Inhabiting the heaviness

Once upon a time, I lived in Liberia. For almost five years, actually. It was one of the hardest seasons of my life, but I kept going back, kept choosing to say yes. I felt a burden: for the country, for its beautiful people, for the incredible kids I got to work with, many of whom became daughters and sons of my heart. And then one day, I left. In part because the burden became … Read the rest

in which my heart knows to make space

i’m usually one who has no problem wearing her heart on her sleeve.

i feel things deeply, always have and probably always will. things of substance and soul tend to captivate me, and if there’s one thing i’ve learned over the years, it’s that these hearts of ours are fickle little creatures, messy and beautiful and glorious and wild.

i can remember a prayer that i prayed once, on a sunny afternoon on my porch … 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

when love looks nothing like you thought it did

in the nine months i’ve been out of liberia, i’ve spoken countless times of the deep ache that comes with saying goodbye. there are moments when i miss liberia and her children so strongly it takes my breath away, where the loss and all the emotions that come with it feel as real and true as the hot blood running through my veins.

i miss liberia. a lot. i miss my kids. a lot. my … Read the rest

i have a dream

if you know me in real life, or have been following this blog for some time now, you’re probably well-aware of one thing: i have a dream.

it’s a dream of red earth and blue sky, of toothy smiles and weathered hands; a dream of bright sun in my eyes and hair grease on my fingers while i loosen the girls’ plaits; a dream of dust on my lap from where little ones have … Read the rest

the return to liberia: an update

it was a mere two weeks ago that i stood in church, hands shaking in surrender as i realized the magnitude of what i was saying yes to. a return to liberia. a return to the oppressive heat and sleepless nights. to lives lost too soon, to children who nobody mourns once they leave us. to a land that assaults the senses, to the corruption, the poverty, the things i saw and heard that my … Read the rest

when i want to live a life that says “yes”

nearly seven months ago, i left Liberia. after an especially grueling season, i made the hard decision to fight for my emotional, mental and spiritual well-being and step off the mission field.

i dreamed of returning home to the States and resuming normalcy once more; i wanted to fall into a life of comfort and ease and forget all about the exhaustion of the past four years.

when i got home, i struggled a bit, … Read the rest

[for syria]

i’ve stayed silent about the whole syria situation because…well, really. what can i say? syria is bleedingthere are people dying, children dying, and we’ve seen their faces. millions are displaced, the country deteriorating, and now our president wants to step in + fight, all in the name of saving syria.

i want syria to be saved. i want their people to live in peace and security. but most of all, i don’t … Read the rest

the power of one: stories from Liberia, West Africa

recently, i had the honor of delivering the message at my home church on Sunday morning. now, i’ve never been one to call myself a preacher, but i do know that God’s made me a storyteller.

i wish i could take all the words and the pictures and the feelings and the experiences and share them with you here, but somehow, it doesn’t do it justice.

but if you have 45 minutes or so, i’d … Read the rest

to my long-lost love

liberia, i have been missing you oh-so-fiercely as of late, missing you so deeply and true that i feel it in my bones, in the way they ache for you. i miss the heaviness of your air, the way it sits on my shoulders and seeps in through my pores. i miss the glare of your noonday sun and the blue of your sky; i miss the lush green of your tall grass, the red … Read the rest