Have You Been Here? Pt. 3

They can’t. (*Here’s a good place to go back and read Parts 1 and 2 if you haven’t.)

I’ve tried.

Those things in Pt. 2 can’t fix the brokenness all around me. They can’t make me believe in love or fix marriages or make me confident or satisfied or purpose-filled. They can help yes, but they can’t do all that and sustain it too..and I think most of us have experienced this truth.

And this place or realization feels really, really hopeless.

But this my friend, is the great reversal.

In a world where failed attempts at control equal hearts left aimless and discouraged, this is where we begin.

On the path of faith, this is the first step. It is called ‘surrender’.

In a world where “I’m sorry” is never really enough to heal the wounds we so easily inflict, in this new world “You’re forgiven.” comes first.

In a world where each of us have PhD’s in wall building, we can realize they are all made of sand. And the walls we build may keep out the people, but they certainly don’t defend us from the tidal waves life sends in.

In this new world the place of “I can’t” comes a new louder voice of “You don’t have to.”

In the places that feel very alone, comes someone who says, “I am always with you.”

In the moments where you have onloaded every failure to improve, self-manage, self-promote, self-help, and have realized that you tried and failed, “so why am I still here.”

A very generous, and kind voice, comes in from the back and says,

“It’s not your job to save yourself from your story.”

And suddenly the weight is lifted.

Have you been here?


If you’ve been in any of these places, from Pt. 1, 2 or 3 I’d love to hear from you in the comments. I know there’s power of knowing people get it, that you’re not alone, that the episode you’re living in isn’t as unpredictable as it seems. So do it down there!! xx




Have You Been Here? Pt. 2

“You gotta be rich to be insane, Hol. Losing your mind is not a luxury for the middle class.” And in a painfully relatable quote from a your favorite movie, you know they are right.

Because time isn’t afraid of the messes we make. It never backs away from its work or steamrolls quickly by in an effort to leave us behind. It consistently, reliably, carries on, and us with it.

Time certainly does not heal wounds, but it distances us from them a bit, and in that distance we are able to more clearly see the potential for healing than when we were in the eye of our storm.

The people who were going to stay stay, and the ones who were going to leave are gone. You realize that most of the paper planes flying around in your head all those nights eventually land on their own.

But even so, even when the dust settles, even when we are ‘getting over it’, that feeling, it’s still not whole…

Have you been here? You know when your friend calls to check in, and you give her the “I’m really doing better” followed by a list of proofs that show it’s true.

I know I know, I believe in the healthy lifestyle. The balanced days, the steps towards equal measures of gym time, me time, service time etc. on the path to the best you.

But there has got to be more…right?

Even on the best days where the check list is completed and my own self-satisfaction is at its peak…

there has got to be more.

There’s got to be more than balanced lifestyles, Keto diets, ‘family first’ mantras, the year of the ‘focus on me’, #hustlemore and #dailyinspo etc. etc. etc.

I’ve got to believe these things are the garnishes on an already fullness…they certainly can’t patch me up on their own.

Can they?


Read the “Have You Been Here?” Series from the beginning starting here. Or here for Pt. 3.

Have you been here? Pt. 1

I’m sorry.

Not because I loved you, but because I’ve never seen the side of me that hurt you before.

I guess I always knew it lived in there somewhere, but my self-righteous past made me believe it would never grow into something anyone else could see or feel.

I didn’t just hurt you you know, but you and someone(s) I really care about….and myself.

And now I’m walking into a place where my greatest desire is to love, and I’m looking around the room seeing people I need to dodge.

What was once a family reuinion now looks like tip toeing around a minefield of hearts-some of which I planted myself.

It makes you ask the question, “What happened?”

And I guess if you stay somewhere long enough the lines of hurt start to tangle around places you frequent like subway lines, but I like to hope those one day become veins of forgiveness.

It’s a hard thing for a man to become collateral to another man’s sin.

But I’ve watched this play out more clearly now than ever, and it really is a testament to the urgent words in Ephesians 6 that we only seem to bring up when trying to pat down a problem we don’t fully understand-

The words that say, we aren’t at war with each other, but with the roaming, hungry spirits.

You can’t damage control sin, and this is why that living scripture is both a warning sign and an ointment for black eyes after the fall out.

What better way for the darkest side to gain strength, not by killing us, but by turning us against one another. By smearing our names in the sand with the tongues of what we thought were safe people.

What better way for evil to distract us through lingering stares and bitter regrets.

“I’m sorry.” feels like a child’s weapon against the darkness, but use what you have.


Challenge Time

I’ve been reading a book called “Renovation of the Heart” and in it the author writes:

It is common today to hear Christians talk of their ‘brokenness,” But when you listen closely, you may discover that they are talking about their wounds, the things they have suffered, not about the evil that is in them.

I know I know, you’re thinking Emily, why must you always bring the hammer on my perfectly nice day? Well because I truly believe, a new freedom comes when we look in the mirror not with shame but with brave honesty. When we can stand before the darkness inside of us, it loses a little more power to hurt others, and that my friends is a victory.

What do you need to face today? (Either with yourself or with someone else)

Read Pt. 2 here.

Logistics got me sweating

Here again.
Not catching my breath, overwhelmed with the logistics of this life.
Trying my best to flip and turn puzzle pieces into their sisters places.
Trying my best to sort out the insignificant because I can’t get a hold of the of the
But then I realize there are pieces on the floor I’ve been missing all along..
and under the rug…
and out the door.
There are pieces too far for me to reach, this is not my puzzle to solve.
In fact it’s not a puzzle at all.
But a story that you’ve written and are now producing. 
A story in which my leading role looks more like a reclined position than hunched over in strife.
A story in which I am less responsible for piece making and more responsible for peace making. 
I’m sorry I’ve spent so much time believing you were soverign over my life, but not over my next week. 

More than 60 Seconds

I refuse to turn on Netflix.

Because the only story I want playing in front of my eyes is my own.

It’s been a minute since my story was better than the ones distracting me.

It’s been a minute since the duplicitous narratives of my life were more provocative than that on the screen.

It’s been a minute since I’ve been this interested in me.

It’s been a minute since I felt challenged and comforted at the the same time.

And it’s been a minute since I had a secret worth keeping, not because of shame but because I saw the value standing in front me, and wanted nothing more than to fiercely protect it.

It’s been a minute since I was here…in fact, it might be the first time.

Say my name.

He didn’t pay for you not to know his name.

No he’s not the kind of guy who picks up the bill anonymously,
because you see you only get this kind of coverage when you know that he sprinted to save the guy who said “Can you hear me now?”.

He didn’t pay for you not to know his name because he knew he wasn’t simply an anonymous donor in the lives of millions,
but a righteous father in the eternities of children.

Like Daddy Warbucks who waged war on your crutch and paid in full little orphan Annie’s present, future, and past mess ups.

He didn’t pay for you not to know his name because he knew the most valuable gifts matter because of the “To”s and the “From”s…because you needed to know someone else with a name knew yours now and who you’ll become.

He knew you needed to know that in your midnight days
the only thing that might get you through is a shiny gift tag reminding you of the one who gave.

He didn’t pay for you not to know his name.