Out of Hiding

Lottie Hillard wrote an article called “The Shame of Needing” that could have been written about me. Fifteen years ago when I was in graduate school for counseling, I recall one of the advisors saying that my shame was gregarious. I carried an air of confidence, moving in relationships with classmates and clients with charm and…

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Breath of Life

“Take a deep breath and fill your belly with air, in through your nose and out through your mouth.” Ally gently guides us through a trauma-informed yoga practice. I notice the rubber mat beneath me and the earth holding me. I am gathered with eight women fighting to find goodness in our bodies, vessels that…

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The White Dress

Bagpipes resounded “Amazing Grace” as the June rain pounded the roof of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. After the bridesmaids processed in pale pink tea dresses to the tune of “Canon in D,” the large wooden doors shut. Thunder clapped, marking the redemption of this day, the many dark chapters of our stories now expanding and…

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The Risk of Attachment

“Don’t go,” I plead as I nuzzle my head into my husband’s dress shirt. I feel like I’m 3 years old and my daddy is leaving on a long trip. My chest feels achy as he grabs his brown leather shoes from the shelf in his closet.

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Plastic Jesus

Several years ago, during a White Elephant gift exchange, my husband and I endowed a Messengers of Faith Action Figure talking Jesus doll. It was a last-minute acquisition after a sought-out Target giftcard was stolen from us in the final round. I suggested to my husband, Michael, that we save him only to package him…

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Keeping Watch

“I don’t want to die,” I say with a mix of terror and fortitude, my voice quivering as I look into my counselor’s kind eyes. I am processing a consultation with a urogynecologist over a proposed reconstructive surgery intended to repair my prolapsed bladder and remove my uterus, the space that has nourished and held…

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Wonder Woman 

My ballpoint pen couldn’t move fast enough as I filled the margins of my tattered Lifeway workbook. I watched intently the VHS tape of a bright, lively woman moving across the stage with fervor. In my mid 20s, a group of my single friends gathered for Beth Moore’s Breaking Free bible study. As a new…

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Sex and Chicken

I have a fear of raw chicken. The FDA recommends storing uncooked poultry for a maximum of 1-2 days in the refrigerator. My husband Michael is looser. He feels comfortable waiting a few days past the sell by date. We are at odds.

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Middle Age

The scent of my mother’s Clairol Nice and Easy solution in Medium Warm Brown wafts through our kitchen. I sit at our cherry wood table staring at my Algebra textbook. She unwraps the cellophane from her head and cranes her neck under the kitchen faucet to rinse. “It always starts out a little dark,” she says…

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Thawing Love

By March, the worst of the winter would be over. The snow would thaw, the rivers begin to run and the world would wake itself again.  -Neil Gaiman I feel a piercing pain in my chest as I talk with my friend Libby about the inevitability of weaning my daughter Charlotte. My body begins to…

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