Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sons & Daughters

Did you birth that child
thinking he would break hearts
that he would twist them and pluck them
like fruit on a tree?
Did you warn her to zip up her jacket
to the top her neck
so that false lovers could not peck?
What did you say when he was young
and was holding her hand?
And of course it was too late
when he led her to his bed.
And you weren't there when
the thread of her words came out.
Forsaken and treasured words
meant for only one.
They can't be wound up again.
He can't undo the dirty linens.
She can't unkiss his kiss.
And you can't undo what you never said.


Sunday, August 3, 2014


I cycle through these incessant longings for roots. I look over my life and mourn the things I will never know. My history, my roots--they were stolen from me. And it crushes some lonely part of me.

I want to run my fingers over my baby pictures. I want tangible evidence that my father's smile is as I remember it. I want to sit around laughing and telling stories of all the goofy things I did as a child. But no one exists who can give these things back to me.

These longings create a barrenness in me. An emptiness I cannot fill. And I fool myself, repeatedly, into believing that a family of my own will heal this brokenness in me. That maybe if I could make my own roots I will no longer feel so...robbed?

Is it true, though? Can I do anything to fix this? Would my own roots be enough to bury these longings for good?

As much as I fight against it, I know what the truth is. I know that I must rely on Jesus for my roots. On days when I long for history, I must believe that while I have been severed from my earthly roots, I have been grafted into a life giving tree; an eternal history. My childhood is etched on my Father's arms, not a moment lost, not a second overlooked. He remembers what I wish I did.

My history is not lost. I am not rootless.

I read these words on a blog by Fab Shafford months and months ago- it resonates so deeply tonight:

"In the conscious places, Jesus, I proclaim the truth: You are more than enough for me. May the unconscious places hear and believe."


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Where it doesn't belong

The tears were coming
Out of my eyes
I sucked them back
Into a waterfall in my throat

I kept my mouth closed
So the salty guilt wouldn't come
Out of my mouth

I am guilty
Of caring too much
(Can you care too much?)
I'm clinging to your shirt
Your chest
Your face
Your heart

I want your heart
To be my heart
And I too easily throw away my heart
To woo your heart
To place it in a cavity
Where it doesn't belong

Where it doesn't belong.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Where are You?

Since March 2006 I have been in the business of doing hard things. Things my heart doesn't want to but my head says, "You MUST. If you want to live, you must. If you want to love, you must."
I am in a fight with God, who graciously convicts me with the Spirit he so willingly placed in me. I am in a fight because I'm doing things that don't feel good but I know are good. I am in a fight because my heart hurts and he says he is my Comforter. "You're not comforting me!!" If you were, then you would be here, physically. Letting me sob into your shoulder.
You said it was best that you left so the Helper could come. So the Second Advocate could dwell here. But that's not what I want right now. Honest. I want you. Physically you. I don't care if it's you with blood dripping down your face and nail marks in your hands and feet. I just need you. Right here. Right now. Your hugs. Your comfort. 
I am a friend of Physical Touch and I can't stand that you're not here right now with me during my second heart ache in a year. I don't want a band-aid. I don't want words or hymns. Or encouragement. I want you. Physically you. 

"My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?"


Tuesday, May 27, 2014


These poems are a doozy, y'all. Hard and ugly. Real. It's just the muck that is in my heart and my head as I learn about mercy. And grace. Lots of hard questions, with even harder answers. It's messier than I thought it would be-- intimacy with Jesus. He wants all of me. That's scary and painful and beautiful and necessary.

 I realize you may not know my story. I hope that's okay. I hope these poems speak for themselves.


We said farewell with a whisper
My heart ardently appealing to your heart
As I chronicled before watching eyes
All the ways your hands had marred me.
How your delicate fingers
Had twisted in my flesh
The way your manicured nails punctured
My face
Wood splintered across my back
Your feet against my ribs
My shaking hands pulling glass from my scalp
My blood dripping on the floor

A mess I'd soon pay for.

"Why can't you love me?" my whisper ricocheted off the concrete walls-
You replied only with a gaze
Of hardened indifference.
And your eyes reflected the truth
That I was nothing to you
But a troublesome mistake
That your love outgrew

We said goodbye on that whisper
You exhaled and freed yourself of me
I held my breath
Breathed in your hatred
And neglect
And swallowed you down deep inside me
And on the outside I was strong
My walls neatly built
Yet on the inside
Blackness seized my sight
And I was blind
Barely breathing
Frantically swimming
Through the flood conceived
By my unshed tears.

And my soul floated in the darkness
Condemned to the shadows
Of the words your lips had sown--

I was who you said I was.
A blemish
Without worth



I’m coming undone.
My meticulously placed sutures are rupturing.
I’m afraid to expose what I’ve taken years learning to shut away.
I smell of you beneath this well formed armor.
You’re still breathing in there.
You’re eating me dry
And I want to kill you with my uncaged-
I want to reach in there and choke you the way you have choked me
I want to rip you apart
I want to hear you whimper
Beg me
Like I begged you to--
My ears are roaring
Alive with malice
All the lessons of submission
Fall away
I’m justifying myself with this hatred
Till I’m spent
And you have gorged yourself on my sin
I've mangled myself with my bitterness and deceit
Bloodied by my blindness
I know I will never kill you this way
But the rage is electrifying


Mother, you’re the orphan now.
Shut up in your three bedroom apartment-
Abandoned permanently by the offspring of your womb.
I shamefully think you deserve this.
You did this to us, to our family-- to me.
You marred the love that should have bound us together.
You marred me,
I hate you. For all the tears. And all the bothersome layers
Of hurt and filth that coat the insides of me.
I hate you--
Because there is no hurt big enough
No hole deep enough inside of me
To swallow up and bury deep
The love my heart feels,
For you.
I hate me.
I hate the softness of me-
For feeling pity
For your orphan spirit.
I hate that I long for you to know the love
That you so viciously denied me.
Mother. Mother.
It does not seem fair that I should sit here contemplating how
To share a greater love with you
You don’t deserve it--
Truthfully, neither did I.
But I was better than you, wasn’t I?
Was I?


I’m ambling toward You
Defiled and infected—repulsive
I have nothing to offer but my list of sins against your love
Your Light
I drag my hefty load of chains behind me
My sins are writhing inside me
Around me
Fighting to hold me back away from you
My body is branded with
I wasn’t better.
Downcast- I draw near
Involuntarily, I shudder at your searching gaze
You strip me bare with your loving stare
Your eyes bear witness to the self-inflicted lashes I wear
Your hands work persistently
Touching all the despicable parts of me
Stripping, scraping, pulling, breaking
Wooing every part of me back into submission
I’m weary but I must make a choice
Your love or my justice

I fall into you
I am not too much
My dirt, my shame, my fears
I am not too much for you
My scars, my confusion, my tears
Never too much
Understanding dawns
As you swaddle me gently
In your cloak of grace.


The parts of me that won't let go

This last year's pain came flooding back when I did to you what was done to me. But this time, although it hurts to be the one to let go, I hope clarity rang forth. 
He holds my hand at this time but his soft grip is not comforting to me. The parts of me that won't let you go are trying to overcome the parts of me that know our distance is best. If I saw you now I'd cry. I'd hug you and smell you. Worse--I'd take everything I said to you yesterday back. 
"I'm sorry,"I cried. But did you believe me?
I desperately want you to know this God who breaks me in the places I  don't want to be broken. That's why I did what I did. Because he broke me. Because he wants all of me. And he wants you. 
My name means favor, grace, gracious. My name means "God provided this." I want you to know those are sovereign stamps on me. Because grace is mine. Because God craftily placed you in my life for something bigger. It's humbling. No pride there. He wants you. 
That should make me laugh but what I did may feel like rejection. I want to cry because I know I've hurt you. 
I believe God heals all wounds. Not time. Time does nothing if you don't do anything with it. I believe he's taking care of you. 
He's answering my prayers. 
He wants me. Oh, but he has me and he cannot let go because he loves me so. 
He wants you too. 
Your name means warrior. Fight with him not against him. You'll never want to leave his side. 
He wants you. His voice is echoing through you even now.


Friday, May 23, 2014

In Repair

I’ve been busy. Under construction, you could say. A kind of self mandated rehabilitation. I’m recovering from all the things that have left me feeling like a skeptic, and a fool. I’ve been hiding within myself, being vulnerable within the stillness I’ve found in me. Learning about myself, and my scars. My fears, too. There are plenty of those etched along the creases of my naked heart. Self inflicted, some of them. Others burned into my flesh from years of neglect and moments of stupidity. I’ve been learning to let go of my foolish belief that I am the architect of me. I don’t know a thing about what the best version of myself would be. I idolize strength and condemn myself because I don’t have any of it. I’ve been battling denial and learning to admit that I’m weak. And soft. I’ve been facing the reality that I hate those parts of me. I’ve been getting acquainted with my longings. Realizing that I still crave the dead tree that I was once rooted so deeply in. I’ve been fighting to understand the beauty and magnitude of what it means to be uprooted from rotten, festering, suffocating, Death, and grafted into satisfying Life. I’m coming to terms with the fact that my prayers for belonging have been answered. Eternally. I’m finally realizing that trust is a concept that eludes me.

I’ve been busy.

Learning not to keep people at arms length out of the fear of getting hurt. I’m learning to share myself and my gifts, to laugh genuinely, to let people close, to love without moderation, to weather disappointment well, to endure joyfully, and to trust. Yes, I’m learning to trust. My Father. Myself. And yes, you, as well.

But the bruises are still quite tender. And I’m not quite ready to come out of hiding. Yet. Forgive my absence. I must let all this come to fruition.

Only a little while longer now. I promise.