Space to Ask


Sometimes I feel like I’m living out of a small place. Not snug and cozy, but cramped, limiting, and hidden.

For years I thought I had my faith figured out, or at least knew enough to convincingly pretend I did. Now some of the truths I used to take for granted no longer seem quite so clear. I’m finding questions and doubts, mystery and paradox where I believed there should be certainty.

I’ve tried to be the good girl and do what’s expected of me. I spend my energy watching for clues about what’s ok to do, to say, to think. I’m exhausted from trying to have all the right answers.

So I hide my questions, worried about the judgment I might receive. Afraid to find out that I really am just too broken.

When I sit down to write or try to connect with another person or with God, my mind floods with warnings and accusations. Just who do you think you are? I can’t believe you think that! Don’t you dare! The Bible says… Not enough… not enough… not enough…

On good days my wrestling feels more like a deepening than a departure as I let go of my answers to make room for my questions.

But how do I shift from striving to prove I have it all together to admitting I no longer know the things I thought I knew—the things those around me seem so sure about?

When I try to hide away, my troubled thoughts wind tighter and tighter. Only when I venture beyond the walls of my house or the unassailability of my answers do I find space to stretch out the strands and start gently untangling the knots.

I love walking through the nature conservation park near my home. When I first start walking my mind buzzes with chatter—worries, obligations, frustrations, criticisms. For a while I’m so distracted by those inner voices I hardly notice where I am.

Gradually the steady pace of my stride calms me and I start to see the way the sun filters through the lush green leaves, a wild rose just blooming, smooth white mushrooms peeking out from under a rotting log, a chipmunk scurrying through the underbrush.

Sometimes I realize with a little embarrassment that I’m grinning. For a moment I lose myself in the everyday beauty around me and forgot to worry about appearing silly.

I used to treat my walks as a luxury to indulge in only if I’d accomplished enough during the day, but I’m learning to prioritize the vital space they create in my life.

As I spend time walking around the park, I stand up straighter. I move more freely. I feel space opening within myself where everything felt trapped and constricted. There’s space in my lungs to breath deeper. There’s space in my mind to think clearer. Spending time in creation reconnects me with my own creativity and curiosity.

Sometimes my questions leave me confused as to whether I’m growing or backsliding. Either way I’m not quite where I think I’m supposed to be.

But letting go of certainty makes space for possibility. Only when I’m willing to step into the unknown can I go somewhere I haven’t been before. Only outside what is comfortable can I truly grow.

I expected to find myself alone in my uncertainty. Instead the expectations around how I am supposed to experience God are shifting and I’m beginning to find space to meet Him with wonder and delight rather than striving and shame.

The questions that had seemed too audacious to even think now feel like a natural part of the conversation.

Curiosity rather than rebellion.

Mingling with the songs of the birds and the wind in the trees I hear over and over the gentle assurance…

I am here. I am here. I am here. Ask me anything.