Thursday, January 26, 2012


January 13th.  Friday the 13th.  Remember that day.  I'll have a story for you in a few months.  A story I'm not ready to tell yet.  A story that will take some time.

But tonight, the rain's coming.  It's been raining and thunder-storming here in Kentucky, in the middle of January, for a few weeks now.  Not much snow.  Just steady rain.  Lots of thunder.  Sharp lightning.

The rain has come to wash it all away.  To draw me closer to God.

As old, autumn leaves get washed down the gutters and sidewalks get washed clean in the downpour.  Puddles build and the raindrops hit my window, an irregular pattern somehow soothes me.

And right now, I need to be soothed.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dirty Dishes

In an attempt to fix it, I made dinner.  Comfort food that my mama used to make.  Braved homemade biscuits.  And then stared at my tiny kitchen and realized I needed to wash the dishes.

One side of my sink is clogged.  The garbage disposal is broken and when I run the dishwasher, dirty water backs up and fills that basin.

I washed a few old dishes first.  Too old, too crusted with old food, too long sitting in the dirty sink.

I thought about Larry.  When we eat together, he never lets me wash the dishes after dinner.  Dishwashing is his therapy.  Because you dirty a dish, you wash it, and it is clean then.  You can put it away.  It is a mess you have the solution for, a mess that can be remedied.

I stood at my sink, my apartment filled with the smell of good food and burning candles.  My cheeks are raw and salty from all the tears I've cried today.  A year's worth of tears, coming all at once.  I scrubbed at the bowls and pots and pans.  I watched the clean, soapy water turn brown.  Cool down.  Fill with what is unclean.

I scrubbed.

And scrubbed.

You are supposed to find relief in the washing of dirty dishes, because you can wash them.  Clean them.  Put them away.  You can find a solution to the mess and fix it.

But these dishes would not get clean.

I washed what I could and left the others in the sink, soaking in soapy water.

That's all I could do.  The mess stares at me now, piled not as high as before in the sink beside me.  Still piled, though.

I knew this day would come.  As sure as I know my own name, as sure as I know my own heart.  I knew today would come.  There are a lot of other days I also know will come -- they just haven't yet.  There's some relief in the foreknowing.  There's only a little relief in the coming to pass of something apprehensively anticipated.  But only a little.

There are some dishes I don't know how to get clean.

There are some pots, so encrusted with decisions and consequences and the fruit of choices, no amount of scrubbing will get them clean.

But I had counted on this.  On the getting clean.

The raw feeling of eyes cried dry, the scrubbed feeling of cheeks wiped and covered.  Tonight, it feels like a stomach bug.  As disgusting of an analogy as I can work up.  At some point, you have nothing left.  At some point, you've emptied yourself of all of whatever's made you sick.  And yet your body still heaves, still retches.  Now your eyes blink, sure there is more salt where it all came from.  You're not done yet, your lashes whisper as they dry.

These dishes won't get clean.

And I'm not done with my tears.


I had begged and begged and begged Larry for a puppy.  He had brought a beagle puppy home when we lived in Richmond, but he was sick and barked all the time and we didn't keep him long.

So when I was eight or nine, after much persuasion, Larry brought Molly home.  Already named, so we wouldn't argue over what to call her.  If I remember right, he showed up at the front door one night in November.  And we all had to walk around to the basement door to let them in.  She'd just been spayed and couldn't climb steps.

I remember the six of us sitting in a circle in one of the rooms in the basement and Larry took her leash off. I sat cross legged and just waited as Molly cautiously checked all of us out.  And then picked me.   She walked tenderly over to my lap and curled in the space between my belly and my legs.

This morning, mom and Abby took Molly to Dr. Fred and they had her put down.  She had lost almost half of her body weight, had tumors, had lost the vision in her left eye, and kept getting stuck in corners.  Olivia thinks she paced the hallways because Molly was afraid if she laid down, she wouldn't get back up.

I've cried more today than I have in years.  I didn't realize how much I loved that dog.  Or how much I would resent myself for not being there when the last few minutes came.

She is buried now, underneath the swing in the back yard.  I got a text from Olivia this morning saying, "this is a real childhood home now, we have a pet buried in the back yard."  Damn any extra emotional attachment to that house.

I am the most selfish of people.  I cry even as I write this, knowing that only half of these tears are for my pet.  There is no way I could have been there.  No way I could have driven her to Richmond and then driven her body home and dug up the dirt to bury her.  I don't have it in me for that kind of grief.

But Abby did.  My sixteen year old sister who doesn't remember the house on Long Avenue without our little, whining beagle mix.  Abby was strong enough to get in the car and drive mom and Molly to Dr. Fred's.  She was strong enough to drive them home.  Strong enough to bury her in the back yard.  This is not the first time I've wished I was like my little sisters.  And it won't be the last.

I'm hating myself right now for not being there.  I am the one Molly picked that first day. My lap is the one she chose.  More often than not, she chose my bed.  She hated me for a long time when I moved out.  But more often than not, she would curl up against me when I cried.  I had no idea I was so attached until the tears came this morning.

Today I am thinking about what it means to make decisions about the quality of life.  The difficult, heart-wrenching decision between life and death.  Those decisions we make on a daily basis, and the circumstantial decisions, which alter the course of your entire life.  A choice between two options.  Maybe three.  So often, none of them feel like the right one.

The choice between life and death are not always so literal, so clear.  The metaphor is a strong one.  But when it is literal... the sting is sharper.

It would rain today.  I would have been surprised if it hadn't.  Rain, he said, washes everything away.

I dread the next trip to Winchester.  I can't imagine how my sisters and mother must feel.  Fifteen years is a long time for your ears to be filled with whining and the scratching of toenails on the floor and dog hair to be caught in your clothes.  But I've always had this different experience.

The being away and the coming back.

I didn't live there when he moved out.

I didn't live there when they brought that new, black puppy home that I still don't get along with.

I didn't live there when he moved in.

The next time I am there, I will have to go sit on the swing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Twenty Seconds

We go and see a movie every Christmas.  One year, it was Marley and Me.  What a horrible idea.  We spent the entire movie bawling our eyes out, the littlest of the sisters curled up in one of our laps.  Every year since, the goal has been to see something better.  We cry enough on Christmas as it is.

This year, we went and saw We Bought a Zoo.  I was mesmerized by the trailer for this movie because it tapped into something sweet inside of me.  A deep desire to do something amazing with my life.  To overcome sorrow and loss and heartbreak.  To live a good story, to show children how to be brave.

I was not disappointed.  Surrounded by my family and a dear friend who I've adopted as a my own Haitian sister, we watched as they bought a zoo.  A rich soundtrack, intertwined with scores by Sigur Ros, emanated a ethereal sentimentality and buried itself deep in my belly.

But it was one phrase, drawn through the entire movie, which caught my attention.

All it takes is twenty seconds of courage.

The first time the line was said, my head perked up.  My ears pricked with the wisdom, with the truthfulness.  

So often, we try and live our lives courageously.  We crave bravery and covet those who seem to know no fear.  Personally, I envy those who are assertive.  Those individuals who stand up for themselves, who refuse to let themselves be walked over or taken advantage of.  

Some of us don't have such courageous spirits.  I sure don't have one. 

But what if all it took was twenty seconds?  What if I could muster up just enough for not even half a minute of the kind of grit it takes to fight hard and push forward?

I've been craving a different life.  A life different than the one that's been tripping me up for the past year.        Deep, I knew what it would take.  But as I have said so many times before, I thought those decisions meant walking deliberately into loneliness.  Into isolation.  I thought I was going to have to turn around and try and fit back in what I'd been cut out of.  But I knew I'd outgrown that place.  I knew that I'd let go, turn on my heels, and try and slide my edges back, finding them swollen.  Expanded and rough and unsuitable.

So I kept fighting.  The darkness is provocative and the ways of the world are a not unlike a snare.  I find myself in the swirling mess, fog rising and obstructing my vision like something of much more substance.  

Twenty seconds of courage.

Tears on the edge of a bed.  Waking up in safety.  Sweet words of comfort and affirmation.  Intentionality.  Pursuit.

Sometimes I fool myself into thinking that things must happen in the most dramatic of ways.  That there must be a clear end and a clear beginning and that I must be aware of the process.  As far as stories go, I have been writing one of great predictability.  In the anticipation there was a heavy measure of planning and withholding.  Waiting for a magic moment.  Betraying myself as a storyteller, I left no room for surprises.  For inciting incidents and pivotal moments, which may look like nothing more than saying no.

Which is what I did.

And then it happened.  Not like Hollywood.  Not like the novels.  Not an instantaneous transformation, not an overhaul.  Not the downpour after the drought.  But like a quiet unlocking.

Like shackles falling.

The light broke through.  Stronger than the darkness, this one ray of light illuminated something once hidden by thickest shadows.  

Twenty seconds of courage was all it took.  All it took for everything to start unravelling. 

Permission to be myself.  To use words I know.  To love the way I've yearned to.  To respond the way I've desired.  To look and see.  To help people find their lives.  To find lost children.  

Because that is who I am.  Despite the labels, words, curses the world has flung on me.  Despite the standards I have been asked to meet, despite the pressures of a corrupt and searching society.  Despite my giving in, despite my failures, despite my mistakes -- I am a good woman.

I say those words with much trepidation.  For fear they may not be true.

But my soul smiles weakly, battle weary and worse for wear, because I see.  I see the connection between my prayer and His answer.  A reckless prayer for community and for truth and for sincerity.  

Twenty seconds of courage did that.

I'm feeling less brave at the moment.  Curled up in my Goodwill chair and putting off going to the shower.  I'm going to need twenty more seconds tonight.  And twenty more tomorrow.  Every day until the end of all of this, I am going to need an extra measure of character and integrity and ... gumption... to be able to make this happen.

For crying out loud, I just love people so much.  It's this love for them that helps me muster up that which I need.  It's the seeing and the knowing and the feeling and the calling that's brought me here.  For such a time as this.  So I can look again at what the world has consumed and the church has condemned and see it for what it is -- a multitude of children who desperately need grace and courage.  

I am in love.  

Broken and tired and empty and not someone to be very proud of.  A Peter.  (It is not lost on me he is the same disciple Jesus came to call the "rock".)

Sometimes we wait for the right time for the right thing to happen.

When all along, the whole idea was to surprise you anyway.

And surprises never happen like that.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Help

I did it.

I watched The Help.

I'd been avoiding it because a) I haven't read the book and b) it's popular.  I'm one of those really critical, snotty people who is skeptical of things that are highly popular with the majority of society.

Like leggings.  Twilight.  The Atkins Diet.  And online dating.

But I had a night off.  So I ordered spinach and feta cheese sticks (indulging, I was indulging) and rented The Help from Redbox.  Mostly because I can't listen to Pandora for one more hour without having something else to do.  And I'd already seen Water for Elephants.

I watched the first part of The Help with a friend a few weeks ago.  We fell asleep five minutes into it and I had convinced myself I was right.  Sub par entertainment for the masses.  One of those weird, quiet, disjointed movies I always fall asleep during.

But like so many things, it just wasn't the right time.  And when I tried again, I was enthralled.  When I tried again, it was right this time.

You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important.  

At the risk of repeating the cliche, the sweet quote that has already been worn out, its meaning lost because of overuse -- I am struck today with how much I crave hearing those words.  Seeing those words played out in actions.  Because more often than not in my life, I don't see it.  Not anymore.

There's been a radical shift.  An ever so slight turn of the kaleidoscope and shapes and colors fall into dramatically different patterns.  It feels more like a stained glass window has been shattered and I'm watching the cloudy, vibrant pieces fall to the ground in slow motion.

Sometimes things really just have to be destroyed.  Destroyed and rebuilt.  Let some light in.  Let out some stale air.

I had an epiphany a few weeks ago.  One about my worth.  About my standards.  About the way I allow myself to be treated.  About behavior modification.  And actually... it's kind of working: this epiphany, put into action, has definitely resulted in some change.  Change I didn't expect.  Change I was not prepared for.

I have an ability to read people.  To draw information out of them.  To pay attention and listen closely and learn, just by watching.   I hear things you didn't mean for me to hear.  I see the flinch, I see the flicker in your eyes, I see the way you hide.  I see the light in your eyes, the potential you may not even recognize, and the beauty in yourself you don't acknowledge. I also retain this information.  I am, in fact, almost completely built up with what I know about you.  There are times, so often, when I walk into a room and a barrage of this fills my ears.  (Think, Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty.) That steady drone of prayers, which soon becomes overwhelming, deafening.  I walk into a room and what I know about you, the familiar sound of your voice, the shoes I recognize, the quick eye contact ricochets off the walls.  Like so many blinking lights in a dark room.

Because to me, you are important.  Perhaps I don't find you particularly kind.  And some of the things you do make me think twice about calling you smart.  But you are important to me.  Because I know you.  You are part of my story.  I may have never even wanted you to be.  But you are there, written down.

I think you know this about me.  Maybe not at first.  But I think you find out quickly.  There are a lot of negative character traits in me, a lot of shortcomings, and a lot of flaws.  But I care.  A lack of empathy and compassion is not something I struggle with.  It is so easy, however, to not practice this.  To convince yourself if you are uncared for, unnoticed, disregarded, that the appropriate response is to not care, not to notice, to disregard.  This is so hard for me to do.  But at times I have done it. In a feeble attempt to save myself.  To keep you from having a part of me I can never get back.

But dammit.  I care.  A lot.

I think you are important.

Perhaps it is that I fail to see my own importance.

Which is why I put up with what I put up with.

And maybe the hurt and pain caused by the world has tried to mold and shape and conform me to something that doesn't fit.  Not even a little bit.  Hence, a disparity is caused.  The kind of disparity, which makes me sit on my bed and fight ill-timed tears.  Creating a hopeful, desperate moment of honesty.  The woman I am is battling the woman the world wants me to be, viciously fighting for the woman I am meant to become.

Even though you're important to me, I don't know that you have any place in my story.  Seriously.  I am about to start weeding out by requiring more.  It's already in effect.  And there is some beauty in it.  But also some deepest confusion.

I didn't expect this.

Friday, January 6, 2012


I have nothing left.

After being so sick it felt like someone kicked me in my ribs.
Another flat tire, riding on a spare until the bank account can manage another used tire.
Empty cabinets and an empty gas tank.

Hours are being cut at work again.
And a new semester starts next Wednesday.
In case I hadn't mentioned it before, a new semester equals new levels of stress and new stretching beyond what I believe is my capacity.

I've been saying this for a long time.  Despite how many times I say it, I always survive somehow.  It hasn't killed me yet.  And in the depths of need and despair, He always provides.  Always.  I'm still here.

But the provision is bare minimum.  Just barely enough.  A few extra dollars, a bag of groceries, a rim bent back into place.  Small miracles that everyone else sees as great provision.  But I am barely scraping by.  Just barely.

I know God can do more.


Because I've seen it.

I've seen Him hold back the rain at my request.
I've seen Him throw $3,000 at me, sending me to Africa.
I've seen cars start.  I've seen beautiful, beautiful things fall into place.

But it's been so long.

So when I said to my friend, "I have nothing left, please pray for me."

And he responded with, "be ready then.  God works His biggest miracles when we have 'nothing' left."

My response was instantly, "Bring it on."

Show me.  I'm ready for a big miracle.

Perhaps what I'm asking for is too much extravagance.  Beyond what I need.

We call this character the building.  The working in the just enough.  The learning how to live when things are tight and scarce.  How to depend.  How to make it work, despite all odds.

I've been doing this a long time.  Enduring sickness and pushing through an education and providing for myself.  I am on my own.  Today I'm bitter about it.  Today I'm hurt.

Last summer I stood in a group of hundreds of sweet, urban children.  My children.  Whom I love with a love so deep it hurts.  Who I'd die for, who almost every waking thought is spent on.  And I told God that I hadn't felt loved by Him in a while.  I missed that feeling, that sweet feeling of knowing that He heard me.  That He hadn't left me.  He swooped down then, in His way, and reminded me of the new way He was showing me love.

So I see.  Don't doubt that.  I see the way that He has given me just enough.

But I have forgotten what a big miracle looks like.  That big, unexplainable thing that you can't take credit for.  To be honest, and perhaps this is the problem, I've forgotten how to ask for one.

It's not money I want.  I know how to live on ramen noodles and gifted hamburger meat and free frozen yogurt.  I know how to walk to work and drive that spare tire to death.  I know how to cut corners and buy used clothes (if I buy any at all) and work until I fall over.

What I'm looking for is extravagance.  For the deep, supernatural expression of love.  The red.  The parting of the rain clouds.  Something beyond the simple, manageable.

Ungrateful? I know you're thinking it.  I know you're thinking of Paul, who claimed his contentedness in plenty and in want.  I know you're preaching faithfulness at me.  Faithfulness in the seasons of trial and hardship.  You're whispering Job's name.  The bravest, most righteous of you may even be whispering quietly behind my back that if I were to follow Him closer, if I were to be more faithful, I'd find what I am seeking.

I get it.

But I also know the God I love.  Remember that.  I know Him.  And I love Him.  However I fall short, this is true.

Quietly I remember another woman from that conference last year.  The one from Switzerland.  Who looked at me from across the table, even while I avoided eye contact, and called me Moses.  She had her story wrong, which I laugh about now.  But there was some truth, anyway.  She told me that God had told me there was water in the rock. That God had told me to hit the rock and water would flow out of it.  And I didn't believe Him.

The story actually goes: God told Moses to hit the rock and water would flow.  And Moses obeyed. Later, when God told Moses to trust Him, that He would provide, and not to hit the rock, Moses did anyway.  In desperation, in thirst, Moses hit the rock like he had before.  Water flowed.  But it wasn't what God had intended.

So maybe she was right.  Maybe that's what is happening now.  I've hit the rock before, I know water flows from it.  Cool, refreshing, what I need.  But He's told me to wait, to be faithful in my trusting.  He will provide.  Don't hit the rock.

But I need a big miracle.

Something sweet and unsullied.  I'm tired of having to dig through trash to find the treasure.

I need to know that the bare minimum is not all I get.

In just a few short days, my world will be thrown into chaos again.  Late nights, not enough hours at work, too much studying.  All working for a goal I've been working towards for almost seven years now.

I don't have much.  And I don't need much.

I also know my prayers are heard.  Because when I pray for others... things happen.  Things change.  Seas part and heads stop hurting and meals are provided.  I pray for others and I am heard.  My dreams are heavy with a barrage of their faces, the people in my life.  And I wake up with prayers for them on my lips.

I gave up a long time ago praying for myself though.  Those the prayers that aren't answered.  Daily I manage a chronic illness that no amount of prayer has eased, and I bear the scars of great hurts that were no fault of my own.

I feel myself funneled.  Like I'm journeying down this long corridor.  This long highway.  Exits are closed -- big, orange barriers impeding my departure.  Doors slam shut, bolts clicking.  Keep going this way, I am channeled in the direction I suppose is meant for me.

It is January.  And I am at the top of the roller coaster, about to descend into an exhilarating, terrifying ride all the way to May.

To May, when I leave.

Perhaps that is the extravagance I am anticipating.

But I have never been the kind of person that risked the hoping.

At the risk of sounding deeply ungrateful, I will remind you that every time groceries show up or there's money in the bank I can't account for, or when nothing changes and I still make it, I am thankful.

The deepest parts of me trust, because that's what I know to do.

But the tears are there.  Shedding them would be the only thing that would help.  But along with asking for big miracles, I've forgotten how to cry.

I just wish He'd hold back the rain again.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

For Such a Time as This

What seems like a whole life time ago, I was asked to participate in leadership training in Pawley's Island.

Really.  It seems like an eternity ago.

A lot happened that week.  A lot of crying and unpacking and examining.  I was repeatedly told a lot of things about myself I already knew.  Some words put to some knowing I already had.  I already knew about my ability to listen, to hear.  They wanted to put a name on it.  Wanted to make it a game.  All I remember is I kept hitting this glass ceiling above my head.  So close, my breath clouded the window.

At the end of the week, I was emotionally spent.  Too much time with people.  Too much time talking about myself.  A lot of salt water and a lot of sand and a lot of heat and a lot of introducing myself.  This introvert was tired.  And my spirit was wrung dry.

On the last day we were standing in worship and I looked up to find Mike staring at me.

This is not what you want to happen in a room full of prophets.  No sir.

I can spot a prophetic nature as quickly as I can an asshole.  And when I looked up and saw Mike looking at me, I realized he knew quite a bit more than I wanted him to.

He wove his way in and out of the crowd and came to stand beside me.  He whispered to me, told me he'd been watching me.  And that I was Ruth.  That God knew how much I loved Him.  And how hard I was working.  I'd found my field and I was being faithful.  But Mike also wanted me to know that when he looked at me, he saw a vision of me laying at the feet of the Lord.  With all my wants and desires and dreams.  Specifically, he said, about relationships.  Especially the ones I hadn't even voiced out loud.  And God had reached to lay His covering over them.  All of them.  To bless them.

At the time, I thought this was phenomenal.  It was what I needed to hear -- this promise that God had heard, God saw, knew what I needed.

Amazing the things that slip through the cracks in the moment.

A few minutes after the session had ended, another leader walked up to me.  This leader had made fun of me during the whole week.  Specifically about how much I smile and being pretty and charming.  He approached me afterwards and apologized.  "I try and break down the defenses of people who think too highly of themselves," he admitted.  "It's my own coping mechanism.  But I see that is not the case here."  I turned blood red.  He told me I was beautiful.  Inside and outside.  Another leader approached him and interrupted, talking to me.  He saw the crack in me. He saw what everyone else was overlooking.

He talked to me about my outward beauty and my insecurity.  The deep, nasty thing that seemed to seep from the marrow in my bones.  He saw it.  The way it debilitated me.  The way it slowed me down.  And he called me out on it.

And then the first man said the words I too quickly forgot.

"You are beautiful, on the inside and the outside.  And I feel as though God is going to use your outer beauty like He did with Esther.  Not yet.  It's not happening yet.  But it's going to.  He's going to use your outward beauty, for such a time as this."

I had no idea what this meant.  And it seemed highly unlikely to be true.

Until last night.

Until last night when I was standing in my familiar place.  Surrounded by people I love.  People who have hurt me, used me.  Men who flirt and men who pursue and water guns and goldfish.  People who know my face and not my heart.  A few who I'd die for.  A few who I'd run to for comfort.  A few so strangely familiar.

Chaos happens in the blink of an eye.  Peace.  A fast moving body.  Broken glass.  A pile of men on the floor.

I am not the one who goes running to the rescue.  I'm the one who gets mad when people cause more problems by getting too close.  I'm not a rubbernecker.  I know what I can do, and in a crisis situation there is rarely anything my skills are useful for.


I didn't want to go last night.  I am sick.  Infected lungs and a tired body.  My heart is worn out from all the false hoping.  And as my phone beeps incessantly in my pocket, I just shake my head.  I am so over this.

You see, for the majority of the people in that room every week, all they see is what's on the outside of me.  Six months ago, seven months ago, that's what brought me there.  That's what kept me coming.  The friends, the music, the silly attention.  I shake my head as I think about how good I've become at deflecting an advance.  Prophets and assholes.  I see them coming and I run.

But had I not kept coming to this tiny hole in the wall, there are a few things that I never would have seen happen.  I have no doubt that God would have brought them to fruition in another way, with or without me there to witness.  But this was His plan.  To bolster my self confidence.  To build up what had never truly developed.  And to put me in the right place at the right time with the right people.

Because He's doing a mighty work here.

He's put me here, for such a time as this.  Not because of anything I can do.  But because of what He wants to do.  Through me.  Through us.  Together.  As witnesses to each other's lives.

A pile of bodies.  Broken glass.  I didn't want to go last night.  And as I saw it all rapidly unfold, I stopped.  Wait for the dust to settle.  Assess the damage.  Do what you can do to help.  Cause less harm.

And I found myself standing there.  Two inches away from his face.  Talking calmly in his ear and watching the tension leave his fists.  This is what I do.  I'm not good at picking bodies up off the floor.  I'm not good at breaking up the fight.  I'd don't pull you out of the burning car or pump life back into your chest.

I am the mediator.

I am the soother.

I am the one, given the soft voice, the steady eye contact, and the stubborn patience.

I am the one that talks you down from the ledge.

There are days when I still don't believe it.  When I catch a sidelong glance in the mirror before leaving and just shake my head.  When I kick myself for all the mistakes I have made.  When I bemoan my deformed back and my crooked teeth and my ugly knees.  When I wonder if I will ever be loved or wanted.  Ever again.

But the story is playing itself out.  And God has used what He needed to get me where He wanted me.  I continue to find Him in the most unexpected places.  This is how I know it is Him.  I hear the creak of the door and I look up and feel Him everywhere and I know.  He still hasn't left us.

He brought me here.  Using the very thing I did not believe I had to get me to stay.

Intertwining me into a story about His faithfulness and His desperate pursuit of us.

The story of our lives.