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

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

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

saying goodbye to Lamie

today, i write to honor the life of a friend. i met Lamie around Easter of
this year, while i was still in Liberia. he was sick and listless, unable to move (presumably because  of a stroke he had suffered.) he was sleeping on the ground, in a pile of garbage, directly across from a dumpster. during the day, he was there, baking in the hot sun. at night, he was there, exposed to the … 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