To Grieve and Grow

“I’m gonna need you to sing a little louder,” Paul said with a flirtatious grin. “Or I’ll have to move you closer so I can hear you.” He grabbed the sides of my chair and gently pulled me forward until my body filled the space between his long, bony legs. He softly picked the tune […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Pain and the Joy of Rebirth

Birth is messy and beautiful, extraordinary and common; it’s loss and separation and connection and hope all at once. Rebirth, I’m learning, is much the same. I have always had a plan for my life: college in four years with a major in English, graduate school and more degrees in English, then a tenure track […]

Abortion: Unwanted Reality

I had two abortions. They weren’t “crisis pregnancies.” They weren’t “unplanned pregnancies.” They were simply unwanted. I was a teenaged girl living with her boyfriend, playing house. Our “unplanned pregnancies” were nothing more than “not planning ahead and being responsible pregnancies.” I didn’t use birth control. So abortion became my birth control. 1987 was the […]

Suffering as a Spiritual Discipline

When we talk about Spiritual Disciplines, we like to think of things we are adding into our lives. Rhythms, practices, prayers. Maybe it’s painting or journaling, perhaps it’s times spent wandering a trail in nature or a different way of allocating our time. Regardless of the method, the goal is the same: to connect with […]

Sitting with Jesus at Sex Camp

I remember meeting Jesus once at sex camp. It wasn’t our first meeting, but an important one. Everyday I walked up to a giant, beautiful, colorful painting of Jesus’s head, hair blowing in the wind. The massive painting hung on the wall of the Church where I was attending a week long retreat for women […]

Old Love

A few weeks ago my husband and I attended the wedding of our church’s new worship leader. We sat outside in stark white folding chairs. The backdrop- a gorgeous old red brick building with looming arches and history seeping out of every nook and corner. The sun lightly grazed our cheeks as the breeze stirred up […]