When Doubt Comes

August 15, 2018

When doubt stops by to visit
Her skeleton hands clutching my brain
Digging and pressing slowly and tightly

When she stands too close, her face jutted up to mine
Her wispy tendrils of coarse white hair limping down her chest
Her skin a slightly lighter grey than her clothes
And her wrinkled ash-like lips shut in a tight disintegrating line

Her mesmerizing eyes staring intently into me
While her icy breath hanging like clouds in my face pushing her stale air into my lungs
And I am frozen in fear or awe or both
When she makes the claim that I am less than,
Too useless,
Stupid, fat, ugly, and worthless

When she argues the case that I am beyond saving,
Beyond love,
Beyond possibility,
Speaking with the shriek of a ghost or a woman scorned
Loud and bold
Saying I am unable and unworthy and incapable and invisible
And I grow convinced that she is right

When doubt stops by to visit
Her spindly arms reaching to hold me close
-A poisonous embrace where I am tempted to rest-

Please tell me different

Speak other words

But I beg you
In ways I can’t even speak-
When you tell me different
Do not whisper
Do not speak low

Because I can’t hear you if you speak quiet
Instead yell, shout, take my cheeks in your hands and speak
Bold and bright and open

And tell me the truth,
tell me the possibilities,
tell me the colors of dreams I can’t yet see

But yell it
Don’t whisper it

I haven’t been keeping up with this blog, but I figured my son’s birthday was a good excuse to post. Every year since my son was born, I have written him a letter on his birthday. One day I will give them to him, and I hope they will mean as much to him as they do to me. My son turns 5 on Sunday. 5 years old. It’s hard to believe.



Dear Son,

2009 and 2010… those were the main months and years of my Dark Night of the Soul time. I won’t easily forget the confusion, pain, sadness, and anger of that time. It has become a defining season- one of great loss that yielded great gain, one of great suffering that yielding new meaning. Not that any gain would be worth doing it again, but over a long time, meaning emerged. The scars remain, and I like to think I’ve used that time to allow my soul to expand, grow a couple sizes maybe, but that season, that time will always be the Dark Night. The very long Dark Night. The darkest season of my quickly aging life thus far.

But 2015. Last year, however, was perhaps the loneliest year I have ever faced. Not the darkest, but the loneliest. The most barren. The most desolate. Your 4th year of life was defined by exhausting schedules of therapies and medications, doctors and I am pretty sure half the seconds of every single 24 hour day were punctuated by my silent prayers- my sometimes screaming, sometimes hopeful silent prayers.

I’ve logged many hours seeing my internal self on her face in the dirt before Jesus. Or pounding on the door of what feels like an unjust authority. Or screaming with Joseph at the prison bricks. And sometimes my actual face has hit the carpet or the grass or the shower floor weeping out the desperate groans of a mama who each day becomes a warrior for her child and many night crumples into bed daring to hope once again that the morning will break open with mercy and healing for you.  Read the rest of this entry »

5 Years, 2 Years, 1 Year

October 13, 2015

I know my absence here means most of my readers have fallen off. It’s expected and there are no hard feelings on my end. It’s just that sometimes life becomes this mush of chaos and internal dialogue that doesn’t have a way of expressing itself in any sort of cohesive way. And at those times, the confusion of needing to stay silent reigns.

I won’t promise to be back here as regularly as before. I would love to, but inspiration isn’t always a good friend these days. But I will write tonight, and that matters… to me at least.


It’s been nearly 5 years. And almost 2 years. And over 1 year.  Read the rest of this entry »


September 5, 2015

I know that I have been delinquent. I know that I haven’t even opened up this blog much at all the last few months. The last few months have been delightfully full and hectically frantic. There are many things to report- some wonderful, some not so much- but the main story of my summer months was ministry and my son. I got to preach nearly every single Sunday the last 4 months. We joked that that is more than most called preachers preach! I loved every single minute of it. I’ve regularly preached since shortly after my son was born and I stepped out of ministry, but to have such a solid block of doing something I love to do was fulfilling indeed. It’s hard not to fall in love with these groups of people who are simply trying to do life and follow Jesus together. And so I don’t even try to stop myself anymore; I plunge face first into love for them. But the hard comes when it’s time to part, when the ending comes, and I am torn away again, leaving a piece of my soul’s skin there, wondering if ever there will be a day when I do not have to leave soul-skin but can stay for longer.

There is much to write about with my son’s continued and prolonged journey. I will try to do that sometime soon when the words emerge in a way that makes a little more sense. I realize that that is probably why you tuned in to begin with, and if I have any readers left after my hiatus, I promise I will return with words on the adventurous and treacherous journey we are continuing to walk beside his small life. So, tune back and stay tuned.

But today, I’ve had an experience that seems to take precedence in my heart.

I came in second again.  Read the rest of this entry »

A Letter to Herm

June 11, 2015

Dear Herm,

On a Thursday morning in the Fall a few years ago, I walked into a local church, sweaty palmed and fighting the inward pull to shut down and shut off and not meet the faces of these strangers I was there to see. I entered the yellow painted room with the round table set and jackets strewn about and the candle- lighted- in the middle of the space indicating the presence of God. And I met you.

Rugged and rough and laughing, with a face that I knew in an instant had been marked by equal amounts of grace and pain. I met you and in the moment, I met the most honest of persons I have ever known. Such honesty is hard to come by, and it is a gift.

You did not know- and maybe you still do not know- that the space I was in on that day was an unkind space. I had been riddled by my own losses, tossed by the violations of those once named friends, and so unable to trust that there would be goodness, especially in someone deemed an authority over others. I was unsure at that time about anything and anyone, yet quite certain that this place too would disappoint, leave me wrung out and lonely and trying to piece back together the soul that had been ripped up several times too many. But I entered, and you made space. You led your pastors to make space. To clear a spot for a stranger in all my awkwardness, and to invite me in.   Read the rest of this entry »