Untangled

My mom has a particular story about me that she likes to tell: As she was doing dishes in our kitchen, she looked out the window and saw me in the backyard trying to catch frogs and kiss them. While it’s rather cute to think of a porcelain-white toddler with black curls and thick baby […]

Waiting to Heal

We buy a hammock and string it between two trees in our backyard, our third hammock in five years. My children destroyed the other two playing a game they call “Roller Coaster,” where they wrap someone up in the hammock like a cocoon and try to spin them so fast they won’t fall out. Sometimes, […]

Learning the Language of Hope

Shame was a language I learned early, right along with how to say “please” and “thank you.” There was an unspoken etiquette we learned growing up in the Southern United States. The tea should be sweet. You should address people older than you as “ma’am” and “sir.” I knew the taste of collard greens and […]

The Good Catastrophe

  And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away. And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting […]

When You’re Afraid of the Church

We were church shopping again. I tried to steady my breathing as we stepped into the building. I gripped my husband’s hand as we chose our seats. He asked me if we were going to fill out the connection card to which I shook my head. I showed up. That was brave enough for today.  […]

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 […]