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How to Search for Thin Places: wisdom as you begin your beholding journey

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Blogger and writer, Nicole Conner, writes,

“Thin Places confuse our senses. We suddenly see the world in a different light. Our perceptions change. With breathless wonder, we encounter the Divine and it changes us. For people who hold to a faith, Thin Places are those places where we feel most strongly connected to God’s presence.”

I love Nicole’s definition of the Celtic Christian term, ‘Thin Place’. The words and phrases that stand out most to me are light, change, breathless wonder, encounter, Divine, connected, and God’s presence. 

I find her definition to be captivating, inviting me to notice God in a fresh, anticipatory kind of way. 

If you recall last week, I shared with you my own thin places from 2021 and what I learned in my year of beholding more of God with me. 

They’re really one and the same, aren’t they? 

This idea of beholding and looking for the thin places God leaves for us to uncover. Because the key element of beholding more of God is paying attention to how He works, moves, and speaks into each moment, each person, each dream, goal, or sorrow. 


The Apostle Paul’s words from Ephesians 4:5-6 echo in my mind when thinking about God’s ever-present presence, “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.” (NLT)

Just as Nicole stated in her own definition of thin places, searching – beholding – more of God with us casts light over present darkness, gives us a heavenly rather than an earthly perspective, fills us with wonder, and draws us into deeper connection and communion with God.

The Invitation to Behold

Beholding is an invitation from God to be present to His ever-present presence every moment of the day. And it’s also an invitation to receive and encounter His divine grace when we forget to look for Him. 

Because really, to behold is to be held by the thing we are beholding. So to behold is to allow ourselves to be held by Christ. 

So today, friend, I am inviting you to become a fellow Beholder; to commune more closely with Christ by looking for and noticing His presence with you; to search for thin places and be changed and wonderstruck by the light of God’s presence with you.

If you want to step into this invitation, to this way of living and communing with God, then you may be wondering how exactly to begin. 

How does one begin to behold more of God?

How do we intentionally search for thin places?

In answer to those questions you may be carrying with you today, friend, I want to share with you some wisdom I’ve learned on how to search for thin places.

 I pray that these suggestions would bless you and serve you well on your journey towards beholding. 

How to Search for Thin Places

1. Pray

Matthew 7:7-8 says,

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (NIV)

Prayer is how we communicate with God. It’s where we lay our request before Him and ask Him to move on our behalf or on behalf of those we love. It’s where we seek wisdom, share our sorrows and joys, and everything else in between. 

Asking the Lord to open your eyes and help you see the thin places – to behold more of Him with you – is the most important step you can take in your beholding journey. 

Because without His help, we remain blind to His workings. I fully believe that it’s His will for us to experience more of His presence in our everyday lives. So, asking Him to reveal Himself to us is how we grow increasingly aware of the thin places where heaven meets earth. 

The more we ask, the more we are aware of how desperately we need Him. This need increases our reliance on the Lord so we learn to stop leaning into our own strength and will and more fully into His. 

2. Implement Stillness

God’s own words from Psalm 46:10 tell us that we are able to behold more of God when we slow down,

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (NIV)

When we intentionally create time throughout each day or week to slow down, rest, and be still, it’s easier for us to notice how God’s presence is moving and speaking. 

Implementing stillness is when you set intentional alone time where you quiet yourself in the presence of God, allowing Him to minister and speak to you as you posture your heart towards surrender and rest. 

There are many different ways to create margin for stillness. This may look like scheduling some early morning quiet time to sit with your coffee in silence with the Lord, taking a solitary walk around your neighborhood or on a trail through the woods, or even engaging in Christian meditation. 

3. Keep a Beholding Journal

Keeping a journal helps me tremendously on my beholding journey. Whenever I notice God moving or sense a Thin Place, I always record it in my beholding journal! This journal doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to contain room enough for you to record the ways in which you see God moving in your right now life. 

Reflection is a huge aspect of learning how to look for thin places and how to behold. A beholding journal serves as a reflection tool that we can use to notice God’s current and past faithfulness. 

One spiritual tool that I have discovered this year and fallen absolutely in love with is my Growth Book Notes from The Growth Roots Co. This journal specifically focuses on spiritual growth, and you can read more about my full review in a post I wrote on Guided Journal Recommendations. 

The Growth Roots Co. journal would be a great option for a beholding journal! 

4. Find a Fellow Beholder

While beholding is mostly a solitary endeavor as you learn to notice God’s presence in your own life, it doesn’t have to be completely solitary. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says,

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

It can be encouraging and fun to reach out to a trusted friend or loved one and invite them to join you in your beholding journey. It’s a great way to encourage others with your own testimony of God’s faithfulness, be encouraged by others’ testimonies, and be held accountable to keep beholding more of God. 

If this idea intimidates you, maybe give it a try for a month, touching base with a friend once a week. After the month is up, reassess and notice if you see any fruit growing from this or not. 

5. Find a Spiritual Director

This kind of goes along with number 4, in the sense that a spiritual director acts as a spiritual companion to help you discern and see how God is moving in your life. 

By definition,

“A spiritual director is a privileged witness in the spiritual unfolding of another person. The focus is on the relationship between the “directee” and God, rather than on the relationship between the director and directee.”

Spiritual direction is for anyone who wants to deepen their relationship with the Lord, discern His voice and will in their lives, or learn how to notice His presence with them in the everyday. 

I have personally been very deeply and positively impacted by my own spiritual director, and I cherish her immensely! She really does act as my spiritual companion, creating a safe space for me to be honest, share my heart, and then point back to God and His presence. 

*I’m going to be diving deeper into the topic of Spiritual Direction in a future post, so if you’re curious about this practice, stay tuned! Or feel free to reach out to me with any questions, I’d be happy to talk with you about this! 

6. Explore Different Spiritual Practices/Rhythms

Ruth Haley Barton explains the purpose of spiritual practices perfectly in her book Sacred Rhythms

“Your desire for more of God than you have right now, your longing for love, your need for deeper levels of spiritual transformation than you have experienced so far is the truest thing about you. You might think that your woundedness or your sinfulness is the truest thing about you or that your giftedness or your personality type or your job title or your identity as husband or wife, mother or father, somehow defines you. But, in reality, it is your desire for God and your capacity to reach for more of God than you have right now that is the deepest essence of who you are.”

And this is what engaging in spiritual rhythms does; moves us from desire and longing for more of God to experiencing God more fully. 

Spiritual practices or rhythms include rest, breath prayer, centering prayer, spiritual direction, and Lectio Divina (Scripture meditation), to name a few. The purpose of these practices is to help you engage with God on a deeper level and familiarize yourself with His voice and presence. 

I would encourage you to try a few of these rhythms out and see which one works best for you. Spiritual practices are essential to the spiritual life because they teach us to behold God with us on a very relational level. 

A Blessing for the Beholders

“To behold is to hear what most of us are not brave enough to say out loud: even for the river, there is a time to be still.” – Stephanie Duncan Smith

Before you have a chance to get in your head and overthink things, I want to remind you that we’re all beginners here and there’s an abundance of grace waiting to greet you at every new beginning. 

There’s newfound courage, wisdom, and clarity that beckons you forward. 

So, as you simply begin your beholding journey, may the wholeness of Christ find you along the way. 

May the path to wholeness point you toward thin places, where God’s presence dwells strongly, yet ever so gently. 

May you be brave in going deeper; deeper into God, and deeper into who He made you to be. 

And in your beholding more of God, may you allow yourself to be wholly held by Him. 

And may you remember that grace carries you, always