We were Sunday Christians. And “when Nana visited” Christians. Being particularly close to Nana, if it was important to her, it was important to me. So when my turn came to be confirmed in the Lutheran church, I did it for her. Though I did it grudgingly – Catechism classes were boring. I was fourteen and anything not improving on my reputation was a drag. My life goal was to connect with the popular kids and belong.
As I sat in the front pew with the other confirmands, my mind drifted as the sermon went on. God began a private discourse with me. “You can’t sit on the fence anymore,” He stated, “I sent my son to die for you.” It really sunk in for the first time. He died for His children. I was his child. He died for me. God continued, “Are you going to follow my son or are you going to keep going your own way?”
My answer was immediate. “I’m going to follow Jesus,” I prayed. Warmth washed over me. And I was saved from God’s wrath. Only I didn’t know that I was saved until someone shared the Gospel with me years later. The whole Gospel. Not just the gospel story I heard in church on the morning the Easter Bunny came. The Gospel that invited me into a relationship with the One True Savior.
Now the Bible Nana gave me on my confirmation drew me in and I wanted to know what was inside. My teenage body, mind, and spirit was wrought with anguish. Certainly something in this Book would give me the answer. I slowly learned that I didn’t belong to this world, but to Christ. My joy came not from my worldly circumstances but God’s saving grace.
I eventually went on to a career in ministry. I had a burning desire to share this gospel with other teenagers experiencing the torment of teenagedom. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties when I saw that this deep heartache wasn’t completely disappearing and learned that I suffered from mental illness. In my mid-thirties I was finally accurately diagnosed as manic-depressive.
In college serving God’s Kingdom became an important part of my life and turned into a full-time youth ministry. After I left vocational ministry I served with middle school kids at church where I met my husband, Andrew. Near the end of my pregnancy with our son, Arthur, I knew that I was done serving in youth ministry. But, what now?
A series of life crises over a three-year span left me mentally paralyzed. My mental illness was out of control. I needed direction. I cried out to God. As He led me to healing, He reminded me that I left a career in ministry to pursue a career in writing. I had been fostering this desire by writing professionally for a non-profit and then our family business (See my other blog, From the Mechanic’s Wife). I can write about just about anything for anyone if given the right resources. Poverty. Human trafficking. Auto mechanics. But now God wants me to write for me. And you.
I’ve dabbled in this blog since 2013 searching for my voice and for my role in my Father’s Kingdom. I took a break in the midst of life crises until God woke me up and told me to do something about my dreams as a writer. In 2020 I jumped in with a vengeance, having clarity in my calling as a writer.
I’ve always been a highly sensitive person who wears her emotions on her sleeves. I used to resist it. Hard. The resistance made it look so ugly. I thought brokenness shameful. As I found stability in my newly diagnosed illness, my Father gave me a clear calling. Expose my weakness to reveal Christ’s strength and draw others to Him.
[God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.2 Corinthians 12:9-10
By writing with the rawness of my life as I journey toward the Father’s Kingdom, I hope the beauty of my brokenness will help you to know that your brokenness is heard. Your brokenness is not shameful. You are not alone.
If you are questioning whether there is a God, if Jesus is who he’s claimed to be, or are struggling and need help please contact me. I would like to help you answer your question or connect you with someone who can. Or, check out my Resources page for guidance.