The Solace of Solidarity

Dear Ministry Sister, I’ve had you on my mind all afternoon. I’ve been thinking about how things are for you and what I would want to hear if I was you. First, I want to say thank you. Thank you for saying yes to the call that led you where you are today. I want…

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Neverland Girl

His plan might have worked if I hadn’t been a girl. My brother was three when I was born and lived in a make-believe world created from bedtime stories and pages of well-worn children’s books. He loved hearing the same stories repeatedly, and his favorite tale included pirate ships and crocodiles. His relationship with fantasy…

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A Disruptive Voice

I sat with this month’s prompt, Lift Your Voice, for a week, finally commenting to my husband that I wasn’t sure what to write about. “That’s easy,” he said. “You have lots of stories about finding your voice—and how that’s been good for you and bad for me.” We both laughed, but the truth of…

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The Remaining 89 Seconds

I was a senior in high school, waiting to begin what could potentially be my final balance beam routine in my final competition of my 10-year gymnastics career. If I scored high enough on the beam—my strongest event—I would advance to the state competition. If not, my decade-long involvement in the sport would come to…

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Leaving the Nest

I was 17 years old and headed into my senior year of high school when my youngest sister was born. I remember feeling excited for Elly to come. But I also spent a lot of Elly’s first year of life worried. I worried that she and my sister Libby (who at that time was only…

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Hard News

I sit on the airplane, wedged between Tim, my husband, and Reed, my younger son. Seth, my older son, sits just across the narrow aisle. The flight attendant moves down the aisle closing the overhead baggage compartments, signaling that boarding is over and our departure is at hand. I pull my AirPods out of my…

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Treading Water

Tread water, get pulled under, push to surface, gasp for air, tread water, get pulled under, push to surface, gasp for air. Slowly drowning has become my way of life. There is a rhythm to it, one that is familiar. A pattern that should probably feel scary or dangerous instead feels like home. So even…

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Release

I finger the three separate baggies in my hand. They contain the remains of my father (age 95; died February 16, 2019), my mother (age 96; died July 22, 2020), and my youngest brother, John (age 64; died February 19, 2022). My two older sisters and I gather on the Oregon coast to celebrate the…

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At Home with Myself

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been a sucker for artificial grass. (Clearly it didn’t take much to thrill me!) I was mesmerized by it—so green and life-like! I called it “inside-outside grass,” and I wanted it everywhere, both in and outside of my childhood home. Thankfully, my parents politely declined my…

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Childless

My tears remained hidden behind a set of cheap sunglasses as I strolled through Target, passing newborn moms relieved to be out of the house. Equipped with Ergos, bottles, and pacifiers, they strolled precious, wide-eyed babies in bright red grocery carts secured with cushioned cart covers. Several of my friends had recently announced they were…

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