Suffering

Not So January White

I went through three Advent calendars this year.  The chocolate kind; maybe it was four. One was my daughter’s. I was forgiven upon upgrading it to a higher-caliber chocolate one. Eventually I ate that too, and we settled out of court. Psychoanalysis of this penchant leads me down infinite rabbit trails, so I’m sticking with […]

Is Love Worth the Pain?

For the first year and a half, I called out her name.  Over and over again, I would startle myself awake once I had barely fallen asleep. My arm would shoot out from my body in a desperate attempt to stop her, to catch her, to convince her to stay—the shout of her name went […]

Waiting For the Thaw

The word appeared fully formed in my brain as I sought an adequate description for this sense of emotional paralysis. Winter. I rolled it around on my tongue, playing free-association word solitaire.  Winter is cold. Winter is dark. Winter might be beautiful, but it’s dangerous. Winter scenes offer hauntingly lonely images of stark black branches […]

Waiting Without

I am bad at waiting. There is no getting around it.  I wish I could tell you differently. I wish I had learned by now the grace of quietness, of stillness, of patience, but alas those marks of my growth in godliness come in fits and starts, sluggish to take deep root. They are the […]

My Ricocheting Heart

Today, the simple gray sock I hold in my hand becomes my new best friend. It must be magic; because here I am, just minding my own business, moving through this mundane laundry chore, when I come across this sock and feel it unlock a door deep within me. I am suddenly slingshotted back in […]

Muddy-Handed Hope

He’s seven now. But I often remember him as the two-year-old who looked into my catatonic eyes. I have a hard time forgetting what this little one must have felt when I went crazy. Because Grace is real and memory imperfect, his little mind has no recollection of when I had to enter the mental […]

Finding Quiet For Our Disquiet Souls

“I accept whatever He gives and I give whatever He takes.” – Teresa of Calcutta It’s not something you talk about in polite company—not being quite okay and being willing to admit it. When people ask how are you, they don’t expect an honest answer. I know; I’ve been answering honestly for months, unable to […]

Forever Changed by the Flood

For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.  They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the […]

Hello, I’m Weak

 “You may want to consider going on antidepressants,” my counselor says at the end of session. My eyes widen in shock and fear. And shame. Lots of shame. This bomb continues to reverberate in me as I leave. I have no problems with people taking antidepressants. I have many family members who do and I’ve […]

New Life Starts in the Dark

Ok, God. I’m ready. I’ve been in the tomb for a while now and, FYI, as I lie here, struck down by chronic illness, unable to get out of bed for hour after hour, day after day, week after week . . . year after year . . . I am MORE than ready to […]

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 […]