I challenged them to go on a mission of the soul. To stop. Rest. To connect deeply to God and each other.
As I led everyone through the arc of storytelling, journaling childhood stories, connecting to God through silence on a solo nature walk, prayer, meditation, and visual arts (painting)—people began sharing powerful stories through laughter and tears. Everyone had fun and yet, the stories being painted were deeply personal.
We were no longer talking about rest in a book. We were experiencing rest with each other.
“We are not very different at all,” a smiling officer and his wife shared with me during a break.
I led them to explore the same journey God used to transform my heart, what I call “Finding Spiritual Whitespace.” It’s making time in your heart and schedule to refresh your soul with God. To enjoy activities nurturing rest, customized to your needs. But it requires investigating your story. Just like beautiful art needs blank space to bring out a painting’s beauty, our souls need spiritual whitespace.
As leaders, spouses, or parents serving others, we often don’t have time to tend to our souls. We know how to pour ourselves out, but struggle to rest and receive. Is God calling you to this mission of soul rest too?
This journey requires vulnerability. To share your story. To be known.
To say no. Letting things fall off the plate—and maybe break—so God can heal and create something new. Letting go of burdens we’re never meant to carry. We all carry wounds. But, there comes a time when it takes more faith to be broken with Jesus than to stay strong enough to stop it from happening.
Faith calls us to stop hiding and become God’s artwork. Paul tells us, “For we are God’s poeima (‘works of art’), created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV).
What if we prioritized ourselves and our families as God’s artwork rather than projects to manage?
The officers and spouses I met did not retreat from their soul-care mission. God moved in amazing ways. Lives changed, marriages strengthened, and we came away renewed in ways we’ll never forget because stories were shared.
We leaders often cope with stress by trying to survive our wounding rather than allow God to heal and refresh us to fully live. God doesn’t want us to simply survive.
God’s mission field, after all, is your heart and mine.