I didn’t know that I was hiding. I’ve always been good at praying.

Or so I thought.

My daddy left when I was seven. I’ve always looked to God as my Father, my provider. I didn’t realize that God wanted to be more than just my provider. God longed to be my soul’s confidante — deep where I feel lonely, where I struggle to receive and make space for me.

I find it easier to take care of others and do things for God, rather than be vulnerable with my needs.

But God is showing me prayer is an intimate soul conversation to be loved and known, rather than a spiritual transaction to be made better.

This journey of restful prayer began in the most unexpected way: my first panic attack.

At the cusp of a life-long dream — writing a book — painful childhood memories re-ignited as live events. I began reliving them. Even though I was married to my soulmate hubby, mom to two beautiful boys, even traveled halfway across the world as a missionary to tell others about Jesus, I couldn’t stop my heart from pounding like a jackhammer, unable to breathe. I couldn’t stop endless nights of insomnia or fatigue so thick I laid in bed by day.

I felt ashamed. It seemed the peace of Jesus I’ve always prayed for others and myself was out of reach.

I knew how to pray to be competent and strong. But I didn’t know there were deeper, beautiful prayers for broken me.

Instead of abandoning me, Jesus whispers — “Come to me, weary and heavy-laden. And I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28

Sometimes, it takes more faith to fall apart with Jesus than praying for faith to stop it from happening. I began praying new intimate prayers.

I began finding spiritual whitespace: making room for rest instead of ignoring my wounding and exhaustion.

As I took the journey to find rest, I uncovered Five Soulful Ways to Pray When You Don’t Know How: