Faith

Sex as a Spiritual Practice?

I wish it wasn’t so easy to be sexually broken. For so many reasons we struggle to embrace our sexuality, don’t we? To give and receive fully. To engage our whole physical, emotional, and spiritual selves—and our partners do as well. On every level, sex gets messy. So there’s no better place to talk about […]

Celibate Living in a Sex-Obsessed Society

Driving home from another ministry excursion, I pass billboard after billboard saying there are sex shops nearby. With each sighting, my stomach turns with sickness, my face falls into a frown. I am tempted to ignore the anguish, to shield my thoughts, to avoid that which feels judgmental and ugly within me. Instead, I take […]

When You Don’t Want to Tell

When I fail, there is a 100 percent chance I do not want to tell my husband. I want to hide. Like Eve, I scramble for leaves to cover myself. By “fail” I don’t mean I cheat on him—well, not directly anyway. It’s more in the Matthew 5:28 way where Jesus says, “anyone who even […]

My Single Life or Why I Love Women’s Day

A hairstylist I used to frequent once referred to Mother’s Day as “Complicated Day.” She did not have a particularly good relationship with her very controlling mother. “Complicated Day” really resonated with me, but I would go one step further: I hate Mother’s Day. My mother died of cancer when I was a teenager. Every […]

A Letter From Your Wife, A Survivor

Dear Husband, I need you to know, my heart breaks for you, it breaks for us. I wish I could have been perfect for you. I wish that these hurts, these scars would have healed better. Because I know you have never hurt me like those in my past have. I know you are not […]

Aftermaths of the Purity Movement

Sex, we were told, was bad. We weren’t to have sex and we weren’t to express ourselves sexually. We weren’t to wear clothes that would make others think about sex, and we certainly weren’t supposed to think about sex ourselves. For sex, they told us over and over again, was a sacred act, a covenant […]

Dear Portia: I Had Sex…and then We Broke Up. Now What?

Dear Portia, I grew up in the heart of evangelical purity culture. When I was 13, my parents took me out to dinner and gave me a promise ring. Throughout high school and college, I heard boys would ask me to compromise my sexual standards. I was ready to tell them no, but no one ever […]

Same-Sex Attraction and Me

I used to lie in bed at night and pray to not wake up. I wanted to be gone, I wanted it to be gone. I struggled, prayed and did the right things. I still do the right things and put in the work, but I am still, for as long as I can remember, […]

Out of My Wildness

This lyric poem was inspired by these two Bible verses: Who is that coming up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved? Song of Solomon 8:5 “I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called […]