WRESTLE WITH GOD

oh, babes…

it seems that these days, each 24 hour cycle is one of absurd ups and downs that are a dizzying pendulum of heartache and delight.
and I’m coming down from an upswing into a canyon.

it’s easy to demonize myself. it’s easy to shame my doubts into silence, to lock away my frustration into a box marked DANGER! FLAMMABLE! it’s easy to push it all away.

until it isn’t so easy anymore. 

until there’s so much grief and so much unfairness and so much frustration that just burying another box of it simply won’t do. and when the old ways of brushing off & under these wounds no longer do, there is only one thing that will.

the only thing left to do is wrestle.

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I have a very wise, wild, warrior-sister in a cousin of mine. she has felt the depths of loss, and she has dared, as few have, to wrestle with God.

wrestling is hard.
wrestling is brave.
wrestling is essential to the survival of those who stare down mountains. Continue reading “WRESTLE WITH GOD”

THE PERSECUTION COMPLEX

ummmm… are you ready for a serious “ouch factor” right now, babes?

because that’s what I’m dropping today. (sorry not sorry)

as times change and new, unexplored emotional and spiritual territory enters our horizons, I’m seeing a more and more disturbing trend rising up within the walls of the American evangelical church. What is this trend? It’s the outcry of persecution.

now, here’s your disclaimer: this attitude is not in every church, for sure, and persecution is not always, in every situation, a complex. there are exceptions to nearly every rule. but today I’m referring to the rule, not to the exceptions. alright? alright.

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here’s what I see happening…
when the law of the land requires us to serve people we don’t like, or who we disagree with? persecution!
when someone makes a joke at our expense? persecution!
when we see a Babylon Bee article playfully pointing out the inconsistencies within our traditions? persecution!
when Starbucks rolls out Christmas cups with snowflakes? persecution!
when we see two people of the same gender getting married? persecution!
when we are informed that our behaviors towards marginalized groups are offensive, unkind, or harmful? persecution!
when someone tells us they are feeling persecuted by us? persecution! Continue reading “THE PERSECUTION COMPLEX”

SPIRITUAL ABUSE // WHAT IT IS & HOW TO GET FREE

hey fam!

today I want to chat with you about a topic that can be really triggering and scary for some of us. it’s been weighing on my heart & I want to just get this truth out of me and shed some light on it okay?

many of us are probably familiar with the terms of sexual abuse/domestic abuse/emotional abuse… these are all deeply dehumanizing and disturbing behaviors that need to be called out & shut down. but something that so many people I know have been a victim of, and which most people don’t even seem to realize exists, is a despicable thing called spiritual abuse.

what is spiritual abuse?

spiritual abuse comes in many forms and wears many disguises. it can be subtle and hard to recognize or loud and blatant. here are just a few ways it can read its ugly head…

MISUSE OF SCRIPTURE

spiritual abuse most often happens when people throw around scripture incorrectly and without reverence, such as using it: out of context, to shame, to ostracize, to excuse or perpetrate cruel behaviors, to prove a point, to shut down a conversation, to silence, to blame, to mock, to build their high horse, to belittle, to brush off, to shrink your pain, to avoid the topic, to divert attention away from their own faults, with condescension, with anger, without kindness… the list could go on. the bottom line here is this: if you have ever been belittled, shamed, brushed off, silenced, or made to feel like your pain was irrelevant with quoted scripture, you have been a victim of spiritual abuse.


THE NARROW ROAD COMPLEX Continue reading “SPIRITUAL ABUSE // WHAT IT IS & HOW TO GET FREE”

10 MOST-LOVED BLOG POSTS OF 2016

as 2016 comes to a close, and we get ready for 2017 to make her grand debut, I thought it would be fun to take a little trip down memory lane, and revisit all the blog posts from this year that were YOUR favorites ❤

this is a little countdown of the 10 posts that were the most-viewed from 2016, in the order of least views to most views (there are a couple of exceptions, as I didn’t include any photography or business-themed posts).

THANK YOU for all of the love you have poured into this little corner of the interwebs ❤ your encouragement, comments, and sweet emails & messages have made my days brighter and my heart lighter. you are why I write, friends.

are you ready?!

I am! 🙂

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here are the 10 MOST-LOVED BLOG POSTS OF 2016

enjoy browsing through the highlights of this year on the blog ❤

Continue reading “10 MOST-LOVED BLOG POSTS OF 2016”

when faith isn’t the answer

“do you want to be healed?”

I can’t count the number of times Christians have pointed me to the scripture in John 5. ah yes, the man who had been ill for 38 years. the man to whom Jesus so gently, powerfully said “pick up your mat, and walk!

they’ve pointed me there and echoed it… “do you want to be healed?”
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I never really know how to respond. so often their well-intended words feel like a stinging slap across the aching surface of my soul.

do I want to be healed?

oh, gee, I don’t know, I’ve never thought about it before. hmm, let me see…

are you kidding me?! do I want to be healed?

for years, I’ve not just wanted… I’ve pleaded. begged. sobbed, rocking on my bedroom floor to be healed. I believe in the deepest parts of my soul that God can heal me!

and yet I’m told “you need faith!”

oh, Christian, I have faith. through my deepest sorrows and blackest nights of the soul, I have gained more faith than many people I know.

sometimes, faith isn’t the answer. Continue reading “when faith isn’t the answer”

I wrote a post about Planned Parenthood, and it didn’t go as planned.

this post was supposed to have a different point.

I was going to talk about how despite what society tells us, the majority of women actually regret having abortions, that Planned Parenthood is ignoring the obvious fact that to voluntarily empty one’s womb of precious life and choose your comfort over another’s life has lasting emotional effects that are deeply negative and resounding.

but when I went to do my research and fact check… I was wrong.

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in 2000, I wouldn’t have been.
in 2000, most women did regret their abortions, but their cries for their dead children were silenced by the greedy hands that crave money over all else, and their voices were lost in the clamor of media pointing us to the latest celebrity scandal, or political agenda.

so now?
now, I’m wrong. in 2015, fewer than 10% of women claim to regret their abortions.

and you know what?
that breaks my heart even more.

sweet church, look at your world.
things are different now.  Continue reading “I wrote a post about Planned Parenthood, and it didn’t go as planned.”

Let’s be real

okay guys. Time to chat.

There is something that is so not okay, and it’s swept through our social circles, our churches, our own souls.

We’re fake.

Not transparent or real or authentic.

We don’t Jesus-love one another into a safe place where we’re not afraid to share our hearts and lives with one another. We don’t create an environment of peace and non-judgement where the fragile can be broken and the gentle can share.

We judge and point fingers and shun the people we don’t like, and we create an environment of false smiles, choked-out “I’m good”s, and half-hearted kindness, which, let’s be real, isn’t kindness at all.

We pad our selfish hearts with metaphorical pats on the back and prideful self-congratulations for petty cruelty and understated bullying.

But for heavens’ sake, let’s be real! Let’s cut the crap and just love one another. Practice kindness, gentleness, love, and goodness. Those are fruits of the spirit for a reason!!

No one should have to feel unwelcome in a church, as I, a gal who grew up in that scene, have on several occasions.

This may be a very small and crudely constructed plea, and perhaps no one will read this at all, but it’s painfully from my heart and deeply on my mind.