About the Author

Bonnie Gray is the author of Sweet Like Jasmine, Whispers of Rest, 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 at...

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  1. Bonnie,
    What a great post! I’m not sure what changes God has going on inside of me but he’s definitely up to something! Yesterday I conquered a HUGE fear with him right beside me! I was asked to give my testimony to our church. We have started a new sermon series talking about following Jesus not just sitting on the side lines. But taking an active role and yearning to follow him no matter what it takes. They are doing a testimony each week during the series to encourage people to listen to what God is telling them even if they are scared etc.

    I was terrified and now this will go into my testimony of faith because speaking in front of people opens my anxiety like you wouldn’t believe! BUT I did it at both of our services so that about 700-800 people. AND I survived to tell about it! I didn’t fall on the platform or on the steps. I didn’t fidget or bounce my legs or anything like that. I did NOT look up once but focused on the words on my paper so I could read. I could not hear my own story because I focused on each word not sounding shaky or cracked etc. Now I am done and can sit back and enjoy the rest of the series without worrying I still need to do my story!

    God likes to prove me wrong over and over again when I say “I could NEVER do that” !

    Lisa

  2. Lately, I have been living life in a mode of self- preservation. A personal crisis has shaken my faith, so much so that I have my back to God. He let me down. Theologically speaking, that isn’t possible. But from where I’m sitting (at the bottom of a pretty deep well) it appears that He not only let me down…He dropped me. And so I’m giving it my best shot to climb out on my own. Oh, I believe God is still God, but He is silent…and distant…and I am hurting. So I turn inward and just walk on alone. I figure if I keep walking. I’ll eventually end up somewhere.

    But even as I walk away from Him, I can hear Him speaking to my heart. It is so quiet that I have to stop walking just to catch the essence of what He is saying. I am being followed in my lonely walk away from Him. He is not letting me go.

    “God’s Autumn Song is being written and sung over you.”

    And today….” Reach out to a trusted friend and share your fears. Grab onto the promise that keeps us safe — the promise of God’s presence.

    No longer alone, we can move ahead.”

    • Oh, Julie! My heart hurts for you. Jesus is acquainted with sorrow and He is not shaken by your pain and feelings of rejection. He is strong enough and His heart is soft enough to carry you, even in your darkest moments. Know that you are not alone, because those of us who have been there understand. Hugs, friend.

  3. Thank you for this Bonnie! Just what I needed to hear today. My son has joined a new class of second-graders, many of them with established friends. He’s a little shy and yes, I worry a bit about him. This post puts it all into perspective.

  4. After a major move and finally finding a church and settling in, I was asked to facilitate a women’s Bible study in my home, which began two weeks ago, and when fewer ladies came the second week than the first week, my first thoughts were, “they didn’t like me, I wasn’t good enough” and I was immediately convicted in my spirit that those were wrong thoughts to be thinking, but they were the first ones to pop into my head. Because God’s presence is with me, I could quickly chase those negative thoughts away, I knew He didn’t want me to continue with that wrong line of thinking! And He was definitely with our group that day, too!

    • Kathy, 😉 I love the name of your blog — I’m thinking that quiet place inside you brought out that freeing insight… which you grabbed onto! How wonderful you could enjoy what matters: God’s presence (invisible truth) and the women who were there! May God continue to use your heart to bless these women.

  5. Thank you for this post, for this guidance as I feel that I can very much relate to you, your sweet kindergarten guy! I struggle to call on God when I am walking through the life that I haven’t quite accepted. We moved almost two years ago to be closer to family and well, we are certainly closer, still living with my in-laws!!! This is because it took over a year for our home to sell and now are are blessed with an unexpected yet expensive gift of a new (third) baby on the way! There are so many blessings in my life but I often feel alone, forgetting that God is always with me. I daily try to remind myself of his presence and now that he has a plan but it is the patience and the understanding that I struggle with. Thank you for giving me the insight needed to start this week on a positive note.

    • Hi Allison, you are walking through a lot of changes — in your body, your home, your family, and your place! God knows where you are in this journey and He gives us just enough grace one moment at a time. Right when we need it, God will hold us steady. God bless you fellow mommy!

  6. Bonnie,

    Oh how I can relate to this post. I have 2 boys(a bit older) that both entered new schools -one went to our town’s 6th grade school and the other(gulp) started high school. And I entered a different area too… There “needs” from me have changed… their biggest physical need from me is to be a after school driver. But, they still need me standing in the gap for them daily. As my role in their lives has changed gradually through the years I have seen my prayer life change. When they were young I would have a quiet time and then “hold on tight” to get through the day… Now, as I know they have classes they don’t like (does anyone really like school??) or a test or presentation I find myself “praying through the day” and because of that my life is fuller… deeper… richer… But the new question is what does God have for this next season of life??? As I search His word and listen to Him I see so many opportunities… so many things that need to be done… yet each one pushes me out of my comfort zone. I have been a stay at home mom and LOVE that role… But feel that God is sending me “out”… but to what?? Your words have given me the boost today that were needed…

    • Hi Susie, it’s amazing how we’re at different ends of the spectrum .. me in my life as stay-at-home mom… and you, now God sending you “out”! 🙂 Yet, we are each grabbing onto the same promise — the same Jesus — who promises to stick with us each step of the way! Blessings on your new faith adventure! 🙂

  7. Both of my children are in college this year. The changes and adjustments never end! I am mostly enjoying this season of life. God has provided a new job for me and I am able to still be home when my kids need me. But the reality that they are older and more independent does hit me at times, and I miss those days of hearing “mommy….” God is good to walk us through each season! I am learning as much as they are!

    • Oh, gin. I’m chuckling as I read this. Because my boys are in school for the morning and I’m enjoying the “no mommy” quiet zone! 🙂 I know that season you’re describing will be one I step in sooner than later… may you find God’s blessing in the journey — and then, share it with us upcoming mommies in return! LOL.

  8. Bonnie, I can so relate to this post right now. I have been in a relationship for 6 years with a man I love dearly. My heart aches to write this, but I can’t help but feel the relationship coming to an end. He has a lot of problems, issues and emotional anguish. We also live 2 hours apart and do not have a normal day to day life. Add to all this my 2 children, and his 2, me going to school and our full time jobs and it makes for a lot. The problems and issues that he has are life time issues, life changing issues. These are issues I am not sure I can live with or deal with. I have tried and worked and pleaded and begged God for the patience, the understanding to come. I have cried out in pain and aching at the thought of losing this beautiful man. However, I feel that we have come to a cross-roads, a point in our relationship where a decision must be made, either live with these issues and accept them all, or end the relationship. He feels this way and has said that he can’t live with putting me through this any more. He can’t stand to see me ripped apart bit by bit by who he is and what he is to become. My heart breaks at those words. He is my best friend, my confidant, He is everything to me and the person that has been there through the best and worst of my life and loves me despite everything. It is not something I will give up lightly, and yet, those crossroads are there. With either decision, stay or go, I will be that kindergartener again. If I leave, I will be 42 years old and facing an unknown world where I will be alone and starting over. If I stay, I will be facing a life of uncertainty, fear, worry and constant change. I can only pray to God and step out in faith, with any decision I make.

    • Oh, Sheila. You are standing at crossroads! I pray right now for my sister, Lord Jesus, that you will give her wisdom and grant her a friend, even if it’s for the moment, for her to confide in these things of the heart. I pray you give her the faith she needs to take the next step with You, clasped in her hand, walking her through it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

  9. Tears came to my eyes as I read this post. I feel like this is exactly where I am in my life, at a spiritual starting-over point. I really needed to read this today!

  10. So much of this resonates, Bonnie. I sent my sweet son off to college this fall. Each new phase is so hard, and I think you’re right. There’s the fear of how the world will treat him. Will he make friends? Will he be rejected? I want so much for my children not to have to feel the hurts of this world but if they don’t, they won’t know how desperately they need Jesus. And, I need to know that He will be sufficient for them.

  11. I am taking a step in a new direction. I am learning what its looks like not to worry or be afraid. I am asking God to help me Trust and walk in the peace He gives, even when outside circumstances are tumultuous or uncertain or seem hopeless. I also am hoping to overcome the fear of people’s opinions of me or their reactions, and to focus instead on my loving Father.

  12. Bonnie,

    I loved this post…it is exactly what I needed today. I am learning to step out of my box and it is so scary. Hubby and I have changes all over the place and I feel like sometimes all I can do is stand still and breathe. ” Will I make friends?” “Will I like the new me” these questions have filled my mind more than once over the last few months.

    But I am going to lean on those promises that :
    “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

    “I love you.”

    “Keep going.”

    “I’m right here with you. Every step of the way.”

    Thank you so much for your words…:)

  13. “Is He calling you to step closer to Him, by stepping out of your world of familiar people and places?” YES! I think God is saying, “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achora a door of hope. There she will singb as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt” (Hosea 2:14-15). Thanks, Bonnie!

  14. BRILLIANT POST, Bonnie!! Wow. I’m going to print this out so I can read it over and over again. Your words really touched my heart today. Thank you!

  15. Looking back at my first day of kindergarten, I remember that I wasn’t the least bit interested in the other kids. I just wanted them to get out of the way so I could have that wonderful, little, plastic kitchen with it’s tantalizing pots & pans, stove, refrigerator, and cabinets all to myself. Even as an adult, I’m content to do most things by myself, without interference, so I can have things just as I want. But it’s a trade-off; I have no close friends, no BFF, and I haven’t since high school. I assume the problem must be me, but I really have no idea why. I’m so grateful to the Lord, because without him, life would be unbearably lonely. With Him, in Him, I am never alone.

  16. That is so, so what I am going through right now!! My oldest just started kindergarten – she never said anything about being worried about making friends, but I’ve totally over-worried it for her! 🙂 God has definitely been calling me to make new changes in my life, and I’ve been working through those fears – but at the same time I think one of the biggest changes He’s asked me to make is simply to let my girls go out into the big world and remember that my job isn’t to completely shelter them – it’s to let them experience it all while being there for them every step of the way. 🙂 Thanks for your post – and the reminder of the promise of God’s presence! My girls seem to remember it…it’s just me that has trouble! 🙂

    • Kristin, you and I are in the same boat — me with my oldest boy. 😉 … It’s hard this motherhood — letting go, holding close, teaching, guiding, letting them learn on the own, eat your veggies, stay in bed… now, go have fun and play! 🙂 Lord, have mercy (literally). Give us mommies wisdom. 😉 Hugs fellow mommy!

    • Thank Him for you today too, Holley! I went to our local farmer’s market this weekend. And thought of you… standing in line for kettle corn… with fresh cut flowers nearby. ooxx

  17. You are a beautiful writer! Reading your words makes me feel as though I was sitting across from you and feeling the depth of emotion behind each sentence. Thank you for sharing such encouragement and inspiration!

  18. Totally needed this, today. I have been struggling recently regarding friendships. One of my dearest friends moved back home to South Africa in July, and I’m really missing her. Some other friends are also moving soon, or contemplating a move, and so are we [a big move from one remote community to the next]. I’m not really feeling connected anywhere and my soul is aching due to this loneliness.
    When I blogged about it earlier, my mother in law just suggested I invite someone out for coffee, which should have been a helpful suggestion (and I know that’s what she meant it to be) but it just felt like she was rubbing salt in my wounds.

    • Hi Bekka, I know how you feel. It takes time for our emotions to settle it’s place in our hearts and grieve. Jesus will be there to encourage you. His Spirit, His gentle voice will nudge you to step back out. You’re undergoing so much change… give yourself the time to breathe your feelings through and hour heart will find the space to engage once again.

  19. Oh, how I relate but it was so many years ago—only it seems like yesterday. I guess you could say my season has changed to Autumn. I wrote about “Rearranging my Nest” this morning. I am glad that you wrote this for piece its (in) couragement for others but also because you’ll come back to it some day—and you will see all of it as a blessed gift. Grace to you friend.

  20. This is a great post. After much consideration and prayer I have decided to make a career change. I was fearful at first but am learning to rest in God’s peace and promises. Little by little I am learning to stand ready, armed with faith, to face the many more changes that are ahead.

  21. It is my turn to be the mentor instead of the mentored. I have been mentored by the best mentors, and mostly by my heavenly Father. Pushing, prodding and sometimes dragging me through situations that were and are completely out of my control. Sometimes kicking and screaming, but eventually settling down and learning to rest, with my hope in him, not the situation or the persons involved. I still have so much to learn, but it is time to share with 2 lovely young moms in the MOPS group at church. They need and want a mentor, and God has been preparing me, (without my help, I might add) and has gone on before me. He is already there, and even though I don’t feel like I am adequate, I know he is and will use me. Not what I say, necessarily, but how I love. And I want to do that well. So with fear and trembling, I set off on this new adventure, a privilege, and a joy.

  22. I’ve been far away from God lately. Very far away. There is so much I don’t understand. Cancer twice. Debilitating, chronic pain. Where is God in all this? I hear a whisper, but I am so afraid to trust. Angry, even. I need something to make sense. I need hope, something to hold on to when life is so dark and painful. It’s frightening to feel so alone.

    • carol,
      I so understand where you are. For I too have chronic pain. And I have spent my time away from the Lord. But he has called me back, and I am so happy to be held in his arms. My pain is not gone, but I realize that the pain is temporal. And it joins me to him in the fellowship of his sufferings. He hurt too. And it wasn’t his fault. It was mine. Now I know what it means to choose to love him, even in the midst of the darkness. What it means to have to choose to know him, even when I don’t feel like it. I would love to converse with you about it. My email is lesliesk@bellsouth.net. Give me a shout if you would like. I am praying for you, dear sister. Wish I could give you a hug.

  23. Oh yes. I know change well lately and being caught in between the changes I sense God bringing and the old that I’m releasing. Trying to be patient and wait on His timing for the coming changes. But one thing I have learned over the past months is that without the change there is no growth. I almost find myself craving the change.

  24. I am being asked by God to trust him as He leds me towards starting a business. It has been something I long prayed for. An extension of my family’s farm but as doors start FLYING open and people are there at every turn helping, funding, encouraging I retreat very quickly.
    What if this “dream” almost becomes a reality and then at the last second fails. I am too young. I don’t know what I am doing.
    But He is calling me to step through every single door. My reality is changing quicker than I can keep up with. I open my email and another note and another. I want to run away and pretend it didn’t happen.
    I am having the hardest time in my life trusting Him… because for the first time I feel all my prayers are being answered and… it is harder to trust in that moment?

    Thank you for letting me just say it.

  25. Eleven days (give or take a few) after my middle child started Kindergarten, planes flew into two tall buildings that graced the NYC skyline. I didn’t let her watch TV that day. Life landed crooked.

    Now God is calling me to trust him in a different kind of crazy. No ash, no jumpers, no flattened fire trucks. He is asking me to trust him in the white noise of silence. Why is it so difficult?

  26. Thank you for your words. I recently moved, have not yet found a home church and am in the midst of career transition. The verse you shared from Exodus really touched me – I feel in some ways as if I have had too much rest since moving…sitting around waiting for an employer to call back…no friends to meet up with for coffee. And yet – I am rest-less to the core. I have not been inviting God’s presence in the midst of all the uncertainty…maybe I’m a little afraid to know what He wants to teach me in all of this. And I think the questions are aptly put: “Will I make friends?” and “Will I like the new me?” I sense that God has some big things He wants to do in and through me, but I feel so overwhelmed by uncertainty right now that being open to that terrifies me, especially feeling so alone in this new city. I needed your encouragement to reach out to a trusted friend. I’ve been waiting for one to reach out to me – and then not recognizing it when they do.

  27. The major change that I soon face is moving to USA for a year, leaving my family and friends, living with a host family for a year. I trust God is alongside me but yet sometimes I feel fear is greater than God’s love. This proves that I have not trusted God enough. He brought me to this and I shall trust that He will bring me through it. God is calling me to put more trust and faith on Him and I will always trust that He is leading me to the right path as He sees before we do…