For When I Want to Leave Church

A therapist once suggested to me that I’m in an abusive relationship with churches. They keep hurting me, and I keep serving them nonetheless. And I keep wondering what to do with this. You know what has helped? Lady Gaga. Sitting in a church parking lot last January, I turned on my car and sighed […]

Fighting for Community (or Fading Away)

I know what it must feel like to be a ghost. I am haunting the life I used to live but haven’t moved on yet, hanging out on the fringes of what I once called mine. I watch everyone around me go about their days as they always have but I am on the outside […]

A Reflection on Finding Community in the Church

“It’s hard to find community,” they say. I sit across from them at Starbucks or at my dining table and listen to them share about the difficulty of finding people they connect to, people with whom they can build a solid friendship and grow together in faith. “They” have been college students, single young adults, […]

Healing from Depression

When the moon rolls out of the sky And you are strangled with darkness.   When the trees have lost their leaves And stand in surrender to winter.   When every word is a suicide note And your face is dry from crying.   This is when hope arrives Like a hurricane of joy   […]

5 Things Your Pastor Wishes You Knew

I wear a lot of hats: mom to 4, author and speaker, academic, and pastor’s wife to a church planter. Most days my life looks small: walk kids to school, get in some writing, go to the grocery store, build relationships with neighbors, work towards growing our church plant. It can be a lonely, isolating […]

Dear Portia: Do I forgive my church family, or speak up?

Dear Portia, Several years ago, our family got involved in fostering children with significant medical needs. The nudge to do so came from the teachings of our church…to love God and to love people. But, the very church family who encouraged us to jump in did not throw the life-preserver we expected. Fostering got hard. […]

Forgive or Fester

Healing of the body is painful and can take what seems like forever. With doctors telling you step by step what to do or what not to do, it’s pretty straightforward. However, healing ones’ soul is a different beast. You can turn to friends, counselors and the Bible but trying to heal your soul and […]

People Have the Power to Heal

I have become such an independent person, in part because I have so often found myself alone in the midst of deep pain. In those moments, I usually either crumble or swallow the pain down, and do what I have to do to survive. But that is isolating; it is an unhealthy way to be […]

Do You Really Want to Get Well?

The first time I came across the passage in John 5, I felt slightly irritated. Afterwards Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish religious holidays. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was Bethesda Pool, with five covered platforms or porches surrounding it. Crowds of sick folks—lame, blind, or with paralyzed limbs—lay on […]