Sifted As Wheat

Sometime around 2005, the “everything happens for a reason,” feel-good faith of my college years shattered. I had had two miscarriages and health complications that accompanied those losses, and to tell you the truth, God did not feel real close, or real good, or real loving. In fact, I didn’t feel anything for God exceptContinue reading “Sifted As Wheat”

Sarah Ruins Jeremiah 29:11

Pete Enns has ruined Exodus, Isaiah, and Christmas, so I thought I’d take a stab at ruining one of the American Christian’s favorite Bible verses, an oft-quoted, stenciled, and memorized Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans toContinue reading “Sarah Ruins Jeremiah 29:11”

Enter Through the Narrow Gate

“Enter through the narrow gate,” Jesus told his disciples. I’ve been thinking about this narrow gate for a long time, bewildered that God would make a small entrance into his kingdom on purpose to keep people out. Jesus says the only way to the Father is through the Son, that the Son is the Way,Continue reading “Enter Through the Narrow Gate”

What Happens to Suffering When We Pray

This week, my daughter, Lydia, broke one of her arms for the fourth time in six years. There’s never a great time to break a bone, but in my opinion, the start of the summer is the worst time. As I scurried down to church camp to pick her up the day after dropping herContinue reading “What Happens to Suffering When We Pray”

Maybe you’re like me

A year or so ago a friend in a private Facebook group made up of mostly Midwestern, Christ-following protestant/evangelical/questioning white folks challenged the group’s membership to read books by or about people other than mostly Midwestern, Christ-following protestant/evangelical/questioning white folks. Just two years ago I realized how much I favored male authors over women afterContinue reading “Maybe you’re like me”

Eyes Above Water

This morning I read the first few verses of the Book of James for a Bible study, and now, lodged in my mind are the words, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (1:2), alternating with Elvis Presley bellowing, “Lord, this time, youContinue reading “Eyes Above Water”

Dying Mom Stories and New Year’s Resolutions

As a reader and editor for River Teeth, one of my major biases was dying mom stories. Writers think just because their loved one has died or might die or is dying, they ought to write about her. It’s sad. It’s hard. It’s life changing. So we write dying mom stories. The trouble with the vastContinue reading “Dying Mom Stories and New Year’s Resolutions”

Advent Day 13: Oh God, Help Me

  I rode with my boyfriend from some youth group gathering back to his house, staring out my window as dusk turned to night. We took the curves of Geauga Lake Road and descended into the woods’ shadows. “What kind of God would save a murderer,” I spat, “just because he believed, and not me?  I’mContinue reading “Advent Day 13: Oh God, Help Me”

Advent Day 10: The Valley of the Shadow

They wheeled me down the hospital corridors the evening after my c-section to the bay area where our newborn son was being prepared for transfer to the Children’s Hospital across town. I had seen him for a second after delivery, held above the sheet that blocked our view of my internal organs, red and angryContinue reading “Advent Day 10: The Valley of the Shadow”

Advent Day 8: Armed with Strength

It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. Psalm 18:32 Outside the doctor’s office after we learned of our first miscarriage, our first heavy loss as a couple, Brandon held me close. Weather is unmoved by emotions; the cloudless sky shone bright and blue above, the asphalt radiating with summerContinue reading “Advent Day 8: Armed with Strength”