Sunday, October 30, 2011

fear & coping mechanisms

Last night I went to a haunted house for the first time since I was about seventeen years old.  Walking up to the big warehouse, I remembered why.

It's stupid to pay people to scare the shit out of you.

Anticipation almost did the three of us in while we waited in line to get into the actual haunted house.  Standing in the cold were "monsters" roaming around everywhere.  Clowns and zombies and men on stilts and wearing black capes.

Every one of your senses is involved in fear.  Sounds, textures, temperature, colors (or lack of), smells.

I almost backed out.  As the monsters roamed the parking lot, I second guessed this decision to willingly subject myself to a certain level of terror.  The first evil clown approached us, green hair and squeaking toys.  He picked Mary to harass and I was left alone.  We were in a constant state of awareness -- frantically looking around, trying to keep an eye on the monsters so we weren't taken by surprise.

Mary and I are true social workers at heart and it didn't take long for our coping mechanisms to kick in full force.  Change perspective.  Gain your bearings.  Face the problem.  Face the monster.  Face the fear.

Standing in line I was approached by the stupid clown on stilts.  He came up from behind me, and I could hear the squeaking of him, feel him towering over me.  Dipped my chin.  Closed my eyes.  And he started squeaking in my ear.  First the left.  I turned my face slightly, eyes still closed.  Then the left.  He moved, I moved.  Breathe.  Finally he left and I exhaled.

A clown approached me and I tried a new tactic.  Looked him right in the face.  He leaned forward and touched his nose to mine.  Fear melted away.   He was chewing fruity gum.

My mind started spinning.  Drawing parallels and comparisons.  And finally I turned to Mary and Carlee and said, "my every day life is a lot scarier than this.  And it is real.  This is not real.  But here, I get to scream.  I get to scream and run for my life."

What we were afraid of was not real.  The fear we were facing was not only self-induced, but it was fake.  Even in the moments of pumping adrenaline and in between screams, we could look at each other and say "this is not real."

There was one zombie who liked us quite a bit.  He seemed to scare everyone, but when he walked up to the three of us we all just smiled and told him how cute he was.  A young black guy with a painted on smile, our comment took him by surprise.  And he found us everywhere we went.  At one point he got kicked in the face, while sliding around on the ground, and he walked up to us holding his jaw.  "I just got kicked in the face," he pouted.

In the middle of the first haunted house, we held hands like little girls and verbally denounced every single monster we came across.  Before screaming and hurrying on.  One monster looked just like a friend of ours, the other had pretty teeth.  We joked about one monster's insecurity and commented on another's flexibility.

Once a social worker, always a social worker.

And no one is exempt from the fear.

At one point in the maze, I found myself keeping my head down and focusing on putting one foot in front of the other.

It's the startling that gets me.  The jumping out of corners, the slithering out from under tables, the crouching in the shadows.  If I can endure the startle, I am able to look the monster in the eye.  And he loses his power.

I cannot tell you how many times I stood very still, and told the monster to get out of my face.

The things I face in my daily life are real.  The dangerous people, the addictive substances, the hungry bellies, the empty bank accounts.  The disorders, the syndromes, the prison sentences.  The dark alleys and the late night phone calls.  The empty refrigerators.  The insecurities.  The cold beds.

Those things are real.  And you cannot scream in response to them.  Real life requires composure.  Real life requires wisdom.  Real life requires a bravery beyond what you probably have.

Real life requires courage.  Demands that you keep your head down, put one foot in front of the other.

Then sometimes, life demands you look the monster in the eye.  That you suppress the leaping your heart does on its approach, and then you slowly lift your face.  Because what is really scary is the unknown.  The unexposed.  The uncertainty.  

Go watch M. Night. Shyamalan's Lady in the Water.  You won't like it, probably.  I don't care.  Watch it anyway.  Watch it knowing he wrote it as a bedtime story for his children.  Watch it and think about what M. Night is trying to teach you.  About strength.  About healing.  About monsters and the way to defeat them.

Actually.  Go watch Signs.  And The Village.  And The Sixth Sense. 

They all teach the same lesson.  Face your fear.  Strip it of its power.  Look it dead in the eye and call it for what it is.  Give it a name.  And regain control.

Out of the last haunted house, we marched right past all the monsters who had scared us before.  Disfigured butcher came after us and I threw up my arms and said, "actually we're done, leave us alone now!" (Surprisingly, he walked away.)

Standing in the parking lot, while Mary used the port-a-pottie (which may have been the scariest part of the whole night for her) all the monsters no longer seemed as scary.  As if we'd faced the worst of it.  As if we'd familiarized ourselves with the fear and it had dissipated.

Our favorite zombie followed us out of the parking lot.  Creepily throwing up his hands and saying, "I'm too cute to be scary!".  I looked at him, looked at the end of the parking lot, and said, "The thing I worry about the most are those scary people who pretend to be your friend.  And then before you get out of their reach, they scare the living hell out of you."  He looked at me, painted smile turning up into a real, sneaky, toothy one.

We reached the end of that parking lot and he walked up behind me, leaned close, and growled in my ear.  "Babe," I grimaced and shrugged away.  "You sound like you're snoring."  He jeered, "You think I have a limit -- you think there's a rule that says I have to stop right here?"

I took a step away and looked him in the eye.  "No.  But I just gave you my limit."

Then we ran across the street and got in the car.

Leaving all the fear behind.  Leaving all the monsters in their domain.  Leaving the zombie standing in the glow of the street light.

Friday, October 28, 2011

stars & three squeezes

This morning I went on my first public school field trip.  I was a volunteer for the fourth grade class at the elementary school I work at every single week.  This fourth grade class is full of some of my favorite people in the world.  I woke up this rainy, Friday morning and couldn't wait to spend the day with them.

And to ride a school bus for the first time.

The two fourth grade teachers are wonderful women who respect me and my relationship with these special kids.  They treat me like an adult and authority figure, and we all seem to share a passion for seeing these kids succeed.  Seeing these kids survive.  We see beyond temper tantrums and behavioral disorders.  We see who they will become.  We want to give them a chance.

The kids fought for space beside me on the bus today.  My heart was swollen with pride and love.  As is the norm, it only took me a little while before I became comfortable.  And started bossing people around.  I learned names and teased and hugged.

T fell in line beside me on the way to the bus and slipped his little hand into mine.  I squeezed it three times.  Something my own mama used to do.  He looked at me from under his hood and said, "Miss Anna, why'd you squeeze my hand?"

Before I was able to explain, we had to get on the bus.  He forgot.  And so did I.

We went to the Living Arts and Science Center in the east end of Lexington.  We toured different exhibits about natural habitats and then we went to another room to learn about the stars.  On our hands and knees we crawled into an inflatable planetarium and sat in a circle.  Faintly against the gray tarp we could make out constellations.

I was sitting, legs crossed, with J leaning against my side.  It smelled like dirty socks and my eyes just couldn't adjust to the darkness.  Couldn't seen what was right in front of me.

"Close your eyes for ten seconds," the tour guide told us.  "Close your eyes for ten seconds, and when you open them again, you'll be able to see better."

My heart swelled again.  In those moments, I hear with different ears.  I see with different eyes.  Every small word, every quick phrase, can quickly transform into wisdom and truth.

I covered J's eyes and he covered mine.  We counted to ten.  And when we opened our eyes again, the stars and outlined constellations were bright and evident to both of us.

Just close your eyes... she'd said.  Just close your eyes, just for a few seconds.  And when you open them again, you'll be able to see better.

The eyes of my heart are closed.  Counting to the proverbial "ten".

I want to see better.


Back on the bus, I reached over the back of my seat and grabbed T's hand again.

"Remember the squeezes?" I asked him and he began to rub his face with my hand.  "Yes, Miss Anna.  Three squeezes."  I nodded and squeezed his hand three times, while saying "It means, I (squeeze) love (squeeze) you (squeeze)."

"Like this?" He squeezed three times.

"Just like that."

He smiled and curled up in his seat and we started driving home.

Right before we got off the bus, I had my arm resting over the back of the seat.  Quietly, T reached up and slipped his hand into mine.

And squeezed three times.


Dark, halos of light.
Uncomfortable in my space.
Questions float around in my head and I am amazed I even ask them.

I am between here and there.
Transitioning between yesterday and today.
As if I am straddling an invisible boundary, not wholly present anywhere.

Questions.  They drive my conscious...
Propelling me into depths to explore and hide.
Who could have known?

I am heavy, under a barrage of it all.
This was not how it was meant to be.
Head down, one foot in front of the other.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

progress & body image

Last night I stepped on a scale.

For the first time in months and months.  Now I know how much my body weighs.

This number used to bother me.  My body used to bother me.  Insecurity has always been one of my greatest weaknesses.  My physical appearance, the greatest source of woe.  (I remember being in elementary school and a girl telling me I had an ugly nose -- girls are the worst.)  My body is, after all, somewhat deformed.  I'm divided in half by a huge scar and have this really unfortunate protruding rib... well.  Anyway.  There's lots of things I could mourn about my physical appearance.

And I used to mourn them.

I used to hide in baggy clothes.  Shy away from mirrors.  Fail to make eye contact.  Argue with anyone who gave me a compliment.  I'd dread getting on those scales.  And HATED having my picture taken.

It's been a long, hard battle.  I've been fighting for self worth.  Fighting for beauty.  Fighting for my identity.  Fighting for the very space I take up in this world.

But almost three years ago now, something changed.  In January of 2009, I stepped into a gym.

It wasn't the first time.  But it was the first time, which did not lead to failure.  Which did not lead to quitting.

After five months, I'd lost almost 60 inches and 25 pounds.

I had begun an outward transformation.

Three years later, I keep dropping inches and have gained almost all the weight back in muscle.

The outward transformation continues.  Steadily, healthily.

It's the inner transformation that has taken me by surprise.

At some point this year, something changed.

Something that had been in process for years... suddenly emerged.

If you know me, you can see it too.


I have embraced my physical body.  The shape God gave me.  The narrow, sloping shoulders.  The small waist.  The massive hips and butt.  The short legs.

The scoliosis.

The high cheekbones.  The green eyes.  The crooked teeth.


Exercise has become my therapy.  Strength has become my goal.

I know who I am.

And my appearance has fallen into step.


I was in the middle of a circuit the other night, and realized I had plateaued.  My workout was boring and was no longer doing anything but maintaining.  I was ready for some sore muscles and some more flexibility and a stronger heart.

So I did my research.  Utilized some resources.  And the next time I hit the gym, I walked out with legs like jelly, drenched in sweat.

I pushed myself.  Tried something that was hard for me.  Attempted something my body didn't know how to do yet.  And I didn't do it well the first time.  One-legged straight dead lifts proved to be a wobbly challenge.  Resulting in an extremely sore hamstring.

I was in love with progress.

With whatever growth just happened.


So when I stepped on the scale last night, and the number was higher than expected, it didn't even phase me.

I am not 157.

That is not who I am.

And for the first time I believe that.

For the first time, since perhaps I was 15 years old, I can walk into a room without apologizing.  Without cowering, for fear of falling short.

I know who I am.

On the inside and the outside.

And I like who I'm becoming.

As I progress, you'll hear about it.  As the numbers change and the workouts change, I'll report.  This victory should not go unacknowledged.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

breaking a cycle

This semester I am taking a sociology class called "Control and Prevention of Crime and Delinquency".

Confession?  I haven't even cracked the textbook.  But I get this stuff.  I understand it.  I spend the majority of my time talking about the very things that the professor is trying to teach about.  And I have a motive for learning how to control and prevent the two very things perpetuating a cycle of violence and poverty amongst my children.

They are mine, in the very sense my heart loves them as much as it is humanly possible to love a child who is not your own.  And I have devoted my life, in many literal senses, to inciting change and bringing hope. I want to get in the way.  Their way.

In my purse is a folded-up post-it note.  I remember writing it in my office, years ago.  "Break the cycle of poverty and violence by investing in the lives of children."  A three year old post-it note has survived. Because on it, is written my life's mission.

For my sociology class today I had to do a homework assignment.  Read a book, trace a family lineage, and create two discussion questions.  Did I read the book?  No.  Did I go to the library late last night, find the book in the massive William T. Young library and then find a summary of the book online?  Absolutely.

All God's Children, by Butterfield.  Written about the life and lineage of Willie Bosket.  New York's most dangerous criminal.

A story about a boy.

With a familiar diagnosis.  Brilliant.  Funny.  Descending from generations of hardened criminals, brilliant men.  Who were all searching for one thing.


My professor is a young guy.  Really intelligent and awkwardly funny.  Great at making you feel smart too.  He's interested in what your opinion is, but he's opinionated to a fault.  I bet his best friends want to punch him.

He came to talk to my discussion group (none of whom had finished reading the book).  And a classmate told him I was on to something (meaning, "Anna, make something up.  Quick!")  Hmph.

"I'm in social work," I explained.  I saw the light bulb go off in his eyes.  Now he knew why I was in this class.  "I work with urban, at-risk youth."  He nodded.  And that's when my light bulb went off.  There are always those moments when something finally makes sense, when dots finally connect, when what happens in class connects with what's happening in the real world.  Welcome to my moment.

The cycle of violence in Willie Bosket's family was initiated and perpetuated by an inherent desire to be respected.  For generations, this respect has been earned on the streets.  How strong a man is, is determined by how hard he fights.  How he responds to threats and how he fights back.  Intimidation, dominance are all used to assert yourself.  It's what's learned.  It's the example set.  It's the lesson taught.

Honor.  Pride.

Once again, it boils down to misdefining "humility" and "strength".

To believing that you are less of a man if you walk away.  If you turn the other cheek.

Sitting in the Chem/Phys building today, that's when it clicked.

In order for the cycle of violence and poverty to be broken, we have to find a young boy who is willing to never earn (or lose) the respect of his father.  Or the respect of his uncle.  Or the respect of his peers.  The respect of the brothers in the gang.

To incite change, to transform a neighborhood, to impact generations, we are looking for one little boy.

Who will live out the Gospel to its fullest.  Who will walk away from his family.  His neighborhood.  And not even in a geographical sense.  Who will choose a stature of humility and develop a character of integrity.  Without emasculating himself.  Without separating himself from true community.  Without discarding his personality.

Who will find strength and freedom outside the honor and street cred he was raised to covet.

One little boy who will love one little girl.  A little girl who must be willing to disregard the societal pressures about her physical appearance and her sexuality.  Who has set her standards so high no abusive, neglectful, disrespectful man will ever steal her heart.

My prayer is that there will be more than just one.

That revolution will roll through the streets of the ghetto.

Which is why I do what I do.

I am seeking.  The little boys and the little girls.

Because it's nothing I can do.  It's nothing I can cause.  It's not within my power to change anything or anyone.

It's in them.

And every day, we fight for them.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

not wasted

And so then I come to Him asking, "why are You being so quiet?"

When I've been asking for answers and help and relief.  Reprieve from the battle.  He withholds His voice. And in frustration, because I know Him well enough, I cry out.

"I know You have something to say," the air catches my words and I feel silly.

Growing up, Larry used to talk about cheap lessons.  As in, the price we pay for something learned.  Four hundred dollars for a college elective we hated -- a low price to learn something valuable about ourselves and our aptitudes.

Recently, I just paid a relatively petty price for a big life lesson.  My first instinct was to mourn wasted time.  Wasted energy.  Wasted hope.  I was embarrassed that I was wrong.  Embarrassed that, actually, I'd been right and not heeded.

A conversation with Larry ended with these reassuring words, the words of a father: "No.  Never wasted."

And so I drive the narrow roads.  Missing Him and just barely keeping my head above water.

Life is hard.

My heart is callused and my hope is sparse.  My muscles are tired and I'm craving deep sleep.  My joints ache as if I were decades older than I am.  Reprieve is found in sweat.  But I can't help but feeling like I'm closing my eyes and barreling through -- risk.  Just hoping I make it to the other side.  It is so hard to achieve excellence here.  I have settled for survival.  Assuming the other side of this season will be different.

For the past few months, He has been showing up as a yard worker.  Pruning trees.  Cutting grass.  Trimming shrubs.  Shoveling mulch.  Clearing debris.  Those sunglasses.  Those dirty hands.  I see Him and I know what He's trying to say.

I know He's preparing.

I think we just had a harvest I didn't even acknowledge.  And now it's time to let the field rest before planting begins again.  So we're digging up roots.  And clearing leaves.

And He's sending lots of rain.

So while driving down the narrow roads, missing Him, I asked "why are You being so quiet?"

No answer.

"I'm going to need You to show up today."  I looked around.  If words weren't working, if listening wasn't helping, perhaps I would revert to an old tactic.  Perhaps, then, our love language, mine and His, is nonverbal.

Maybe He's a visual kind of guy.

"Red." I said, hands on the steering wheel.  "That's how I want You to show up to me today.  Simply.  In the color red."

I laughed at myself, even saying it.  Deeply knowing Him well enough...

At the stop light a red truck pulling a trailer with a lawn mower turned in front of me.

I laughed again.  Sometimes He moves so quickly.  In a secret way only He and I understand.

It is because of this, because of doves and the wind and rainless storms, I believe.  What a doubter I am.  A Gideon.  A Thomas.

Almost home, I stopped at a stop sign and looked up.  My eyes were drawn to him, walking down the street to my right.

In his red shirt.

With the words written across his chest, white block letters.

"not wasted"

I waited at the stop sign longer than I needed.  Watching the voice of God walk by, personified.

This quiet season of hard work and striving and failing and fighting has not been wasted.  The season when my field has not produced a harvest.

He's still at work.

All this has not been wasted.

And so I take a deep breath and fight a little harder.  Fighting for what will be, what is.  Deliberately stopping long enough to refocus.  To celebrate small victories.  And pursue healing.

Open your eyes, He whispered.  I'm still here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I've been running from it all summer.  Effectively dodging and weaving, turning down my chin and looking the other way.  It was pursuing me, in the shadows and on the lips of others.

I would run into it in the grocery store and on the streets and briefly acknowledge with my eyes, turn into the wind, walk the opposite direction.  I knew it had no place, had no weight.  But it's existence threatened.

Summer heat waves, cool dark nights.  Bright lights of traffic and the revealing early morning light.

I took what was handed to me and put it on, perhaps in attempt to disguise.  So in the mirror was reflected something not so painfully familiar.

Justification surfaced like an angry bruise and as I crossed enemy lines, I was grazed by the bullets of my own army.  Caught in the traffic, precariously standing on the double yellow lines.

Despite the distorted reflection, beneath the guise, still I bear a name.  Tattooed deep.  Branded.  Regardless of the filth, accumulated on hands, cheeks, the heart within still pulsed.  I find myself crouched, cowering, hiding from the ensuing battle.  Covering my own head, paralyzed in enemy territory.

And my name is called.  That name.  Loudly.  Written in the stars and buried in sand and wiped clean by an empty tomb.

I respond, as instinct.  He called my name and I know Him.  He called my name and I love Him.  He called me to Him and I belonged there, with.  Stood, turned, then faced them both.  The avoided and the Holy.

I anticipated condemnation, to be overshadowed by shame, guilt.  But there in the path of my eyes, stood He with arms reached.  He had stepped in front of that which I'd been evading, blocking out the accusatory glow and the spiteful heat.  On His lips was my name.

With gentleness He removed the ill fitting coat from my shoulders, wiped the dirt from my cheek with His thumb. The chaos persisted, all around colors blurred and noises folded into one another, and He pulled me close.  Remember how I do this.  Remember how to do this with Me.

He is one of grace.  Grace, which overcomes the shame.

And as the air clears and I find His breath in my lungs again, I catch a glimpse of my own reflection in His eyes.

There you are...  I whisper.  Familiar.  Tired, worse for wear.  Fully whole and strong in the brokenness.  I did not go as far as I thought.  I was not as lost as I feared.  And over the dissonance I heard Him, you are mine, my child, with whom I'm pleased, whose heart belongs to Me.  I know you. 


I had to give him a practice spelling test.  Ten words.  Wide-ruled paper.  #2 pencil.  Head bent low, he huffed and puffed and wrote down each word after I said it out loud.  When he finished spelling each one, he would look up and nod real quick, "ready, Miss Anna."

After the first test, he got more than a few words wrong.  So I sent him back to study for a few minutes and then we did a second test.  "I'm not grading this one, little boy," I told him.  "Do it as many times with me as you can so when your teacher gives you the actual test, you'll know it!"

Second time around, only one word was spelled incorrectly.


For the life of us, we couldn't get that word spelled right.

So after a few minutes of tickling out all the frustration, shaking out all the defeat, we marched into the other room.

I wrote CELEBRATION as big as I could, as high as I could on the white board.

"Copy it five times," I instructed and handed him the marker.  Then I went to a volunteer and explained the situation.  "When he's done, erase it all.  And have him write it five more times on his own.  He will complain.  But tell him I said so."  Volunteer just smiled, understanding in a way only a father could.

Ten minutes later I walked back into the room.  Volunteer was wiping down the white board and my little boy was standing beside him, marker in hand.

"Miss Anna!" He exclaimed.  "He made me write it all by myself.  Did you tell him to make me do that? Shooo..."  All he wanted to do was go play basketball.  But I was determined.

"Spell celebration for me," I pointed at the board.  With only a little protesting then, he walked up to the board and in the messy way of a fourth-grader, he wrote celebration.

He handed me the marker and stepped back from the board.  I almost started crying.  "Little boy," I squatted down next to him and took his face in my hands.  "Do you know what you just did?"

His little brow furrowed and he looked at me and then back at the board.  Then back at me again.

"You spelled celebration right.  All on your own," I whispered in his ear and turned his face to take a look at the big word.  The big word he'd spelled correctly.  My heart was too big for my chest.


This afternoon I walked up into our tutoring area.  Everyone was settled with homework and snacks and tutoring partners.  He came running then out of his study room, wide-ruled paper in his hand.

"Miss Anna! LOOK!"

He handed me the piece of paper.  Numbered one through eleven.  At the top his teacher had written 110%.

Every single word spelled right.  Plus a bonus word.

"Miss Anna," he put his forehead against mine, "look.  I spelled celebration right."

I think I almost squeezed him in half.

We jumped up and down and gave high-fives and fist bumps and then I squeezed the breath out of him again.  I stopped and got down on his level and held his face in my hands and said, "I am so proud of you, little boy.  So proud."

How often is this the story of my life?

I must learn a lesson over and over and over again.  I must stand at the white board and rewrite the word until my hand hurts.  Then He erases what I've been copying and asks me to keep writing.  I remember thinking, why must I keep doing this?  

Then one day, I will be called on to write the word on my own.  For a grade.  For a purpose.  No longer just for practice.  And I will know how.

After all that time, then, we will truly celebrate.   What it means to overcome.  To learn.  To repeat the same lesson over and again.  Until we finally get it.  Finally.

Friday, October 7, 2011


September 30th:

My younger sister is getting married tomorrow.

Of course, this is making my mind spin a little bit.

I keep wondering what this time will look like for me.  A wedding.  A new name.  A life with a man.

I simply cannot even imagine it anymore.  I cannot fathom the sort of man it will take to match up with me. The sort of man who would voluntarily (or not so voluntarily) pick me.  And not just pick me.  To be honest, I get picked all the time.  I am no longer invisible as I once feared.

But I want to be chosen.

I want to be the one and only.

This, my friends, is much harder than you remember it being.  And much harder than you might imagine it to be.  Only you who are standing right here with me know.

I am inventing myself.  Building myself.  As I always have.  Fighting for the future.  I am a scrappy girl. Who loves black culture and wildflowers.  Who wears scarves and doesn't brush her hair and wants a son with an afro.  I am comfortable where most people walk in fear.  And my ability to sink, to plant myself -- to just sit and watch the world -- is inexhaustible.

I have survived.  And crashed.  With open eyes and strong arms, I'm learning slowly how to put one foot in front of the other.

But over time, through heartbreak, through the development of calluses and the thickening of my skin, I've begun to believe a lie.

But the reassurance I live with is that I know how to do this.  I am independent.  And brave.  I get stronger every day.

The only thing is...  I really want to wake up in the morning with him next to me.  And I don't want to raise children without a father.

But what I know, what I grew up with, what I've experienced the last few years, just isn't going to cut it. It's just not enough.  It's just not worth it.

So I'm alone.  Just me.  Independent and self-sufficient.  Busy as hell and feisty.

The lie creeps in late at night.  It's in his eyes and in his hands and it's on her left hand and it's all wrapped up in the phone call I didn't get.  I fight against it like I fight against cycles of poverty and violence.  Like I fight against apathy and hunger.  An invisible enemy with visible effects.

But I know one moment will change it all.  Whether I am aware of it as it passes over me, or I recognize it in retrospect.  When I am chosen.  Seen.  Above the rest.  When I am the only one he sees.  Then the spinning tires will finally find traction.  And a journey will begin.

We'll see what happens.  But I'm resting now, knowing I know who I am.  I am stronger than before.  And when it happens one day, I will have a whole woman to bring into the equation.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


If I didn't think I needed the grace of God before, I most certainly do now.  Years of preaching His goodness, His faithfulness, His love for me.  Years of swearing by the gift of forgiveness, prepared me for this moment.  And then I do stupid shit.  When the enemy tries to take hold, His great good arm comes around, and with authority and love says, "No.  She is mine."

Sitting in the quiet of my own space, guilt hits.  And I know exactly where to go with it.  Past justification, past reasoning, straight to Him.