Faith

The Stigma of Need

The first time it was suggested to me that I go on welfare I was 24-years-old. I had just left a job at a large non-profit (the kind you have to raise your own funds for) and started working part time again. I was used to part time work. I worked my way through college, […]

Portrait of A Both Girl

I am not black. I am not white. I am somewhere between the ink and the page, the word that is blurred      out. I am not what you assume She speaks Spanish… can’t quite place her…. definitely not from around here I am from around here. I grew up down that stone road […]

When I Am Bipolar

I hold the small red pill between my thumb and forefinger. It’s miniscule. Maybe a third the size of a breath mint. I’ve already taken my antidepressant faithfully, as I always do. I habitually gulp down the rest of my pills but this one I take last, because it’s so small. There was the time […]

4 Things I Want You to Know about Mental Illness

What Mental Illness Is Empty. Sometimes I just feel empty. My body is heavy with exhaustion so that my arm flops down to the table. It’s not even that I’m sad. Just, empty. Void of emotion. And honestly, I don’t care. Yeah, that’s depression. Tight. Often I feel tight. All my muscles are tense and […]

Dear Portia: How Do You Stay Sane with a Mentally Ill Person?

Dear Portia, How do you deal with toxic or mentally ill people who have harmful behaviors and stay sane? You have no choice but to deal with them—they’re your family or your boss. How do you get them to seek the help they need? Or, to understand they have an issue? JP Dear JP, I […]

Hurdles to Healing

I have never been a very good runner. In the short time that I tried to run, I was pathetically slow, did not have very good form, and managed to injure my ankle. That is mainly the reason why I find the Bible’s beautiful running metaphors to be about as effective as the ones about […]

The Waging and the Waiting

This essay is an excerpt from the anthology Soul Bare: Stories of Redemption published by Inter Varsity Press in August 2016. In 1977, my mother left my brothers and me with sitters to go looking for an apartment and didn’t return for days. When she finally did, after what most people considered a “lost weekend,” my […]

The Welcome of What Is

There are many rhythms that carry me through daily life and into the presence of God. As a Midwesterner, the four seasons have become a perpetual joy and sometimes annoyance, but a cadence upon which my body, mind, and soul have come to rely.  As an Anglican, the liturgy, Eucharist, and church calendar have carried […]

The Mast Year

We have an acorn problem. That is a total understatement. We are currently being held hostage by a number of acorns I previously did not believe was possible to be shed from one oak tree. The sky is literally falling. After a few months of scratching our heads and wondering if our beautiful oak trees […]