Sunday, March 30, 2014


The wilderness.

Almost 5 years here.

And tonight I'm taking time to rest on this road.  I'm sitting and I'm letting the wind and dust billow around me, and I'm letting myself feel the heat of the years, and I'm looking for the grace in this spot.  I'm looking for the piece or two that God has so graciously planted in my heart to hold onto that are reminders I will not perish here, and that from this place will come a voice in me.  A voice of change and a voice of hope.  I can almost hear it in me.

Isaiah 62:104a
"For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
    for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet,
till her vindication shines out like the dawn,
    her salvation like a blazing torch.
The nations will see your vindication,
    and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name
    that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.
You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand,
    a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
No longer will they call you Deserted,
    or name your land Desolate.
But you will be called Hephzibah,[a]
    and your land Beulah[b];
for the Lord will take delight in you..."

This becoming is so hard.  Its the the most difficult thing I've ever tried to surrender to.  

Surrendering to the struggle. 

And stopping wrestling. 

And stop being stubborn. 

To open this mouth of mine and speak. 

From the tops of the mountains shout truth.   

Regardless of the consequences.   Regardless of those who I love that I lose.  Regardless if I'm shaking in my boots.  Regardless if the church shuns me.  Regardless of the fact that I feel inferior and inadequate.   


Because I have to be who I'm becoming.  I can't live in this cocoon anymore.   

I have to fly.   

Saturday, March 15, 2014


I had my first full blown anxiety attack in 4 years.  


About 10:45 pm.  

See, my life is stressful right now.  Financially, I"m more pinched then I have been in a very, very long time.  I'm in the middle of changing churches, which for me, is super stressful.  ( Note:  I'm also so very excited about this...)  I am writing.  I am looking for moments to speak, which is terrifying.   My job lately has been really stressful.  I have also been missing my family so very much, and realizing that I may not see them this summer and that breaks my heart.    

Because of all this stress, I am incredibly more sensitive to my inner circle of friends and easily mis-interpret messages and conversations.  And because my inner circle of friends is so very important to me, if I feel like there could be conflict, and add to that all that stress I already have, the conflict, whether real or imagined, becomes a trigger for anxiety for me.  A giant trigger.  I can handle all the other stressors, as long as the people I hold closest to me, as long as that sea is peaceful.  And I try hard to make it peaceful.  Thursday, I believe that I had a situation where I mis-interpreted an online conversation with someone that I care about.  

So what that resulted in was for me, was a sudden rush of emotions that physically my body had a hard time handling.  Dry heaving, shivering that felt like a seizure, and sobbing, sobbing that shook all of me.  I called a friend, a mentor, from back home.  And what I love about Jan is that she's walked with me for a really long time, and she just simply began to pray peace over me.  And peace came.  I began to talk, and was reminded by that voice on the other end that I wasn't alone. Spiritually, I was so very peaceful.  Rest simply settled down around me, and I slept.  Simply slept.  

Jonathan Martin, senior pastor at Renovatus Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, he tweeted this today:"We wish all our raw, tender places could be healed, & yet find they are also sacred spaces, hallowed grounds. Places where God lives.”   I feel like my entire life, there have been so many raw, tender places.  I have asked again and again for them to be healed, but now, I am discovering  that these places are sacred spaces.   They are sacred for so many reasons.  They prove I'm strong.  They remind me I'm alive.  They remind me of God's sustaining power.   God truly does live there, and it reminds me that He is good.  Not in the fact that I believe He was the blame for any of it, but simply, because He comes and sits in those places and blesses me with peace and Presence.  

And I am so very grateful.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Four years ago, after moving here to Oklahoma from small town Iowa, I had the word "trust"  tattooed on the inside of my right wrist.  I knew from how my life had been, and knowing that there were more hard times ahead, I wanted trust tattooed on so that I could be reminded that not only God is trustworthy, but that my people in my life can be trusted.  I've come to hate that tattoo some days, because its a glaring reminder to do the opposite of what I often feel like doing.  And that's pushing away and going the opposite way.  

Often though, I feel like trust has went the opposite of how it should in my life, kinda like this poor, poor girl's failed trust fall.  

After you fall on your face a few times, you start wanting to not do this whole trust fall crap anymore. 

About 5 years ago, I was in Mexico, and we were in a village and I had this crazy dream.  I was on this very little ledge.  I was scraped and bleeding and I was dirty, clinging to the very wall of this mountain.  I wasn't going to surrender and drop for anything.  Simply, I heard a voice in that moment, and as I peered over my shoulder, all I saw was foggy cloudiness so that I couldn't even see the bottom to know how far I had to fall. I also heard in that moment heard,  what I believe was God, simply say, " If you would fall, and simply trust me, I will catch you. You can trust me."  I would love to say that I let go, but honestly, I woke up, and that dream has vividly stayed with me since then.  

Truly, I feel like I've lived my whole life this way, both with people I love and care for, and with Jesus.  Because to trust, that means I have no control.  I let go.  I fall off the ledge.  I trust people to not abandon, and to not purposely hurt me.  I trust that God is good, and that He meant what He said.   Instead, I've made the decision to fall a few feet at a time, rather than trust falling off that stinking mountain in one huge, crazy as hell trust fall.

The reality of that, though, is that I'm still moving down towards God.  And there's grace.  So. Much. Grace.  He never shoves or pulls me, nor does He bully me or guilt me.  Rather, he simply is gentle.  

And my friends.  They rock.  I am honest with them in my not trusting them sometimes very well, and they walk beside and they care, and so often, they are Jesus with skin on to me.  

Now, I say all that and make it sound easy, but the truth is, its hard as hell.  Lately, its more audibly saying hey, I will choose to trust, even when every emotion is freaking out.  Because really, what other choice do I have?!   I pretend that I have control of so many things, and in reality, in the deep things of my life that I want to control, I don't control them.  

And so tonight, I'm going to trust.  Even when so many other voices say otherwise.  

Even if I have to say "I choose trust"  a million times, tonight I'm going to do that.  

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Today is a hard emotions day.  A day where its all just under the surface.  And it churns and it wrestles and it fights... and I end up in tears and paralyzed by silly, silly fears that make no sense.   It starts off as a thought, and that thought balloons so quickly.  

The wrestling at this moment for me is that I want to apologize to a friend that I don't need to.  I'm certain that they are never talking to me again, and I'll never see them again... and I have zero basis for this.  Nothing they've ever said to me in the last 24 hours said that... in fact, quite the opposite. They are a person of their word, hands down.    The truth is that this person is my friend because they said they were.  Because their actions have proven such.  In my brain though, I'm so very anxious and distracted by it today because of fears from so very long ago, and I am struggling today so much.
To be my close friend for any length of time, is to know that I will feel this way about you at some point.  
I will fear I did something wrong.  
I will fear that I'm too much.  
That my emotions, my honesty, who I am is not good enough.
And that if you truly see me in the ugly moments, that you'll see what often I see in my self-loathing, and you'll walk away.  Because who the hell wouldn't walk away? 
I will fight the want to push you away, when in reality, I need you close.   

6 years ago, a close friend and I were sitting in a dark basement, and they asked me what I was feeling, and you know, I simply stated, "I don't want you to love me."...   And this friend, he simply stated that wasn't an option.  And that if I walked forever through this wilderness, he would love me.    He has.  I'd love to say that I've come so far, but sometimes, this still happens.  Like today. I do need you, friends, to love me.  I need it.  When I lean, know that I struggle to do that, and that its hard for me.  Please know that when I reach out, it is a big deal for me.  Please know that often, I simply need reassurance you don't think that.  I have to hear it.   

Well meaning people typically have platitudes for me over the years.  My personal favorite being that if I asked for it to be taken away, it would.  As if I haven't done that.   I've done deliverance/healing/whatever the hell we call those sessions at church, and while I saw some great insights, I still struggle.  I have sat thru therapist appointments and done my assignments, and again, I still struggle.  I have sat in the night and begged for me to be able to simply  feel normal, whatever normal is.  Some say that if I would simply fight to choose the better attitude, that somehow I'm the blame for this, I'm choosing the wrong thing. 

I have to say to hell with all that.  My struggle is part of my calling.  It is.  I can in no way deny that anymore.

 You who have laid at night with the tears and the darkness and the loneliness, I know how it feels. 
 You who worry that you are not loved and that you will be abandoned, I know the pain of it.
 You who have sat with a bottle of pills and wondered if this fight is worth it, I have done that also.
You who can't get out of bed sometimes because simply its too dark, I've done it.
You who can't shake the feeling that something awful is going to happen to you, I feel that also sometimes.

And all I can offer is that the night moments won't last forever.  It will feel like it.  Let friends be there, and to not let shame win.   And for me, I have to invite God into the chaos, even if I wrestle with Him more than I sit with Him.  He can handle everything you've to say, and for me lately...its a lot of wrestling and yelling and really honest words of how I'm feeling.   Before today is over, I can feel the bruises of the wrestling already, and my cheeks are raw from tears that just keep coming, and for me, still the nagging fear of being left.

But after the night, morning will come, and the sun will rise, and you will be able to breathe again.  And smile again.  These moments don't last forever.

Note:  I've no clue who will read this, but I do know that for me, I have to talk.   If you have noone to talk to, please email me at  I want to listen.  And its important that you are heard.