Fear

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 […]

Emmanuel and Showing Up

The first few days of Advent, I felt irrationally angry. I tried to call it irritable or easily annoyed, but when I sat down to dig through it all what I found was anger. Advent is an invitation to the waiting, and frankly, I would like to decline. No thanks. Can’t come. Wish I could […]

Freedom

It was in that Bible study that I realized I was not free. We were eight couples, all of us fresh into our time as expats in Singapore, struggling to find our footing in what we jokingly called “Fantasy Island.” That group was a lifeline in the midst of our turbulent transition to a new […]

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.  […]

Solidifying Joy

I lay awake last night, somehow exhausted and frustrated after a day of fellowship, rest, and play. I’ve been learning to intentionally take sabbath once a week, and it’s rough, inconsistent, and amazing all at the same time.  But yesterday, while the day was filled with activities that normally refresh my spirit, the gift of […]

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 […]

Finding Another Piece of the Puzzle (On Why I Jumped On the Enneagram Bandwagon)

They were the kind of sobs that you feel like rock your whole body in such a way that something must certainly shake loose from your heart. They were the kind of tears that feel like they reach back years in time, pulling up issues you didn’t know you were concealing. Those tears snuck up […]

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 […]

The Fight for Authenticity

“We’re going to be thinking about vulnerability on Sunday,” my small group leader said, and something deep inside me groaned. “And we might as well start now,” he continued.  “Let’s go round and share a highlight from the week and something for prayer.” Something deep inside me wanted to get up and walk right out […]

It’s Authentic to Name Yourself

Drawing people is a jigsaw puzzle. You look at the photograph of the woman with the pixie cut and the flowing dress, her arms improbably easy as she falls through the air, and then you look past the whole for the parts. I start with the head, the slim cap of her hair, the eyes […]

Does God Love My Body?

I’m half-crouched on grass at the base of a wood pile. As an eleven-year-old, I take care of the chickens in the nearby coop. I’m sucking in breaths, and so is my little sister as we stumble over the knobs of black walnuts fallen from the tree above and make occasional lunges at the pile. […]

How Truth-Telling Overcomes Shame

In my mid-twenties, a fabulously handsome and wealthy man pursued me. He picked me up in his Jaguar, took me to expensive restaurants, and always called the next day to express how much he enjoyed our time together. While I appreciated the attention and affirmation, I felt somewhat ambivalent because I knew I was working overtime […]