Heal from the past

The Secret of A Less Panicked Life

Have you ever given in to panic?

Boy howdy, have I. And it lead to fear-mongering in my heart and sin. Once, during a particularly vexing time when I faced an enemy of sorts, I panicked, retaliated in kind, and made a mess of things. My panic gave my “enemy” more fuel to hate me. Not a fun encounter, to be sure.

So I get panic.

I do panic.

I’ve languished in the land of panic.

But I don’t want to give into panic as I have in the past. Why? Read on.

Thankfully, God offers me a principle, a secret,…

read more »

13 Lessons

Dear Twilla,

Giver of parties (and life of them all), creative friend, compassionate servant, lover of family, uniquely gifted artist, mind if I share three words?

I miss you.

Today while cleaning out my closet, I found several notes some of your friends wrote a few weeks after you died. I had a bare-branched tree in my house (like yours, I copied). And at our gathering, we wrote down what you had taught us. I placed those words on the tree. And for a few weeks, I remembered those words.



read more »

Sex is Scary for Sexual Abuse Victims


This is the post that started me down the path to write Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing after Sexual Abuse. It first appeared on Deeper Story.

I sat in the audience, taking notes, my heart sinking deeper into itself. Failure hollered so loudly I wondered if others could hear it. Women laughed, turned redfaced, then laughed some more. I sat quiet, alone with my condemnation.

The woman at the front of the conference talked about sex, about being a hottie for your honey. She spoke of livening up the marriage bed, that God made…

read more »


I never called you Dad.

Not Daddy. Father. Papa.

Always Jim.

Which kept a somewhat safe distance between our hearts in the aftermath of divorce. We spent parts of weekends together as a part of a legal agreement.

And yet.

You so desperately wanted me to understand you, to know you–the eccentric artist, the light-years-ahead-of-me poet, the Bohemian. And you spoiled me.

Bought me just what I wanted for breakfast (juice and gum).

Let me “shop” in the landlady’s basement for strange treasures. (I still have a jade ashtray that I apparently, in retrospect, stole).

Took one thousand (at least) pictures of me…

read more »

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…

read more »

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…

read more »

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…

read more »

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…

read more »

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…

read more »

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…

read more »