I joke a lot about how I can't say certain things because I "have a reputation to uphold." The people who know me best know that I'm kind of like an iceberg-- what you see is usually only a small fraction of who I am. This isn't an egotistical statement. It's more of a confession. I've always been a quiet, private person. It takes a lot for me to warm up to new people, and if I sense that there are things about me that might offend, alienate, or hurt other people, I generally just won't express them around those people.
I feel uncomfortable talking about social issues with people who are conservative, because I know that what I have to say-- though seasoned with deep conviction and experiences in a very broken and desolate place-- will offend them and possibly make them write me off as just another "bleeding heart liberal."
I feel deep guilt every time I mention my son to friends who struggle with infertility, because I don't know why God gave me a child instead of them, and I've been on that side of the conversation where I had no control over my own grief-reaction to someone else's joy.
I so often hesitate to speak about my journey away from the traditional church structure, because I know so many people who are heavily invested in it, and I don't want them to think that I'm accusing them of being bad people or loving God less than I do.
I think a lot of things I don't say. I value the art of thinking before talking... to a fault. No one wins at this game, though. When I withhold important thoughts and values because I don't want to strain relationships or estrange people I care about, it doesn't keep peace. It doesn't spare feelings. It doesn't even really uphold my reputation. All it actually does is compartmentalize. It takes away my voice. It erases me. It erases me, and I've come to a point where I'm not really willing to be erased anymore.
The whole point of this, I guess, is to say that my writing might look a little different from now on. You'll be seeing a fuller picture of who I am and what I feel, and I'm sorry if it is different from what I've led you to believe. I hope you stick around.
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