Health

It’s Back. Period.

I used to curl up on the bathroom floor the day my period started. I wanted the cool hardness to counter my writhing body, and I’d lay there for hours, uninterested in books or television, until the pain calmed. The blood and the discomfort seemed unjust then, and now, for me, and especially for women […]

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 […]

Muddy-Handed Hope

He’s seven now. But I often remember him as the two-year-old who looked into my catatonic eyes. I have a hard time forgetting what this little one must have felt when I went crazy. Because Grace is real and memory imperfect, his little mind has no recollection of when I had to enter the mental […]

This Freedom is Not a Forever-Promise

Last January, I was diagnosed with lichen sclerosus, a dermatological auto-immune condition. In women, LS affects what I took to calling my lady parts. I hoped that term communicated a kind of breezy comfort with my own anatomy, an aspirational cheer about the reality of being a woman who could not wear pants without anxiety. […]

The Lazy Susan in My Head

There is a lazy Susan in my head. It spins around and around, presenting me with infinite ideas, concerns, and undone projects.  The teachings for the weekend conference. The adult son wrestling with his faith.  The maple tree that leans ever closer to the house but also has the most beautiful foliage on our property. […]

New Life Starts in the Dark

Ok, God. I’m ready. I’ve been in the tomb for a while now and, FYI, as I lie here, struck down by chronic illness, unable to get out of bed for hour after hour, day after day, week after week . . . year after year . . . I am MORE than ready to […]

Breakthrough After Breakdown

This was my resurrection day. The day when all the pain would be redeemed. The day when I would stand and proclaim to the world what God has done. To release my pain to God’s will, for His use. Rewind to the previous night. I was on the bathroom floor, pen and journal in hand, […]

When a New Diagnosis Brings a Storm

If I had ever been skydiving, I would know about the wind having its way with you. I could tell you, no problem, that when you’re turned topsy-turvy in an earth-less void, up and down become abstractions, not facts to orient yourself by. You lose your bearings. But I am the last person on earth […]

Oxygen for the Soul

All day and night I’ve had a hard time breathing—barely able to catch my breath. My best non-expert, but been-down-this-road-before guess is that it has to do with anemia. I’ve had bouts of anemia with these same symptoms throughout my life. My body doesn’t absorb iron well (and we don’t eat a lot of meat […]

The Hope & Fear Cycle of Chronic Illness

I’m a healthy-looking person with a chronic health problem. It sprung up as a result of some very traumatic and stressful years in overseas ministry. I’m trying really hard to help my body right itself, but I have a condition that is generally considered by Western medicine to be incurable. This is distressing, mostly grueling.   […]

When You’re Afraid of Dying

“If you want Elita to throw anything away, just tell her it causes cancer.” This was the advice a friend gave my husband, Mark, when we first got married. It was true. I had once thrown away a whole box of scented candles and a series of scratched Teflon frying pans because someone had told […]