We hosted so many amazing posts this year. Here are the top 10.
I am the good girl, and good girls do not get angry.
My mind shuts down with that one phrase.
I should be the bigger person. It doesn’t matter that I feel wronged. Why not be wronged? I am a sinful person, and deserve to be wronged.
I am wrong, wrong, wrong, and I try to suck in all the angry clouds.
I had rehearsed the moment a hundred times in my head. I would not yell or cry or lose my composure. I knew from my own personal experience with that very daughter that she would only need to be hugged, hear she was loved and be reminded that everything will be ok. So when the confession—Mom, I’m pregnant—escaped from my seventeen year old daughters’ lips? I stuck to the script.
There comes a point in time when you just stop climbing the ladder, you stop believing in the healing, and you start figuring out how to live with the body you have. This isn’t to say you can’t function well and also believe that healing will come, it is just that that is often a lot, especially if you are functioning in a body that is also sick.
I was afraid of the stories I was afraid to tell, the questions I was afraid to say out loud, the parts of my personality I tucked away as too offensive, too risky, too scary to share with others.
I didn’t even realize how many skeletons I’d hidden in my closet until I started pulling them out, one by one.
It was crowded in there.
We exchange one yoke for another. We exchange a cruel servitude to self for a servanthood that would lay itself down for another even unto death—in freedom. We who bear the image of God can be liberated from servitude to self, if we surrender ourselves.
I don’t believe that sexual initiation automatically confers maturity since there are plenty of people who are sexually experienced but emotionally immature, but sex is such a basic, human drive that I often feel empty and hollow inside for not having had it. This has often been a physical ache but it’s also an emotional yearning, when your arms reach out only to embrace an empty circle, when you wish you had someone to hold, and cherish, and take care of.
You check your pulse: your heart is still beating, you are still alive, there may even be a thin covering of faith still, but it is not like the robust skin you once had. Everything else has peeled off, dead and limp on the carpet. It is an outline of you, but it is no longer you. You feel raw and naked, and you hope that no one at church asks you how your faith is doing, because you won’t know how to answer.
Reflecting on the fact that I now have two counselors and a psychiatrist can mean only one thing. I am mentally ill. I feel the shame of the stigma, the feeling of failure because I need so much help to maintain daily normal interaction and good mental health. I am dizzy and detached with the knowledge that this is lonely and long work.
I am not going to preach today about Josh Duggar and the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. We’re all too addicted to these stories, of how the famous rise and fall. We have too much invested, in their fame in the first place, and then the wild, untamed feelings released by their apparent fall from grace. We are too quick to feed on the frenzy.
Marriage to a pastor was never meant to be a higher calling. Yes, your life might look different from other women in your congregation, but you are not called to perfection. You’re called to Jesus—even in the broken parts of our lives, including your marriage to the guy up on stage.