I promise.

Dear Angie,

It feels strange to write my name on these pages. But a name – hearing it out loud – I think implies being known. Remembered. Seen.

So Angie. I am writing this letter in my dining room, having eaten my breakfast of avocados and eggs and sipping my Greek coffee. I feel the need to write this down – with tears in my eyes and my heart aching – for if you ever go through a season of darkness again. I hate to even write the words “depressive episode” because it’s stark. And so medical. But you know what I mean.

You’ve been through three so far, although you have only recently realized what they were. Life has been sprinkled with small other moments – but the biggest trigger, as far as I can see, has been change. Moving. Loss. Letting go.

Learn to recognize your triggers. And be gentle on yourself. I can’t say that enough. Don’t push yourself to be what you aren’t. There will be seasons for that, absolutely. But this is not one of them.

Sleep. Rest. Even if you don’t see life in flowers or colour – buy the flowers anyways. Sit in front of art anyways.

Don’t be afraid to seek help. Sit in her office and cry and pay the eighty dollars. Because you need to cling to hope. Even if it’s a small, weathered thread. Cling to it.

Talk about it. Don’t hide it cloaked in shame. Shame destroys enough in this life. Don’t let it destroy you.

Immerse yourself in truth. Read truth – God’s Word – even if it doesn’t make sense. It will. Be prepared to fight. Fight those damn lies in your mind with everything you’ve got. Even if it makes you exhausted, and weep, and angry. Do it like your life depends on it. Because it does.

I can’t give you a timeline and I can’t give you answers. That’s the part that is the hardest, I know. I hate that.

But what I will give you is a promise. I promise yo11071779_10153037195309340_7575414725678016620_nu that when you come out of it (and you will) life will be all the more beautiful. You will overflow with joy and gratitude. You will dance alone in your car again. You will smile driving by a man playing with his dog. You will feel the blades of grass under your feet and smell fresh air and not be numb to it. You will wake up each morning excited for what is to come. Not so fearful you crawl back under the covers. You’ll see it in your face, even if others don’t, when you look at your eyes and your smile. There will be joy there again.

You will feel life again. You will feel Jesus again. You will be you again.

I promise.

So, so, so much love,


It Started with a Letter

When I wrote myself the letter almost three months ago, I was in a delirious, post-birthday scourge of boldness. Words are a lovely way of telling yourself what you should be doing. Life is another story in and of itself. Sometimes courage remains on the page instead of nestling around your heart, but thankfully, this moment was not one of them. 

So I booked the plane ticket and packed my bags and boarded the long flight across the ocean. 

I had visions in my head of what almost three weeks in Europe would do. Everyone talks of the life changing power of time abroad, and this writer’s heart was leaping in excitement for the words this trip might create. My journal, brand new and soft along the leather seam, was packed in my carry on, ready. Waiting. 

It wasn’t opened again past the first stop in Paris for a few days. My heart had words, my mind was full, but the journal sat unopened. I sketched in it instead. 

And that was okay, I came to realize. Because just like a camera, my pen and journal couldn’t really capture what was happening in front of me. The towering old buildings, the ruins, the sound of accents and other languages melting in the pavement around me – that was meant to shape my heart in ways words and photographs never could quite capture. 


And I did write a few days later. And I did take many pictures to capture the beauty and life surrounding me. They aren’t as powerful as I would like, because I would rather paint a picture for you in words and in photos that bring you to that place. Words can only do so much. 

Maybe like most moments in life the days I spent abroad shaped and shifted my heart in ways I can’t quite convey in words, yet. But someday. Maybe you’ll see it in the way I drink my coffee: even stronger than I drank it before, just as the Greeks made it. Maybe you’ll see it in the way I create, now, understanding that maybe our cultures’ way of creating for functionality should shift more towards creating for beauty. 


Or maybe it will be in the way I realize that boxes were never made for a God who spoke the world into existence. He is big. And loving. And beautiful. And those towering steeples were just meant to point us towards that truth. 

Words are beautiful and I will always love the way they look and tell stories and breath life into a darkened world. But sometimes they are not enough. These moments, captured in my heart, won’t be explained well across the pages. But you’ll see them elsewhere. If you look. Life is so much about what we choose to see. 


I don’t have any eloquent words to end this with other than to treasure moments that change you in your heart. Remind yourself of them on days when darkness settles in for a visit. Be like Mary, who held a life in her womb that would bring light to this world: treasure up all these things in your heart. Hold them close. 

Let them shine brightly in your life as only a treasure can. 

Hoeing the Garden

Sometimes I think the hardest journey is to find meaning in the mundane.

To live the ordinary life extraordinarily.

To dance as you pour coffee and find gratitude as you take each breath.

I read words the other day that seem to be haunting me since then. Not in the worst of ways but in the best. I can’t seem to shake them: they were there as I waited for my bus last night, and they were there as I lay in bed this morning. They’ve been there in between my uttered prayers and as I’ve walked into my home. Continue reading “Hoeing the Garden”

You are Not Alone

Sometimes I think the biggest lie that I believe is that I am alone. I listen to those words in the quiet of my apartment. I listen to them in the emotional turmoil that comes with a wave of anxiety or depression. I listen to that lie when I lay awake at night, worrying over finances or work or relationships.

That persistent Thought, the one that tells you that there is something inherantly wrong with you, that no one has those same thoughts, that no one has the same feelings.

And suddenly, with one final swoop, you’re trapped in that alone-ness. And despair sometimes creeps in. Hopelessness sometimes visits. Tears sometimes stream down.

But if I could whisper words across the screen and into your soul tonight, they would be this:

You are not alone.

Continue reading “You are Not Alone”

Brick by Brick

Sometimes I spend too much of my time building up little walls around me to protect me from hurt.

Brick by brick I lay them down. They are things like


walking away when I should stay

hiding behind anything that protects my imperfections from peeking through

relationships that fill the loneliness void but do nothing to fill my heart

I don’t know if you are anything like me. But sometimes I peek over the walls and I wonder what life is like on the other side. I wonder what life is like when you risk getting your heart hurt to know that you did everything you could to win his heart. I wonder what life might be like if I stayed even though the protective part of me is whispering to myself to run. I wonder what life might be like if I created healthy boundaries with others, even if it might mean losing them in the process.

Continue reading “Brick by Brick”

When Gunshots Ring Loud

I wasn’t downtown today.

But I heard the gunshots.

I heard them in the worried voices of co-workers. I heard them in the midst of news articles, fearful tweets and Facebook posts, in the midst of the swirling sirens and overhead helicopters.

Fear trickled through the city. Unknowns seeped into hearts. Tears bristled my eyes as the impact of what had happened hit hard.

Life won’t be the same in this city again.

Continue reading “When Gunshots Ring Loud”


Last night I settled into bed after watching an episode of Downton Abbey around a quarter to one. I was home alone, but managed to fall asleep without any worry or concern for the creepy noises that seemed to awaken my fears every so often. But around 2:30 am, I awoke after drifting in an out of sleep. It was as if something was gripping my heart, telling me that something was not quite right. It wouldn’t allow me to fall back asleep, and fear and anxiety began to creep in to my heart. I flipped on the lamps beside my bed, sat up, and pulled my Bible onto my lap.

My mind waded through the people I could call to pray to assuage my fears and anxiety. No one was home, so it meant I couldn’t go wake anyone up to pray for me. My mom was far away and not in her bed at home, and so I couldn’t call her. My dad and brother were forty minutes away, and the friends I mentally listed off I didn’t feel comfortable calling in the middle of the night to pray for me. (How I was reminded how different life is here than at Redeemer, where housemates were a few feet away, and friends were often up til 3 or 4 in the morning anyways, so a text for an urgent prayer was never an issue!)

And suddenly I felt incredibly alone, in a big empty house, with no one to call to pray for me. And so my fears settled in closer around me, my anxious heart taking big beats unaware as to what was wrong.

But just as quickly as the tears began to rise, beautiful words arose in my heart.

You shall call on the Lord your God and be saved. The Lord will fight for you – you need only be still.

And so I raised my arms high and called to the Lord my God, the one who would never be a phone call or a long drive away. I called to the One who lives with me whatever new home I find myself in, and the One who sits beside me as I sleep all night.

And He answered. And He fought. I read Scripture out loud and prayed over my room, and I put worship music on until I fell asleep.

I called and He answered, for He is faithful and will never suffer the righteous to be moved. Thankful for that today.