Mom, I Deleted my Book

I started writing when I was about ten years old. It was a hobby, a delight, a slowly-forming dream. Like a little tree, it rooted and grew branches, blooming and producing fruit. I climbed high in that tree, exploring different places to sit and watch the sunrise. Sometimes I felt guilty sitting there. I could feel people watching me as they passed, their heads bent backward, the word “idle” tickling their tongues.

College started. I sank back against the tree trunk. The word “idle” dusted my brain and tapped its toes impatiently. Still, I wrote, trying to believe that there was a point to the wordy mess. Guilt hovered over me like a specter.

“See a need, fill a need,” it shouted at me. Its sharp finger drilled into my chest, pushing me backward. “See the need? See the lost, the hurting, the ones who’ve never heard a word of the Gospel? Stop climbing the tree.”

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Deny, Embrace, and Blame, or Choose to Grow

Denying who you are or how you’re put together is a recipe for repressed emotions and hidden resentment. It’s also a disservice to who and how you were made to be. 

Embracing a lens can go one of two ways: It can develop a positive appreciation in you for the way in which you see the world, or it can leave you limited. 

Blaming your predisposition is where you can really get into trouble. To say that I’m temperamental because I’m a Four and that’s just the way I am is the opposite of compassionate. And sitting in my own melancholy without any real reason removes me from a world in which I could make an actual impact.

Using your typology for growth is where it gets good.

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Sincerely KindredComment
Christmas Confessions of a Pastor's Wife

Sparkly lights on evergreen trees flood my social media feeds even before Turkey Day. My community is so anticipatory of the Christmas Magic that they post gleefully about listening to holiday albums and watching Christmas movies before December even arrives. They are ready. They are jubilant!  I am hesitant. I am weary.

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It's Just Not Christmas

I’m doing all the right things. Christmas music is playing and Michael Bublé & Pentatonix are serenading the season into existence. Christmas cookies have been made and shared. The work holiday party has been attended. Warm lights line the house and a distinct smell of peppermint and pine bloom in the air.

But it’s just not Christmas.

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The Desk and The Battlefield

I earned my degree in International Studies and, after graduation, went on to work with an organization in San Diego that combats sex trafficking locally. This organization also has a long-term safe house in San Diego, and provides a holistic approach to healing for survivors of sex trafficking. 

It was my dream job, and yet somehow I felt like I wasn’t making a difference. I felt discouraged at times; I wanted to do more. It was easy to feel uninspired about emails and forget the bigger picture. I felt like because I wasn't travelling and having these mountain-top experiences anymore that my work wasn't significant. It was the first time in a while that I was stationary and I had never had a "desk job" before. I started believing the lie that I could only glorify God by going on these grand adventures to far away places and communing with those who are hurting.

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Sincerely KindredComment
Dear Dismayed

Everyone hopes for something. Maybe your hope is to make it through the week, or to get a promotion, or to get married and have children, or to see those children be successful in life. However, hopes like these are incredibly fleeting. Eventually, the things we place our hope in will let us down and we will be greeted once again by dismay.

This is when God enters the picture.

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Feeling Forgotten by God

My husband and I had been married for three years. I remember the conversation leading up to deciding we wanted to have a baby. He was finishing up his second to last semester of grad school and we felt like we were in a good place to bring a little babe into the world. To be honest the first time we got pregnant it didn’t take long. We were as shocked as we were prideful that it didn’t take long. I remember seeing the two lines and just thinking how easy it was. And then a few weeks later there was blood. It was almost like an ice cold reminder that life was way harder than I thought. But my optimism got the best of me and month after month I would remind myself that plenty of women have miscarriages and that we would get pregnant again quickly.

Flash forward one and half years later (yes. you read that right) A very long eighteen months of trying to get pregnant again. Each month anticipating and wondering if it would be the day! The month passed where I should have delivered our first. It felt like a funeral every single day for 31 days straight. And finally eighteen months later, we saw the two lines once again.

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A Visit from Grief

Fathers die. But this death felt so unjust. He was only 65. He was in so much pain that week. Where was the mercy? How is this fair? It’s not fair. He was a good man. Why did he die like that? In truth, he had been gone for a long time. He lived with Parkinson’s for fifteen years and my Mom was his faithful caregiver. Even after he couldn’t live at home; she spent four or more hours a day at the nursing home with him.

One month later, after Dad died, I got the call that my Mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Uterine Cancer.

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Sincerely KindredComment
I Might Be Infertile

It was a month before I would be engaged to the man beyond my prayers when I found out I might be infertile. 

When you hear that kind of diagnosis you don't hear the word might, you hear how your far-off hopes were intimately strangled right in front of you. 

I had to go to the man I love and say, "I know we want to get married, but I might not be able to have kids. You don't have to marry me if this is not the life you want to sign up for."

It was one of the most powerless moments I have ever experienced.

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Why Didn't I Have a Daddy?

I’ll never forget the night he left. He and my brother, who was nine years older than myself, were in a tremendous argument. My brother stormed out slamming the door behind him. My eight year old self raced to the front porch to call after him. Tears raged as I screamed for him not to go. The intensity of the argument led me to believe that my brother would never be back, the thought caused me tremendous panic. I screamed, I pleaded, I begged. He told me to go back in the house. I remained on that porch until he walked out of view, leaving Grand Street and turning right on Pacific Avenue. It was a grand mess and there was going to be no peace. My brother returned that night, my father did not. He walked out on his wife of twenty-three years, his seventeen-year-old son, and his eight-year-old little boy. The older sisters had already escaped the mess.

So the pattern was set, every other summer until the age of seventeen I trekked to a remote mill town in Alaska to hang out in filth and spend hours and days alone as my father worked rotating shifts, slept, and made trips to the bars. In Alaska you can bring your child to a bar, so often we would spend time together there.

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