Lost and found

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I first wrote this post back in 2013 and have updated it over the years. There are so many women whose stories I am drawn to in the scriptures, but one I continually find my way back to is that of Ruth. I hope as you read these words and explore her story, you will find hope, as I have. What has been lost will be found. I know some of us may not believe … Read the rest

Mental illness and the God with skin on

I remember the night I realized something was wrong.

The house was quiet, both my husband and my son sleeping deeply. It was about 4:30 am, and I was shaking in bed, crying hysterically into my pillow. I’d been tossing and turning for almost six hours and hadn’t been able to sleep because I couldn’t turn my brain off, even though I was thoroughly, way-down-in-my-bones exhausted. I woke my husband up, and he simply … Read the rest

Shame, seatbelts, and shrinking women

The sun was just starting to rise as I walked down a narrow runway to board my first flight. My eyes were bleary from too little sleep and not enough caffeine, a combination of my seven-month-old having woken up at 2:30 in the morning and needing to leave for the airport by 4. In the weak morning light, I swung my green carry-on bag over my shoulder and made my way towards the plane headed … 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

ode to the table

i’ve always known that i’m deeply relational. i crave connection, opening up our hearts and baring our souls, and typically, that happens for me around the table. there’s something about sharing a meal with others that binds you together. the table somehow becomes holy ground, and it’s all i can do to not gulp deep of that sacred air and take off my sandals and bend myself low. people talk at the table, not … Read the rest

because the story’s not yet over

it all began with a puddle of tears soaking into the off-white living room carpet.

it was early spring, six years ago now, when there’s still a chill in the air and everything looks dingy and grey in the weak sunlight. i’d just watched Hotel Rwanda for the first time, i remember, and it’d ripped something open in me, something that cried out for justice and healing and peace, some deep part of my … Read the rest

be careful, little mouth, what you say

i recently read through the book of Job, one i tend to shy away from due to its weighty content. i mean, it’s heavy stuff, the book of Job–laments and suffering, the age-old question of ‘why do bad things happen to good people?’

this time, when i read it, there was one little verse, right near the end, that stood out to me. i’ve been wrestling with it ever since, mulling it over, holding it Read the rest

…and i did not know it

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i’ve never been very good at waiting.

maybe it’s the visionary in me, the one who sees the end before the beginning and doesn’t know how to get there. perhaps it’s because i’m an idealist, with an incredibly strong sense of how things should be in the world. or maybe it’s just because i’m human, messy flesh and a heart that beats and bleeds and feels, feels, feels it all, all at once, with … Read the rest

because we all need to know that we’re worthy

hello there. my name’s elena, and i’m a recovering people-pleaser. yes, that’s right. a recovering people-pleaser. the long + short of it is that i used to care so much about what others thought of me that i let their opinions define me and my worth. and now? well, now i don’t.

the journey to get to this place has not been an easy one, the road often littered with unexpected speed bumps, twists … Read the rest

be love

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four and a half years ago, i stepped foot on african soil for the first time. i was overwhelmed and unsure, broken and laid bare in a place that would ultimately change + give me so much more than i could ever leave behind.

liberia was nothing that i could have been prepared for, yet i knew i was following God’s lead. i’d been to this tiny nation with the mandate to “be love” to Read the rest