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Imagine being surrounded by the unknown. You walk through the arch of your destination, one that you’ve never seen before. Scores of individuals are gathered in circles, chatting away with an increasingly loud volume and staring as you slowly and fearfully move from the outside to the inside. As you proceed to move past the swarms of people, the intense pressure and evident intrigue of the locals creates a sense of the room closing on you, as if someone was turning the room pitch black like the end of an episode from cartoons of decades past. You see a silhouette quickly closing in. The person greets you with a smile and asks your name, but most of your energy is focused on staying awake. The one person then proceeds to fire a barrage of questions, genuinely interested yet unaware of your background, circumstances, feelings, etc.

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My Testimony

My dad is a pastor, so I grew up in a loving Christian home where my parents always taught of God’s love for me. When I was six, I made the decision to accept Christ. As I look back on it, I know it was a genuine decision, but it wasn’t until many years later that I came to truly know and appreciate a deep relationship with God.

I was a pretty good kid as the years went by. In high school, I was the type of kid who would rather stay home playing games or watching movies with my parents instead of going out and partying. I had a strong sense of identity in Christ and was proud of being a Christian. I was the drama and choir geek who, on the outside at least, seemed to be proud of her outgoing, crazy, loud self. However, on the inside, I felt a strong need to belong. I wanted to be the popular one, the girl who got the guy, the one who every girl wanted to be.

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El Roi

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They say our social media is a highlight reel, and they’re right! I wish I could tell you that it all matches up but the truth is, it doesn’t. Believe me, there’s a whole other side of life behind the scenes. A lot of you know this, but I know there’s a lot of you that don’t. Only those close to me have been in constant prayer over me to kneel and stand by my side. This isnt easy to admit and say “out loud” but I think it’s totally worth sharing. I’ve been in a battle. A battle within myself. A spiritual battle, physical and emotional, all at once!

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Valentine’s Day Reflection

The first time I recall truly hating Valentine’s Day was when I was a sophomore in college. I had been cheated on by two different boyfriends in a year’s time, and I felt the need to vent that anger to anyone who would listen! I remember rallying with my girlfriends to decorate black t-shirts sponge painted in white, pink, and red with messages like “My Valentine is Ben & Jerry’s,” “Kiss this Cupid,” or my personal favorite on my t-shirt reading “Happy Satan Day!” I donned my black t-shirt with its anti-love message for the world to see because on the inside, my heart had been broken one time too many. Each year as this day would come around, my heart grew darker and bleaker for everything this one day stood for. I let it steal my joy year after year, and I spread that darkness to those around me all in the name of heartbreak.

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Theming The Year with Love, Listening, and Light

It’s January 2019! Before jumping in to make all those goals and resolutions, I think it’s awesome to reflect on what we want 2019 to represent, what we want this year to stand for.

To that effect, and in what’s become a yearly tradition of one of my favorite communities, Cornerstone church’s young professionals, my words of the year are…

drum roll***:

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Happy Harder-days

For some people November and December are magical months that just seem to defy gravity, their hearts feel lighter, a skip is added to each step, crisp air fills their lungs and their spirit soars above the heavens. They spread cheer and believe everything is a miracle.

But what are holidays like for the lonely, the broken, and discouraged? For a person who just can’t seem to catch a break, and life is slowly closing in on them. This is a season where financial, health, and family seem to work together to derail us from joy. The busy feeling of the hustle and bustle, agitated overworked retail workers near the breaking point, intensified family drama, and the loneliness that is amplified in every moment of this season that seems to stretch forever.

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Depression

“Just keep looking at the green dot. Focus on it. You need to look at the green dot.” It was a Saturday afternoon, and I was lying in bed thinking these thoughts over and over as I put all my energy into focusing on a particular lime green polka dot on my sheets.  I spent hours staring at that dot on that day, paralyzed with fear that if I didn’t concentrate on it fully I would just disappear and cease to exist.

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