Suffering

Transformation and Resurrection

I don’t often feel sweaty hands or pit-in-the-stomach nerves, but when I do, I know it must be time for the bi-annual sectional rehearsal of the church choir. It is a much-anticipated evening where I stand in front of sixty sopranos and answer all of their most difficult questions. Will I sing measure 81 for […]

When Narrow Bends Wide

“Devil’s Backbone Trail?” I smirked to myself. How strange the ink read on the church bulletin, announcing the hike. “How ironically appropriate.” A gentle wind scurries past us at the trail head, whispering rumors of spring. She stirs drowsy-eyed in a valley that is barely awake. We tread lightly, least we summon the slumbering rattlesnakes […]

Our Hope Rises Higher

Surveying the damage, they can’t imagine life again after the storm. They can’t yet see the trees that will grow to replace those pulled up by their roots. They can’t picture anything flourishing again in this place of devastation. *** Looking out at the endless sea of cars sitting on the interstate, I felt restless […]

Invocation to the Night I Drowned

I am the panic attack that upended your entire life. I am the storm you could never remember seeing but always felt. I am removing this identity from you like I have many times before. I am going to grow in you yet a new one as I have always done before. I am not […]

Why Didn’t You Call Me?

I never need to call #SQUAD in a crisis. They’re already here.   Every single time life takes me to the gates of hell, I remember that I haven’t yet determined effectively how to clone myself. Each time, I thank God for Grace, since I never need to know how to do it all.  This is […]

The Gift and Curse of Silence

Time pushed on and life bulldozed through my plans with all of its cruelty and loss and horrors, I allowed myself the space to think and grieve. Those ‘quiet times’ shifted into crying times. And the tears poured and poured and poured.

A Dark Postpartum Night

  It’s the nights I dread most. An hour after midnight, my husband–who’s been with baby in the nursery since 10 p.m.– opens the door, enters our bedroom, and gently shakes my foot to wake me up. But I’m already awake. I’m always awake. The baby is crying as if he hadn’t just eaten a […]

Integrity Is The Opposite of Cutting Ourselves

Can I tell you an embarrassing story? Picture me and a guy I liked sitting together on some stairs on our college campus. We’re having a serious DTR. Since the first time I met this guy, I thought he was super-cute, and over the last year and a half, we’ve spent more and more time […]

Treading Water: A Story of Domestic Violence

When you see me, you don’t know my secret. I hide it well. I share a story from shadows. My words must be spoken in whispers, in quiet places. For now.  He threw something at my head. It hit the target. Once he broke a chair and then threatened me. There was the time he […]

It Takes Faith to Limbo

I was very flexible when I was young. Limbo was a party game that seemed to happen often, and I prided myself on how good I was at it. I could sashay under that pole with the best of them. Recently, I tried to limbo again, but my middle-aged body sounded its alarm alerting me […]

Dear Portia: The Spiraling Journey of Forgiveness

How Do We Know When We’re Done Forgiving? Dear Portia, What does forgiveness look like when you work through the process and do your best, but either the offender never acknowledges their sin or they continue to offend? Not asking about boundaries, that’s pretty clear to me, but how do we know when we’re done? […]

A Good Like That

I love to re-read books. Familiar stories refresh my tired soul like a cool stream. So when I picked up C. S. Lewis’s Perelandra once again, I expected comfort. I hoped the book would distract my mind from the knifelike pains that endometriosis has been delivering to my pelvis since January. Instead, Perelandra bowled me […]