Thank you thank you thank you!

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      i’m soul happy to hear you’re on this same journey, Bettina! #sparkle #kindreds

  • karyn

    O I love those beautiful blings.
    And the pins, especially the leaf heart.
    :)

    Of God. My Father in heaven.
    How great are HIS thoughts HE told me today. In a second. One. The thoughts and lives of this entire planet, for all time, is nowhere near to what a second of HIS thoughts are.
    Our puny minds, impossible to grasp the depth and height and length and breath of the thoughts of our God.
    We are nowhere near to TRUTH.
    Just close.

    What an amazing revelation today in our conversation.

    Everything we have is a gift from God. Down to the smallest details of our lives.

    We breathe forever and we live forever. With God our Father, HIS Son and the Holy Spirit.

    Praise be to God.
    Amen.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      so happy the pins touch your heart and speak your soul language, karyn! what beautiful praise you shared here!

  • Gen

    I see in the comments I am not alone. The tears running down my face as I read this. Thank you! I could say I could have written it, but I couldn’t have…just beautiful. You “spoke” right to and from my heart. I spent over 20 years of my life feeling unloved, being a spectator…I am so thankful that God never let go of me, as hard as I tried to keep pushing Him away. Truly, I know now that He loved me too much! My heart is overwhelmed! ♥

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      it’s time for us, Gen! He’ll never let us go… and we’re still here. thank you, God. you’re so good to us. #sparkle #kindreds

  • Karen

    Thank you for this. Right now I’m so hurt and broken having been betrayed by someone who I thought was a true friend who would always be there for me. It still hurts so very much, but I know somehow I’ll get through this.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      karen, i’m so sorry. betrayal hits us hard. especially when you felt he/she was a true friend. i’m encourage you to find a confidante to confide in — your raw feelings so you can be honest and be present with this hurtful chapter. i always hid my hurt feelings thinking I was okay. but, i’m learning my heart is live and God heals me through real people who can hear me and accept me. give yourself time and permission to feel the hard feelings, hurt, anger, sadness so you can grieve. thank you for sharing such a tender place.

  • http://www.lillybugstudio.com Christine

    I want to sparkle again.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      God hears your heart’s prayer… now we do too, Christine. what beauty. thank you for sharing your journey… #yourebeautiful #sparkle

  • Maggie

    tears are flowing… in need of a place to escape to; a pause in life to be refreshed…lonely, in need of a hug~thank you for your blog to vent for a moment.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      beautiful words. honest. true. need is the soul of how God made us… may you find that rest. that #spiritualwhitespace and refresh your soul, Maggie. #youareworthit #tearsmakeusreal

  • Stacey Dail

    I couldn’t believe what I was reading – what? Someone else feels like I do? Your post gave me the lift I needed today. Thank you so much for sharing. I shed a few tears at the feelings it brought to the surface, but to know things can turn around – you give so much hope with what you said. God is doing what you said in your blog – helping you to feel worthy in what you have to offer and that He always promises us His great love and rest.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      thank you for being the voice and encouragement that God is using all parts of my story today. through you. let’s sparkle again, friend. thank you, Stacey. #tearsmakeusreal #yourebeautiful

  • http://talkthetalkkh@blogspot.com Karen Thompson

    My story is a long one, that starts as a child, struggling to make friends, feeling the need but not knowing how. Not understanding why. This story does not end even now I know the why, which is I have Asperger Syndrome (ASD) diagnosed age 38, in 2005. But I have always had one friend who was and is and always will be close, Jesus my friend, who is easy and I understand him.
    But at times I feel hungry for a friend, who I can discuss life with, who I can feel and touch.
    But that is not more important than loving Jesus

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      may you find others on the same journey, to share the journey and encourage one another.. thank you for sharing your story, Karen. #sparkle #youarebeautiful

  • http://freedtofly.me Trudy Den Hoed

    As always, Bonnie, you speak to the lost little girl inside of me. I’m having a hard time with staying “real” lately. I feel like I want to hide, because it’s safer and easier. But I find the truth in your words, “The little girl in me didn’t know it, but every moment she stopped risking and chose safety instead, she quietly lost a piece of herself.”

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      she is beautiful and she is *you*. so good to hear how God’s speaking to you, Trudy.

  • BJR

    Your words, saying…”I will be enough for you, Bonnie…”…(and the rest…)..you will find as you fall, fall, and then fall…you will find that I will carry you.” Those words spoke to my heart. You see, my name is Bonnie, too. And…I was struggling this morning under burdens. Burdens I didn’t need to carry. Thanks so much for sharing your story. God spoke to me through it. And that’s what we’re here for, right??…to help each other along, by sharing our stories.

    God bless.
    BJR

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      i love meeting another Bonnie… and to hear your story also? soul grace. thank you for your story!

  • Ely Brown

    Dear Jesus,

    I want to be real with You and not just looking good on the outside when I’m falling apart inside.

    God bless Bonnie in her journey with You and thank You for her!!

    Amen

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      what a beautiful prayer. thank you! Dear Jesus, may your words speak and touch Ely’s heart — and reassure her in the ways only you can. you are carrying her. you see her. and she sparkles like a diamond in the sky of your heart. and your love. thank you for Ely. in your Name, Amen.

  • http://dandelionwinds.com Kim Dent

    Bonnie,
    I love how you share of YOU. Thank you. I am embarking on my own journey into spiritual whitespace…listening for the still small voice of my savior even as the shouts of the culture war are ever before me…I hear His voice and He calls me to come higher with Him and I am listening and moving…closer.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      may you continue to hear His echoes to you.. again and again… thank you for sharing what you’ve heard here with us, Kim.

  • http://www.morethanlegs.wordpress.com Lyla

    Cerebral Palsy could have stolen my sparkle but it drew me toward God. Once we get our sparkle back it’s rewarding to help people get their sparkle back too. I’ve been privileged to do this through a Border Mountain. We help people work through their grief and loss.

    I just read, Where Eagles Soar, by Bonnie Leon is a powerful book about a woman who’s abuse threatened to steal her sparkle. It definitely reminds people that God is the restorer of the broken and rescues the captive.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      thank for sharing your journey and story with us… celebral palsy is such a hard journey and to hear your voice speaking in and through it… it’s just beautiful Lyla. May God pour His blessings on you! #youreloved #yourebeautiful

  • http://anngraham.wordpress.com/ Ann Graham

    Bonnie, this post spoke to me on multiple levels. Thank you for having the courage to speak of, and through, your brokenness. The Lord has been whispering to me about writing from my own brokenness. In the depths of me I know that’s right. It’s also scary. Thank you for your enCOURAGEment.
    Blessings
    Ann

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      it is… we’ve never known any other way. but to keep it all inside ourselves. lean into what feels fearful, into the arms of Jesus — and kindreds who are waiting to hear your voice. and your story, Ann. you have a story to tell and you’re the only one who can confide in us about it. may the words flow until they cannot be held in any longer. #sparkle #youreworthit

  • Chris Hicks

    This spoke to me because my soul is not at rest. Not at anything i do. I’ve tried to sustain who I think I am and now I find that is not me either. I loved the part in this devotional that said not one is missing. God knows who we are inside and how we struggle to maintain the outside. When we finally let go He works for us.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Chris, thank you for sharing so honestly. you may enjoy reading my journey to find myself with Jesus… I just wrote a book “Finding Spiritual Whitespace” about my unexpected journey to find soul rest, when nothing I did in the past worked for me. And how God led me on a journey to a new discovery. There are journaling prompts that can help you explore what holds you back and what it might look like for you.. for your story.

  • Wini Schiemann

    Bonnie….you are a true wordsmith You show your spiritual gifts of mercy & affirmation in everything your write. Thank you for sharing with us.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      you are so encouraging, Wini. making me feel present and real. thank you for the soul grace! #kindreds

  • http://stoopingformanna.blogspot.com Karen Brown

    Bonnie- I just bought your book and started it today. Your writing is brilliant and your message is powerful. Thank you for sharing your gifts so that others may know that they are not alone… and that they may know Him. Peace-

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      karen… what soul grace to know the book is speaking to you! to meet between the pages and find kinship. thank you. i can’t wait to hear what the journey of rest is leading you to experience and discover. as you find your #spiritualwhitespace. #kindreds

  • Diana P.

    This was a post I needed to read and read and read again. I have fallen in the valley and can’t seem to find my way out. The spark inside me has left. I have so much pain and loss and no one to turn to at this time. Even God can’t seem to pull me up.

    • Katy Q.

      Dear Diana P.,
      I was just reading some of the comments on this post and I saw yours and wanted to reply–I have no idea the details of what you’re going through, but I can only imagine things must be so difficult right now, and any sort of loss or pain can be just terrible. But even if it feels at times as if God is silent, I hope you know that God is always, always working to help pull us up and guide us, even when we don’t feel it…He’s always, always there, and we can and should always call on Him at all times for help with everything. He will never forsake you or leave you, I promise! I pray that you will have a special sense of His presence with you and His love for you. Never give up, never despair! Dear Lord, I pray that You will wrap Your loving arms around Diana P and will show her how much You care for her and love her and how eager You are to help in every area of her life! Please give her a tremendous sense of Your presence with her and show her that with You, she is never alone, and You’ll never leave her! Please guide her and help her through her pain and loss and please get her through this difficult time with success and with knowledge of Your presence with her. Please give her all the support she needs. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen. I will keep you in my prayers, Diana! Sending love, encouragement, and hugs to you! –Katy Q

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      i’m so glad you wrote your words and poured out your soul. sometimes the pain is too great, we can’t feel God. our heart is just too overwhelmed and broken. so we need each other. to say, I hear you. I understand. the journey is too great. rest. Diane, i know you can receive the comfort i received when my heart was too overwhelmed. seek out someone you can confide in. and give yourself permission to take care of you. i found a therapist who specialized in helping me uncover the stories I didn’t want or felt need to understand. a PTSD therapist who specialized in EMDR and it was an amazing experience to investigate a lot of the questions I’d always put to the side. I had never needed therapy before, but what I discovered has changed my life and awakened my soul. you may enjoy reading about my journey.. i wrote about all the unexpected stories I uncovered… it will encourage you on your journey to find what feeds your soul… in a memoir-driven book about that journey called “Finding Spiritual Whitepace”. It just came out in June — so the stories are all real & fresh!

  • http://Att-Yahoo Betty R Aikens

    Tonight as I read your sparkle story I realized how much I need to find mine. I never had a real sparkle life from little on.
    I do realize how Our Heavenly Father has been with me since I was born. As he keeps me safe and well always. I am so grateful for all I have been provided with.. Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so.

    Many blessings Betty

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Betty, it’s soul moving to hear you discover your own voice in the reading. your sparkle is there. because i never knew mine was there either. you may enjoy reading about my journey to find my sparkle. i wrote a memoir-driven book called “Finding Spiritual Whitespace” and it just came out in June — so this journey is fresh and very much in progress. it includes journaling prompts at the end of every chapter so you can uncover your own sparkle and explore what it looks like and what that means in *your life*. in *you*. :)

  • Rachel

    Thank you Bonnie–
    I also have the dx of PTSD and at times peeked in at your story along the way.
    Tonight I cried at this post. I have lost sight that God loves me and that
    I am loveable. I am scared that that I am not acceptable to God . I had recovered somewhat but recently a friend as much as said I was not good enough for her.
    Does that mean I am not good enough for God. I pray that I find God again
    and He shows me His love.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      oh, the terrible things people say to us! so wrong. and so untrue. but, it hurts because we’ve given them a tender place and access to our hearts. tears are the sound of our soul awakening. do you mind if I invite you to soulful journey so you can feel and exprience God’s love? I wrote a memoir-driven book called “Finding Spiritual Whitespace” and it just came out in June — so this journey to be the beloved is fresh and very much in progress. it includes journaling prompts at the end of every chapter so you can uncover your own sparkle and explore what it looks like and what that means in *your life*. in *you*. give yourself permission to grieve, be angry, hurt, sad and to heal, Rachel. and find kind=hearted friends who can love and support you.

  • Reynitz

    this is so encouraging. thank you Ms. Bonnie.:)

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      thank you Reynitz! what an original name! would love to hear more about your name…

  • http://martysmoosetracks.blogspot.com Marty

    I have always felt like I’m the one that needed to hold it together. What I’ve learned is that this philosophy isolates and makes us unrelatable to others. I’m convinced the enemy wants us to feel lonely and alone.

    But this I love:”Sometimes it takes more faith to fall apart with Jesus than to pray for faith to keep it from happening.”

    Thank you for this post. It is so good! :)

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      marty, what wisdom you shared here. thank you for encouraging me! soul good! :)

  • Lori P

    This so spoke to me today. Most of my adult life I’ve had to care for my mother because of poor choices that she made in her life. In doing so I’ve always made the safe and right choices and along the way I’ve lost a part of me. This past year I’ve had to move my mother in with us because she can no longer take care of herself. This happened all about the time that I was finally putting myself first and stepping out with things that I had never been able to do while taking care of so many others. Now I feel like I’m back where I started. I want my sparkle to show! I want my story heard! Thank you Bonnie :)

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      yes, now more than ever, carve out and be protective of your soul space. YOUR story. I had lived with my mother for a very long time, and her story had always eclipsed mine. so , i’m learning to live out my story and explore what that means… because I’d never given myself permission to even explore. :) i have a feeling you’ll enjoy my book “Finding Spiritual Whitespace” – it’s about my journey to recover my story… having lost my story… #kindreds

  • Mary Gold

    I have social anxiety. I do not like people looking at me.
    Today I sat on a bench in front of a busy place waiting for a friend, alone.
    I tensed up immediately, people walking by, looking. I have FREEDOM to
    enjoy this moment, soaking in the sun. I DESRVED this moment.
    My friend arrived, this moment was over. I survived. After reading this story I
    realized I was resting in the arms of Jesus. I want to sparkle! I want to breath!

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Yes. Mary. Yes. Yes. and Yes. I am familiar with social anxiety, as I take my steps to uncover my dreams and try to explore what that is. I’ve always retreated to not feel the anxiety, but I don’t want that life anymore. So proud of you for staying present in that moment! You DO have freedom. You Do deserve that moment. Even as they are frought with anxiety, it’s our time. we were made to #sparkle. (yay, Mary!) #kindreds

  • Mel

    Wow-
    Beautifully written & shared deeply. This is where I am right now. What is my worth, a fix it person, & I’ll just do it. That is me. Missing God even though He is next to me every second of the day/night. Fear has taken over my life the past couple of months with no real obvious reason. It’s just there where ever I go. Why fear just going to the same places & locations? Why fear what others think of me? Keep up the smile & nice chat, don’t let them see your craziness. Fear, severe anxiety, panic, be normal! Why has this suddenly entered my life? Only God can help me, but I have strayed. There is a reason & it’s to rely on Him not myself. Thank you so much for this post. Truly speaks to me. Thank you & God Bless!

  • Kate

    Sparkle.
    I’m 46 years old and I can’t find my sparkle.
    Longing and hope are so terrifying … because I’m admitting my emptiness, my regret.
    As you said, I don’t want anyone to think I’m ungrateful.
    After all, God has given me so much. I have a nice life.
    But I carry an emptiness. No wounds, just emptiness.
    Emptiness starves your sparkle.
    I know how to perform. Get their attention. Being is not enough. Do the dance. Be a good girl.
    But performance quashes sparkle.
    A man’s love touched my empty place, I tasted passion, was torn by goodbye, still filled with regret.
    Regret tramples sparkle.
    Ministry! Performance redeemed! Regret washed! Please?!? Am I Shining? Maybe. But it’s contrived. Still no…
    Sparkle. Not a soul sparkle. Not a heart radiance.
    Overload. Depression. Anxiety. Stripped. Broken. Crushed.
    At rest.
    Now I fight against returning to old ways of performance.
    I’m still terrified to dream…
    It takes so much strength and courage to fall apart with Jesus…
    over and over again…
    but then I can rest…
    and hope
    and dream.
    and someday… maybe…
    sparkle afresh.

    your words unlock mine. I’m afraid of my broken voice, too. But I read your words, and mine come tumbling out. Yes, I need your words. Strength from a kindred, being used by God, as you rest.

  • Babs

    Dear Bonnie. Your words are echoes of words I’ve barely uttered. Some years ago, I was where you were. One day, I fell on my knees, exhausted, and prayed, Lord, just love me, just love me. I experienced His love, warmth, presence, and peace like never before – for 3 days non stop. Yet, only last night a memory of myself – in innocence; in hopefulness – as a young bride; pregnant; dreaming; folding new baby clothes into a drawer, returned to me for the first time ever. Within weeks the dreams became a nightmare. Hopes dashed. My baby died, aged 4 hours, then heartless accusations followed relentlessly. My tears were described as self pity, attention seeking. So I stopped crying. Gave all the baby clothes to another expectant mother. I prayed, Lord – do you remember me then? He does, and today, I am setting aside all my time to grieve for my daughter, trusting that the Lord will listen to every word I express. I may even go to the grave – although I know that Jacqueline Louise isn’t there. She’s in the perfect presence of the Lord. Thank you for sharing your heart, and also thank you to those who have shared comments. Mostly, I thank the Lord for giving us the opportunity to live life in all its fullness. xxx

  • Jamie Bickle

    I am not ready or able to express my story, maybe not even willing yet but one thing I am taking to heart is your words and the hope they gave me.
    Thank you.

  • Anne

    I was so blessed by those words. I could not have expressed my heart felt feelings any better. They said what I could not say. I had my heart broken three times in my life. The last time was a year ago when my husband of 21 year left me for another woman. Had it not been for God, my immediate family and my church family, I would have been a nervous wreck. I have experienced God’s love and comfort in ways I never imagined. His presence is so real and I am able rely totally on Him for strength from day to day. My heart is being healed daily and I look forward to helping other women find the same source of strength that I have found.
    Thanks Bonnie and keep up the good work.

  • Beth Williams

    Wow! Powerful words!!!

    Like a lot of women here I have lost my sparkle these past few years. Work has changed dramatically and I don’t feel as though I am very useful anymore. Thus the loss of my sparkle. Add into the mix caring for an aging father (89). He moved into assisted living after 4 years of living alone (widowed). He had medication problems that landed him in hospital and rehab. Since then has fallen 3 times in one month and then fell hard the other day hit head and ended up in ER. They kept him over night & released him.

    In the middle of all this my hubby nearly lost his job, but fortunately and Praise God he did not. They kept him, just put him in ER (CT Tech) on a crappy shift. So this year has been crazy & stressful!

    I need/want my sparkle back desperately!! Praise God I can get it back with Him and His Love!

    Looking at the sparkly stars!!!

  • http://atcrossroadsthornsandroses.blogspot.ca Rose

    Hello Bonnie,

    I have been battling with feeling like a failure for the past couple of months. I came to a realization that I lived out of fear and let fear live through me. One day, I woke up and realized I forgot to sparkle and be the best me that God intended me to be. This post you wrote helps me be more easier on myself, and know that through this darkness, God loves me and is here in every moment of every bout of depression. That through my weakness God is transforming me and making me stronger.

    Thanks Bonnie!

  • http://www.heartchoices.com Debbie

    Oh Bonnie, I loved this! How I have struggled lately with soul rest. There always seems to be too much to do. And yet I know how very important this is for me. I remember many nights when I cried into my pillow so nobody would hear. I had dreams and they continued on into adulthood. I still have dreams inside of me and I intend to finally submit and allow God to work in me and through me for His purposes. His will is so much better than what I think I should do.

    Thank you for this. Let’s sparkle!

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

  • TellaK

    I saw the title of the post and thought it was a birthday gift for me. I have read it today and realize that is what my soul needs….to find it’s sparkle again. Thank you for having courage to put this in to words. I hope that I will be able to do so myself in the tomorrows that come.

  • Sandra

    Ah, this is exactly what I was thinking to myself on my way to work today. My soul is very unhappy and has lost its sparkle 7 years ago. I’ve tried my best to give it rest, but unfortunately it has yet to work. I hope after reading this, it might actually stay in my heart instead of fleeting by.

  • Marian

    I thank God for you,Bonnie! And I thank YOU Bonnie for your obedience and willingness to be so transparent! How needed is that In The church! I heard recently from Somebody Hodges that the 1st cup of wine is for deliverance that comes only straight from God. The 2nd cup is for healing which only comes through sharing with other folks. (I didn’t catch the merit of the 3 rd cup! ) Anyway, I was like YES about the 2nd one. How can we know God whom we don’t see if we are afraid to know our neighbor whom we do see? …..I am A couple of weeks away from 75. My spiritual journey has taken me to the mountain top with Aba Father Jesus and Holy Spirit and to deep pits mingling with a python snake and friends. In Alanon i was blessed wirh non judgemental sharing which made a safe place to explore the spiritual world i had denied existed for years. Not that long ago I spent some years in numbness wrapped in perfectionism. Again. When I talked to my precious transparent friend. She would ask why I didn’t check with God in His word first. I explained that in that season reading the bible was like listening to radio static. I needed God with skin on. After some counciling through SOAR whose main concern is for sexual abuse and joining the church I am in now, I am slowly releasing my gifts again. …I Am concerned about rumblings I hear that the church needs to get out of so much self help and move to e angelizing the world. I dot think its an either or thing. Truly our aim should be total opening up to God in our own prayer closets. And truly we should never stop needing each others encouragement and guidence in our personal journey. so here’s my prayer: Aba Father, help us be vunerable to one another as we boldly come to you willing to open our hearts and minds to be changed by you through fellowship with you and other folks like us. Help us to desire obedience above our own fleshy comforts in Jesus Name, Amen

  • Allison

    I’m in awe of the love and support here. All of you lovely women are amazing! Bonnie, it’s hard to know exactly what to say about you. I feel like I’m reading messages from my dearest friend. Your love for The Lord and compassion for others breaks through barriers and shines ever so bright. Thank you for sharing your story and ministering to others. You are truly inspiring. My story is too long and graphic for this post, but you and all of these other wonderful women have truly touched my heart. May God bless you all and keep you all safe through every journey.

  • Kelly W

    It must be strange to hear that your personal voice echos throughout other’s experiences. The cries of your heart sound strangely and even frighteningly like my own… but the hope that seeps through your words is balm to my heart and gentle spring rain to my soul. Thank you for sharing.

  • Joannie Koch

    I can’t believe how you put into words the hidden and unspoken thoughts and feelings in my own soul. I love the truth that Jesus brings through you, Bonnie. It’s powerful, it’s healing, it’s Jesus.

  • joni

    I am not sure if i even ever sparkled or dreamed of sparkling. i know i wear stuff that sparkles. This hit my heart like a sack potatoes. I do know that i am worn and need of rest that Only God gives.

  • Mary

    Thanks SO much Bonnie –
    This reflects my past 10 years. I had truly lost myself & hit bottom . It was the best thing for me- for the first time. , being honest with myself & taking those risks has brought me closer to my centre . Once confidently on that path , one can proceed with even more confidence . Over the last couple of years ,I have known God & angels are with me all the way .
    I am so glad to see your path & know others are experiencing the same
    – it’s pretty special .
    All the best ,
    M

  • Delyce

    Thank you for writing down these intimate thoughts. My soul has been thirsting for a long time for that ‘sparkle’ I used to feel when I KNEW without a doubt that God loved me, it was a long honeymoon and now gone. I want to feel that certainty again and your words might work like a love-tool in my heart and soul. I want to be at peace with Him, and restfully wait for that ‘honeymoon’ with Jesus to reappear in my life once again. xo

  • cathy

    This is beautiful. ..my heart is heavy..trials seem big some hours and tiny other hours….I pray to let go and hand it to God….but I always seem to take it back….how do I just let go????? I want to truly sparkle and shine not just on the outside…

  • Therese

    PLEASE tell me how to get there! I promise I’m not yelling but I’ve been praying, begging, & longing so much for the comfort of His arms like only He can. Through all of my horrible abuse, having seen a demon, & now 4 different diseases, I just don’t have any more fight in me. No more survival left (no I’m not going to harm myself in any way). I just don’t know how to get there & like you explained, even though I don’t deserve it, I just so desperately need it. All the joy seems to have left my life & I feel so ashamed because we are to be happy people as Christians but I’ve been walking in the desert now for so many years. I want that giddy feeling back. How can I feel so broken & still call myself a true Christian?

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      hi Therese, thank you for being so transparent and honest about your struggle. you’re not alone in the way you’re feeling and everyone knows what it’s like to feel desperate to be happy again. that being said, if i were sitting right cross from you at coffee, i would come give you a hug and tell you this with so much kindness: you need extra comfort and help to uncover that giddy joy again, and it’s going to be a journey rather than a quick fix. and you will need lots of real people to help you on this journey — just like i did. 1) start reaching out and confiding in one or two friends who you can just hang out with and tell your secrets to 2) confide in a pastor or mentor – someone older who has lived life and won’t give you advice but can be your encourager 3) confide in an expert therapist who can guide you to ask the right questions and uncover the answers with you. I did EMDR and it worked so well – eventhough I tried a lot of “talk” therapy, I needed to explore my stories as a child and this worked best for me. I did all these 3 things I’m encouraging you to do.. and the it’s so worth it. you’re worth it. you’ll see the stars and start to sparkle again… as you uncover the REAL you. ;) Dear Jesus, help Therese to see her one next step. and lead her with your kind and gentle hand. Amen.

  • http://www.abusedwoman.org Dorothy Hooks

    I need this message now; I long to “spark” again!! I was hurt so very deeply by an ex-pastor in May and I feel I have shut down inside!! I served in his church and him faithfully over two years but in the end he hurt me and then put me out the church!! I am 62 years old and been in church most of my life and I have never been put out of a church; it was degrading and humiliating!! And it hurt me to my soul to be done like that!! I have not given up on God but I have on pastors and do not really want to hear them!! This is not the first time I have been hurt by pastors but it is the last time I will allow them to hurt me!! Thank you for this message!! God bless!!

  • http://www.sonflowergarden.com Barbara

    A couple of months ago, a dear friend felt led to send me a card. It is white with a tiny diamond in the centre, and underneath it says, ‘Shine bright like a diamond’. Your beautiful words help me to hear what Jesus is saying to me in my weakness and brokenness, and fit so perfectly! Bless you x

  • DEBORAH PARKES

    Thank you

  • Carol

    I was once called ‘sparkle’ by my husband … the truth, though, is it was not real light. Sometimes the story cannot be shared because of the harm it would do others. But, the story is known by the lover of my soul and that, THAT is blessing! Thank you for your honest lovely sharing …

  • Jae

    I feel like you just told my story for me. This is what happened to me this summer, and now I feel like I’m starting to get that rest He has promised me.

    Thank you for iterating what I didn’t know to say.

  • Christina W.

    What to say. Crying, because someone KNOWS what I don’t want to feel. I try so hard to believe that the hurt doesn’t matter. That I don’t matter. The world doesn’t need me. God loves me this I believe but I can’t seem to reconcile that with this emptiness & lonely sadness. I’ve been told for so long I wasn’t good enough, didn’t try hard enough wasn’t feminine enough, just stupid. I can’t understand why anyone wants to even be around me or be my friend. There are some that love me. They tell me so, why can’t I believe them. I’m so tired. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone. I rarely comment on these since no one answers me. It seems I’m always too late & don’t do this right either. God please love me. I know you’re there somewhere. Help me please.

  • Teri

    I heard exactly what I needed to hear, it’s like you are talking to me, it brought me to tears and I suddenly feel the presents of the Lord and know I’m ok, thank you Bonnie and thank you Lord

  • Lisa

    Christina, you are NOT alone. Just look at all these women and their comments, and see how many of them echo your experiences of feeling loney, hurt, not good enough. I know I do! Satan has whispered these lies into our ears, but fortunately we have God’s Word, and the truth that He gives us in there is a good place to start when you feel worthless, when those lies overwhelm. One thing I’ve found is that service to others can lift me out of that pit that discouragement and depression sink me in. When I remember to take my eyes off myself and to think of those who have struggles far worse than mine, and pray for them, or do something for them to lift them up or help them, it helps to lift my own darkness. Thank you, Bonnie for these words, they spoke to me, too.

  • http://emywit.wikifoundry.com Ema

    How this have given me an anchor. I appreciate your novelty in writing. May God bless you richly

  • sophia

    Thank you for your beautiful writing. I am speechless, overwhelmed by the awakening of the soul that Jesus wants to connect with. Experiencing being the beloved instead of striving to become the beloved has brought fresh revelation to me. I can feel the glow rekindled. Thank you, I’ve been greatly blessed!

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