Yesterday I facilitated a found art workshop at a conference my church was hosting. Our theme was God’s broad grace—how God offers us spaciousness, a broad place to stand, room to breathe. I talked about how it can be hard to remember that we’ve been offered this kind of space, especially when we’re in tight quarters emotionally or physically.

I forget daily. Sometimes hourly. I go to the cramped, suffocating place instead of running into the hope and the light and the grace.

Some of us have been through a setback. We were cruising along, and all of a sudden something happened to us that we couldn’t just – snap – recover from.

In the murky midst of this setback we forgot—because we can’t feel it at all—that God is beckoning us into the wide-open place. We forgot that breathing room exists.

As I write to you, I’m sitting on our back patio, looking out over to the horizon. This view resonates. This sense of spaciousness. This is what we long for. The broad place. Not just physically, but spiritually, mentally, emotionally, relationally. We long to trade in our restlessness for room.

One of the very most vital ways we find this room is through turning back toward ourselves when so many of us have so deeply abandoned ourselves.

We don’t believe we’re a reliable observer of the world around us.

We don’t trust our instincts or intuitions anymore.

We don’t know for sure if our needs, stresses, or feelings are legitimate.

We don’t feel valuable.

We don’t want to get up off the couch.

We don’t want to look up from our phones.

We don’t want to step up and fight back.

This inner battle is like soul asphyxiation. And a big part of our journey is (re)learning to be a companion to ourselves . . . as we would a friend.

This is, in my estimation, one of the most essential ways we can find our way back into the spacious place. We turn our face toward God and ask him to help us find grace and gentleness for ourselves. In that simple act, we are catapulting ourselves toward the room we’re longing for. I promise.

God, help us reach toward you so that we can, in turn, reach toward ourselves. We’re in a stupor or a struggle and we can’t work our way out of it. We need you. We need you in the thousand ways that you visit us with your grace. Lead us, by the hand, into the wide-open field. Or, just come sit with us here on the floor and we’ll take it from there. Amen.

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