Thursday, February 4, 2010


This week, I sat in a room with a friend, who may or may not know Christ. We were in a group setting, and she was in an eating disordered frenzy, ranting, hating herself for giving in to ED. As she shared her story, I noticed a cube in her hand that she was rapidly and manically playing with. Her anxiety so powerful that she could not keep her hands still. I was shocked at what she was furiously fidgeting with. She held in her hand a "salvation cube," one of those picture cubes that unfolds to tell the story of the gospel. It is the kind that I used on my mission trip in the Philippines to share the gospel. Here I sat, listening to her story and her hurt, watching her hold the gospel unwittingly in her hands. Here is my letter to this precious princess:

Dear friend,
I can’t claim to know your hurt,
But I feel pain as your express yours.
Tangible anxiety, starved frenzy,
How familiar I am with that hell.
Dear friend,
That cube that you hold in your wretched hands,
Folding, refolding, fidgeting furiously,
That is the key, dancing between your fingertips,
Splattered with your honest tears,
That puzzle somehow is the answer,
You pain was carried upon that CROSS,
The one that you so relentlessly exhaust.
You hold the Savior of the universe, the gospel.
Dear friend,
Do you know? Have you heard?
You hold in your hands the way, truth, and life.
He can heal your deepest hurt,
Unearth and place His salve your most buried pain.
He can sustain you…
And me…
That image, icon, story,
That you unremittingly open, close, and begin again,
Is also the ONE that I have forgotten, gathering cobwebs on the shelf of my heart.
Friend, you may be closer to Him than I am.
Your brokenness, raw and real,
Is what He seeks.
Your emptiness and desperation will drive you to your knees,
At His feet.
So hold fast to that truth, dear precious friend.
It is your Salvation.
Thank you for reminding me of my Salvation.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Who knew healing would hurt so bad?
Who knew getting better would make me so sad?
Years of not feeling pile up like mounds of snow,
Ages of thawing and so much more to go.
Who knew right would feel so wrong?
It makes sense, considering wrong was right for so long.
Re-defining life means stirring up the put.
Though it is ultimately best, I would rather not.
The paradox of descent to rise above,
Joins with the death that gives birth to love.

Monday, February 1, 2010

True Vision

The looking glass,
What a strange invention,
More so than a sea of faces,
The mirror captures our attention.
Accurate reflection?
I plead no,
Yet look all the more intensely.
Reflecting phantom images,
Mere perceptions,
Distorted colors, shapes, sizes, contours.
Why gaze at an imitation?
There is a reason we can’t look ourselves (our real selves) in the face.
There is a reason why we can’t stand back to admire or distain.
My eyes were never meant to fall on my face, my body, myself.
So I unglue my eyes from the reflective SURFACE to face…
And I finally find true vision.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Somewhere between the slimy pit and the solid ground,
Somewhere between depression and joy,
Somewhere between crippling anxiety and perfect peace,
Somewhere between curses and blessings,
Somewhere between bondage and freedom,
Somewhere between sick and healthy,
Somewhere between despair and hope,
Somewhere between doubts and belief,
Somewhere between starving and nourished,
Somewhere between comfort and agony,
Somewhere in the grays...
Somehow, I am not all or nothing.
I am not something or everything.
I am not black or white,
There is this middle ground,
This in between,
This has been and not yet,
This changing and becoming,
This chrysalis,
Semi-formed, tissue-paper wings.
Slowly, becoming,
And there is grace for this middle ground.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Symptom

Oh skinny vanilla latte,
You claim to bring satisfaction with less,
But you only give less with longing.
Oh skinny jeans,
You claim to slim the frame,
But you only “look good” on those who are without curves.
Oh skinny models,
You claim, with your sunken cheeks,
Pre-adolescent stalks for legs,
Painful collar bones,shoulder blades and spines,
To be role models for youth,
But you only advertise death.
Your ashen billboards scream,
“Our culture is teaching its women to kill themselves.”
Skinny, you cry “broken.”
You cry “numb!”
You cry “extreme!”
You cry, “fake!”
You cry, “afraid!”
You cry, “deception!”
You cry, “bondage!”
You cry, “restriction!”
You cry, “SEE ME!”
And as you fade, we see you for who you are.
You are not so beautiful after all.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I have encountered multifarious difficulties this semester. I did not anticipate these types of obstacles. I am glad that I did not know ahead of time the traumas that I would face, or I would have hidden away in the safe town of Clemmons, surrounded by the cocoon of my church family and friends. I didn’t know, and that was better. What has felt in many ways like dying is emerging into a platform leading to more complete experiences of living.
One of the greatest, if not the greatest, lessons that I have learned is in the realm of friendship. I have found myself hurt deeply on several levels over the past months. I was terrified of stepping back out into the dangerous world of relationships, so I hid. I hid from everyone, and in the midst of my hurt, I stayed stuck. Healing comes from the great Healer, and He works through community. I separated from community as a knee-jerk reaction out of anger and fear.
How do you reach out in the midst of your personal hell when you don’t even know how to deal with it? It seems selfish and unfair to ask someone to come along side to be with you through the pain and agony of grief and hurt. Is it more appropriate to keep it to one’s self? Is it just a “me-and-God” type of deal? Should I cry alone at night into my pillow, stifling the sobs so that no one is concerned or burdened? What is friendship? What are boundaries? When do I reach out, and when do I simply stay away?
I now have a new experience of friendship. This is a friendship where a companion does not enter into the pain of another in order to fix. There may be a place for encouragement, admonishment, and accountability. Sometimes, however, the only thing that is needed is presence. In the pit of my depths of pain, I did not need some one to fix me or even to give me the right words or read the right Bible verse. I just needed a shoulder, arms to wrap around me as I sobbed. Someone who was willing to sit and hear the stories and the nightmares and say, “Wow! That sucks. I am so sorry. Keep breathing.” I do not expect them to fix me. I just need them to be there.
On the other side, I see the weight lifted off of my shoulders in my friendships where there is a need. I don’t have to fix someone. I don’t have to have the right words. I just need to be accessible. I can sit and listen or sit and cry with my friend. There is no longer the weigh of having to be the “savior” or the “fix-it friend.” It is not my job to be the voice of conviction or the one who is always right. My job is to be the friend who comes along side, offers up prayers of intercession, sits for hours if needed, just to be present through the pain.
Here is the moral today: Friendship is presence. It is willingness to “enter in” with those that we love. We fail sometimes and we come through sometimes. But we love through being there.

Friday, October 30, 2009


I was just given the most simple yet absolutely perfect revelation. God chose to create me. Because of that, I am the Beloved. He did not have to choose to form me. He did not have to breathe life into my lungs. Every individual, everywhere, historically, presently, and in the future is infinitely valuable because the God of the universe breathes His life into them. He chose us the moment He imagined us.

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5

Only God could do the type of choosing that sets every person everywhere apart. No one misses this choosing. No one evades belovedness, because no one was formed outside of God’s plan.

God doesn’t create and then forget. He loves me. He loves me because He created me. He created me knowing the pain that I would be, the quirks that I would possess, the mess that I would be, the shattered pieces that would become my life. He made me knowing that He could put those pieces back together. He made me knowing that He would be able to redeem my mistakes and my traumas. He made me knowing all of me, and still He chose to make me. He chose me.

Somehow, in the vastness of all of the humans who ever walked this earth, in the volume of every set of lungs that inhaled air, and every tiny baby whose life was snuffed out before they uttered a cry, God chose us. And He loves each of us. We are each, in our finite terms, His “favorite.” I am His favorite. You are His favorite. How can He do this? I don’t know, but He can because He is God.

I want to see myself through this lens of belovedness. I want to see others through this lens of belovedness.

“My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All of the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139: 15-16

He dreamt us into being. He, in His infinite perfection, created us to mirror Him. The take-home message is this: How do I know my belovedness? It is so simple yet perfect. I know that I am the Beloved because He chose to create me.