In 2012, I rode in the back of a discarded, yellow school bus down a mountain in Les Cayes, Haiti (where vehicles go to die). Bouncing around the back, I shared with a teammate how I often worried that my willingness to write correlated with God’s willingness to allow painful (or at the very least, weird) things to happen. Chicken or egg or chicken. She assured me that this was not how God worked.
A week later, our team was detained for hours along a dark, foreign highway as the subjects of a scary political demonstration where I wondered if we would all get home alive and well. A week and one day later, I wrote about it all, curious as to whether or not the artful end was the instigator of the traumatic means.
I’m remembering this as I gear up to start blogging here again. However, though writing continues to follow the crests and troughs of my timeline, I’m no longer *as* tempted by the idea of a sneaky God’s cause-and-effect ways. Rather, the world just feels a bit more naturally subject to death and resurrection these days; and writing increasingly seems to be a gift to understand, enjoy, and grieve that reality.
I’m getting to witness this a little more every time I sit down to work on a section of my memoir (which will be published through Wipf and Stock Publishers sometime next year). And it seemed like a good time to start feeding this blog again as a way to further explore some of the book’s themes as well as keep interested folks up-to-date with the book-writing process.
So, I’ll be here, periodically sharing new things, old things, and pieces of things–like this excerpt taken from the rough draft of the memoir’s introduction. I thought it would be a fitting way to both kick off the site’s relaunching as well as explain the picture I chose for the homepage which is a small display of little, green life breaking through our back deck whose construction should have destroyed it. Nevertheless . . .[An excerpt from the intro to The Way is Where]
Compared to the patterns of this world, we would do it differently. And, in many ways we did. And, in many ways this formed and freed me.
But then someone asked an unceasing chain of questions that rattled my confidence in how we might be affecting the local economy where we were serving . . .
But then I could no longer differentiate between whether I was the story’s savior or the ruinous robbers . . .
But then we buried her casket, and watched their deportation, and chose our safety over marching . . .
But then they moved . . .
But then he was born . . .
But then we closed the doors on everything we’d spent a decade working toward . . .
But then the downward spiral of depression and anxiety and identity crises kicked in . . .
I gather that most folks expect one faith deconstruction in their lives. I, unprepared for multiple, found myself in the last years of my twenties spinning like a mouse in an impossible, self-concocted maze–over-correcting at every wrong turn, speeding off to the next ideal before there was time to realize that I might be lost. I might know less. I might feel pain. I spun until there were no more turns to make, no more versions to recast, just bleakness and exhaustion.
It takes a lot of time and energy to hold up the walls that you think may kill you.
But then mine fell.
And I woke up.
I hope you’ll check in periodically and possibly even be willing to chat with me about a few things! I’ll be crowd-sourcing experiences, stories, and feedback as well as sharing more excerpts and dates through a newsletter, which you can sign-up to receive here. Thanks for reading and maybe continuing to read! I feel a bit less (or more?) neurotic knowing there might be a few of you coming along.