This is the space where I come to scratch down love letters and life lessons. Like you, I’m on a lifelong quest for more wisdom, beauty, and justice. Like yours, my days are filled with the sweet and the bitter, the holy and hilarious, the mundane and extraordinary—and honestly, when I look close enough, those things are usually one and the same. Here, you’ll find words fueled by copious amounts of coffee and hopefully even more grace.

Bring the blade.

Its three in the morning, and my friend Ryan is looking for God. I am none but compelled to stay up and look with her. The winter bites cold, and my bones shake because I was made this way to withstand the weight of the storm. I used to want to be unmovable, but the tension only brought about pain. Sometimes sturdy means wobbling questions. I am thankful for this. Ryan can’t seem to find God, and has been looking less and less since the night when the last bit of innocence was stolen from her, and between the two of us, we know what it is to buckle under the pressure. Sometimes it leads her to bleed, self surgery just to feel some release, but it never seems to be enough.

She wants to believe that He still whispers a declaration of goodness when He sees her. She wants to believe that there is a Garden, but there was nothing alive or growing when she said no stop don’t and all that stopped was time. She says she doesn’t know if she wants to get better now.

In Hosea, scripture talks about plowing up the hardened ground of our hearts. Could it be that she is searching, but because her heart is hard, there is no space for the Lord to come and take root? I catch my breath, and I can scarcely imagine a more gory act than the plowing of the heart. A ripping and tearing of everything inside of us that brings about death, everything that we cling white knuckled to. We live in our caves, in our grave clothes, perhaps because the thought of reaching out again is just too painful. And the plowing is painful, too. It leaves us unrecognizable. That is grace. It waves a banner.

Am I really ready for this, I wonder. This miscarriage of the darkness inside me, and I know that my God is able to catch me when I pass out because too much of what has sustained me so far has only been that which brings about the bleak and despair. It is already happening, and I can hardly believe it when I see it. The heart beats stronger, the mind thinks more clearly, and the eyes see through the lens of blessing. Blessed be the Lord, who provides and sustains. Blessed be the Lord who allows the slow of winter’s destruction. He makes us new again. He makes us beautiful, we who were constructed out of the dust, designed to experience His glory.

Call the surgeon, mend the pieces

Wave the banner.