The Rage Room

Shards of glass shoot toward my protective eye goggles as I hear my husband grunt “Arrhhhh” as he swings a metal crowbar towards a 1970s beveled vase. I notice the nerves in the left side of my neck and a headache forming above my eye. My body is starting to slow down, and I feel…

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On Living While Dying

“The irony of man’s condition is that the deepest need is to be free from the anxiety of death; but it is life itself that awakens it, and so we must shrink from being fully alive.” — Ernest Becker I have been struck recently by some people’s freedom to talk about death. The number of recessed…

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Asking for a Do-over

“I know she is capable of offering deep care, but there are moments when I don’t feel she actually listens to me,” my husband Michael says to our marriage counselor. I smile nervously at the irony that he’s married to a professional counselor who at times struggles with listening.

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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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