Kindness in holding yours and other’s stories takes practice. The holding space is sacred, can be scary, and often comes at a high price. And yet, if done well, holding stories can bring healing to ourselves, others, and relationships. Let’s take seriously and creatively our God given stories.
“I would like to beg you dear sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language.” ~Rainier Maria Rilk
As a recap from last week’s podcast….
1. What do I mean by ‘story’?
a. The story that has not yet come to resolution-
b. The story that is difficult to share, or perhaps, receive
2. What is this ‘holding’ thing about?
a. The point where holding becomes difficult
b. Spiritual By passers
c. The pain/tension of holding
Continuing with the topics of Holding Story and Creating Space…
d. The practice of holding-
We have all been there, on both sides of the coin. You have failed to hold a story well and have experienced your own story tossed aside. It takes time, practice, and many drops to become good at holding; it is possible, and so very needed. Being painfully aware, there is the trusted friend that desperately wants to hold story but is simply not equipped.
Truly good friends are open to learning the ropes of holding story. Hopefully, each of you has experienced a holding, at least once in your lifetime, where there is a kind, caring, and grounded friend who received your story as a gift to be honored, held gently and was curious in the holding space that was offered. Oh, how well good friends reflect the image of God.
e. God is with you in your story-
Creative imagination exists in spaces where stories are held well. God is not afraid of your stories. He’s in your stories. As a matter of fact, He would rather die, than live without you and your stories. He is with you- creating, saving, redeeming.
f. Liminal Space-
Heather Plett (www.heatherplett.com) talks about the holding space for a story. She defines the space as liminal. A liminal space, then, is a period in which something- social hierarchy, culture, belief, tradition, identity, etc.… has been dissolved and a new thing has not yet emerged to take its place. It’s that place of uncertainty, ambiguity, restlessness, fear, discomfort and anguish. It’s the space between.
g. Holding your own story-
Have you ever wondered what makes a good listener- a receiver of our pearls? Knowing and holding our own stories is the beginning of the makings of a good holder of stories. The longer you live, the less sure you likely are of your stories. And yet, some of your stories are still on a journey, even as you are, as you come into greater understanding of their meaning and significance for your life.
h. Taking care of your story-
Many have hard or traumatic stories they believe are complete- never to be touched again. However, you have been created to hold stories, along with your community- created in the image of God. God is the author and perfecter of your stories.
Listen to your stories and what your stories are saying about you.
It will be near impossible for you to hold a friend’s story if you are not willing to listen to and hold your own stories.
3. What is this space that is being created?
a. Space is part of the healing journey-
Creating space that allows ourselves and others to feel the pain, the tension, is a part of the healing journey itself.
b. Space defined-
Brene Brown (www.brenebrown.com) says, “if you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback”. Richard Rohr (www.cac.org) puts it a different way. He describes space as “a unique, spiritual position where human beings hate to be but where the biblical God is always leading them. It is when you have left the tried and true but have not yet been able to replace it with anything else. It is when you are finally out of the way. It is when you are in between your old comfort zone and any possible new answer. It is no fun.”
c. The impact of space-
This creative space allows for the work of the gospel. And, the gospel is messy. It reveals your depravity, and thankfully, your dignity, as well.
Heb 13:16; Prov 11:24-25; Is 58:6-8; Gal 6:6-10; Matt 25:35-40; Luke 6:38; Is 41:10; Rom 8:38-39; Ps 16:11; Phil 1:6; Eph 1:13-14
Interview with Krishana:
Krishana is the editor for the Broken and Beautiful Souls podcast and today finds herself on the other side of the microphone. She originally hails from Indiana. While in the middle of raising financial support as a missionary to Vienna, Austria, she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She went through the necessary treatment and was even able to serve in Austria a few years. A couple of years into remission, the Lymphoma returned with a vengeance. She subsequently left the field to return to the states in order to resume treatment- ultimately, receiving a Stem Cell transplant. Krishana is currently an associate with Greater Europe Mission, while living in Southern California, attending seminary at Biola University, while studying Spiritual Formation and Soul Care. She is enjoying her time living near the beach, as well as, traveling to Europe a couple of times a year, helping with various ministry endeavors.
Dawn and Krishana discuss:
- The deep breath kind of experience and vulnerability it took for Krishana to share her large pearl story with her friends and the sacred, holy ground that resulted
- The warmth, presence, courage, and respect with which Krishana’s friends held her story and her silence
- The overall importance of holding the stories we hear, giving them the respect and honor they deserve
- The book, Tandem Living, authored by Krishana