Walking a Path Less Taken

I don’t know I’ve ever been more scared to hit publish.

This site has been filled and emptied and filled and emptied, breathing stories and holding space for their becoming. It has traced the routes I’ve flown across oceans and the losses carved into the core of my being.

When I started writing here over a decade ago I made a promise. I promised I would only write words I lived out, words inked in moments and choices before they ever got typed on a page. My silence has not been one of absence, but one of choosing to remain present to that promise.  

Seasons change and we change with them.  We grow.  We ebb and flow, and old words and worlds fall away.

Winter comes.  Sometimes our stories need silence to become what they truly are… stories distilled down to meaning lived out.  Stories with skin made real in the seasons that leave stretch marks on our souls. 

I don’t write here to give answers.   I write with the bold hope that sharing honestly the beauty and brutality of my journey might somehow become an invitation for you to discover deeper depths of your own.

Whatever that journey looks like.  Wherever these words find you.  However they encourage or challenge you.  Take the ones that give you life.  Leave the rest.

I’m not here to tell you what you should think or believe.  I’m not here to change you.  Or to debate a million debatable things. 

I’m here in the sacred hush between letters and lines to offer a space where your soul can breathe. 

I’m going to talk about faith.  About finding it in unexpected places.  Having it stretched and shredded and shattered.  Then reframed and renewed and reinvigorated. All in ways I’d never have imagined.

If you’ve been here before you already know Christ is central to my journey.  But please hear me—that doesn’t have to be true for you in order for you to be welcome here.

And when I say Christ, I don’t mean the neatly packaged, very white, GQ Jesus I saw in Sunday School books and films.  Or God with a doctrine ruler sternly checking to see if I said the right words and measured up to standards.  Rather, my story is about the One who has met me again and again in the middle of my deepest fear and pain.  The One who looks utterly different from the institutions that bear his name.

Annnnnnd…. aiiyyee, I do know a fair bit about those institutions.  I led in senior-level ministry roles for over 2 decades, on or between 4 continents.  There were beautiful moments and precious people.  But the brokenness of the system whose shards desperately wound the very ones it claims to serve almost cost me my life.  

Just shy of 10 years ago, I made a decision to protect the people I loved and served in Africa at my own peril. And. It. Cost. Me. Everything.

This is the story of my undoing, and embracing a narrow winding path forward.  This is the ongoing story of finding my voice, and the daily courage to use it. 

Of chasing hope into the labyrinth of my own pain and finding the bravery to begin again, to believe and trust that even the sharpest fragments of my story are worthy of belonging.  And every sliver of your story is worthy of belonging too.

Whatever you believe, however you identify, wherever you are as you read these words, you are welcome here.  If you’re heart-weary, soul-crushed, chewed up, and left wondering where home is, I have a pot of tea on the stove.

Spiritual abuse is real. Religious trauma is real. Gaslighting is real.

Especially when parts of the US church landscape more closely resemble cults than healthy spiritual communities. (Spoiler: I am no longer settling for “nice”. The stakes are just too great.)

You aren’t being over-dramatic or too sensitive. It is not your leader’s job to control, contain, or corral you. You deserve to be heard and believed, seen, and celebrated.

It is my deep desire this would be a place where that reality is explored… and embodied.

Leaving the institutional church of the building behind was one of the scariest, hardest decisions of my life. I hope by sharing more of my journey, it will remind you that you aren’t alone in yours.

Because, you, my friend are wildly loved. And you are welcome here.