Honest: Dad

If my dad were sitting in front of me right now, I'd have no idea what to say. I wouldn't know how to engage with him because if I'm honest, he is a stranger. Even more than that, he is a stranger who doesn't want to know me.

That is a hard pill to swallow: my father doesn't want to know me.

I don't think he knew what he was doing or how life would end up when he left and stayed away. I don't think he one day decided that he didn't want to know me. I think he ended up there accidentally.

The thing is, my dad made poor life choice after poor life choice. He dropped out of school, he chose drugs and a life of criminal activity, and, when the going got tough when my mom died, he chose not to stay and not to deal with it. He chose not to try and fight for a life with his daughter (and my siblings) because that was too hard. In his mind, he already blew it, so why try to fix something that was too broken?

I don't write this to draw attention to his mista…

I am not Perfect

I've always tried to be perfect. 
Let me rephrase that: I was conditioned to believe that anything less than perfect in was intolerable. 
But perfection is a hard standard to live up to. 
Perfection is a heavy weight to carry because it unintentionally places the burden of everyone else on your shoulders. 
If I'm perfect, we will get along and we won't fight and they won't leave. If I'm perfect, I'll get the job I want and be promoted.  If I'm perfect, I'll have no health, finance, or relationship issues
But people and life are unpredictable and hardships inevitably happen and, if it's my responsibility to keep everything right, these hardships speak of my failure. 
My boyfriend and I broke up? It's my fault.  My parents aren't involved in my life? It's my fault.  I didn't get the job I wanted? It's my fault. 
Being perfect is exhausting. 
And impossible. 
Jesus didn't go to the cross for the perfect. If there were such a thing as perfe…

Things I Can't Tell You

Dear you,

There are a lot of things that I am feeling and working through right now. Things you aren't even aware of. The last few years of my life have been a journey. I've seen deep bottoms and beautiful highs. I've seen tears streaming down my face from aches and wounds that I didn't know exist and I've seen laughter until my stomach hurt. Life is interesting that way -- in the middle of some of the worst experiences there is joy and laughter. I think that is one of God's gifts to us -- that deep bellyaching laugh that comes from some unexpected source in the midst of some of the deepest pains we've experienced.

I can't share any of these things with you -- the tears, the deep pains, the bellyaching laughter -- you wouldn't understand it. You would tell me to "man up" and muddle through because life is a series of hurts.

I can't share any of this with you because, if I'm honest, most of the pain comes from you. For as long as I …

Hope in the Midst

It has been a long time since I've had the courage to sit down and write about the things that the Lord is doing in my life. To be totally honest - its been a painful season - but it is in the midst of that pain, that I am learning to see the Lord clearer.

"God has been tenderly reminding me that pain itself is not the enemy. Pain is the indicator that brokenness exists. Pain is the gift that motivates us to fight with brave tenacity and fierce determination, knowing there is healing on the other side.... Pain is the invitation for God to move in and replace our faltering strength with His." - Lisa TerKeurst 

My journey started when the Lord called me to New Jersey, over three years ago now. I had no idea what He was asking me to walk into. As I've shared in previous entries, a short time after moving to New Jersey I began experiencing panic attacks. It wasn't until these past few months that I started to really learn why. Which is exactly why the Lord moved me to…

A Different Kind of Woman

You know, one of the hardest things for me to come to grips with is who I am as a woman. Which is kind of ironic considering the title of my blog. 

For so long, I have tried to be what other people wanted me to be. I learned to mind my p's and q's and to act and speak in a certain way to avoid any confrontation. I changed my language, my dress and my mannerisms depending on who I was with. I never quite felt comfortable in my own skin. I didn't even know what my own skin looked like. 

I began on a journey 2 and a half years ago when I moved to New Jersey that I didn't even know I started. I am just beginning to see it now. And even then, its not the whole picture, just blurry bits and pieces. My journey was not to move across country or to even start adulthood on my own. My journey was the journey of finding who I really am. And the truth is - the Bible is right. When you loose your life then you will find it. 

Loosing who I am was always my biggest fear. 

Who would I be i…

New Jersey Year Two: A Walk Through the Wilderness

And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, called you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you. Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in w…

God Is...

I flopped down on the floor and opened my Bible and journal and stared. Why is this so difficult, I thought. Shouldn't it be easy to spend time with the One who created me? More than that, He saved me. He gave me a new life in Him and has blessed me way more than I deserved.

I don't know how it happened. How I got to this place that I thought I had moved past. When looking at the pages of my Bible seemed like a chore and everything in my body screamed at me to just put it away. 
I know that God is real. I know Him. I've heard Him speak. I've seen Him move and work in my life. I've seen things happen that could only happen through Him. But on this day, some how there was a disconnect. 
I felt caught in this cycle of spending time with Him and experiencing Him; sitting in His presence at His feet and being engulfed in all that He is and then nothing. Then dryness. Where everything falls away and it feels like He is just out of reach. 
The past few months have been so…