one word 2019: enough.

About a month ago, I started thinking about what I wanted my one word for the new year to be. I had my own ideas, of course, about how I’d like the year to go, and words like travel or beauty, family, even gather, swirled in my mind, even as I recognized those weren’t the words mine to grab hold of. See, my one word has a tendency to choose me. It comes … Read the rest

The glory of the middle parts

Wednesdays are my favorite day of the week.

I realize that, when asked, most people would say Friday, because it’s on the cusp of the weekend, or maybe even Monday, because it smells like opportunity, and setting lofty goals for the week. I used to be like that, too. But now, every Sunday evening, when I pull out the calendar and map out our family’s meetings and appointments and church services and scheduling needs, I … Read the rest

On unfriending, living freely, and ghosts from the past

Somebody that I used to know recently unfriended me on Facebook. And Twitter. And Instagram. Oh, and blocked me.

Her reasoning was that she felt like she didn’t know who I was anymore and no longer recognized me in posts I have made. Fair enough. I could agree (to a certain extent). I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve gotten a bit of a reputation in recent days for not shying away from talking … Read the rest

So, A Pentecostal and A Presbyterian Walk Into A Bar…

Alternative title: So, I Have Some Thoughts About Church.
Or: It’s Good to Reflect On Our Faith.
Or: I Think Sarah Bessey Might Have Written a Book Just For Me.

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When I was six years old, I found God. Or rather, God found me.

I grew up Catholic, not in practice, necessarily, but definitely in name. The daughter of two immigrants, I was enrolled in Catholic school because religion was a tie to the … Read the rest

in this place

sometimes people ask me about when i first got “saved”, and i tell them the story of the old Pentecostal church and a preacher who spoke with a slow, Southern drawl. i was young, not yet 18 years old, and still finding sure footing in my new country, in my new family who had taken me in as their own. i sat in that church and listened to stories about Jesus, and then i … Read the rest

when we’ve come undone

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can i just be brutally, completely, in-your-face honest with you for a minute? this whole being a missionary thing is no joke. it is hard, you guys. really hard. and there are some days where i would rather be anywhere but here, doing anything but this. some days, i feel so totally, completely done. depleted. empty.

i’m having one of those days. only this day has gone on for the past three weeks. i’ve … Read the rest

eat the mystery

a few weeks back, i found myself re-reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. Spirit-filled and poetic, her words were like water for my thirsty soul.

and recently, i find myself going back to a particular passage, one i have underlined in ink and even copied into the pages of my own journal::

“when we are despairing, we can choose to live as Israelites gathering manna. for forty long years, God’s people daily eat manna–a Read the rest

when there are no more words

as my time in Liberia comes to a close, i look back and reflect and remember. i know people back home are going to ask questions. they’re going to want stories, want to hear of my life for the past six months.

the problem is::
for the first time in a long time,
i don’t have words.

maybe i haven’t fully processed all i’ve seen and heard and felt here yet. maybe once i do, … Read the rest