About the Author

Bonnie Gray is the author of Whispers of Rest and Finding Spiritual Whitespace, wife, and mom to two boys. An inspirational speaker featured by Relevant Magazine and Christianity Today, she’s guided thousands to detox stress and experience God’s love through soul care, encouragement, and prayer. She loves refreshing your soul...

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  1. Thank you, a reassurance message I read in your post today for me. I am in a journey toward healing from past trauma and I am heading downward instead of upward. it is a scary place to be and I do not know where it will take me except in to more pain. I know God is with me but sometimes I wonder how far is this down ward slope going to go before I start to move back up. I do not want to go down ward but I know God has told me this is what needs to be to then move forward and do the work God has for me to do. I say I am willing but really am I? I want to be but it is a painful scary lonely place to walk. I hold on to my father God and his promises that his ever lasting arms will catch me but…So today I read your post and I feel God saying to me again I will be there, I am there. Thank you.

    • Me too.
      -long healing journey from past truama
      -hard, hard, hard today.
      I pray for peace & perseverance for you on the journey
      i appreciated this post too.

      • Thank you Jill I appreciate the prayer. Sometimes our journey is a long one to healing. I pray tomorrow is a better day for you and you found God’s presence through today. Blessings, Behind The Smile.

      • Jill,

        The simplicity of your post moved me greatly – “hard, hard, hard today”.

        Ditto.

        There is so little we can do for each other as we face those lonely, lonely traumatic places of such exceptional pain, except to pray and acknowledge and reinforce for each other that Jesus is Faithful.

        Even though I know His Faithfulness, demonstrated over and over again, I have almost lost hope over the last two weeks. As you say “hard, hard, hard today”.

        Wendy

  2. God is opening doors for me……ones that I have dreamed would swing wide for the past twenty years. Now that I am finally stepping into this place of my dreams, the dreams He gave me, all I can see are my own fumbling feet and shaky limbs as I step towards this opportunity.
    I am scared. Doubtful. Concerned. Ready to sit back down on my bum and let someone else risk their life and name on this. I thought I was made for this kind of assignment. I thought He picked me because He knew what He was doing.
    What is God whispering to me on this journey?
    “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.”
    I’d like to have a little more than those 12 words, but it’s what He keeps handing me. Flying alone to Uganda in six days. He has promised to go with me. I am learning that this will have to be enough.
    Bonnie, your words never seem to fail to hit their mark with me. Expecting God to make a way for BOTH of us. Love you, friend.

    • Thank You Bonnie for your amazingly beautiful blog ! Jill, and awesome women of God, praying Proverbs 31 for you. We too, are meant to be Courageous !

  3. I love the visual…
    I don’t like downhill , because I don’t like the speed at which one can travel going down hill…what if you crash?
    Well, I have crashed many times before and HE has always dusted me off and soothed my wounds…but now HE is asking me to learn to enjoy the ride and the breeze in my hair and trust HIM one more time…

  4. You know, the journey from the moutain top to the valley is a downhill one. In the church we talk a lot of moutain top experiences and seasons in the valley, but we spend little time talking about the journey uphill and downhill. In fact, I’ve never even thought about it. But you can’t make it to the top of a mountain without pushing your body to climb uphill, and you can’t get to the valley without a trip downhill. It’s the rollercoaster ride of this life. God is in each season and the trips uphilll and downhill. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but to me it’s profound. Thanks, Bonnie!

  5. God, I needed this post today. I’ve been dealing with a lot of uncertainty and worry the last couple of months. Coupled with a brother who has been fighting serious darkness and depression, I feel lost- only at peace reading blogs like this one, listening to Christian music or in church. Alas, work interferes with all that, ;-).

    I have some thoughts of where I need to direct my focus, but my own fears are holding me back. I have to learn to trust Him and just let go. I’ve been thinking about my journey as being uphill, but maybe a little change in perspective is what I need.

    Thank you SO much for this post. It’s brought a smile to my face, a hopeful one.

  6. Bonnie, so much of this resonates. Especially this: “To move ahead and just get back to being me . . .”

    That’s where I keep getting stuck. I want to go back to what is familiar, but God is doing new things in me: Reshaping, refining, healing. And it’s a slow, painful process.

    Your imagery sounded so familiar to me after an extended hiking trip I took this summer. My husband paused to take a number of pictures of flowers along the way while I was just trying to keep breathing and put one foot in front of the other. On one of my most frustrating days, when we were hiking in a cloud and couldn’t even appreciate the views, a fellow hiker–a meteorologist–pointed out that the cloud and fog were necessary to nourish all the flowering beauty we’d witnessed during our trip. The source of my frustration was also the source of my blessing. Imagine that.

    I linked an older post in your community today because it’s one I need to re-visit. Continuing hugs to you, dear Bonnie, in your journey on the way.

  7. Wonderful post. Transitioning into the empty nest and allowing myself to feel the grief and the relief is a process that can certainly feel downhill. I’m not sure I have the strength for the grief that will surface or the courage for the future…whatever that may be. I know with Him I can do anything, survive anything, but it’s the thriving part. I am an overcomer, but it is the after that’s hard. We think it’s the getting through, but really it’s the healing process after we’ve gotten through the circumstances. Oh for a clear, concise path, everything spelled out, what to do next agenda. Wouldn’t that be easier than trust and belief and waiting? I’m rambling which just means much to process!! Thanks so much for getting me started 🙂

  8. “you are good soil” a simple and profound truth that the enemy attacks with all of his wiles and attempts to steal from each of us.

    Thank you for holding on, for inviting us in…

  9. What a wonderful post, Bonnie. While reading it these words came to mind from a book that Beth Moore wrote. I can’t remember which book but I certainly remember what she said and I am paraphrasing it here: “When you’ve come through a trial (a particularly rigorous one) you will find yourself in a wide expanse of Grace.”
    That’s where you are, Bonnie; in a wide expanse of Grace. A field of Grace filled with beautiful bright poppies! Isn’t He just wonderful in how He can just take our breath away with something as simple as poppies.
    Have a blessed day!

  10. Thank you so much for this message. I woke up this morning with overwhelming fear and hopelessness. My husband has been out of work for 9 months; I have an upcoming surgery…my 6th in 2 years…all from breast cancer. I have been crying out for God to give me a sign that He is still there and I saw your message today. I know that God is telling me, “I am here, I will always be here”.

  11. What a beautiful and encouraging post, Bonnie. I am so touched by your words, and am soaking them in as I too journey with God and am not so sure if where we are going right now…I am so glad a friend recommended this place. It is a place of truth…God bless.

  12. I’ve been following along on your uphill-downill journey, Bonnie. Bless you for talking so opening and honestly about your struggles – these are words that resonate so deeply with so many of us.

    May you continue to walk amongst a field of poppies. May you continue to see Jesus in your midst.

  13. I so needed this today – I have been on this journey and unable to get a grasp on it. I share with others that God puts words (yes, His Words) for us to read in print when He knows we are ready to ‘hear’ – Thank you Lord for placing this on Bonnie’s heart to present this day. Thank you Bonnie for being a willing servant.
    Blessings on the day.

  14. Life’s changes……..change our lives every moment of every day. At this particular time in my life, the Lord has put some big changes in front of me. I feel that I am in the middle of that mountain. Can’t reach the top and can’t get to the bottom. I see the beauty all around me and it can be breath taking. Fear comes to mind. Letting go and letting the Lord take hold ~ leading me. I wish it were as easy as words written or spoken. This post gives me hope that I am planted on good soil.

  15. In my avalanche of late, God has been softly whispering, “be still and know..” and I take great comfort in the echo and assurance in that.

    Your post was beautiful & took my breath in parts – thanks for sharing!

  16. I also needed to hear this message of hope this morning, and I thank you for sharing! Several months ago, I took a giant leap of faith….feeling like it was God’s will…..I had prayed and felt like this was what I was supposed to do. I made this step and have hit obstacles every step of the way. The past 3 months, as things have gotten worse, I’ve repeatedly questioned whether I misunderstood what He was telling me. Did I mess up? Go the wrong the way? I keep praying that, if I did do the wrong thing, He will turn me around and help me back to where I need to be. I worry about it constantly though, and have to repeatedly pray and give it back to Him. Your message reminded me that He is all knowing, present and can do ANYTHING…even get me back on track. Thanks again for sharing!!!

    • Wow!! Everything that u said is exactly what I asked God this morning wondering if I misunderstood him if I made the wrong move. Now I find myself stressed out and just a feeling of did I make the wrong choice. But I hear him saying that he is in control not to worry. Yes there is nothing he can’t do he works everything out for the good of those who love him. Romans 8:28

  17. I sense that your main message here is “To Trust”. Yes, I focus, as that has been a strength that has been encouraged. But I guess there are times when focus gets in the way of trust. Possibly my focus is about control. And in this life….I have so very little control. I really liked this post today. It carried a lot of messages with it.

  18. Needed inspiration……thank you. Striving to stay in God’s word and looking for His plan during a very difficult time.

  19. Thank you so much ! In your anguish with anxiety, you have been used probably more powerfully by God than in any other way. God seems to do that in His way of “down being up” Kingdom 😉 You are truly making such a huge difference in the lives of many, many people ! Thanks for being real ! You’ve influenced me a great deal in this journey of faith !

  20. Thank you for reminding me of Isaiah 55:10. It has been a wonderful balm to my weary head before and you’ve reminded me. This life of writing has been hard and I do not have any of the things the world tells you will make you a “success”, but in Isaiah I find God’s words so perfect for what He has called me to do. It’s not mine to try and figure out. He has and it will do what He has planned all along.

  21. This is beautiful, Bonnie. Thank you for your encouraging words and the reminder that “God is already making a way in me…”

    While we are still here, He is doing a good work in us… we are good soil. Beautiful truth.

  22. Wow! God really used you today for my benefit! My husband just got hired for a new job yesterday and we’re really struggling to know if this is the right way to go. He’s leaving a job he’s had for 18 years…that’s tough! What you said, “Determination is for a season…and now, it’s time to let go, change course”, really gave me hope that God is going before my huband in this leap of faith! And it’s not a job with more money (like you said, we’re not moving up), but it’s a job that will bring him experience for, hopefully, the next step God has in the plans for us. Thank you…the timing was perfect…but, isn’t that just the way God always is! 🙂

  23. I Love You, Bonnie <3 Your writing speaks to my heart beyond words <3 Love, Thoughts, Prayers, & HUGE {{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}
    Stacey – Simply Living By Faith

  24. What a beautiful journey of His Love you painted as I watched the canvas be filled with His Glory and beauty. Decorating your heart with His constant promise to never leave us but not only that, His promise to soak us in His kindness that remakes our thoughts in life. His safety that binds us to not be silent of His Love, but to let it shine in spite of such failure on our part. We are weak, but He is strong.

  25. I have been in a desert place for a few years now. I am just beginning to see grass begin to grow. God will make a way was spoken to me through Isaiah 35 the other night, and here. I love when the dew of Him falls on this heart. Your words brought me close to Him. Praying for you.

  26. I have been in a desert place for a few years now. Streams in the desert are promised, and like a deer pants for water my soul kings for Him. God will make a way was spoken to me through Isaiah 35 the other night, and here. I love when the dew of Him falls on this heart. Your words brought me close to Him. Praying for you.

  27. I have been at the bottom for over four years, and now the Lord is saying to start climbing again. I think my avalanche and valley were meant partly to birth a humility I couldn’t get any other way. Now I’m to climb slowly, carefully with that humility intact. Someone just said on Sunday that I live in a brokenness I could only have gotten through suffering. If I am to minister, it is to be through that brokenness. Then maybe people will see Jesus instead of me…

  28. Morning and thanks so very much for sharing. I’ve had some uphill climbs and felt our God so very near. This week our view had included high wind, much rain and little sun and a visit from Isaac. Being a beach lover we took off to see the surf … the highest surf I’ve know in Florida, blowing sand and a wind so strong it almost took my shirt. Yet, there is something so amazing about standing at water;s edge, coolness on my feet and being so grateful to a God who would know an old beach lover would be by to enjoy His handiwork. Prayers.

  29. Thank you for blessing me today w/ your words..and encouragement. I needed this.
    God bless you.

  30. That post spoke to my heart. I was used by god for a season but I has been a very long time since I felt his strong reassuring presence. It has been a wilderness for twelve years but today as I read your words I realised that maybe god does want me to let go and embrace the season of motherhood I find myself in. Thanks for such amazing words.

  31. “Sometimes determination — having been useful in one season of life — can hold us captive to keep barreling forward, instead of hearing God whisper, “Let go. Change course.”. All so true! I’ve felt it in my bones on my own dark days! Thank you!

  32. This is really, really sweet truth. Thank you so much.
    My favorite part:
    “… God’s word in you is not going to return void.
    You don’t need to know how it’s going to happen. Just keep walking in the direction He is calling you to enter.
    His word — alive in you — and me — through the heartbeat of Jesus in us — will not fail to bring you through.
    Jesus is here to stay. His words are going to blossom, no matter how dry or brittle the soil is.”

    He births beauty out of our ashes. His Word NEVER returns void, even when we can’t see how our situation could possibly be conducive to beauty. Funny that this was my topic on my blog today…. Here’s the link if anyone’s interested in reading. It’s pretty brief.
    http://kcbutlersatimetolaugh.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-moments-and-invitations-part-4-he.html

    Blessings to you all today, friends. Praying God encounters your heart with peace today, wherever your journey leads…

  33. What a picture of how God will lead and there is beauty in every stage of the journey. He does that to show His love and grace, to give us assurance of His faithfulness. It takes humility to walk the downhill path, but He is the author of our joy and comfort in the midst of all things. Good stuff, Bonnie. Thank you.

  34. This is exactly where I am right now- “No, what I fear wasn’t the unknown.

    What I feared was the certainty of what’s ahead.

    The journey God’s placed me on isn’t going to be easy.”

    Powerful words. Powerful truth. My husband and I are in the most difficult season of our life so far. And the downhill slope seems to be getting steeper each step we take. But you know what? It takes more muscles to go downhill than uphill…it’s actually a better workout. We’ll be in better shape when we finally get to the bottom than we were when we started.

    Thanks for this, Bonnie!

  35. Bonnie…you write with such beauty and connection to the Word and to your readers. What a gift you’ve been given! Thanks for sharing it. Some days the journey is so difficult, I don’t even know if I’m going up or down. I do know that no matter which direction I’m going, if I’m following Jesus, I will be okay. That’s all I ask for…is to be okay in the arms of Jesus. No matter if I’m on the top of the mountain or deep in the valley, with Jesus holding my hand… better yet, holding me in the palm of His hand, all is well.

  36. Dearest Bonnie,

    I am so encouraged by your words. Downhill, is a good thing if it is with Jesus. For me it is going into darkness with Jesus. Your words encourage me to continue on the path he has me now. The only words I know to say are thank you dear friend, love you.

    “Today, if you are staring downhill, hesitant to begin — or continue — your faith journey as it leads you to descend where you once stood — know for certain: God will make a way in the desert.

    You and I don’t have to do a thing, other than crawl into His arms that are reaching out to embrace you. He has already made His way to where you are standing, waiting and wondering.”

    I needed this reminder again, when I just want to give up.

  37. Thank you Bonnie for this very, very encouraging article. God bless you more and more 🙂

  38. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement…..Today i found out today that i am once again going to take the journey of breast cancer. Happen nine years ago and now the other side. God will be side me in this journey, I just need to hang on for the ride.

  39. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for the reminder of a great promise–that He will never leave me, for He dwells within me!

  40. For the entire month of August ,I have been mired in a place of feeling totally abandoned by God. Your message and so many others I have read have spoken to my heart with reassurance. But still the silence. Please pray for me as i struggle to continue daily with a heart full of pain. Thank you.and God bless.

  41. I sat here reading this with tears in my eyes because it’s exactly where I am. I have been doing my career for almost 15 years and with the way things have been going lately I just have started wondering if it’s time- the fear holds me back. Going to have to put these verses out there to read and continue to pray!

  42. Dear Bonnie,

    Thank you for sharing your heart. God will make a way in the desert. I am praying for you.

    I’m reminded of chapter 6 of HIND’S FEET ON HIGH PLACES by Hannah Hurnard, called “Detour Through the Desert.” There are lessons to be learned in the downward journey that can never be learned any other way. And sometimes the only way to the High Places is through the desert. And the Shepherd is there each step of the way, even when it seems like He is not.

    In Him, Ann

  43. Thanks for your encouragement. It’s great to know that other Christians understand and don’t chide you for “not having enough faith” or not being able to “just trust” when life has been so difficult for so long. It takes me quite a while each morning to pray to have the courage to just get up & face another day. I am so exhausted from doing what I have to do to just survive. I wish God would rescue me from this treadmill, but because of financial & other difficulties & responsibilities, we just have to keep going until something changes, or a new door opens up. Thanks for reminding me that others have similar experiences and struggles. It’s a shame that the only testimonies we usually hear are the people who have overcome, or moved on, or received their miracle or opportunity, or grown to new understanding etc. It’s nice that here others can share in the midst of struggles, without knowing how or when it will end.

  44. WOW – was this BEAUTIFUL – THANK YOU as I am on my journey to beat this illness with my hand in God’s hand!

  45. Thuink yu fer the mesug tudey, it reli tuchd mi hert. I am findin it tuf as mi dere hubi has Alzimers, & sumtimes the LORD semes so fer awey.

  46. When you have done you best, yet no one noticed. Take heart and rejoice – softness make a greater impact the loud arrogance. God see’s, he knows your heart, keep focused.

  47. Your transparency fills my heart with hope! And this to shall pass but only when God says it is time. Until that time I know I am not walking this journey alone. You are speaking words straight from my heart but cannot express as only you can do. Praying for you as you continue “downhill” the walk put before you by our precious Lord. I also, realise by reading other posts , my fears are small and insignificant compared to others! I need to be more grateful and less self-consumed ….He is in control! I have a big breakthrough because of your willingness to share this journey with us! God bless you dear sister in Christ.

  48. Bonnie, thank you for your words. I feel as if I have lost the last two years of my life as a result of a difficult relationship. I really do feel as if I am heading back to the ground on which I once stood – and I have a lot of anger built up because I am not where I wanted to be at this point in life. And yet, in backing up, I have discovered a lot about myself and I will not be the same person in the next two years. It is hard to be back in the valley when I thought I was finally fighting through to the top of one of these peaks.

  49. Thank you. My journey is a downhill one at them moment, filled with anxiety and uncertainly. I really needed the encouragement today

  50. Bonnie,

    I cried my way through this post, realizing that maybe I am not the only one. Discovering in my 30’s and 40’s that maybe there was more trauma in my past than I thought. I want to go back to determination, but I know that is not who I am any more. My experiences are not as extreme as yours but as I have been in this place for a couple of years and ready to get out, He shows me more trauma that has led to faulty thinking. Thankful that “Jesus is here to stay. His words are going to blossom, no matter how dry or brittle the soil is.” The healing and bounty are in the valley.

    Thank you for sharing your journey as it is helping me on a similar one.

  51. Since about last August (2011) I’ve heard the words of evil one whispering “dumb, not good enough, not smart, can’t do clinical nursing stuff”. I spent a good portion of that time in tears thinking I had wasted time in college learning this stuff and a lot of time in prayer–I’ve asked for prayers from others & even searched for a different job in a different work envirionment.

    Through prayer God was/did answer my prayer–at first it was wait–“learn patience”. Suddenly one day I found out the university had reevaluated my job, and upgraded it to a higher level. I was to start doing some clinical activities and work with RNs. God answered my prayer in a bigger way than I could have ever imagined. I love my job now and feel blessed beyond measure!

    Just wait & see what God can do for you–if you pray and have faith!

  52. “To move ahead and just get back to me…”. Dear Bonnie, that too has been the cry of my heart. Sometimes I feel like I’m playing a part. I’m going through the motions, but always in the back of my mind lies this vagueness, this empy feeling. Since the loss of my husband, in reality I had lost him long before he died through separation, I don’t feel whole. Part of me is missing. Added to that is the loss of two friendships, one a very close cousin, that causes me to ask, Lord what is going on with “me”?

    Thank God I still experience His pressence as I descend into this place He is bringing me to. We are all going, whether up or down, with His hand holding on to ours. Love you Lord. Love you my sister. Keep writing.

  53. It’s taken me a while to mosey over here, but I’m glad I did. Praise God for showing you beauty to encourage you in the present difficulties. May He keep your eyes and heart open to His love whispering grace into your life day by day.

    Stopping now to pray for you on your journey. Grace and peace to you in Jesus, dear Bonnie.

  54. Thank you for sharing about your “descent”. I feel like I have been pushing myself to exhaustion, anxiety, depression -the whole 9 yards trying to climb higher and harder -hoping that in doing that I will find my reprieve. But like you -it hasn’t come and I am learning that accepting whatever may lie ahead can find more peace for my soul trusting in God’s way than my feverishly treading in the undertow. Thanks Bonnie….by the way….I clicked on your post to read today because I had just made myself coffee and figured -Eh -let me read what that faith barista girl has to say! Sure glad I did 😉 Saying a prayer for you sister in Christ on the west coast -please say on for this gal in the Southeast.

  55. Hi Bonnie, I have just discovered your blog and have been so encouraged to read about your recent journey into the past and the healing that is taking place. You have a real gift in writing, your words have captured the bitter-sweet experience of this process so well, one which I have embraced over this summer myself. I began to feel intense and overwhelming anxiety after a close friend told me she was pregnant. I was so happy for her but I suddenly thought, ‘oh! is it time for us to be having children now?!’ I am married and coming to that age where people expect you to, but the thought of this new stage of life made me feel so overwhelmed and so trapped. It brought back memories of my childhood, times where I had felt I had to take responsibility for my younger sisters, times when I had felt unsafe and like everything was so big, and when I thought about motherhood all these fears and anxieties rose up and engulfed me. This summer I had a chance to spend time with my Mum whilst we were camping with my family. We were right by the beach, in a field, surrounded by the beauty of creation. I was able to talk things through with my Mum and she prayed over me, we remembered times in my childhood where I had felt these things and were able to re-visit them, bringing them before God. I really received God’s comfort through this time, through my Mum, and one night I was walking up to the shower block when I looked up and saw the stars. They were all so clear to me, and I heard God singing over me, I heard Him speak straight into my heart, felt His love over me and from that point I could breathe again, I was stilled, His love quieted me. I am not a mother yet and maybe I will have more to face when that time comes, but I can now look forward to that time having had those dreams released from the grip of those fears. It’s amazing how God speaks to us through His creation, and catches our attention. I felt like I had lost Him and just had to ‘keep going’ to learn to live with the anxiety and fear, but all along He was calling me to look up. Thank you so much for sharing, you are not on your own and He is committed to completing that work which he has started in you. Lots of love, Iona x

  56. I read your post hungrily with tears in my eyes, as God spoke encouragement and hope through your words: 1) I don’t need to know how my God-given, God-driven dream is going to come to pass. I just need to keep walking in the direction He’s called me. 2) His words are going to blossom–through me (Isaiah 55:11). Hugely amazing; deeply humbling. 3) Petals of His love and presence will continue to present themselves along this downward path. I must be be watchful so as not to miss those serendipity-blessings. Thank you, Bonnie, for the poetic beauty of your words and the heartfelt honesty behind them.

  57. Honesty amongst struggles and fear is such an incredibly freeing thing. Six weeks ago I was kicked in the head by a horse at work and put in an induced coma for four days. My husband and I had been married less than two months!

    I’d take back the accident if I could but come to realise each day in amongst my frustration at (too) slowly improving, that this trial is drawing us closer to God, closer together. I love that we pray together each night and are learning more of each other. It truly is a blessing amongst the frustration of physical limitations I currently feel.

  58. God knew I needed to read this today. It has been a tough season. Your words are timely. Thank you so much for sharing, Bonnie. God is faithful to meet us.

    Trusting Him in the descent….