Hard as Nails Ministries
If You Make Space

If You Make Space

By:  Julia Sweet February 13, 2021

While digging through the various notes, cords, and books disarranged on my desk in search of my favorite pen last week, I had a strong image of me holding this clutter, struggling under its weight and bulge. Then in a single moment, I dropped it all from my arms and it fell down a huge white hole at my feet. My shoulders straightened and my lungs filled with the sense of a new beginning and opportunity. It was not emptiness I felt, standing there with nothing in my arms or around me, but space. Palpable, anticipatory space.

Physical Space

My desk, doubling as a bedside table, filing cabinet, workspace, and prayer area is located in my bedroom where clothes and shoes spill out of the built-in closet, and the top of the dresser is covered in items waiting to be put away in their own place. Above my desk hangs a corkboard that I used to organize my projects and deadlines from last semester. Multicolored sticky notes litter the surface. Some with to do lists, website names, journal prompts, or reminders. Though I always intended it to be a vision board to keep me motivated and productive, I got sidetracked with other never-ending projects and various tasks.

I know I have needed to change this space as well as evaluate the rest of my house for a long time, but it never seemed like a priority. Yet now, at the beginning of a new year, I feel choked with all the “stuff” and “visual busyness”. The thought of being open to anything else - whether it be a new project, dream, or inspiration - seems unmanageable without first creating the space to receive it. My bedroom/workout room/home office is begging to be a safe haven, a place where I can find rest, and purpose; a place to be productive, not just busy.

Mental Space

I also realized after that day, that I not only need to release “things” in order to create new space in my physical surroundings, but there are so many other areas in my life that are filled to the brim. My mental space has been maxed out. I find myself holding on to frustrations, disappointments, anxieties, and even future aspirations, which cloud my mind and leave me unsettled throughout the day. What if I could release some of that mental chaos and fight for the space for new ideas, gratitude, and experiences? I imagine I could find more peace, excitement, and energy. If I am being incredibly honest, I cannot afford to not have the energy that comes from this potential new space.

Space in Relationships

Anyone who knows me knows I am quick to add to conversations by stating my opinion or sharing personal experiences and stories. I am not always comfortable with lulls in dialogue or in-betwee
n moments. Here, I have identified another opportunity for me to focus on creating a space where I can be confident in myself and calm in the situation. Amazing discussions and connections can be made when people feel there is a welcoming space for them to open up and be authentic. I want to create that kind of space in my interactions with others, so that they feel comfortable to share struggles or joys, to breakdown, or to challenge me. I am afraid that in the past I have missed opportunities for these connections, becauseI have been quick to fill up the space in my interactions instead of waiting to see what grows organically.

Space in Prayer

Finally, I am forced to come to terms with my current prayer life situation.Sure, I make a mental effort to be quiet and “listen” to God (for exactly 5 minutes a day). But even in the quiet, I don’t have the space to actually receive what He might reveal to me. I often enter prayer with my own agenda; my own intentions, thanksgivings, and structured prayers that I leave little room for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and inspirations. Where might He lead me? What anxieties might He calm, or lessons might He teach me? My final goal will be to empty out enough space in my prayer to receive whatever He has in store for me.

This is a long and daunting list of challenges. Some, like clearing off my desk, might be easier to tackle first; but it might just take me all year to incorporate the rest of these changes into other areas in my life. It is hard for me to focus on achieving intangible goals that I cannot immediately check off my to-do list. Nevertheless, I know all I can do at this time is clear out the space and trust God to fill it with peace and beauty.


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