Disappointment, Anger, or Love? 

Quiet disappointment is the epitome of what breaks my heart. I’m familiar with angry eruptions. With those reactions, my next move is quite literally to get out of the way and attempt to calm the person down at a distance. I don’t pay attention to the cause of their anger, but focus on fixing their reaction. Though my attempts to make peace can be fear-filled, it’s easy enough. 

But with quiet disappointment I’m drastically aware of my failure, and my reaction is based heavily on wanting to restore fellowship. It has very little to do with fear and everything to do with correcting a wrong. I may possess peace during those occasions of righting a wrong, but it’s dreadfully hard to claim. 

For the last day or so, I’ve had to mull over the difference between feeling the anger of God and feeling His broken fellowship and disappointment. It’s not a joyful occasion to stand before God and only have one thing to say: “I know full well I broke Your heart. I put You second in line to my attempts at control.” 

It’s so much easier to picture God as an unemotional, tyrannical Lord who deals with my sin with outbursts of anger. With that approach, my attempts to seek forgiveness become mechanical: Throw a few sacrifices of praise His way, sing peaceful songs… 1, 2, 3, thanks for forgiveness, I’m out the door. 

However, I’m fully aware that He is an emotional, fellowship-seeking creator who deals with my sin as a father dealing with a rebellious child. With that, I’m deeply reminded my sin disappoints the One I love most. My sin caused a rift in our fellowship with each other. 

My sin did not, however, erase His love toward me. Despite that glorious truth, healing still takes time. Anger screams, “You’ve done Me wrong!” Disappointment cries, “We need to fix us.” 

Christ constantly asks us to rebuild what our sin has torn down. He never promised total healing would happen overnight. But above all, He never leaves us to restore our relationship alone. 

His disappointment in our sin feels heavier because He’s weighing our character, not our deeds… But His disappointment is proof that He believes intimate fellowship is still possible. 

His overwhelming fellowship-seeking love proves He has called us to so much more.

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When The Holy Surprises

I only write about things that ultimately feel real. Which is why, until last night, I kept my engagement off any projects I was working on. It just didn’t feel real. And then, we had our first “chat.” Chats are usually amazing when done with the guy that stole my heart. But the laughter was more overwhelmed and nervous than it was giddy last night.

The questions of, “How do we manage storage? How much will that apartment cost? Can we handle living on a college campus for two more years if we’re only seminary students?” 

The big decisions, and the frustration on both of our faces, made it feel real. Every dramatically real decision discussed made the ring on my finger mean a little bit more. I laughed every time my fiancée and I answered a topic with an authoritatively affirmative, “I don’t know, Babe.” 

In our mid-twenties and trying to start off on the right foot, we are most assuredly still looking for an “adultier adult.”

As I hit the pavement yesterday to process alone, I laughed for real as I realized how much God had transformed my heart in the last two years. Two years ago, the “I don’t knows” would have scared me to death, possibly even made me angry. Now, though, I can’t help but anticipate the surprise as God weaves together a story I wasn’t looking to be a part of three years ago.

I chuckled even harder thinking about how very against surprises I’ve always been. Up until a year ago, I liked surprises as long as my twenty questions were answered when I got wind that a surprise was being planned. Now, surprises still make me nervous. I am, after all, a journalist. I was born to ask questions. But, I’ve had to learn that sometimes the surprises aren’t about me.

We often view the phrase, “Wait and see” as God’s frustrating approach to sanctifying us. And it often is. But, I have to wonder: Is it possible, that at times, God quite literally says that because He knows how to love more deeply than we do? Is it possible His command to “wait and see” is because He knows that by trusting Him and letting Him essentially surprise us , He’ll be able to show us a level of love we wouldn’t understand otherwise?

Surprises take trust, trust takes faith, which is basically the backbone of believing in Jesus Christ.

But then, Elroi

Elroi. The God Who Sees. I fell in love with this name of Yahweh a long time ago. He was given this name by Hagar, the outcast hand-maiden of Abraham (Genesis 16). Abraham didn’t want her, nor the son she had birthed for him. She felt worthless, unwanted, inhumane, helpless and completely unseen. But then, Yahweh.

He saw her. He loved her. He, when no one else would, provided for her. Elroi. The God Who Sees.

I’ve felt all those same emotions of Hagar’s before. I’ve felt all those things for a seemingly-permanent, torturously-long time. But then, there was Yahweh-Elroi. The God Who Sees. The God who sees and is willing to be spoken to by a seemingly worthless, unwanted woman. The God who sees worth when no one else does. 

Elroi. 

For the past three years, I’ve had to brokenly rewrite my definition of a woman’s worth. It’s been a beautiful journey with buckets of tears and hours of laughter. Every time I’ve gone back to the feet of Jesus and reminded Him of how hard it is to deeply feel unseen and unloved to the point of madness, He says one thing:

I am the God Who Sees. I am Your Elroi. Am I not enough? 

I’ve had to learn in the past year that that fear of being unwanted and unloved does not go away when you are, in fact, wanted and loved. Every time I push a button, get a little too human and can’t seem to feel perfect (grin), I fall back into the tortures of my life before Christ. My value is unseen because it’s not there. No one sees the good in me because there is none. 

But then, Yahweh. My Elroi. 

He sees what no one else sees. He provides what no one else provides. When all else fails, He asks one of thing of me and one thing of all of us: 

Today, choose Elroi. Today be fulfilled in the God who sees. When you feel unseen, fall back on the unchanging, unmoving beauty of Elroi. He sees you, and that is enough. It’s more than enough.

Showers, Laughter, & Insanity

Living with hyper-tension spastic cerebral palsy has always been a fast track to weird. I realize that’s not proper English, but the disorder isn’t socially proper, either, so I’m making an exception. 

There’s a reason why, when I’m in public, my closest friends and relatives are on alert, watching out for the right side of my body when I’m tired. My palsied right arm and hand can get into anything and anyone within moments, especially when I’m too tired to go above and beyond to control it. 

My friends play the game like champs but there have been days when I can tell I’ve just done something to someone and maybe I really don’t want to know specifics. 

Let me clarify: The right side of my body has limited feeling and it mimics anything my left hand does. For example, as I type this with my left hand, my right hand is sitting happily between my legs hopping up and down like a circus clown because it wants to help and doesn’t know any different. In layman’s terms, it does its own thing and some days, I’m completely unable to tell it to stop or explain what it’s doing. 

Cerebral palsy. You have to laugh or you’ll die from embarrassment. 

Tonight, I ’bout died laughing and no one (Praise Jehovah) was around to actually see it. Showers, to keep it shallow here, are an adventure when I’m tired. If I don’t somehow imprison Righty, it knocks over every container, pushes against every wall and even picks up razors. (I can see it now: Headline- Woman killed by her own self. Not seen as suicide. Story at 11.)

So, anyway, I do what any other daggum independent 20-something with cerebral palsy does: I put the right hand behind my back and there it stays so I can shower in peace. Simple. Right? 

Wrong. 

“Shower,” in my book, is code for “Daydream and fix everything.” Sometimes, I totally lose track of everything – including Righty – because I’m too busy overthinking about something. 

All the sudden, in the middle of my moment of serenity tonight, I feel this tiny hand on my back. Scared me so badly I literally backed into the wall to get away from whoever it was in the shower with me. It then dawned on me, ever so mercifully before I escaped from the shower altogether. 

The hand on my back was my hand. Yep. That just happened, y’all. Insanity comes in stages, right? 

He Said Wait?


I don’t always know how to be a human being. Secretly, sometimes I wonder if God rewired me to be a human doing. Doing is so much easier than being. Being takes work. Doing takes… well, it’s just easier. 

In a world of technology, social media, and everything at my finger tips the instant I need it, my quandary doesn’t seem horrendous. 

My success as a writer requires spontaneous writing; which sometimes happens at 3a.m. when the rest of the world is asleep. My presence in the world of communication means staying up on the latest social medias, knowing how to network with writers I barely know and just… Constantly doing something. 

I’m your typical, unmarried millennial in the communication world. I sleep with my iPad and my iPhone nearby. The second my phone alarm goes off in the morning (‘cuz alarm clocks are just too last decade practical), I’m alerted to people half way across the world either asking me to join them in prayer or asking me to consider partnering in some new communication thing. My generation has reinvented the word instantaneous.

Telling myself to wait… Or that my tasks can wait… Feels impossible. 

Instead of telling my task-oriented mind to wait I end up telling God to wait. Actually, no I don’t. I don’t take the time to tell God to wait. I just assume He gets that I have things to do and don’t have time to address Him right now. I’m a human doing, gosh darn it. I don’t have time to do what it takes to be a human being. 

Some of these tasks are things He himself gave me to do, so that means it’s okay to focus on godly things first thing in the morning rather than on God himself… Right? Maybe? No? 

I’m learning that serving the Lord sometimes means putting things on hold just to be with the Lord. He is, after all, the God Supreme over everything. When I decide to actually exist by being with Him rather than doing for Him, He can manage – without me – the things I put on hold. 

It’s okay to wait. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to rest. It’s even okay to simply enjoy the Lord by sitting still with Him for a few moments before doing things for Him. 

He’s Not My Equal

I often forget just how different the infinite God is to my finite brain.

For example, I often forget one detail while focusing on another. There are days where I shakily pray about one area of a situation, silently hoping God won’t forget I also need Him to remember something else. In some ways, I have this innate fear that, if I dare distract Him, He’ll let things spiral out of control just as I have.

I love the fact that, when I struggle through life, I have very poignant reminders that Christ shared the same types of pain when He was here on Earth. His willingness to become like His creation (us!) is key in why His gift of salvation differs from anything else we may worship. But at the same time, it’s so easy to slip into the thought process that God is exactly like us because of Jesus.

Lord, have mercy on our hearts if we stay there. It’s possible to create an idol and nickname it Jesus, rather than meet the Savior and call Him Lord. Christ created us. We did not create Him. There is so much freedom in realizing that we are not worshipping our equal… We are worshipping our Maker. 

Before He Walks Away

Last night, I ran into a darling older gentleman. His smile lit up the room, his laugh made his eyes dance. I smiled at him when we made eye contact and my eyes subconsciously drifted to the long, curvy, pink scar on his head. He immediately put his hand on the scar, smiled apologetically, and sauntered away.

I knew something he had no chance of knowing, though. Despite the fact that my long hair covers my scar, I have the same abnormality on my skull. Just looking at his scar made the memories flood back, the well-informed prayers for this nameless stranger came to the forefront of my mind. 

I was not looking at him as if to pity him. I was looking at him because I understood him.

I know what it’s like to be laying in bed and feel my scalp shift a couple inches. I know what it’s like to have a migraine so bad the only thing that brings short term relief is pulling at the scar until I hear something pop. I know what it’s like to live in fear of being jostled in public, hitting my head and being thrown back into the chaotic dance of neurological studies.

I know what it’s like. But he didn’t know that. He didn’t give me a chance to explain, but I’m not sure I would have been prepared to say anything.

It’s easy to cover up the experiences that got us this far in life. It’s easy to meet people who aren’t as far along as we are and act like we’d never understand what they’re going through. It’s easy to act as if we don’t remember.

The fact of the matter is, though, it’s not just saving our reputations or keeping people at an acquaintance level. It’s about sharing with them what we know so they don’t feel alone. God made us relational beings. Real life includes sharing pain.