It was her heart that was the first to leave.
She was only six yet her wise heart knew that this was not love,
even while the mind did whatever it could to soothe
and to make believe that it was.

You see, the mind and body could make their way through the house without being noticed.
But the heart couldn’t bear the pain of suppression.
It lost hope. And unceremoniously,
it simply left.

Soon after that, the body,
who, let me tell you,
had secretly been receiving love letters from the distant eager heart,

the paper whimsically folded into a diamond shaped fortune teller
with various flaps to lift and reveal the pre-scribed words of their impending future. Anyway,

the body,
rebuked and ignored the beautiful love letters from the heart
and all the while had been accepting
endless dollar store greeting cards
from Everything Else.

Endless dollar store greeting cards.
Scribbles written on crumpled gas station receipts
Smears written on dank cocktail napkins
Secretions written on discarded tissues

The heart, resigned and out of ideas, with one final note,
“Do you love me? Circle one: Yes or No”

The heart was not surprised that there was no reply.
Anyway, it turned out that the body had already left too.


Liz Nelson is in full time law enforcement. She and her husband  live on a small farm and raise cows, goats, turkeys, chickens, and guineas. They donate the butchered animals to the local soup kitchen. They have the joy of sharing life with their two witty, barefoot, somewhat feral little boys, 7 and 5. They all love ice cream, road trips, hiking, camping, and dancing to jam bands. Believing she is called to feed the homeless and needy she dreams of starting up a food truck to serve dinners, most likely spaghetti or quesadillas. This year she feels blessed to be recognizing the astounding lengths to which God has gone in order to make her feel His love and understand her purpose. Looking back at her heartbreak and suffering she sees how every step, even the painful and seemingly unimportant ones, were a deliberate part of His plan. She is exactly where she is supposed to be.