Saturday, July 19, 2014


This week its been a stormy sea.
Often, I see me trying to stay afloat with giant waves I can't see over, and I'm clinging with all my strength to one board.  That's all that's left in the crashing of everything I know.
I left on a ship full of faith, and a ship full of dreams.
And then the storms came.  One after another after another.  With all that wind and rain.
Then the ship began to fall apart.
Board after board after board began to give way to the waves and wind and that ship that held my life together, and that was supposed to take me to the other side... it was destroyed.
I will say that at times, the waves are calm, and while I can't see land yet, I'm not struggling.
And then sometimes like this week, the waves are so big, and I get so incredibly tired, and I struggle to find this joy, and to hope in my future.
Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning.
Tonight is one of those nights. 

Its 11:30, and I should be asleep. 
But tonight is a night the tears don't stop very well, and I'm doubting this Jesus that I follow. 
I'm not looking to my future with hope. 
And any dreams.... I sat them down around last... oh... Monday. 
Surrendering to the waves, and choosing that to simply survive today is better than drowning.

I don't want to drown.  
I want to come to a place where I see land, and I see a home.  
And I don't see water and wilderness anymore.  
Surely there is more in this journey than this. 

I want to say that I've that I've heard that still small voice that tells me He's not forgotten.  
I think I have. 
That I've heard him sing of love and freedom... that He's sang it over me.  
I think I can hear that in the distance. 
I want to say that I've heard him say that while He won't resuscitate that which is dead, He wants to breathe life into me.  
I want to believe that I've heard right. 

But maybe I didn't.  
Maybe I have to drown to live.  
Or maybe tomorrow I see some shore.  
I wish I knew.  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I have been obnoxiously cynical about church and life for the last... oh... 11 or so years.  A couple really awful church experiences, plus seeing those I love wounded with no hope of restoration ever offered.... that'll do that.  Seeing this church that has become this market place, and a place of death, rather than life and resurrection.  I was and even still am bleeding from wounds inflicted in a place that should have been a safe refuge for my heart.

And then a year ago, I began to listen to these podcasts from this church called Renovatus.  As I listened to their pastor, I tasted hope in my chaos that had simply tasted so bitter.  In fact, I began to have moments of peace in my chaos.  I felt normal. I realized I wasn't alone, and that others have been where I am.  As I listened to podcast after podcast I was reminded every single time of this merciful love of God that was full of hope, and that my chaos... it was ok.    From there, I was introduced to people via blogs and podcasts such as Sarah Bessey, Micah Murray, Brian Zahnd, Chris Green, and Cheryl Bridges Johns.... those are the ones that come to mind as I type this.  I know there were more.  In either spoken or written words of these individuals, I heard the voice of Jesus so loudly to my heart.  It was like a balm that began to seep into the crevices of someone who had been so, so angry and cynical for so long.

Along came Praxis this last June.  I was drawn to this conference because ALL of these people were going to be there.  I respected them, and to hear them live...seriously that was this girls idea of a really good weekend.   Even in the fact that I had ZERO finances for this, within 5 hours in one evening... people stepped up to help me go.  That has never happened to me, and everything to meals, ticket, hotel, and gas money was all paid for.  I mean... seriously?!

I have tried to come up with words to what happened in me at  Praxis and what the weekend was about really.  That's all been super difficult, but I will attempt it.  I mean, it honestly was a bunch of disciples that had all ended up on this same road, but all from different places, and we landed in the same place for a weekend. We came to the Table together, we talked about church and re-imagining it, and I was again reminded that I wasn't alone in this place.  Often, I sat with tears because simply it was healing to me..  every bit of it.   Meeting these people who had been pastors to me without even knowing it or had challenged my thinking with their writing was honestly so fantastic.

Again, I have pages and pages of notes.... Ed Gungor began the weekend's sessions with talking about his church, and how they had simply began introducing the Lord's Prayer into their gathering at first , and that "it smelled like resurrection."... and thus began the weekend of hearing about these great traditions, our rich history,philosophy, art,  and why that all matters.  And that yes, in that, there's resurrection.  These churches all represented here had began embracing things like the mystery of the Eucharist, common prayers, confession, and making room for the sacred again.  In The Message, Luke 5:39 says .. "And no one who has ever tasted fine aged wine prefers unaged wine."   We were drinking the aged wine, and Brian Zahnd spoke of  the fact that he felt as they brought these things into the church again, that "it was saving his soul"...  Stephen Proctor spoke of how the noise of many churches has become too much, and that "we have turned worshipers into consumers and fans", and he spoke of the importance of church being a sacred place.  Sarah Bessey shared her church story, and the good and bad of it in her amazing story telling way.  She cautioned to not rush the healing, and I know that for many of us, we had been wounded, and healing seems so much easier to rush.  In one of the last sessions, Jonathan Martin was talking about his journey of leaving Renovatus and such, and as he'd been speaking about for so many months, he said it again, that Jesus sits in the chaos with us.  For whatever reason, I need to hear that a lot.   And again... I have pages of notes, and I'm leaving out speakers here and that's simply a very quick overview.  I HAVE SO MUCH I COULD SAY!!!!

  Also... Andrew Arndt wrote some ridiculous good thoughts on the weekend, and you can read it here:
( Note: I've zero clue if that will work, I've NEVER linked anything to my blog... lol )

As I returned, to top all that off, I discovered Sanctuary OKC... a church in north Oklahoma City.  Their pastor, Israel Hogue, was also someone who shared at Praxis, and I now attend church there.  In the last 4 weeks, this church has been continued healing for me.  Perfect?  Absolutely not.  I do know that  every week I get to come to The Table and partake in communion, I say the apostle's creed with this tribe I've become a part of, and those things have become so sacred and special to me.   I've been welcomed with open arms, and I'm  treated as a sister, and for the first time since moving here, I feel like they are my people.  I have a home, as I'd felt homeless for such a long time, and I hardly know anyone yet.

That was my Praxis weekend in a very condensed version.  It changed me, and in a not hyped up post pentecostal camp-meeting way... but in a calm, quiet voice of God kind of way. God is good and kind, and I'm discovering that again.  I still question.  I still doubt.  I'm still floating on a stormy sea most days, but I'm not alone, and I'm realizing that falling apart isn't such a terrible thing.  In fact, I'm continuing to find God there.