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. Bonnie, I love how you opened up with your own story first, vulnerably sharing your hurt places, so the store clerk would know she was in the presence of safety. I am feeling as if I just took a quick class in gracious encouragement. Blessings to you, Teacher!

    • We have the power to offer the refuge of God’s love, as we listen to each other. Thanks for gifting this community with your listening heart and words, Michele!

  2. Bonnie,
    So true that we can’t build a bridge for others to cross if we haven’t been through the bridge-building process ourselves. God brings us THROUGH the valley or across the bridge so that we can pave the way for those who follow. What a beautiful example of turning your personal hurt into a pathway for others that leads straight into the furious love of God. I needed this reminder today!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • As we grow closer to God’s love, we’ll see the path that has opened up for us, is a path we can be a friend with others on! blessings to you, and may you feel His love in fresh new ways, Bev!

  3. As I sat to begin my morning devotion I felt a strong impression to read incourage first. Having read it I understand that impression better now. I know a little something about hiding ones heart, in fact that’s something I’ve been working at for years. There’s hardly a moment I don’t feel judged for things I do and say or things I don’t do and say so I’ve practiced hiding the “real me” for years now. Things have gotten to the place where I struggle to believe even God could really love me, after-all if the general impression seems to be most of my actions are missteps God must have a challenge accepting the “real me” too. Honestly most days I’m not even sure what exactly the “real me” even looks like. So this devotion was a reminder to me, that no matter what the “real me” turns out to look like God’s okay with that. Even if it seems so many around me aren’t okay with me, God is. It’s not an instant grasp by any means but thank you Bonnie for sharing. May God bless you and everyone else who reads what you shared.

    • Dear Marci, you’re being the “real you” right here – as you share our journey with us. Thank you for entrusting us with your words and your experience. I have no doubt many who are reading your words feel the kinship of your honesty. You are being God’s beloved by simply sharing your experience and bringing others into where you are. Jesus is with you. I think you would enjoy my devotional Whispers of Rest – it gives 40 different ways to experience that love, with soul care challenges. Sometimes it’s hard to feel the love and find your true self, if you haven’t experienced it before… so be gentle with yourself and start doing new things to experience this love from your head to your heart. If you feel inspired, you can join my Whispers of Rest newsletter at http://bit.ly/whispersbookclub 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing how these words have touched you, Yolanda! May you feel as beautiful and beloved as you truly are today, with God’s gentle whisper of love — in a way to speaks to you, friend!

  4. I’ve worked from home for years but Covid-19 had my husband joining me in my, now our, small office. Some things had to be moved to other rooms and some files & references are no longer conveniently placed. Our chairs are 6″ apart & I can no longer roll my chair to answer the phone. Strangers are appalled, friends chuckle with how do you do that questions. BUT GOD. We’re getting to put Phil 2:3 into practice! “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Lots of laughter, lots of squashing the selfish self, & great testimony that it is God in us not we ourselves making a tight, tough situation not only bearable but a blessing.

    • I can relate. My husband has very serious mental and physical challenges brought on by a blood stroke that damaged the brain and now is unable to walk without assistance. I have private pay in to meet his needs. This is causing a very new and different change in my heart that is an ongoing process along with deeply appreciating the aides that come in daily to meet the needs of bathing & transferring from bed to wheelchair and chair. Thank you Jesus

    • Dear Ruth, what a beautiful, shining testimony of God’s love with you and through you both…. The world responds to covid-19 in one way, and you, a woman of promises — God’s promise of love and peace — are shining a light of His love through you and your husband’s bond, through even this difficult time. So beautiful when I think of marriage vows!! thank you so much for sharing, Ruth! God bless you and your husband with love and peace, dear sister!

  5. Bonnie,

    Your post was what I needed to hear. This has been my Year of Tears (even before the pandemic), and I feel like such a failure for not being able to hack it during this pandemic and be the strong one (which I normally am). I’ve literally cried this year more than I’ve cried in my adult life put together (I’m 48). I’m thankful that Jesus meets me in my broken places.

    • Oh, dear Jennifer – sister in Christ across the miles. This year of tears — may they be a wellspring of peace and rest as you feel God’s comfort and love, carrying you through. I know that you are a place of safety for many who will need that kindness and gentle understanding that only someone who has been through hard times will understand. Lord Jesus, reassure my friend Jennifer of your loving touch, in a way that she will know it is You who loves and carries her through. That you collect every tear in your bottle and your remember her through every moment that is breaking her heart — because it breaks you own as you love her in her suffering. Thakn you for loving her. Like no other. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  6. i am in a season of learning my worth independent of me. i am learning and feeling the fullness of God’s love for me. i have battled with perfection for so long and i’m beginning to understand that God loves me just the way i am. so thank you for this and for reminding me that my worth is not in me, but in who God says i am. this was right on time…i needed this!

    • I feel so honored to hear about your deep journey of the soul, Karyn. Thank you for trusting us to share your heart and words. I am SO glad that you are beginning this journey to understand how much God loves you, just as you are. And it comes thorugh your vulnerability and honesty. May you feel more beautiful and beloved today, in a way that you’ll know God is smiling as He draws you close to him. He will keep whispering loving words with kindness to help you blossom. He will be faithful and nothing will deter him. love, bonnie

      • thank you for allowing Him to speak through you bonnie! keep doing what you’re doing. your writing, openness, and sharing have been such a blessing!

  7. Thank you so much for this message and this reminder. I needed to much today. It truly amazes me how God knows exactly what we need and when we need it. I’m so thankful God is using you to help so many others right now. God Bless you!

  8. Thank you for this reminder to be REAL! It’s a message we all need to take to heart, but it can be so hard. It’s ironic how encouraged we get when others are vulnerable, yet it is so hard to be vulnerable ourselves! I think we forget that underneath the “perfect” faces we all put on, we’re all the same, we’re all human. NOBODY is perfect!!! Thank you for encouraging so many today:)

    Blessings,
    M @ In Beautiful Chaos

  9. Bonnie I so Love the story of Anne Frank. I read it so many time. Watched it on tv the programme about the life of Anne Frank. It brought me too tears. How one man could be so cruel to people in those day. But he might I don’t want to say his name. Got away with it when alive. But God saw all he did too all those people. During the war in those days. I would not like to have been him having to have faced God when he left earth? It brought me many times to pray for cruel people in our world today. As people in countries in our world today are still cruel to people. They don’t care. We as God people don’t know what goes on half the time. It made me the story of Anne Frank pray for them and their Salvation the people today in our world who do wrong like this. Plus for what they do to these people. Like the Christian that get persecuted for their faith in parts of the world. You never know I believe with all my heart God had you go into that shop that day. To get Party stuff for your son’s Birthday. To be there at the right time to pray with shop owner. If not saved you never know she could think about giving her life to Jesus. You I know will have made a impact on her life. You will have shown her she has worth in her life and what she does for living. God will truly bless you for being a blessing too her that day. We are all Daughters of the king of kings that king is Jesus. We never need to Doubt our worth. We are all beautiful in Jesus eyes. Love today’s reading. Xxx

  10. Thank you. I have a tendency to see myself as worthless, and I allow the enemy to shame and guilt me way too often for all my past sins. Recently I cried out, “Enough!” Then God graciously responded by showing me my “resume” of loving others. Things I had forgotten and felt were insignificant. Humbly we come to Him, and lovingly He responds. Others do need to see our scars, so that they know they are not alone, and that He does make all things new, and He cares about everything.

  11. Thanks for perspective. Looking out for others. Not focusing on our self ,because God has us in the palm of His hand ,or we might miss a opportunity of Gods destiny for us. Thank you I need this today. : )

  12. Bonnie, thank you so much for this post. I have hidden myself for so long that I no longer know who I am. It has been many years since I have felt unconditional love from another human being. If only tears would help.

  13. Thanks for this lovely reminder. Often our flaws and weaknesses and unperfect parts help us find common ground and relate with others. We share stories and connection happens. And healing for both of us.

  14. Thanks for sharing, Bonnie! I’m going through a divorce and emotional issues and my friend has marriage struggles and we just met yesterday to share our pain and encourage each other through this difficult time. Thank you for being a great example of encouragement to others!

  15. For as long as I can remember I’ve struggled with knowing my worth. I grew up with a mom and dad who were emotionally distant from not only each other but to my sisters and I. My husband the very man who vowed to love and cherish me has told me that I was a B who doesn’t deserve anything. I often think this world would be just fine without me. My husband would remarry and my kids would have a new mother someone better than me.

    • Hi Andrea, I grew up with a mom who was not loving and my dad left when I was seven, so I understand that empty feeling of not having received love as a child, the way God intended. I’m so sorry your husband is so hurtful and unloving. Having endured so much emotional trauma, it’s even more important you don’t give up on the little girl in you who deserves and longs to be loved. Your children need a loving mother, which you can provide – since you understand how painful it is to have that missing. I believe in you and who God created you to be. And I’m so honored you can share your heart honestly with us and the pain of what you’ve received. I took the step as a mom of two boys as an adult to go on the journey to heal with the help of a therapist who was an expert at guiding me through emotional PTSD childhood trauma. I chose the treatment called EMDR which the State department uses to processes vets through the battlefield. Eventhough I hadn’t been physically abused, I learned emotoinal neglect and verbal abuse has the same impact as physical trauma. So, be gentle with yourself and prioritize your wellbeing. You are first priority in God’s heart! I hope this note encourages you! I think you’ll also enjoy my first book Finding Spiritual Whitespace which shares the journey I took with God to experience His love for me and the healing path I experienced. Lord Jesus, reassure my friend Andrea of your love for her and protect and guide her from further harm. Bring a loving friend into her life to resusitate her soul, and give her the courage to heal and pouri nto herself, so she can love on her kids the way you intended to love her first. You know just what she needs. In Jesus’ name, Amen. When you feel the pain is too much to bear, please don’t hesitate and call this hotline for help, because sometimes you may feel too alone. You’re not alone, friend! https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

  16. I’ve felt drawn to your words, and the way you share your heart. Thank you for that. I pray someday I can put words to my story. That someone would listen. That maybe God could use it.
    Blessings.
    Cindy

  17. Bonnie,

    I believe God allows trials in our lives not only to grow our faith, but also to help others going through similar trials. We can offer encouragement like you did & show them God’s love. It has taken God a few trials, but after enduring them my faith & trust muscles were strengthened. I now readily trust God with every aspect of my life. It is through trials that our testimony is born. We have a story to tell of how God walked with us through the valley of Shadow of death. Thank you for sharing your story first. Sometimes we need to do that in order to get a conversation going & help the healing begin.

    Blessings:)