I am a lover of truth.
I learned to desire truth and transparency at an early age because the home where I was raised was filled with chaos, dysfunction, secrets and lies. I needed to figure out what was real, what was true about me and the others around me, and I needed to make sense of life.
I grew up the oldest of three children. My father was an alcoholic, and our family paid a heavy price for his addiction. He was also the first person that ever loved me: truly, deeply, honestly loved me. His love, even though it was messy and painful, is what carried me through many dark years. My mother never loved me, and I have never understood why. Perhaps she loved herself more than she could ever love another person. I spent seventeen years living in her madness, and that was enough.
My dad died suddenly when I was 19 years old. He was my best friend, the only person in the world who had ever loved me, and in a second he was gone. I didn’t even get to say goodbye.
In the years that followed, I did what I had to do to survive, which is what I’d been doing all of my life anyway. After a while, I looked around at the ashes of my life and thought, “If this is all there is to life, I just want to be done.” I was tired. I needed to know if there was more to life than chaos and pain and loss. What was the point of all of this, anyway?
Then I remembered a man named Jesus that I’d known as a child. I started reading the Bible because I desperately needed to know if it was true. It was the only thing left that I thought could possibly offer me some peace. I prayed to God over and over and asked, “God, if you are real, would you please show me?” And I can’t tell you exactly how or why, but I came to know that God was real. It was in the life of Jesus that I saw truth.
And in His truth, I began to heal the years and years of pain that came before.
In 2004, I met the man of my dreams. He fulfilled almost every requirement on my list (yes, I did have a list.) Too bad he doesn’t love animals, otherwise he could have made a clean sweep. He was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed surfer boy- the cutest I’d ever seen. But that wasn’t why I fell in love with him. He was gentle and kind, humble and soft-spoken. Oh yeah, and wildly smart.
We were married in 2006. Not long after, we embarked on our first adventure together.
By the time we reached our one-year anniversary, we had quit our jobs, sold most of our belongings, and were preparing to move to Africa as missionaries. Our families thought we were crazy. They were probably right. The people of Malawi made an indelible mark on our hearts. We helped them a little, but they helped us more.
Once we returned home to the states, pretty quickly we embarked on our next adventure. In December of 2009, we became parents to this beautiful girl, and she changed my life.
I was able to provide for her all of the things I didn’t get in my family of origin. She became a salve on the deep wounds that I’d carried since childhood.I never thought I’d love anyone as much as I loved my daughter.
And then four years later this sweet, little guy came into the world and proved me wrong.
These days, I divide my time between mothering and writing.
Mothering is where I experience life, and writing is where I make sense of life.
My deepest desire is to use my words to bring the same healing and freedom to others that I have found. I believe that real honesty brings freedom- freedom to be who you are, who God made you to be, and to be wholly imperfect all at the same time. None of us have it all figured out; some of us are just better at making it look good on the outside.
I crave authentic, true connection with others, and I believe that pulling back the curtains on my own life releases others to do the same. Only then, after we’ve taken off the masks that have hidden our true selves can we experience the freedom and the connection that we all desire.