Do You Want to Get Well?

“Explain it to me; in those moments, that feeling, what is it? Is it more physical or mental?” he asked over dinner one night. “I’ve never experienced anxiety, it doesn’t make any sense to me.”

I was crushed.

This was my best friend I was talking to- if he didn’t get it, get me after all that I’ve allowed him to be privy to, than surely nobody else ever would.

“It’s both,” I replied. “Like somehow my brain might implode and explode at the same time. Like I’m about to climb the bare walls. Like I need to sprint seven miles without stopping in an attempt to exorcise what feels akin to poison in my veins- running through me, making it impossible to sit still…and yet I find myself unable to get out of bed because the tightening in my chest, coupled with nausea and fear are so bad I can’t move. It feels like I am crazy and will never recover.”

Continue reading “Do You Want to Get Well?”

Advertisements

I Surrender: THIS IS HAPPENING.

Dear Friends,

The fact that you’re reading this means one thing: I’ve lost my battle.

What battle? …This battle:

“I will never, ever go on Young Life staff again.”

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve sworn those words. And not because I dislike Young Life. The truth is- I love it. It’s been a huge part of my adult life. But for the last 12 years I would have confidently report that God would never (ever) call me back on the payroll.

“Fine. The only way I’d even consider being on Young Life staff is if I could serve homeless kids- and while Young Life does really amazing things for teens, that’s not one of them.” Continue reading “I Surrender: THIS IS HAPPENING.”

Moving Forward.

February 20, 2014
(From a letter I wrote to a friend)

The last couple months- and specifically, the last couple of weeks- my heart has been very burdened for the poor and marginalized in a way that feels… different (for lack of a better word) than it has before. I have felt a monumental level of angst that’s led me to feel like there has to be something more than where I am now- which in itself feels weird…where am I more needed than Skid Row? This place is on fire. I mean, I have always been burdened in this way to some degree, but something in me is very unsettled. To clarify, I am not unhappy, rather I feel sort of comfortable…even in my discomfort feels comfortable…I’m not sure if that makes sense.

I don’t really know what this means, but I just keep hearing God say “I have more for you.” I feel sort of like He has given me a vision for the radical, but my eyes can’t seem to focus or see any further than just a combination of colors and shapes — no real clarity.

Continue reading “Moving Forward.”

Pardon Our Dust.

“Live a good story.”

I’ve heard that expression a lot the last few months. I’ve seen it posted on facebook and recently, I even saw it tagged on a billboard. (Told you the streets of L.A. are mean.)

The thing is, every time I see this trendy  “Live a good story” catch-phrase, I can’t help but cringe a little bit. I’m afraid that in our efforts to live a good story it’s becoming really, really easy lose sight of living a life we love, for one that’s a great anecdote. And this ideology seems to fit snugly into the digital world in which we’re living- encouraging us to curate a good story for people- which is not at all the same as enjoying your life humbly and authentically…even if others aren’t gawking in admiration or worse, envy.

Oh, in case you missed it, I am talking about myself here. Guilty. As. Charged.

As a writer, occasional speaker, and advocate, this can get muddy and weird. Not to mention, hard to navigate- so much so that I often balk, whine, and want to quit altogether. I’m constantly trying to figure out what needs to be written, what stories need to be shared, and which of life’s moments should be safeguarded as sacred and personal. I’ve made a lot of mistakes.

Continue reading “Pardon Our Dust.”

We need you.

I don’t write a ton of poetry…and I share far less than I write, but I think perhaps this one needs to be heard.

I’m certain if asked, each of us could make a laundry list of injustices we see in the world begging for change, desperate for healing. While I don’t believe each one of us is called to act upon every broken construct, as that would be impossible, I do believe we are all called to something– to watch, listen and act where we are moved and able.

So consider this my appeal, a battle cry of sorts- pleading with you to start, to keep going and/or to begin again ushering love into this crazy broken world. We can’t do this alone. Continue reading “We need you.”

The Lost One.

I’ve cried a lot today. Big shocker, two/thirds of you think, knowing my familiarity with tears. That’s okay, I thought it too even as I wrote it.

Tears keep streaking my cheeks because while I am dumbfoundly excited and proud that after months and months of painstaking work my team and I have managed to identify, process and house 66 people, we lost one. In the week leading up to her move-in she was around and then just gone. Vanished. We have no idea where she could be.

This reality is not new to me, it happens all the time working with a transient population, but something about this one feels more off than most. Miss K is a tiny older lady, who speaks broken English and is often rather confused- the fact that she has managed on the streets for as long as she has speaks volumes as to her tenacity and strength. I admire that about her. Continue reading “The Lost One.”