I don’t run.

Like, you know those shirts that say “I don’t run, if you see me running, you should run too because something is chasing me”

… yeah… That’s me.

But when people come to me for advice, I usually tell them to run. To Jesus. Or Mama.

Obviously Jesus has more to offer than a human being, but I’m pretty, pretty sure God gave extra portions of grace and love to mom’s for when their kids can’t lift their heads. And I’m convinced that there is nothing stronger on this earth than the prayer of a desperate mother.

I heard a story on the radio about this guy who was super depressed, everything in his life had gone wrong. He grew up with a Christian mama, but never himself really believed… but when he was so low and feeling suicidal, something always stopped him and he had a sinking suspicion it was divine intervention. Eventually he cried out to God, “Will you just leave me alone?!” and he said God spoke to him in that moment, “I can’t. Your mama won’t leave Me alone.”

Life has been tough the past month or so. It’s put me into a funk that I’ve never quite experienced. Usually, I am the one who people call when they can’t hold it together anymore… so I’ve convinced myself that I can’t fall apart… that if I talk to people about how I’m feeling, I’ll lose some of my street cred as being the one who you can turn to… and that’s probably my pride… and by probably, I mean definitely.

But back to my advice about running…

I took it.

My mama has been listening to this sermon series by Jim White. When I walked into the kitchen, this was what was coming through the speakers:

But I’m sick. Doesn’t Matter. Get Up.

But I’m about to go bankrupt.  Doesn’t Matter. Get Up.

But my wife left me. Doesn’t Matter. Get Up.

But I hate the president. Doesn’t Matter. Get Up.

And when I heard that… it reminded me that even when everything sucks, the decision to get up or stay down is in our own hands… and it’s funny how my brain works, but I was suddenly reminded me of last year’s fall retreat for my campus ministry.

I really didn’t want to go. It was cold. It was rainy. I’m not particularly social, and there was this awful suspension bridge that separated the yurts from the bathrooms… But I went. And if I hadn’t gone, I wouldn’t have gotten to hear my pastor’s friend Bill’s story about life on a submarine. Which sucks. He said if you tried to put prisoners on a submarine and kept them down there for 72 days at a time, it would be considered cruel and unusual punishment… yet these men went not only willingly, but did it over and over again… and he said, “The difference is the mission. If you believe in your mission, you will go through hell and back to see it accomplished.”

And I really want to live my life like that. From now on. I want to look at my life as a mission, rather than just moments and memories that I’m collecting and will ultimately disappear when I do.  We don’t get to decide when or how we go, but we do get to decide how we live. And I’m going to live my life running from here on out.


“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”

—  1 Corinthians 9:24



It’s that time of year again (it’s still January, right?), when we all look at our lives and get real about where we’re at. The gyms are filling up and the amount of sugar being consumed is going down. Last year, I decided that I wasn’t going to look at all the bad habits I needed to change, but rather would look at my good qualities and do what I could with them. I don’t know if that was a better way to go or not, because it’s always harder to think of our own good qualities (unless you have narcissistic tendencies). In fact, we did an exercise in one of my Bible studies, where we had to go around the room and name one good thing about someone else, one thing we’d like to change about ourselves, and one positive thing we see in ourselves already. The first two were easy and we went around the room in under 3 minutes. The last one took us about 15 minutes for everyone to say something. I don’t know if it’s a learned skill in our culture, that we can’t say nice things about ourselves. Maybe we think we look like we’re bragging or something. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to see good things in yourself, as long as they don’t keep you from examining areas where you need a little more work.

Anyway, I would say overall, the good outweighed the bad this past year. There were days when I woke up and wondered how it was that I was so blessed. There were days when I had to drag my butt out of bed. But lately, I’ve been feeling just a little bit off. For a while, I thought I was just in a bad mood or hormonal. I would look at things in my life and just feel… dissatisfied. Maybe someone would look at my situation and just say “first world problems” and roll their eyes. For a long time I thought I was just being ungrateful or uppity. Sometimes I would just tell myself that I was being tested by God, and that it would all go away if I just stuck it out… but I don’t think that’s what’s happening anymore… I think I just don’t fit into my life anymore.

That sounds weird, but I don’t know how else to describe it. I can fake a smile and pretend like I’m enjoying myself in the same surroundings with the same people I’ve known for years, but not for very long, and not without going home and nearly having a break down. Even when I’m with my family, I feel like I’m somehow on the outside. Not that I’m being excluded… just that I don’t really fit there anymore, either. I don’t understand how I can feel like this, even with my own family… but I do.

I think that because I made the decision to change my heart this year, rather than my habits or my body I outgrew the life that I had been living. The past 5 years have been a huge leap in my spiritual growth. I went from a crawl to a full-on sprint in my walk with God in a very short amount of time, and for the most part have kept that pace. I don’t feel like I’m tired… I just feel like I’m not going anywhere. Like I’m wasting time and energy on something that doesn’t change.

Nothing ever changes.

But I need more.

If God has promised me a hope and a future, and has plans for me beyond just plugging holes in the sinking ship I feel my life is becoming… I need more.

So how am I going to fix it?

I don’t know… but maybe I don’t need to know.

Stick with me.

When Abraham was still Abram, God called him to “go to the place I will show you (Gen 12:1).” God gave him such a big promise, to make him the father of many nations, if he would just start walking. I like this story for two reasons. 1: It reminds me that I don’t have to fully understand what God is doing in order to be fully obedient. And 2. that God reveals Himself when we are actively walking with Him, not standing around looking around for something to happen. Maybe I’m completely missing what He’s trying to show me… Maybe I feel like I’m walking in circles because a wall like the one around Jericho needs to come down around my heart. Maybe I’m on lap six, and I’ve just got one more to go before something happens… until I’m no longer a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.

Ultimately, that’s what it means to have hope, to believe that what you are doing today will make a difference tomorrow. As Christians, we talk a lot about faith, but not so much about hope. I think sometimes we think if we have hope for something down the line, it means that we don’t have faith for today… but in 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 the Bible says, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

So whether you are hoping to fit into a new, smaller pair of jeans, or you’re like me, and trying to figure out where the heck you fit into your life anymore… don’t lose hope. Keep walking (both figuratively and on the treadmill). Lap 6 might be where you get tired, but Lap 7 is where God hands you the victory.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. –Galatians 6:9


Disclaimer: I don’t know if I’ll cross the TMI threshold in this post, I’m going to really try not to.

I was that little girl at kindergarten graduation who, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, replied “A mommy.” I had a baby doll who was quite literally loved to death. She’s somewhere in storage now, but if I find her, I’ll snap a photo. She has been sewn up many times and is even missing an eyeball. Someone put nail polish on her head (Rachel!). I never went anywhere without that doll. I “fed” her, burped her, and even would swaddle her and rock her to sleep.

Fast forward to my junior year in high school. I had surgery on my ankle from a volleyball injury. A bone and cartilage graft, two metal pins, and 35 stitches left me out of school for 2 weeks. I was really behind and feeling overwhelmed. I had really bad stomach pain and thought I was getting an ulcer. I told my mom about it, but she told me I just needed to calm down. But finally one morning, I asked her to drive me to the ER. I got there and had to do all sorts of uncomfortable tests. The only thing they found was a tiny cyst on my left ovary, so they sent me home and told me to wait it out to see if it ruptured or not. Cool.

So, I sucked it up and went back to school… but a few days later I was back in the ER. They did an ultrasound to see if the cyst had ruptured… but it hadn’t. It had grown and basically swallowed my left ovary. They told me to follow up with the OB/GYN who had been on-call asap to talk about “options”. I made an appointment for Friday, where I  was told I needed to have surgery and they could fit me in on Monday.

I remember arriving at the hospital on Monday morning, freaked out and really thirsty. The doctor was telling me about all the complications (removal of the ovary, total hysterectomy, colostomy bag, all those fun things)  and then had my mom sign away on the dotted line. Then I went to sleep.

When I woke up in recovery, I was told that the surgery was a success, they would biopsy the cyst just to make sure it was benign, but they weren’t able to save my ovary like they’d hoped. I remember crying and asking them to just bring my mom back, but they said she couldn’t come back until I was moved somewhere else. I cried alone for an hour before my mom was allowed to come see me, and then we cried some more.

I spent 6 days in the hospital. On Wednesday night they had to move me because of construction in the med-surg floor, so I ended up in the maternity ward. It was kind of funny because I woke up Thursday in the same maternity ward I was born in 17 years before. Yes, I spent my golden birthday in the maternity ward. Ha! But it was also kind of cruel, because I didn’t know if I’d ever be in there again, for a more joyous occasion.

A few months after my surgery, I was diagnosed with PCOS. There are many stupid symptoms that are more inconveniences than anything, but when I read about infertility, the little girl who dreamed of being a mommy died. I read about how many women suffer from it and even if they conceive, there’s no guarantee they’ll make it to full term with a live birth. My heart broke and instead of pressing into God, I pulled away. I didn’t care. I never did anything “bad” but I made a lot of dumb decisions with my life. I stopped caring in school, I was distant with my friends and accused them of using me. I quit trying to play volleyball. My mom noticed how bad it was getting, so she bought me a puppy (a golden retriever for my golden birthday).

It will be seven years ago in November. It hasn’t gotten easier to deal with, I have to always have check-ups to make sure my hormones are normal, and my doctor keeps telling me that I need to “baby that ovary” every time she sees me. Just this past week I had to have yet another biopsy, which if you have read my previous posts, you know was a testing of my faith.

When I was 17, I thought that God was punishing me. I wasn’t a “good” Christian. I liked to sleep in on Sundays and if you asked me about people in the Bible, I might have been able to sing a Sunday school song to remember who they were. This time around, I felt like God was asking too much of me. I kept hearing the Jesus Culture song “You won’t relent until You have it all.” I thought maybe the dream I have always held of being a mom was maybe getting in the way of God’s plans for me. Maybe I was wanting too much… But today when I got the call that my biopsy came back cancer-free, I was so happy. I remembered Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” So maybe I don’t have to give up that dream, maybe I just need to put my priorities in order. 😉

So why am I writing about this? This isn’t about my personal sob story (well, it is, but it’s not the point). This is about having hope.

Even though the doctors can tell me that there is no “cure” or sure treatment for PCOS, I’m still going to ask God to heal me. Even though there will be moments like this past week that will come again, I’m going to have hope. I believe that if God can open Sarah’s barren womb in her 80s, He can certainly work with a much younger one to yield the same result. Now, I don’t want to put the cart before the horse, I mean, I don’t even have a husband yet…  But I know who my God is, and I know that I can trust in Him. There’s a book called “Trusting The Shepherd” by Haddon Robinson. It’s based off of Psalm 23, and one of the things that really stuck with me was the imagery of the shepherd breaking the wandering lamb’s leg. He does it so that the lamb has to learn to stay near to the shepherd. Sometimes I feel like that is what is happening when I go through something particularly scary or painful. I like to think that God is just teaching me how to stay close to Him.

I hope this post hasn’t grossed you out or had a little too much info into my life. I hope that this post can renew your hope for whatever battle you’re facing. There’s a lot going on these days, both on a global scale, but also in our own personal lives. But God is always right there, waiting for us to call on Him. Sometimes it’s hard to see that glimmer when our eyes are full of tears and our heads are too heavy to lift up, but I pray that you will never stop searching for it.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

P.S. I was so blessed by my friends on twitter this week who prayed for me and made me smile when I thought my world was about to crumble. #TeamBuckLadies for life! ❤