Heal from the past

Losing a Friend Because of Internet Words

So you may know I wrote this book.


I’m grateful, but also sad. Every time I write a book, I learn something. And almost every time, the lesson I learn corresponds directly to the message of the book. (And surprise, surprise, this book has to do when other Christians hurt you).

So when Thomas Nelson asked for my Acknowledgements section, I did something a little different. I pulled back the veil on a friendship heartache. I wrote:

I’ve written a lot of these paragraphs about what I’m grateful for and…

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Spring Free by Grieving Well

I’m grateful to have Jonalyn Fincher here today talking about a very important subject, one that I think we all need to consider. To live an uncaged life, we must grieve well. She is a philosopher, wife and mother who has grieved the death of close family members and life long dreams. She and her husband Dale lead Soulation, a non-profit equipping Christians to be more fully human.

Jonalyn Bio Pic

I’m delighted that Mary has given me a chance to talk about life uncaged. With the stories from #YesAllWomen, we know…

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To the Brave Ones

I haven’t publicly commented on the Nathaniel Morales case–a man who was convicted last week on five counts of sexual molestation. (He faces more trials with more victims.)

Unfortunately, sexual abuse of children is not an uncommon thing. It runs rampant in this broken world. What is scandalous is the confirmed fact that the church leadership who became awareof the predator’s crimes never reported him to authorities. Instead, they remained silent. From reports of the trial:

“Covenant Life Church former pastor Grant Layman admitted on Tuesday while testifying about allegations against Nathaniel Morales that he withheld incriminating…

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3 Common Questions about Sexual Abuse Recovery

As someone who has walked through recovery/healing in the aftermath of sexual abuse, I get a lot of questions about that journey. Here are three taken from my book, Not Marked. I pray the answers offer hope and grace.

Question 1: What is your response to people who say things like “That happened a long time ago. Why can’t you just get over it?”

I’d ask a question back. When has someone you loved died? How long did it take you to “get over” that loss? Most of the time people who say that insensitive comment are either:

  1. Completely oblivious to…

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This is an amazing story, friends

I asked Laura Haines to tell her story here because it so beautifully represents redemption and how much Jesus can heal us. I pray it blesses you.

“God can’t use a redemptive story that you’re not willing to tell.” ~ Kaci Calvaresi

I happened upon these words recently. They struck me and have stuck with me. And, ever since, I’ve wondered,

“Do I have one?”

“Am I willing?”

And then the quiet withdrawal, “But my story is hard.”

My earliest memories are of abuse. I remember my mother being slammed against the wall just outside my bedroom door and tiny me trying to protect her….

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Fretting Awareness Month

You may remember that, ahem, I gave up fretting for lent.

Except that I realized that fretting is part of my worrisome DNA. I jokingly referred to this time as Fretting Awareness Month. Instead of ceasing to fret, I realized just how tangled my soul had become in the task of worry. I wish I could tell you that I’ve mastered joyful, carefree living. That when money troubles come my way, I happily give those stresses to Jesus and go on my Mary way.


I still fret.

I disobey this verse by stewing about what happened yesterday and worrying about what…

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Ted Dekker on Forgiveness

I met Ted Dekker several years ago through writing circles. One of the things that stands out most to me was a statement he made as a speaker at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Here he is signing a book for my friend Leslie at that conference.

The statement absolutely set me free as a novelist. He said, “The beauty of redemption shines brighter on a dark canvas.” In other words, we’re not doing anyone any favors by sanitizing the darkness. The more we share it…

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Why Affection is Hard for Sexual Abuse Victims

I have a picture of my cat Scout here for a reason.

She is a typical feline, aloof, set apart. She can take or leave my affection. (According to the picture, she would rather ponder nature and read the ESV Bible). Her indifference makes me want to pursue and pet her. This creates some funny antics–me chasing, she horrified, running away.

It’s strange that I long to be affectionate with an aloof cat, and yet when it comes to those I love the most, I struggle deeply with showing my love via touch. It’s been a conundrum many years. And I’m…

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That One Time I Was Insecure

Truth: Actually that One Time = My Whole Life.

Ever feel that way?

I often feel small. Overlooked. Unhinged.

One event sticks out. There were Important People milling about. Gatekeeper folks who could make or break my career with one word. And like a typical insecure girl, I secretly longed for approval. Sure I knew my security was based solely on the completed work of Jesus Christ, but that truth had yet to make the trek from head to heart.

I needed to be recognized. I wanted someone to champion my talent. I believed that Important People held the key to my sweet…

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Living Without Them

I think Bono’s onto something when he sings, “I can’t live with or without you.” Except that the without you part slays my heart today.

Last summer, my mom’s husband, my stepfather Mark, left this earth because of cancer.

On March 4th, my friend Twilla, a friend to many, left this earth because of cancer.

I hate cancer.

I can live without Mark and Twilla (I have to), but I don’t really want to.

My life following Mark’s death blurred. My life following Twilla’s death has a similar haze. A general pall that causes my mind to slow down, fumble my words,

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