when your brain tries to write its own narratives

“Sometimes life is hard, for no reason at all.” Carole Boone, Remember the Titans

When I first found out I was infertile, I told myself there had to be a reason. Surely there was something God knew that I didn’t. There I was, like someone crawling around in the dark, arms extended, desperately grasping for answers. Because that is what the brain does what it doesn’t know the full story. It tries to fill in the blanks so that you can stay sane, so that you can keep living your life without everything spinning out of control.   Read More

weeping with us

When you were a little girl, you probably had dreams of what you wanted to be when you grew up. I had dreams that I would be a teacher. (First, I wanted to be a waitress, a grocery clerk, and later on, a flight attendant. Apparently, my goal in life was to help people.) I also dreamed I would marry an intelligent and kind man, and one day, we’d have kids. Why would it be any other way? This is what happened for my parents and my grandparents. This is what happened for most of my friends’ parents. This is what normal life was like in America.

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when you’re the strange one

It’s strange walking around being married for 11 years and having no kids. Yes, I’ll own that. My parents raised me not to care about what people think, so I’ve always been a little strange. Case in point: I had this stuffed clown that I slept with every night until I was 22. I’m not sure which is more strange: not having kids after all these years of marriage, or not getting rid of that clown. (For those of you who hate clowns, don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about it anymore. Also, I’m not a psycho. My grandma gave it to me when I was a kid.) 

Anyway, my lack of children has arrived at the “strange” stage. After all, having kids is the natural way of things. You get married. You do things married people do, and eventually, that leads to kids. We see it happen all around us all the time.

Except, sometimes it doesn’t. Read More

this man named Jesus

I am here, pure and simple, because of this man named Jesus. I kept hearing about Jesus at school and church, so one day, when I was five years old, I asked my dad who He was. My dad explained Jesus was the Savior of the whole world and could be Lord of life if I wanted to follow Him. I figured if my dad, who was a pretty awesome guy, called Jesus his Lord, then I should too. Everything inside me leaped with joy when I said, “Yes, I want to follow Jesus!” Everything in my life since then has been marked by my belonging to Him. Read More

fearfully and wonderfully barren

For a long time, I didn’t believe God loved all of me. I knew He loved me because He had sent Jesus to die for me, but I thought He couldn’t love the part of me that was still broken, the part of me that was marred by sin. I pictured Him looking down from heaven, watching me go about my day, and every once in awhile, a disappointed look would cross His face. He would turn away, thinking, I wish Anna could have kids. Read More

the way of meekness

Years ago I realized if I was ever going to make it in this Christian life, I needed a better understanding of meekness. Meekness is that spirit the Bible says is so pleasing to God (1 Peter 3:4), but which we often misunderstand to be making oneself a doormat. I had been operating as a pretty good doormat for a while, but I was growing weary, bitter, and angry about it. My sinful heart was taking over. I could no longer resist temptation. My self-righteousness was growing. I was unwilling to confront my fears. I knew deep down that this wasn’t what God wanted from me. But what was the better way? Read More