A Deconstructed Easter


This has been a different Easter season for me on several fronts.

My grandmother was devout Catholic until the day she passed. As a way to connect with her, I have observed Lent my entire adulthood. Even though she passed in December of 2006, I continued the observation. Over the years I have either given up something or several things. Other years I have set a goal to be completed by the end of the Lent. This year, I just wasn’t feeling Lent. I “know” how that sounds. When the faith walk is weird and uncertain, there doesn’t seem to be an appropriate response to Lent.

I have felt like a faith wanderer without a home. I haven’t really felt like I had a place to “lay my head.” My husband and sons have been attending our old church, while my daughter and I have been in the next town over at the Episcopal Church. While returning the denominational roots of my family has been great, it’s been hard to not worship with my husband and kids.I know what my daughter and I feel towards the old denomination, as well how my husband and sons feel. I loathe being in this position. I don’t know what the answer is to have all five of us worshiping together again under one roof again.

Honestly, the majority of my prayers have either been “Really Lord?” The other has been “Lord help!” While sitting in the pew of the Episcopal Church, the “Nicene Creed” and “The Lord’s Prayer” have been the most words I’ve actually prayed out loud in a while. I’m grateful in the sighs and the groans, the Lord knows what my heart wants and needs, even though I don’t.

My family and I chose to worship with long time friends, in a church where we both like and respect the pastor. Towards the beginning of service the pastor asked us to “Take a minute and ask the Lord for what we need.” My internal response was “Really Aarron (senior pastor)? If I had the answer to that, I’d have a lot of other things figured out.” I had to attempt to come to terms with the fact the Lord knows what I need and that at some point He will show me.

This Easter was also different in that my husband and I decided to not go big. There were no fancy clothes. We wore what we’d wear on a typical Sunday morning. I wore jeans, which almost felt like a sin. I’ve always felt like we needed to dress extra nice and buy the fancy clothes. My kids aren’t fans of dress clothes and I just didn’t have it in me to have that fight this year. We didn’t do big Easter baskets for the kids. They did each receive a chocolate bunny and small gift, but there wasn’t anything extravagant, or expensive. With our lunch, we had a ham, corn casserole and rolls. Most years we have enough food to feed a small army and neither one of us wanted to do that this year.
Once lunch was over, the kids headed to hang out with the “bonus siblings.” The girls are at their house. The “big brother” took the “little boys” to the park. Pretty sure this is the first Easter where the kids have left the house. I took a nap. Hubby is currently cleaning the kids’ bathroom. It just seems appropriate that even our typical day at home isn’t typical or happening today.

I honestly have a ton of faith questions. I am having a conversation with a long time respected friend and my favorite pastor’s wife this week. I also plan on emailing the priest at the church where my daughter and I have been attending. I’m grateful for godly women who are willing to have the hard conversations and allow me to be honest about what I feel and where I am. I’m grateful for them being willing to listen to my story and especially their willingness to jump into my story and walk alongside me.

While I still hold to the absolute foundation of my faith, I have no clue as to what the final faith house” will look like when all is said and done. I don’t know where my family will land. I just know what my daughter and I can’t do at this point. I also want to respect what my husband and sons need.It’s been a much longer process than I expected, but at the end I trust the Lord will show me where His hand has been all over this and I will have an incredible story to tell.


Trail Mix to Gordon Ramsey: A Faith Journey


Y’all ride this out with me. My brain is weird and wired differently than most. Oh wait, that’s true because trauma literally rewires your brain. Anywho.. I’m sitting in the sunroom of our cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN as I write this. My family is on a Spring Break trip and a much needed getaway. Hubby and the younger two are over at the indoor pool. The teen has commandeered a space upstairs, playing on their phone.

On Sunday, the mess hit the fan over on social media. I made the horrible mistake of attempting to engage and let someone know how their post comes across to people struggling to process trauma. It did NOT go well, at all. I’ll add that my friends’ list shrank a little that day. It sucks, but it’s the reality of this journey. I did have a good number of people support me, validate my feelings, as well as offer encouragement. True to me, I haven’t been able to let it go. My brain continues to play the situation over and over and over again. My emotions go from one extreme to the other. It’s Tuesday, honestly right at typical session time with my therapist, but I’m not home. Even though I could do Zoom and meet, I’m doing the other thing I do best when I need to process; I’m writing.

My brain loves analogies and metaphors. Most revolve around football, yep the “Good Southern Girl” that I am. I also love analogies that involve the outdoors. People who know me well and even my therapist tell me I am a better and happier person, in nature, especially on the water. The metaphor my therapist uses frequently with me, is an onion. There are a ton of layers to an onion. Just when you think there can’t be another layer, Ta Da, there it is! So, my brain doing what it does, managed to combine food and the outdoors to explain the following analogy.

Here we go….

Make sure your Timberlands are laced up tight. The terrain is a bit too much for my beloved Chacos. I hope you like trail mix. You know, the one with the raisins instead of the M&Ms and lukewarm water in your bottle because that’s all we have. The car is parked in the parking lot and the trail head is just before us. The view at the top is supposed to be breathtakingly gorgeous. The thought is, “This hike can’t be too bad, if the reward at the end is a Gordon Ramsay Steakhouse.” Walking to the trailhead the trail looks pretty. The woods are full and green. At the moment, the sky overhead is clear blue. This could be a great day. The reward at the end will be worth it.

My hiking partner is an expert. She knows this mountain like the back of her hands. She knows the risks and the rewards of this hike. She has led many like me on this journey. She is honest on the front end about the expectations. She tells me there will be times when I won’t want to take another step. She tells me there will be times when the rocks will shift and I will slide backwards. She tells me there will be bumps, bruises, and even some pretty nasty gashes before all is said and done. She also lets me know that I will never be alone. Even when I feel like she has left me because she is out of my sight, she will be there to guide me to the top. My attitude is “Cool, just a few hours and I can trade my trail mix for a Chef Ramsey steak. Let’s GO!” My guide shakes her head and we start off.

At first, things are easy. Nothing scary. The conversation is easy and surface level. This journey is going to be a piece of cake! Oh, cake, that would be a great dessert at the end of this. I can totally do this. The hike won’t be hard and the meal I’ve had my heart set on is waiting. It’s not long into the hike and things are getting a little rocky. Ok, I can do this. The path levels out and the trees are pretty and green. Oh look, a great distraction, there is a beautiful creek just asking to be played in. We can stop, right? My guide tells me to stay focused, we still have a ways to go and the next stretch will require more work than I’ve put in so far. That does not sound like a plan to me. Let me take a break and play and avoid what’s coming. It will only be a few minutes and then we can keep going. My guide is patient. She knows what’s ahead and will humor me for now. After a while, she tells me we have to keep moving.

The next stretch is a little rougher than I expected. My thoughts are telling me this will be too hard. Maybe, I should just turn back and forgo what’s waiting at the top. My guide is gentle, encouraging, but firm that we must keep moving forward. I have doubts and am not sure I really want to do the work to get to the top. Walking away seems to be the easiest option. Instead of anger and frustration, I’m met with more encouragement. Reluctantly, I keep following my guide. She really is amazing, but I don’t like the things I’m being asked to do.

We round the next bend in the next part of the hike. The view is actually kind of pretty. I mistakenly assume we are close to the top. My guide, again kind, tells me we are just getting started. I don’t like the sound of that, not even a little bit. As we continue on our way, we see another set of hikers. Perfect, a distraction and maybe an excuse to take it easy. Can’t let someone do this alone, right? They need a guide as well. My own guide allows me to drag this extra hiker along with me for a little bit. I realize the connections I have to this hiker. I feel loyalty to the hiker. As I continue along with the extra hiker in tow, my guide is helping me to see how much extra work this hiker is for me. This hiker is also out for themselves. They state they want to see me succeed and make it to the top of the long awaited dinner. Instead, I realize the longer I allow this hiker to stay with me, the more banged up I’m getting. I’m not really moving. This hiker doesn’t seem to appreciate that I have made a great deal of progress to this point. They are trying to convince me that I am ok and my guide is unnecessary and I start to struggle. Technically, I could go back down to the trail and forget about the goal ahead. A part of me struggles because I really want the long awaited steak dinner, prepared by Chef Ramsay. I look at the trail mix and wonder, if I really deserve or even should want better than my trail mix. The hiker reminds me I’ve never had the steak dinner, so I should be content with the trail mix.

As I think about my trail mix. I realize, I can’t stand raisins. I’m also up set the trail mix I was given doesn’t have an M&Ms, or even cashews in it. I have a Nalgene, which is great for holding water and is pretty indestructible, but it hasn’t kept my water cold, or even cool. Now wondering why I didn’t grab my Piper Lou, stainless steel water bottle instead. When I comment to the other hiker, they laugh and tell me how it was for them with their water bottle and I should be grateful, I comment about what kind of trail mix I wish I had. Again, the other hiker makes me feel less than. They had it worse and again, they point out they don’t like the fact I have a guide. My inner turmoil is ridiculous. I don’t like feeling like this. I want to find a large rock and hide. Stopping, shutting down, and not talking is the way I cope. I was too easily distracted and now I’ve lost track of my guide. I’m pissed. My guide is patient. She seems to know exactly where to find me.

My guide and I start to have a scarily, real conversation. I don’t like where this is headed at all. For the first time on this hike, my heart and mind are at odds. I don’t know what to do. I know what my ultimate goal is. I know I’m hungry and the trail mix isn’t cutting it. I’ve had dreams about the Chef Ramsay Steak at the top. I’ve worked my tail off to get to this point on the trail. My guide gently points out the mile marker on the trail. I want to cry and scream. I have been trying to move forward for several hours and yet, I’ve only gone about a half a mile. It’s decision time. My guide isn’t one to give ultimatums. She doesn’t tell me what decisions I need to make. Instead, she listens to me whine, fuss, and somehow process the things. Somehow, in talking and walking with my guide we’ve actually made it the next mile marker. I’m finally open and honest and tell my guide, I need to let the other hiker go. I need to let them find their own guide. When I let the other hiker know that I’m moving on with my guide, the anger is scary. The comments let me know the other hiker isn’t safe. Because I’m the person I am, leaving someone behind goes against everything inside of me. I know I need to keep moving forward. Did I mention, I know my husband, kiddos, and inner circle are waiting on me to join them for this amazing dinner? I really need to let this other hiker go, if I want to be with the people I love and care for the most. Shouldn’t I be able to let this hiker go with me to the top? Shouldn’t I be able to care for someone other than myself and still enjoy the long awaited dinner? I continue to try. I can’t leave the other hiker alone. I can’t let them continue on this trail by themselves. Several hours later, my wonderful guide points out, we haven’t made it to the next mile marker. I feel like an ass on a couple of fronts. I don’t want to leave people behind. It’s not who I am. I also want to be with my people at the top of the mountain. I really want to enjoy my steak dinner. I’m hot, sweaty, gross, covered in scrapes, bruises, and have some nasty cuts that may eventually need stitches. I get mad at myself and know I have to move forward. I tell my guide, I need to let the other hiker figure things out for themselves. For the first time on this hike, hot, angry tears fall. Decisions like this should NOT need to be made.

Because my guide is as experienced as she is and has seen this situation over and over again, she begins to ask questions. Now, I know I “hired” this guide, but this is really personal. Why do I need to open up to my guide like this? Shouldn’t I be able to do this and just move on? Do I really need a guide to process this and move forward all at the same time? I break open like a dam. The words are just flowing. I’m emotionally exhausted. This is stupid and I want to be done. I’m starving, and all I have is this stupid trail mix. My water hasn’t been cold in hours. The sun is setting and my guide tells me it’s time to set up camp. Wait! What? Set up camp? Umm.. NO thanks! I have the people I love waiting on me. I don’t have time to stop and deal with this. My guide is now asking really probing questions. I feel totally exposed. I really want to run. There is not enough sun for me to get down the trail. If I stop now, I will never make it to people I love. I freeze. I don’t know what to do. After a meltdown, reluctantly, I listened to my guide and set up my tent. The tears are hot. I’m grateful I can’t see the other hiker. I pray I don’t see the other hiker for a good, long while. At this point in the hike, I’m not sure I want to see, or talk to the other hiker again. I have a crap ton of guilt about that. The guide and I built a fire. She surprises me with hotdogs. I inhale them. I’m still mad I’m not eating my steak dinner. The guide wants to know if taking on the other hiker is worth sacrificing the people I love and the steak dinner at the top. My head is saying “Hell NO!” “My heart hears a ton of Bible verses about this particular hiker. We talk until the wee hours of the morning. I finally curl up in my sleeping bag and fall into a fitful sleep.

The next morning, I woke up and didn’t know which way was up. I “know” the decision to leave the other hiker behind was the best choice for me and the ones waiting for me at the top. The guide and I talk over lukewarm water and trail mix at breakfast. At this point my anger at the other hiker is almost scary. I know I can’t go back and get the other hiker. I can’t carry them and their sack, along with my own and reach my goal. With tears in my eyes, I pack up with my guide and move forward. I have a new determination and a little more pep in my step.

As we move along, the conversation seems to get a little bit easier. As my guide asks questions, I answer them honestly. I’m a little terrified at the revelations made. I’m angry with what the other hiker told me. As I trudge forward with my guide and meet up with other hikers along the way, I realize how many lies the other hiker told me. I also realize some of the things I missed out on because of the actions of the other hiker. These revelations renew my spirit and give me a much needed boost. The other hiker never really cared for me. They really didn’t care if I made it to the top to get to my husband, kiddos, and friends. They wanted their needs met, but had no desire to do any work and would only fight me, as I tried to make progress. My emotions are high, but the guide and I are making progress. She points out the next mile marker and lets me know how far I’ve come since morning. I’m thrilled, but know there are still many miles left on this hike. How many more miles could I have made it on day one, if I would have let go of the weight of the other hiker when I realized they didn’t have my best interest at heart?

The next several hours seem to fly by. The hike is not even close to being easy. The hike gets harder and more steep. I slip more times than I care to admit. Yet, every single time, my guide is there to give me the tools to get back up. She helps me see how much progress I’ve actually made. She won’t let me give up on myself. She won’t let me quit, even though there are times when I’ve really wanted to. She’s given me permission to take a break. She gives me time to take in the view. I look up and want to cry. Why are we not at the top? I can’t believe the sun is getting ready to set again and there is NOT a steak dinner waiting on me at sunset. It’s aggravating and frustrating. My guide tells me that even though this was not the “couple hour” hike I expected, my people love me and they will wait for me at the top, no matter how many days this hike takes.

Again, I set up my tent and cry myself to sleep. I’m now two days into a hike I thought would only take a couple of hours. I’m angry with myself. As much as I trust my guide, I wish I had known ahead of time how this hike was going to be. All I can think of are the people I love and how I am now craving my Chef Ramsey steak dinner. I convince myself that now that I’ve agreed the other hiker was not the best for me and I’ve made this much progress, that surely I will have my reward the next day. The morning dawns and then the sun sets on the next several days. Now, the feelings I’ve kept buried are really bubbling up. Even though I’m not truly angry with my guide, I start to share big feelings and tell my guide how much I hate the feelings, she has the audacity to PRAISE me and congratulate me on these feelings. I look at her and ask “What the actual hell?” She assures me that feeling all the things is a huge part of the hard work on this journey. I’m brutally honest with my guide and call it “bullshit.” There is NO way the emotions need to be processed as a part of this hike. My guide assures me they are just as important, if not more so than the other work on this hike. Now, I’m pissed all over again. I’m too far up to give up and turn around. At the same time, the next stretch is straight up. I don’t know whether I’m coming, or going. I’m not sure I want to keep on going. I don’t know if I can keep going. I want my people and my steak dinner, but this is just too damn hard. Jumping off the cliff seems to be the easiest thing to do. When I think about my people and the steak dinner, jumping doesn’t get me there. The guide and I talk about the desire to jump and I’m afraid of being chained to a tree, so I don’t get stupid. My guide lets me set up my tent. She hands me a couple of hotdogs, tells me to eat and get my tail into bed. This is definitely not going according to plan. I struggle to see why I should have to work this hard to see my people and enjoy a steak dinner. Pretty sure if I eat one more raisin, in my trail mix, I will lose my ever loving mind.

My guide and I go on for several more days. Then, there is a group of seven more hikers. They spent several days with us. Three of these hikers I really connect with. We spend hours talking with each other, their guides, and my guide about where we’ve been. While I don’t necessarily like sharing this hike with that many people, the miles, and the days are flying. Shockingly, I’m making great progress with this group of seven. One evening the group, their guides, my guide, and I had a hard. open, honest conversation. I was shocked to learn we had a great deal in common. I was shocked to listen to the stories of these seven and all they experienced. I realized we all struggled with a group of city dwellers who didn’t have any respect for hikers. The city dwellers had caused a great deal of damage and hurt not just our group of hikers, but large groups of hikers all over the place. If the city dwellers had their way, they would control us, continue to cause harm to us, and refuse to give us permission to hike. These city dwellers only like and respect those who look like themselves. Those of us who are hikers have broken the “rules” set forth for us. As hikers, we want the freedom to explore and see what else the world holds for us. Yes, we actually like “The Gov” over the city dwellers, but they see us, as hikers, as rebels, and those who refuse to conform to the expectations of “The City.” We know “The Gov” and know He didn’t expect all of us to be city dwellers. He knows some of us are different and are ok with being different. We like our jeans, t-shirts, Timberlands, being book nerds, and desiring to be fully ourselves, and not conforming with the rest of the city dwellers. We don’t fit in “The City.” These seven hikers and I share a history of not only being harmed in a specific manner, but also a horrible struggle with city dwellers. None of us are huge fans of these city dwellers. Some of the seven have found their place among the country folk. Others, like me, are still trying to find our place. The seven and I know city dwellers are not safe people. My guide knew I had been through a lot. She knew how tired I was and suggested a night away from the seven and their guides. I agreed. While trying to get some time to myself, I unknowingly ran into a city dweller. This person claimed to be a hiker. It didn’t take long for me to realize this person was not a hiker. This was a city dweller who took it upon themselves to convince hikers to return to “The City.” This person wanted to convince me that my thoughts and emotions weren’t real. They wanted me to believe I was better off in “The City” and “The Gov” preferred me to be a city dweller and not a hiker. Even though I missed a hotdog dinner with the seven, I was able to gain some clarity. Y’all city dwellers are NOT safe people! It’s past time to move on and not fellowship with city dwellers.
Honestly, I’ve been on this hike for more time than I care to even think about. I’ve lost track of time. My hubby, kiddos, and friends are patiently waiting for me at the top. For now, I will continue to eat my sad, pathetic, raisin filled trail mix. I will continue to drink my lukewarm water and trust my guide. I am not done with my hike. My guide assures me I will eventually make it to the top. I wish I could end this story with my Chef Ramsay Steakhouse dinner, but I’m not there yet. My people are amazingly patient. I know the more I climb with the seven and work with my guide, the more confident of a hiker I will become. Eventually, one day, I will reach the top. Once there my hubby, kiddos, and friends will be there waiting for me. I will eventually get to trade in the raisin filled trail mix and lukewarm water for my Chef Ramsay steak dinner. At that point, I will have the most fabulous bone in ribeye steak, with caramelized onions, delicious butter, sautéed mushrooms, a loaded baked potato, delicious honey glazed carrots, and the smoothest glass of semi-sweet, white wine I have ever tasted. There will be a dark chocolate slice of cake that tastes like heaven in my mouth to end the most perfect evening.

I have shared this entire analogy just to say my story is to be continued…  I can’t wait to see how my story ends. I can’t wait to tell you, if I become a country folk, or a suburban folk. Not sure where I’ll land, but I know for certain I am NOT a City Dweller. “The Gov” and I will also remain in communication and I know He will show me where my community is and where I will fit in and be accepted.

SBC and Excommunication 2023


First of all, to anyone who reads this and is not a believer, I’m apologizing for the behavior of the “Men” currently sitting in the SBC Executive Meeting. What’s happening is NOT of the Lord and I can’t believe on any level the Lord is happy with current events and decisions being made. Once upon a time I was proud to call myself Southern Baptist and now I feel like I need to apologize to those outside the convention as well as the women and girls inside the convention.

On Monday nights I am sitting in a group for those of us with a history of SA. Some women experienced the SA at the hands of church staff. Others of us did not, but the religious trauma is a shared experience. Many of us grew up in fundamental, conservative, evangelical churches. Y’all, the feelings rising to the surface are a little scary. This group is not for the faint of heart. It is not one you walk away from feeling all warm and fuzzy. It is real and more raw than even I could have ever have imagined. Processing all the things is not going to be quick or easy. There is major work ahead.

The last two group sessions I have walked away just plain pissed off. I have noticed the little things that I don’t typically think twice about are getting to me. I’m struggling to stay focused. My emotions are all over the place. I’m also noticing, especially after last night, I am honestly angry. I don’t even know how to channel this anger, or what to do with it. I did meet with my therapist today and she assures me this anger is healing moving forward. Not sure I like it, or agree, but I am going to keep on trusting her. Semi-joking and semi-not joking, I asked to give her my “box” of emotions. I asked her to “clean them up, make them pretty, happy, and then return them to me with a nice margarita.” She found it funny, but reminded me that’s not how this process works. I’m the one who has to do the actual emotional work. Nope, not a fan. I give it zero stars.

I’ve been on the struggle bus with church, especially the SBC for quite a while now. If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know I’m walking a season of deconstruction. I realize so much of what I was taught growing up is honestly, dangerous, especially for women and girls. SA has been identified as a major issue, but the “leadership” is only giving it lip service. They turned to Guidepost, but don’t seem to have any real intention of following through with the recommendations. Women and girls are no longer really safe inside the doors of their churches because the “leadership” of the SBC would rather keep the “Good Ole Boy” system in place, rather than offer up consequences to their buddies, even with enough proof to have the perps thrown in jail. Yes, I put Patterson, Hunt, and Chandler in that category.

“Men” like William Wolfe have taken to social media to say “White women are the enemy of the church.” Yes, this is a white “man” disparaging WHITE women, the only race he seems to deem worthy of salvation. I guess, really, he only thinks white “men” have a place in eternity. I’m too afraid to go down the rabbit hole of his distorted, misogynistic, racist beliefs. I’d recommend reading his crap, but I don’t want anyone else traumatized by his BS. (I feel honored that I’ve been denied access to his account and can only see what someone else screenshots and shares). Under his above statement is a picture of Beth Moore! Really? Beth Moore, a godly, called, equipped woman is a “Threat?” She has more knowledge of Greek and Hebrew than most men I know. He also has a low view of women like Dr. Beth Allison Barr and Kristen Du Mez. These are women I look up to and respect. They have kept me from jumping off the proverbial cliff. They have reminded me I and other women have actual worth to the Lord. I had no clue white women were capable of destroying the work of The Lord, until I read his word. We are apparently paving the way to hell. I never knew The Lord was so weak? This “man” is also a Christian Nationalist and makes no attempt to hide this fact. It’s horrifying that people like him are allowed to have a voice in what’s happening in our churches. The last statement could be a whole other post in and of itself.

As I alluded to at the beginning of this post, the SBC Executive Committee meeting is currently in progress. To hear FOUR churches are being banished/ disfellowshipped from the convention because they *gasp* have dared to ordain and/ or call WOMEN!!!! The horrors!. Some people have developed a major case of the vapors over this one and just don’t have the mental or emotional capacity to handle it. One of these churches is SADDLE BACK out in CA. Y’all, is there really a church that didn’t do “Purpose Driven Life” at some point? Saddle Back led the way and many churches followed, even if it wasn’t the best fit, on several fronts. Rick Warren was one of the most sought after preachers for a couple of decades. The SBC is now ready to banish and exile him?

While I don’t have facts to back up my opinion, I do feel the Warrens’ son taking his life was the start of the end for that church and our convention. NO, I do NOT agree with that stance. The convention SHOULD have come around his family. Given the SBC does NOT have a high view of people who struggle with their mental health, nor mental health professionals, I can’t say I’m shocked. Appalled, but not shocked. That was strike one. Strike two was the decision to commit the “Sin” of ordaining an actual woman. Then, strike three was, horror of all horrors to call a FEMALE PASTOR? Can you believe it? They actually took the time to call a fully equipped, CALLED, woman of God to PREACH!!! They allowed a WOMAN to be a PASTOR! How will the men learn under the leadership of a female? How will women learn “their place,” if a woman is actually in the pulpit? Oh my goodness! Get out the smellin’ salts y’all. They’ve gone and done it now.

I know I’m attempting to add humor to this, but honestly, I am PISSED!!! I know they are only one of four being given the boot over these issues. The thing that really makes the bile rise and the blood boil is that there are churches with KNOWN perpetrators and NOTHING is being done! When it comes to sexual predators in the pulpit, the convention is choosing to state the convention holds NO power to do anything. So, here’s the sad, pathetic reality: A church decides to ordain and/ or call a female, the convention will go to their MAN MADE book of the “Baptist Faith and Message 2000” and declare that church is to be disfellowshipped. However, when a perp is knowingly allowed to continue in any leadership role within the church, the SBC immediately states they have NO power to do anything. Yep, the SBC cherry picks what and where they can or WON’T assert power. This means the Good Ole Boy System stays securely in place.

Here’s how it all boils down… If you are a “manly, grizzly man” who loves power and control you are welcome to belong. As a woman, if you are willing to be the “quiet, subservient, arm piece of a house wife” and teach your daughters to follow suit, you my also belong. Any woman, who dares to be independent, or be called and equipped in any way shape, or form, please take your leave now. We are NOT welcome. There is no desire to hold men accountable. Any of their failures apparently lay squarely on the shoulders of the women in their lives. “Men” claim we have no power until a failure happens, and then women have all the “power.”

It has been said by numerous “men” and “leaders” in the SBC that if women (and girls) didn’t dress a certain way, act in a certain manner, or go to certain places rape/ SA wouldn’t happen. They are turning a blind eye to what is happening in some churches. They are also turning a bling eye to women like me. I was in MY home, in MY room, and in MY bed, wearing a LONG nightgown (the first time), so please tell me how we were in places that SHOULD have been safe, but became hell on earth? Did I mention I was in middle school? Please tell me how ordaining and/ or calling women is far worse than rape/ SA? Common sense has long left the “room.” The focus is on the WRONG thing. I guess as long as your buddy can continue to fill the pulpit, it’s fine. The safety of women and girls are nowhere on the radar. Shockingly, people are leaving the SBC in droves, but no one seems to understand why?

YES, I believe The Lord can call a WOMAN to the pulpit. YES, I believe WOMEN are just as capable of leading a church as a man. YES, I believe rape/ SA are far worse than women in leadership YES, I hope and pray that some day the SBC will release a list of perps that is NOT redacted in any way and will finally disqualify those on the list from ministry. YES, I hope and pray the safety of women and children will one day be more important than protecting the reputation of perps and the Good Ole Boy system. If those things don’t happen, the SBC will eventually implode and it will be the fault of the so called “leaders.”

*The SBC does not excommunicate people or churches. There is a vote to withdraw membership and then disfellowship that person, or in this case, church.

*I know there are boys who have been assaulted/ victimized as well. Not going to pretend otherwise.

Shackles and Exhaustion


I had no clue when the mess hit the fan at SWBTS back in 2018 I’d be where I am today. I know the word “Deconstruction” has a negative connotation in the current Conservative Evangelical Church (CEC) world today. Many see it as people looking for permission to sin. They view it as people wanting to call themselves a Christian, but not actually follow Jesus. I can tell you from my own personal experience, as well as talking with others on this same journey it’s a far cry from reality. We actually desire to have a real relationship with Christ. At the core, we want to be more like Christ and our lives to look like the one He lived. We want to treat others the way He treated them. We want to offer love and compassion to people like He did. If you really take a look at Deconstruction, it’s not about becoming more like the world. In fact, at the core, it’s honest to goodness becoming more like HIM.

I can’t draw a straight line to save my life, so I am going to do my best to “draw” the picture in my head of how I feel at the moment. Shackles, chains, and locks are a huge part of this picture. If I could draw, this picture would be done in charcoal. The woman in the picture would be hunched over. Her clothes are in rags. Her hair is long and ratty. Her face looks exhausted, weary and tears are running down her face. Her feet are shackled together. Her shoes are worn and full of holes. The floor beneath her feet is dirty. Her dirty hands are shackled together, reaching out, in hopes of someone coming to her rescue. The thick chains that cover her body have locks all over them. On those locks are words “pain,” “emotional abuse,” spiritual abuse,” “rape,” “sexual assault,” “Purity Culture,” “shame,” “worthless,” “exhaustion,” “Patriarchy,” and “Proverbs 31.”

This picture is less than happy. In fact, it seems pretty hopeless. At the same time, I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one who feels this way. I would love to sing these lyrics from “Chain Breaker” by Zach Williams and have them be truth.

“If you’ve got pain
He’s a pain taker
If you feel lost
He’s a way maker
If you need freedom or saving
He’s a prison-shaking Savior
If you’ve got chains
He’s a chain breaker”

I am so NOT there. Walking into church takes every word from the “locks” and adds a level of anxiety you can’t imagine. I am emotionally and spiritually exhausted! I have been pretty open and honest about my lack of church attendance. It’s hard. Church is hard. It’s exhausting to walk into a building and be surrounded by people you “Should” be able to leave the “chains and locks” at the door and find rest and peace. For me, it’s hard because it’s where I feel like the “chains and locks” are added to because I don’t look or feel like a Christian Woman “should.”

I had a much needed conversation with a staff member from our church. It was one of the first times I felt heard in a long time, from someone in the church. It was a step in the right direction. It by no means fixed or solved all the things. It was also a reminder that many people like me want to know we are heard and seen. As an introvert who tends to do what I can to blend in the background, a part of me does want to be seen and acknowledged. I want to know it’s safe to ask questions. I want to know that it’s safe to doubt. I want to know that I can and will be loved as me, for me, and not who everyone expects me to be.

I’ve always been the “Good Girl,” the “Obedient One.” I’ve done what’s expected of me. I’ve towed the convention line. Most of my life I’ve been in church on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, and any other times the doors were opened. I read my Bible through the lens through which I was told to read it. If you wanted to be considered in good standing, and find favor with the Lord, then this is what was expected. I said a bunch of words and got wet in 7th grade because I was told I needed to do it. I went to a Christian College because I was a “Good Christian Girl” and that’s what was expected. I’ll add I was a sophomore in college before I truly had a personal relationship with Christ, but that’s another story for another day. When I wanted to go to grad school, I was certain the Lord was “calling” to go to seminary. I now question whether or not that was the Lord’s voice, or the voice of those around me.

My faith has always been what others have told me it “Should” be. It’s exhausting carrying the weight of other people’s rules, opinions, and expectations about my faith. I think I have finally hit the point that I can’t carry the “chains and locks” any more. I am beyond worn out and exhausted. I have no clue as to what it’s going to take to remove them and finally feel free. I want to experience true freedom in Christ. I do know there will forever be scars from these experiences. While the word “triggered” seems to be a fad word, there are going to be experiences and events that will trigger fear and I will revert back to my current modes of coping and retreating. I also hope at some point my own story will be a catalyst, or a stepping stone for someone else on their healing journey from rape/ sexual assault, and spiritual abuse.

Now, before anyone is ready to have me carted off to Vandy Psych, or MTMHI, I promise there is no self-harm or SI involved. This post has been about my spiritual walk. (If I could figure out how to get insurance to pay for my therapist and me to spend a week or 2 at the beach for some intensive one on one beach therapy, I’d go in second). Yes, the past assaults and events play into this, but I am talking spiritual health here. I still see my therapist on a regular basis and take my anti-anxiety. On Monday, my therapist is starting a faith based group for Church Hurt/ Spiritual Abuse. The majority of us come from SBC/ CEC churches. I think the timing of this group is perfect. Not sure where it will lead, or how it will play out, but I know it is much needed in my life at this time.

If you are walking this road right now, I encourage you to find someone you trust and/ or a therapist. I don’t know where I’d be without mine. She has thrown me a lifesaver more than once over the past 7 years. She’s been with me as we have “peeled back the layers of the therapy onion.” She has given me the tools deal with the “Stuff” that’s brought about the tears. About the time I don’t think there is another layer, “Surprise” here comes another one. I’m still working on having the ability to trust church leaders. I know they aren’t all bad, but after so many years the trauma is real. It’s definitely a process.

For now, hang in there. Find self-care that works for you and take it minute by minute. Also, remember you are NOT alone!

Rachel Held Evans


I am struggling to find the appropriate words I feel at the passing of Rachel Held Evans. She passed unexpectedly due to medical issues on Saturday, May 4th. I have felt big feelings. Tears have been shed. I have found myself asking “Why?” Now, before my super conservative friends attack me, I didn’t agree with everything she said and wrote. My heart aches for her husband and two small children, ages 1 and 3. My heart aches for her family, friends and her readers. My heart aches for those who could read her blog and books and shouted “Me too!”

Why you may ask? Why would her passing affect me at the level it has? Well, I’ll tell you. She understood. She understood what it was to question everything you believe. She understood what it meant to truly struggle with the conservative faith you grew up with. She understood what it meant to look at everything you’ve been taught and question the “Why” behind it all. She made it ok to ask questions. She made it ok to not to be ok with everything you’ve been taught. I felt like I had an ally when I read her stuff. “Searching for Sunday” and “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” let me know that I wasn’t alone in what I think and feel.

Y’all, it has been a season of stupid hard. It has been a season of questioning everyone and everything. It has been a season where I am certain of almost nothing. I know and still believe the basic tenants of my faith, but have questioned just about everything else. It was good and a relief to see I’m not alone in questioning all that I’ve been taught. I’ve had and still have friends who have walked a seasoning of questioning. There are things Rachel has posted over the years that have made me scream ” Yes” and “Amen.” When I read her blog and books I didn’t feel any guilt for questioning. She made it feel completely normal.

By society’s standards, I am very much a conservative. By Rachel’s standard’s I am completely normal and human. Again, while I may not agree with everything she wrote and said, she was a fighter for the underdog. She fought for social justice and those who were under-served or ignored. I don’t feel like a second class citizen simply because I am female. I don’t feel like I have to take a step back because I am female. I have a voice and I am worth voicing my opinions even though I am a woman. I am not stupid for asking questions. I am stronger because I will acknowledge I have those questions.

It sucks she is gone. A strong voice has been silenced. An incredible activist is gone. An ally is gone. She was one of a kind. I honestly don’t understand how she is gone. It’s weird to feel this way about the death of someone I have never heard or met in person. I’m grateful to have her books and her Facebook page to go back and read. I can only hope, we as women, continue to love and support each other. I hope we can look at each other and let each other know it’s ok to ask questions. It’s ok to struggle with our faith. It’s ok to look at another women and support each other through the stupid hard times. It’s ok to not land in the same place as those who taught us as children.

The loss of Rachel Held Evans was big. No, we don’t feel it in the same way her husband, children, family and close friends feel it, but we still feel it. I still don’t understand all the whys as to to why I feel the way I do, but I don’t apologize for feeling what I do. I hope in this time we can stick together as women and friends and allow for the big feelings, along with allowing the questions to come. Ask the questions. Say what you think. Say what you are feeling. You are not alone in any of it. We all hit times of questioning everything. As long as you don’t leave the basic tenants of you believe and the main things are still the main things, it’s going to be ok. Let the tears fall. Ask the stupid, hard questions. Grieve the loss of Rachel. The Lord will understand. He will bring us to the place we need to be. He will see us through. The Lord will eventually give us the answers to the questions we desperately need to ask.









































Mustard Seed Faith


“Because of your little faith, He told them ” For I say if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, move from here to there and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” However this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17: 20-21

I am reading through the Bible in a year with a group of ladies from #the4500, whom I talked about in my last blog post. Honestly, I didn’t want to read through a plan, especially a year long with anyone. I was determined I was just going to do my own thing, in my own time. The Lord made it clear to me that because of the season I am in, I don’t need to do anything on my own and I need the accountability. Today is day 29 out of 365 days. I’ve missed 2 nights so far, but am caught up at the moment.

Friday night (1/25) one of the readings took us into Matthew, where we read about the mustard seed. It’s a passage I have read 100 plus times over my years of growing up in church. I’ve heard multiple sermons on this passage. I’ve had people quote it to me in different seasons of life over the years. It’s not unfamiliar with this passage in any way, shape or form. However, as I read it the passage was kick in the tail for me. I think I read those two verses multiple times before I continued on to finish reading the rest of the passages for the night.

As I shared in my last post, I am in a difficult season. It’s a desert I haven’t been in, in a good long while. I don’t like desert seasons. I don’t like feeling the way I feel. Really, who does? If I am going to be completely transparent with you, I told the Lord while praying “I don’t know that I have the faith of a grain of sand at the moment.” (Why lie to the Lord when praying, because He knows what you are thinking and feeling anyway)? The Lord reminded me the mustard seed is tiny, yet a great tree grows from it. The tree is strong, even though it came from something so tiny and seemingly insignificant.

I have NO clue as to what lies ahead on several fronts. I know what I hope and pray for. I know the story I hope to write at the end of this season. I also know it’s hard to want to pray, stay in The Word and go to church, especially when you feel the Lord is being completely silent, but it’s the only way to survive this type of season. I know I have to lean in and dig in. If I try to walk through this season independently and attempt to temporarily shelf my faith, I won’t make it. I guess technically, I would eventually get to the other side, but what will I have accomplished in the meantime? If I don’t pray, if I don’t stay in The Word and I don’t go to church, how do I learn? How do I grow? Where does my support and encouragement come from? None of this is fun. None of this feels good. I’d rather stay on the mountain tops, but I am not a better or stronger person if I live there.

I’ve also had a large number of people who tell me I needed to walk some things from my past and walk this current season because I will have a story to tell. I’ll be able to look at someone else sitting in my shoes and tell them about my “But God” story. I get where they are coming from, but honestly, I would love to coast and have life be a little more vanilla. At some point, on the other side of this, I do hope something I’ve walked or something I’ve learned can be a point of hope for someone else. I do hope I can help someone else walk through a tough season. Even better, I would love to be able to walk alongside someone else and help them avoid some of the things I’ve walked.

There are so many hokey, christianese things I could insert here and make myself sound super spiritually mature, but I won’t go there. It doesn’t help me or anyone else for that matter. This current season is hard. My faith doesn’t always look the way it needs to look. Sometimes having the faith of a mustard seed seems like attempting to have the faith the size of Mt. Everest. Be ok with knowing you don’t have a perfect faith all the time. Those who look like they do are just better actors than the rest of us.

Like I said in the last post, if you are struggling, please know you are not alone. Pick up the phone or shoot me an email. If not me, then reach out to someone you trust. I’m grateful for the women who are surrounding me right now. On the hardest days, their prayers and encouragement keep me going.



Honestly, I don’t get this word and right now it absolutely terrifies me. Let me back up just a little bit. I am blessed to be a part of online tribe called #the4500. We are a group of rejects the Lord brought together in a way I never could have imagined or asked for. We all applied to be a part of a book launch and were rejected. Then, we were turned around and added to another launch team. As we worked together on this book launch, something started happening. It’s not something I have ever seen or experienced on other launches. Women began to ask for prayers. They began to share their lives. Once the launch was over, the conversations and relationships didn’t come to an end. We moved our group over to a private Facebook page.

We are a group of ladies who come from different walks of life, from all over the US. We come from different denominations and different ends of the political spectrum. The one common thread is that we love the Lord and want to see each other be successful and loved. Over the past several years this group has walked ladies through the mountain tops and valleys of life. I’ve watched as ladies have jumped into help total strangers in other states solely based on the stranger’s relationship to #the4500. I’ve watched as our group has rallied through the beginning and ending of relationships. I’ve watched as our group has rallied around ladies in our group and their families through illness and absolute tragedies. I LOVE #the4500 and what they have come to mean to me over the past couple of years!!!

One thing this group has encouraged over the past several years was to pray and ask the Lord to give us a word of the year. Given we are all in different places in our walks, the Lord isn’t going to have us all on the same word. In 2017 my word was Restore. 2018 the word was Courage. For 2019 it’s Forward. If you know me in real life, you have to realize, given my current circumstances that this word seems like a cruel joke.

On December 17th, I was called into a meeting at the church expecting one conversation only to be told that due to budget cuts I was being let go. Yep, the Lord gave me my word late October/ early November and I was let go in December. I had plans and dreams for my position at the church. It was complete and total shock. When you are a strict Type A personality, who is planner, likes structure and routine, this feels like a punch in the gut and knocks you on your tail. When you were not only staff, but an active member of church, it makes church hard. Church is weird and awkward because I don’t know what I “should” be doing and honestly, I don’t know what to say or do. I am beyond grateful for worship ministry because it’s the one place I still feel connected and gives me place of semi normalcy.

There is another, more private area of life that is topsy turvy right now and it is only adding to my anxiety over what life looks like right now. I feel like I have entered into a nightmare of the Twilight Zone. Every time I think about the word the Lord gave me, I just don’t get it. I don’t understand it at all. When it feels like I am taking 100 steps backwards, I don’t get how any of this moves me forward. Yes, I know the saying about how a sling shot has to be pulled way back in order to project an object forward. Y’all this is about to do me in.

My nickname growing up was “The Major’s Daughter” and right now, my emotions are all over the place. A Major sees an issue, creates a plan of attack and goes in. There are times in life when I can absolutely do that, but right now I don’t know which way is up. As I pray and trust me when I say I have prayed harder and more fervently than I have since we walked the road of miscarriages and fertility issues. The only thing I am getting back from the Lord is “Take the small steps.” In one area I know what that looks like, but not overly convinced it will work. In another area I have zero clue as to what a small step looks like. This post has a very different tone than what I typically post, but I also know others need to know that life isn’t always a tiptoe through Tulips. Life hits low valleys. Life takes long, unwanted detours through the desert. It’s ok to admit that you are struggling. It’s ok to say “I just don’t know.”

A while back our pastor commented in a sermon, “You can’t logic your way through things.” While I get where he is coming from, it’s the only way I am walking right now. If I allow my heart and emotions to dictate life, I’d be in a corner somewhere uncontrollably crying. While I don’t really “feel” like it, I “know” the Lord is in control. I “know” none of what is happening in life right now took Him by surprise. I “know” the Lord has a plan in all of this. Right now, I would really like a billboard or a letter laying out what is coming down the road and what I need to do to get there. This whole taking each day by faith and being patient is a huge struggle for me. I want to know that 2019 will end on a high note. I want to know the Lord will open a door for me. I want to know all of my relationships will be in tact and stronger come December. I want to know that while I am in a desert place, that by year’s end I will understand why I’ve walked what I’m walking. I am honestly, not so patiently waiting for the “But God” in this whole mess.

If you are in a similar place, please know you are not alone. If you are in a similar place, please reach out to me or someone you trust. Please find at least 2 people to walk alongside you, pray with you and over you. If one of those people is a therapist, then great! There is no shame in walking into a therapist office, especially in a time like this. All I am asking is that you please do not walk this alone.

A Saturday Tale


My Saturday was eventful to say the least. It was also a great reminder of what’s important in life. It was a day of hanging out with some of the people I love the most. A football celebration, followed by a huge “Thank you Lord” moment.

Saturday morning started with a Birthday brunch for one of the best friends a girl could ask for. A group of us gathered at another friend’s home and hosted a brunch for the birthday girl. It was a mix of people. Some of us have been friends for a little over 17 years. Some are newer friends, but those friendships are still just as valued. We ate. We talked. We reminisced and there was plenty of laughter. When you have been friends that long, there are plenty of stories that will make you laugh good, deep belly laughs.

When I looked at the birthday girl and some of the other ladies in the room, I was reminded how blessed I am to have such and incredible tribe. These are women with whom we have ridded the crazy roller coaster of life together. These are women who have laughed, cried and prayed together. These are women who truly want to see each other succeed. There is no competition or oneupmanship in this group. These are also the women who are not afraid to speak truth in love when needed. They are there when you fall and ready to help you get back up, brush you off and take off again. These are the type of women I pray all of you have in your lives. These are the women we need in our lives.

I came home from this beautiful celebration to watch my favorite football game of the season. Whether you have known me since childhood, or just a short time, most of you know I am a die hard Alabama fan. Yesterday was Iron Bowl Saturday, where we take on the Auburn Tigers. While I relished and celebrated our big cross state rivalry win, that wasn’t my favorite part of watching the game.

My boys are pee wee football players and have inherited mommy’s love of football. Watching them watch the game, especially my youngest, was so much fun. I love how they were trying to coach the players and telling them what to do. I have no idea where they learned that… Every time Bama scored a touchdown my boys were jumping up and down, high fiving each other and me. The looks on their faces were priceless.

They showed me their “victory dances” at every TD. I also watched their precious hearts as one of the Bama boys targeted an Auburn player and that player went down. They kept cheering him to get up and then clapped when the Auburn player was finally able to walk off the field. My boys are uber competitive, but they also have huge hearts.

Towards the end of the game my husband and mother left to run over to her place, so my husband could fix something for her. On the way home, they were involved in a hit and run. A guy ran a light, pulling in front of my husband, causing my husband to t-bone the other car. The guy got out of his car and talked with my husband. When he admitted that he didn’t have insurance, my husband called Metro Police. At this point, the other guy got in his car and left. Thankfully, my husband and mother walked away and the van is drivable, although a little dinged up. I know this could have been so much worse, but grateful it wasn’t.

Both my husband and mother spend a lot of their time on the roads for work. Honestly, one my biggest fears is having a state trooper or local officer knock on my door and tell me one of them was in an accident and didn’t make it. I know this sounds extreme and overly dramatic, but the level of carelessness on the roads these days has reached a level of ridiculousness. When my husband called last night, my heart sank. While gratefully, it wasn’t the phone call I feared the most, it was a reminder of what “could” be. I was thrilled to have them both walk back through our front door last night. My husband may not have overly appreciated the extra long hug from me, but I was relieved to know I was going to crawl into bed last night and have him by my side.

I share all of this because yesterday was a truly of day of reminders. I was reminded how blessed I am to have an incredible group of friends who are my tribe. They are women I pray I never take for granted. Even in the celebration of a football victory celebration, I saw the compassion and tenderness of my sons. I also hope and pray they will eventually look back on Saturday football games, both the ones they play and the ones we watch together and remember the feeling of togetherness and the fun times in these games. I am grateful my husband and mother walked away from the accident last night. I’m grateful for insurance who will cover the cost of repairing my van and grateful I’m not standing by their beds in ICU or planning funerals. I’m grateful for my family. I’m grateful last night ended in hugs and “I’ll see you tomorrow.” I’m grateful I was able to sit side by side with my husband in church this morning.

Y’all, look around you. Look at your tribe and your family. If you have them, thank the Lord for them. There are times when these people may drive you nuts, but these are your people. The Lord entrusted them to you. In the crazy roller coaster of life, these are the people who will ride it with you and not jump off. Hug your people a little tighter. Let them know you love them and appreciate them.

I am 1 in 4


Statistics. There’s nothing overly fun about being a statistic. With miscarriage and infertility, it’s not really something you strive to be. It’s not a club anyone wants to join. Yet, here I am. Too many other friends are members of this painful club as well. Every October I am open about the journey my husband and I walked to have our children. Too many times women are silenced and made to feel their losses weren’t real or important. I am here to tell you that you are not alone. When you have a miscarriage, it IS a loss.

Growing up I always wanted to be a part of a large family. The older I got I prayed to have a girl, followed by 2 boys and then another girl. When my husband and I were first married we talked about having 2-3 children. I prayed for twins in order for us to have the larger family.  He was aware of what I prayed. It took a long while to get pregnant. When I finally saw the first positive on a pregnancy test in Dec of 05, my joy was short lived. Within a week of finding out we were expecting, our precious child was gone. The next miscarriage came at the end of April of 06, just a week shy of Mothers Day. It would take well over a year before I became pregnant again, only to lose baby #3 in August of 07.

After 3 miscarriages and it taking so long to get pregnant in between, my OB decided to run an extensive blood panel in attempt to identify the issue. After the panel was run, I was sent to a specialist to review the results. My husband and I sat in a tiny little room as the specialist looked at us and told us I was a Type 1 carrier for 2 types of blood clotting disorders as well as a carrier of MTHFR. In short I could continue to get pregnant, but chances were I would never carry a child to term. I remember standing in the stairwell of this building, overlooking downtown Nashville and sobbing. My husband had his arms around me, but nothing could bring peace to what appeared to be the death of the dream I had of being a mother. My dreams of pregnancy, cravings, picking out nursery furniture, baby clothes and hearing “mama” were gone. All I wanted was to be pregnant and my body wasn’t doing what it was created to do.

My husband had talked about adopting. I saw it as an option, but at the time my heart just wasn’t there. In the spring of 08 he broached the subject with me again and I was open to at least talking about it. He was all in. In his mind, the Lord could and would grow our family how He saw fit. All the while my husband was praying the prayers of Sarah, Rachel and Elizabeth. He had the faith the Lord would bless us with a child. Honestly, I felt like the Lord was angry with me and I was being punished for something. My walk with the Lord had been rocky at best since the last miscarriage. My faith was almost none existent at this point. It took a long while to get back to a decent place with my walk with the Lord.

Fast forward to early fall of 08. There was another positive pregnancy test. I distinctly remember telling my husband “Give it a few days and it will all be over.” My loving husband continued to pray. There were several trips to my OB. I was placed on a prenatal vitamin, progesterone, a high level of folic acid (something my body refused to produce or absorb) and a low dose of aspirin to reduce the chance of blood clots. We had multiple scares. I was placed on modified bed rest. I was only allowed to go to work because I was a school based therapist and I could sit most of the day. I had more ultrasounds than most women would have in 6 or 7 pregnancies. It took until December when we had the gender reveal ultrasound before I could get excited about being pregnant.

When the tech told me we were having a little girl, I cried tears of joy. I couldn’t believe I was staring at MY baby on the screen. Her heartbeat was strong and one of the most beautiful sounds I think I had heard up to the moment in my life. When the tech left, my husband prayed over me and our precious little girl. Two days after Mother’s Day of 09 I held my beautiful, healthy, baby girl for the first time.

Based on all we had walked leading up to her birth, all the doctors’ reports, I was positive she would be an only child. Because honestly, there was no medical reason for her to be here. She was truly a miracle baby. I became pregnant again. There were also issues early on in my pregnancy and I was put back on modified bed rest. At this point, even before we knew if I was carrying a boy or a girl, my husband and I decided this would be our last child. Pregnancy was too hard and it was emotionally exhausting. When we found out we were having a boy, we were thrilled. We were going be a family of 4. This was way more than we expected back in 07.

At this point my husband and I were on the same page. We felt a peace about being done having children because of all we had walked. Our little boy came after we had experienced the Flood of 2010 and a summer that broke long standing heat records. When I looked at the picture of the 4 of us, I was honestly content. The Lord answered major prayers and had blessed us with 2 healthy children.

Little did we know the Lord would give us one more blessing. My husband and I were not trying to get pregnant. In fact, we were trying to be careful. Given we found out we were expecting again so soon after we brought our new son home, we were in shock. While a part of me was thrilled, I knew what I had walked with our other 2 children and wasn’t sure I wanted to or could walk it again. The first ultrasound with our third brought another heartache. When we looked at the screen there were 2 babies. I was pregnant with twins! I was ecstatic. The tech would then look at me and said “Baby B has no cardiac movement.” Her tone was harsh and I was again crushed. The tears started and stayed for most of the rest of the day. Based on what the radiologist saw, we were told I was carrying identical twins. We lost baby B due to a chromosomal abnormality.

I can’t tell you the anxiety that came with the rest of that pregnancy. I had similar issues to my other pregnancies, but now there was uncertainty about the health of our baby. I carried my anxiety in private. I never voiced anything to my OB or my husband. Our child was a planned c-section because my daughter had been an emergency c-section and our older son had also been born vie c-section. As soon as my OB pulled out our son I was begging for an Apgar score. I needed to know if he was Okay. Thankfully, his scores were 9 and 9. Even though we had been told he was healthy, I still carried concerns of unknown issues until he actually started school.

Our journey to parenthood was anything, but easy. All 3 of our children are walking , talking miracles. I still mourn the loss of our other 4 children. I often wonder what they would have looked like. What would their personalities have been? What would their interests have been? I try to imagine myself as a mother of 7. Miscarriages and infertility issues caused struggles in my marriage and my faith. I can’t say I handled it with grace and dignity. There were many nights where I cried myself to sleep. I stopped going to church on Mothers Day and Fathers Day because it was just too hard. I would send gifts to baby showers, but wouldn’t attend.

Please know, as long as you are not causing harm to yourself, there is no right or wrong way to grieve your loss. Again, miscarriages are real losses to be grieved. We all handle this type of loss in different ways. One way for me to find closure and peace with the loss of my children was to name them. While I only know for certain the sex of 1 of my 4, I feel in my heart that I miscarried 1 girl and 3 boys. I had several friends who reminded me that even though my children weren’t in my arms, I was still a mother. You are still a mother!

Please don’t walk this path alone. Reach out to your inner circle. Find a group of women who have also walked this path. I was blessed with 2 incredible friends who were there through all of the losses, as well as a church choir who surrounded me with prayer. I was also blessed to find an online group of women who had losses around the same time I did. We met in a forum and eventually moved our group over to a private FB group. Most of us went on to have children. I am still friends with these women today and have had the privilege of meeting a few of them. When my husband and I were talking about adoption I joined an adoption group. Even though we never adopted, these ladies kept me in the group and are just as much a part of my story as the miscarriage/ loss group.

If you need an ear of someone who has been there, please feel free to reach out to me. I will be more than happy to listen and to pray. You are NOT alone!


Why Vulnerability?


“You can’t get to courage without rumbling through vulnerability.”

“Own our story can be hard, but not nearly as difficult spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky, but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy- the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

Both quotes are by Brene Brown.

Y’all, it seems the word vulnerability has been a reoccurring theme in life as of late. So many conversations from people in different areas of my life are bringing up this word. I’m a part of a wonderful church staff. Earlier this week we had small group conversations around this word. Honestly, at the moment, it’s probably one of my least favorite words. It’s a word that means going below the surface. It’s a word that requires allowing others to see past the mask and the walls. It’s allowing others to see us at our weakest. Vulnerability means letting people into the darkest recesses we swore only the Lord would ever see. It means letting people you trust speak into those places. It means being seen on a level we aren’t really sure we want to be seen.

Vulnerability requires a great deal of trust. When you are not a trusting person, that makes it ten times harder. Vulnerability means allowing people to hear your story in its entirety. It means acknowledging you aren’t as perfect as you like to pretend you are. It’s laying your soul bare and knowing the person sitting in front of you can either honor your trust or completely betray you.

Life happens and throws us curve-balls. Sometimes life hands us situations where shame and guilt come into play. Many of us have stories we wish we didn’t have. Many of us have walked things we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies. They are things we wish we could permanently block from our minds. The only way to move forward and away from our past is to take the leap of faith into vulnerability. It is probably one of the hardest things we can do.

The question then is, who can we trust? I’ll be honest, I’m grateful for a small group women in my life. Two are friends I’ve had for roughly 17 years. We’ve walked single-hood to engagement, weddings, marriage, miscarriages, children and everything in between. There is another friend with whom I work and I can’t begin to tell you how many raw conversations and tears have fallen in her office. I also have two more seasoned ladies whom I love and adore. They are two of my biggest prayer warriors. You see, I know I am blessed to have these women in my life. They have given me a safe place to land and a place to let down my guard. The Lord knew I’m not a trusting person and He graciously placed these 5 women in my life.

Do you have people like this in your life? Do you have at least one person like this in your life? If not, I urge you to pray and ask the Lord to lead you to that person. Even if you don’t have trauma in your past, we all need at least one person with whom we can be 100% ourselves. We need at least one person with whom the mask can come off and the walls can come down. If you do have trauma in your past, then these are the people who can walk by your side on the hard days. These are the people who will pray you through those days and help you get to the other side.

Vulnerability may also be taking the step of walking into a therapist office. Y’all therapy is hard. It can be extremely humbling, but I think most people need to sit in a therapist office at least once or twice in life. Sometimes it may be for a check up and process some of the smaller things in life. Other times there are a larger issues that need to be addressed. It may be getting to the root of why you struggle with vulnerability.

Vulnerability may be allowing others to step and do something for you. I get the majority of us don’t need to go that far, but to allow someone to bring you a meal or take your children for a few hours can be huge, especially when you are hurting. Vulnerability is really allowing those you trust the most to step in when and where you need it the most. It may make you feel weak, but allowing others to love on you will put you closer to where you need to be.

We may not realize it, but vulnerability can affect all areas of our lives. If we stay shut off from the world and walk through it with only shallow relationships, we miss out on the beauty of the world and the richness of those around us. Vulnerability in the right places allows us to live our lives to the fullest. It means we’re allowing the Lord into those places and allowing Him to place others to be His hands and feet in our lives.