The In Between

1. Save (someone) from a dangerous or distressing situation.
2. Keep from being lost or abandoned; retrieve

1.a: to buy back : repurchase b : to get or win back. 
2. a: to free from what distresses or harms: b: to free from captivity by payment of ransom

I read "I prayed to be rescued, not redeemed" today while on my lunch break. I was breaking in a new book and my breath caught. Because that's sort of where I am. Praying to be plucked out of the danger and distress and placed in a new, exciting and much more clearly defined life. Praying to be back to normal, even though I was never a huge fan of the normal when I lived there.
I'm scared to be shaped. I'm scared of redemption because in my secret put away hear I don't believe that I'm valuable enough to be bought, let alone bought back. I'm scared of the waiting, of the silent in between times full of turmoil and refining.

Yet, I find myself in the in between anyway. Despite all of my protests and tantrums here I am, in between. Some much needed rest and intentional withdrawal is here and it's time I start making as much of this in between as I can, stop throwing the tantrums and actually listen to the whispering voice telling me that He sets my value. That He has already redeemed me
If I'm honest, I prayed the way you order breakfast from a short-order cook: this is what I want. Period. This is what I want. Aren't you getting this? I didn't pray for God's will to be done in my life, or, at any rate, I didn't mean it. I prayed to be rescued, not redeemed. I prayed for it to get easier, not that I would be shaped in significant ways. I prayed for the waiting to be over, instead of trying to learn something about patience or anything else for that matter. 
-Shauna Niequist Bittersweet 


You Arrived

With great ceremony and a ridiculous dash of pomp I explained what friendships had done to me. I cataloged the phone call in the dorm lobby and the flying angry batons. I recounted the attempts at reconciliation and the sad and desperate pop of that reconciliation failing. I told you how I had decided that I had all the friends I needed and I was done for the rest of my life.
But then there was you.
With pop ins and laughing until we cried; you arrived.
We fought each others battles and said completely ridiculous things, quietly just in case.

By just being you, a lot of messes and cuts in my heart were healed and soothed in a way I'm not sure would have happened without you. For that alone I am forever grateful.

I've been reading blogs and articles on friendships ending because I can't seem to find the words to describe it without making it sound like we were something more than friends. Because to others, and I suspect even to you, friendship just isn't as important of a relationship. It isn't something to be celebrated when found or grieved when lost. But to me, this is grief.

That's what this is, right? This chasm that has opened between us either by your lack of showing up or by my inability to let the hurt and disappointment go for months and months is the end of friendship.

If you had been a parent, a spouse or a child, or someone that had died it would be different. It would be understandable, this grief. But as it is now, I can't even understand this void that has entered my life. This void where you used to live. How can I expect others too?

I'm working on holding on to the good. On to the silly and serious and the soothing; without trying to decipher the silence and emptiness.
Because I am forever grateful for the friend I had, I love you and miss you while at the same time wondering where exactly we went and when it happened.

(inspired by: Dear Laura)


Five Minutes: Caring

Ok, the rule is to type for five minutes and post whatever vomits out of my fingertips. May God be with you all.


The other day I had lunch with a friend. After a seemingly benign question I started pouring out a bunch of things that had been discussed the previous night in therapy. I don't mind that I told him, but I just wasn't planning to tell him.
We bantered back and forth for awhile while I steadfastly avoided eye contact and fidgeted.

Then on the way back from lunch he cleared his throat and said, "You know...if uh....you ever need to talk about us or anything...if you uh think it would help, we can do that..."
I smiled and said, "I think I'll be ok, but thank you for the offer"

Because the offer is really all I needed. Just to be acknowledged and reached out to was enough. It made me smile the rest of the day that he would say something that I would have never expected him to say and make an offer I'm guessing he was nervous I'd actually take him up on, but being willing to make the offer nonetheless.

I've felt the loss of friendship a lot this week and have been fighting the anchor that keeps trying to wrap itself around my heart again. But in this single stammering sentence my heart was lifted and encouraged that even when I withdrawal and try to collapse inward there are still friends that will do hard things, reaching in to help me stand again.



I remember

I remember the feeling of you more than you. I remember you mostly through stories re-told to me for years and decades of my life.
I have a picture of you, at graduation, smiling down at whoever was taking the picture and I wonder about you. I wonder what would have been different had you stayed longer.

I remember a feeling of you under my knees and poking hands as I clambered up and up and up until I could reach your face to pat it softly on the side.

I remember a room, with a bed in it, with brown carpets and heavy wooden furniture. I remember the hose
itching my legs and the lace itching my neck and wrists.

I remember a long ceremony and a new lady that I liked well enough.

I remember in snippets and breaths of feelings and flashes. I remember in the breathing in and realizing I'm smelling a scent that really belongs to you.

I remember a room filled with strangers and how it was the first time I recall disliking the smell of flowers when there was a big box in the room with them and tears falling on my head.

I remember wondering, why you weren't around anymore and trying to figure out where you went. I remember knowing that asking wasn't an option. Because even that small I remember feeling shamed by my questions and inability to understand things way beyond my maturity.

I remember your room with the wall of books. I remember wanting a wall of books in a heavy wooden case just like yours. I remember looking out your window and wondering what you thought when you looked out them.

I remember you more in feelings than fact; in disjointed flashes and shared stories from mostly people that I can no longer trust to tell me truths about anything.



I want you to be here.
But more than that I want you to want to be here.

And you're just not.
Just like that.

In an end that should have been an explosion there was only a whimper and a small puff of air.
I find myself looking around, wondering where you are.
I pick up my phone to call and text, but am resigned to not hearing back and not even really knowing what I want to say short of what's up.

So what's up?
What's new?
How are you?

Maybe in these these short fragments of conversations we can find a way.
Maybe these short fragments are all that's left and there is nothing more.

Either way, I want you to be here....I want you to want to be here.



Often, without even meaning to do it, I do it.
When meeting someone new, that I don't even know or think is cute or anything, I'll conform myself subconsciously into what I perceive they might want me to be at that particular time.

What do you think is funny?
I'll crack a joke that matches

What music do you like?
I likely have it on my ipod and will play it (and sing along) for you

Do you prefer hair up or down?
I'll wear it accordingly

I really dislike this about myself. I am struggling with identity and finding it in the appropriate and rightful place, with God.
Yet my position of default is to twist and turn and conform myself to the perception I have of what pleases others.

I'm working on it, day by day, minute by minute, second my second.



When someone touches me it feels like they're trying to take possession of me.
I don't like it. Even the most platonic and non-sexual touch makes me cringe. It takes months or even years of time spent for me to feel comfortable with touch.

I know it comes from a lot of things.
That damn back room and the way she would rest her age spotted hand on my shoulder when whispering how rotten I was, the pinching tightness of her only slightly younger age spotted hands gripping my upper arm hissing at me the things to say to never have to go home again.
The way the only touch I ever felt comforted under was hidden in secrecy of too young and too soon. The way even that touch would disintegrate with the stunning rapidity of shifting teen allegiances.
The way I knew I could use touch to change a topic or divert attention from a searching glance or reassure myself that you cared enough to spend the night.

So now these many years later touch has become bad. All touch. I have to really believe that you won't hurt me to allow touch, and I don't really believe that a lot of people won't hurt me.

Even with dear friends, the closer geographically they get, the less we touch. Long weekend are punctuated by obligatory hugs but I hate to linger. It feels like a trap. Like I won't be able to escape (these dear people that I otherwise have no desire to escape).

I had a friend once, and believe me when I say we were really just friends. We would go walking in benign places and hold hands just for the comfort of having another anchor in the world. There was poking and arms casually slung around shoulders, soft touches to the back or face just to say, "I'm still here. This is still solid ground."
I miss that friend. Because life shifted as it will and it's no longer appropriate for us to comfort each other, even platonically, that way. His wife would probably mind, which is completely appropriate and understandable.

But outside of the desperate and often manipulative context of teenage sexuality I cannot recall any other person or relationship that contained such an ease of touch. Nothing sexual, nothing inappropriate, just one person saying to another that they were there.
It's the last time I didn't feel that constricting need to flee at even the slightest touch.


FIve Minutes: Beauty

Ok, the rule is to type for five minutes and post whatever vomits out of my fingertips. May God be with you all.


My upstairs is all painted. Crisp and fresh colors. Granny Apple Green and Mermaid Treasure (teal-ish). Things are slowly going back in the right place and as a result everything is being cleaned up.
It's beautiful.

Because I think clean is beautiful, but I hate the act of cleaning up.

The same is true inside of me.
I want to clean up and out the junk that I've been carrying around for so long. Throw it out, bury it in the garbage and never look at it again.

I think that clean would be more beautiful on me, if I can only get up the courage and energy to clean.




I spend a lot of time thinking about my currency. What is it I have that makes ma valuable to others? Is it really true or is it something I perceive to be my value?

The information I hold
The access to others
The entertainment value I contribute to a conversation

It's all very pathetic to me; this wondering about my value.

I noticed recently that the only contact I have with someone is when they ask about someone else. Unless we are in the same room for an extended period of time our conversation is usually restricted to only being about this other person (or specific group of people this person is in).
As if without the access or window into this other person there is little left to discuss. There is little to no (or only superficial) interest in anything about me without this other person.

I know I could probably try more, I know I could probably reveal any number of things about myself that would incite a topic of conversation about someone else or my life.

The thing is, I have.

But only a few minutes can pass before the conversation naturally or unnaturally turns back to this other person who holds what seems like a higher or more important place than I.

It feels selfish. It feels selfish to me, so I imagine it will likely sound selfish to others. If I bring it up I will be "oh no, it's not like that at all'd" away.
So I don't bring it up.
Rather I haven't brought it up.

I can feel my resignation dwindling. I can feel the words gurgling about in my throat ready to take the risk in asking, "what about me?"

I'm terrified of the answer. But some questions need answered either way.


Denial, not just a river in Egypt

 Denial can also be experienced on more subtle levels when it comes to our hearts and emotions. Sometimes we can deny that someone’s actions and words have hurt us. We can deny that someone’s decisions have affected us greatly, and have created pain.
So how does denial play out?
When it comes to being wounded by another’s words or actions, we can blame ourselves first; we can let them off the hook without accountability for the wound. When we deny ourselves, we downplay the pain or make the offense our fault. For instance, if someone hurts me, I might say I deserved to be treated like that or spoken to in that way. I could also justify their actions by not communicating that they hurt me.

Another sign of denial is forgiving too quickly. If someone hurts me, I could say, “Oh I forgive you, that’s no problem,” and move right past the hurt. There are times where the offense may be forgiven quickly, but in other instances, the wound needs time to be felt and to heal. That is okay too. It is okay to tell people they hurt you. If you are hurt, that is valid whether or not someone else thinks it is. Your emotions are real.
- (via: Denial)


Heart Burn

A vice gripped my heart
During quiet murmurings and plans for the next few days I cleared my throat
I could hardly force the words out
But I did
I asked

It is probably my fault
I didn't make it clear how important it was to me that you both came

I'm fighting the urge to not even bother asking because I'm sure I'll be disappointed
So I twist myself into feeling detached and unaffected as if your answer doesn't matter
I tell you it was just a thought I had

But it was important
I wanted to be picked
I wanted to be chosen
I wanted them to want to choose me

I didn't want to have to manipulate and plan the choice. I wanted them to choose me because they wanted to choose me, because I was chosen.

I don't want to be so upset about this
I want to be detached and indifferent
But I also want to make sure that I'm allowing myself to feel these things, regardless of if they matter to anyone else
I want to get to the point that my emotions are not dependent on others validations of them

But can I tell you I still want that validation
I don't understand why it's wrong to want it
I just do, and I don't know what to do about it

A good friend said there's nothing to do about it.
She said that's my specialty, doing
When that's stripped away from me I am afraid I am stripped of everything. All my value.

Which is a lie
One that I'm struggling to stop believing
I'm holding on to hope that one day this could be made right
Cause I've been ship wrecked and left for dead and I've seen the darkest sights
Everyone I've loved seems like a stranger in the night
But oh my heart still burns
Tells me to return
Search the fading light
- Ulysses, Josh Garrels


Good Things: August

August 1 How I Met Your Mother on dvd before bed

August 2 Nice plumber came out, Pete said I gushed about him, I probably did

August 3 Nice therapy appointment and early bedtime

August 4 I waited to long to start this list, and can't remember today...

August 5 I like free dentist appointments when I can mock the Jersey Shore with my dentist

August 6 Costco! Swimming! Harry Potter Scene It! (Duck A Heart G Hood)

August 7 Awesome message at church today, got me thinking. A lot.

August 8 Home and just about straight into bed after a loooooong day at work

August 9 Snuggling on the couch with Matthew while he told me his ideas on how to remodel my kitchen

August 10 11 hour day at work, but lots of giggles and tension jokes all along

August 11 Fun time dreaming about outreach with church

August 12 Global Leadership Summit

August 13 Nicole's here! Swimming and general merriment

August 14 A funny thing happened in the parking lot of church with Nicole. But I've been sworn to silence so I can't tell you. It makes me feel bad for you.

August 15 Dry wall guys came and an exciting vision meeting for church

August 16 Girlfriends Night Out! We had Mexican, mmmmmm....mexican

August 17 Hey, today I found out I still had a roommate after not seeing him for almost 3 days straight!

August 18 Vision meeting at our church's new building. LOVE my church LOVE

August 19 Bought a bunch of tile for the kitchen, is this renovation over yet?

August 20 Super productive morning at work, pool time and The Dip!

August 21 Judy and Dean went to 3 very very different open houses

August 22 More awkward, more oh so awkward awkwardness at work today

August 23 Snuggling with a 2nd grader before bedtime

August 24 Josh Garrels album all day long

August 25 The Dip to celebrate the first week of school

August 26 Bought 11 gallons of paint at Home Depot, the painting weekend is upon us!

August 27 So thankful for my parents and new friends that came and helped paint. It made me feel very cared for that they came.

August 28 Amazing sermon at church today followed by buying 3 cute stools for the new breakfast bar that will be installed soonish.
August 29 Good talk with a good friend
August 30 Coming home to a painted and getting put back together living room makes me happy.

August 31 Cabinets are going in!