Calling Our Bodies Our Own (Coming Out of Hiding)

My breasts and bottom were fair game for open discussion; I learned this early in life…Always the message was clear – your body is ours to look at, to scrutinize, and to judge. After years of my body belonging to others, I just want it to be mine.

When Anger Claws at Your Ribcage

“You’re miserable”, he said, choking back tears.  I looked at him with a confused expression as I processed the words that he spoke.   “No, I’m not!  The only person who’s miserable is you!” and then I stomped off reluctantly into my grandmother’s house for a family birthday gathering, the last place I wanted to […]

Preach Hope to Me: I’m Afraid That My Inner Jackass Is My Real Me

I heard an analysis of a sermon recently. One commentator said to another, “I shouldn’t leave and walk out feeling good about myself.” Really? I’ve been in churches like that—where as one of my friends said, you’re just crap on a plate, covered with a veneer of Jesus. When I was clinically depressed for a […]

Redefining Healing

God is sometimes perplexing. He encourages us to ask him for what we need and want. But then after we’ve put it out there, He’ll seemingly ignore us, leaving us with unmet needs and doubts about his purported benevolence.  Almost twenty years ago, I began experiencing unrelenting fatigue, muscle soreness, and waning strength. Countless tests […]

What Happens When Healing is Withheld?

I bowed my head and let the hot tears mix with the water from the shower head. Both relentlessly streamed down my face. Desperation forced my hand and I wasn’t leaving until I knew my God heard me. I reached for the wall in an attempt to steady myself as the heaving of my shoulders […]

When My Sister Moved In: Long-Term Healing and Adult Children of Alcoholics

I’m about to judge a new friend for being overly attached to her family of origin. She sees it in my eyes, knows it by the question I ask, and defends herself. We are scooping white rice onto forks, pushing chunks of curried goat over it, and sliding it into our mouths. I am wiping […]

Broken Seashells, Broken Hearts

At our beach wedding we were given 2 leis. The use of leis in wedding ceremonies is a culturally significant tradition common in Hawaii. The lei symbolizes the mutual exchange of love & respect. At it’s advent, the lei was used as a peace agreement between Chiefs and that too is an unspoken aspect while […]

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   […]

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 […]

Lament and Celebration As Soul Care

Silently, we sit around in a circle as my co-worker picks up the first candle, speaking a name and a prayer as she lights the wick and sets the tiny flame down in the middle of the table.  We each follow suit, one prayer and tongue of fire after another. God, we don’t know where […]

When Healing Doesn’t Come

Healing. It’s such a tender word, soft even on the tongue. It sounds like what it is—purposeful, lovely, complete. It’s something I’ve longed for every day for the last two decades. And yet no matter how much I’ve prayed or ached, I am still not fully healed. I developed trichotillomania—a hair-pulling condition—as a child. Twenty-odd […]