Friday, December 22, 2017
My jealousy for your joy.
My insecurity for your peace.
My dissatisfaction for your patience.
My selfishness for your kindness.
My bitterness for your goodness.
My inconsistency for your faithfulness.
My abrasiveness for your gentleness.
My irrationality for your self-control.
My flesh for your spirit.
Me for you.
Friday, January 27, 2017
My boots have been heavy the last couple weeks as I have thought a lot about the idea of home. I have just come through a nice, long several weeks in my new house in Brunswick -- the longest stretch without traveling since I moved last August. I have been simultaneously at home and homesick. I miss the city where I spent the last 13 years, the city where, in the truest sense of the words, I grew up. The city where I became who I am. I miss the people who walked with me on that journey. That's the true source of the sickness. I miss my people. I miss my family. I miss having the option of not being lonely.
It's weird to feel anything other than joy when so many things are going so rightly. In fact, I am overwhelmingly excited to be where I am in life and to envision my future. Unless, as I made the mistake of doing a couple weeks ago, I look too far into that future. I have always pictured myself retiring to the small town life in which I grew up. Even when I lived in my city, I knew one day I would return to my town. But, a couple weeks ago, reality shattered that vision. For the first time, I realized there is a very small chance that home will still be there when I am ready to return to it. The town will likely be there, and I love the town. But the town is not home. The people who are there, the love that is there, the comfort of knowing and being known... those are home. If I am fortunate to live to old age, those will have died with my grandparents and with my parents. When I am old, I may have no home to return to. The emptiness of that thought is nauseating. Nauseating and deeply, deeply lonely.
Friday, July 08, 2016
Tonight, my heart races in my chest, my ears are pounding, I cannot sleep. I am terrified. In just over a month, I will trust my most precious gift to you. I will send you my 18-year-old son.
As a mom, I know it is normal to experience anxiety about letting go and allowing my little boy to fly from my nest. I have prepared for that anxiety, and I have met it with equal amounts of excitement for all the amazing adventures I know are in store for him.
But tonight, I know a new kind of fear -- a fear foreign to me, a white female.
You see, my son is Black.* Tonight, I lie awake with worries much greater than whether he will shower often enough or cook healthily enough or learn to live by a budget. Tonight, I fear for his life.
I fear because I know your fear. To be honest, I know your fear all too well. I experience your fear. I, too, grew up in the rural South, and I, too, was taught by my culture to fear Black men. I have felt my heart speed up when I have been alone and approached by a person of color. I know the resulting internal battle between logic and fear. I know the battle, and I fear the battle.
I do not envy your position. I appreciate all you do to keep our communities safe. But I fear your fear, as I fear my own. I fear the fear that causes good men and women in uniform to kill good men and women of color simply because of that color. I do not blame you for the culture in which we were taught, but I beg you -- as I beg myself -- to overcome the injustice that has been so deeply ingrained in us.
This will require painful honesty on our part. Admit our own fear. Face it head-on. Be intentional about addressing our own guilt before we unintentionally steal someone else's innocence. It will neither be easy nor natural, but it is essential to preserving life. LIFE! Lives that matter! Lives worth far more than the effort we put into overcoming our fear. Please! For life's sake! Will you join me in this fight against ourselves?
Milledgeville, in just over a month, I will trust my most precious gift to you.
I am terrified. Are you?
*He is, in fact, a very close friend whom I consider to be a son.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Friday, August 28, 2015
Friday, August 07, 2015
7 years and 1 month, almost to the day, after I had my first meeting with Dr. Robert Moore as his newly hired GRA, I walked out of the Andrew Young School (AYS) on my last day as an employee there. I am changed and so grateful. In 2008, I was a 23-year-old MPA student still with very little idea what I wanted in life. Dr. Moore and others at AYS guided me through learning about myself and my world and discovering the calling God has placed on my life of being an economist who shares the hope of Jesus with the developing world.
I am especially grateful to Dr. Moore, who has been my boss and mentor throughout these 7 years. He has held me to a standard of academic excellence while always encouraging me to dream big and follow God's heart.
I am also thankful to my family and friends, who have borne the burden of hearing all my stories of triumph and failure and have unwaveringly supported me throughout.
Love y'all. So excited to continue on this amazing journey of pursuing Jesus with you.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
LSU grad student Katie Joy Crawford created a series of self portraits to describe her struggle with anxiety. (Article here: http://www.11alive.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/05/20/photography-anxiety-disorder-self-portraits-katie-crawford/27651345/)
Not all of the photos resonate with my experience, but Photo #4, pasted above, is exactly how I feel most of the time.
Like time itself is crashing down on me, drowning me, captivating me. All the while, I know I am running out of it and I need to be fighting to break free of it. But unable to sense anything other than the claustrophobic entrapment of the hour glass and the debilitating pressure of its falling sand.
Outside my hour glass, time ticks freely, unknowingly, surrounding my captivity, unable to see me through the walls of my ordinary hour glass.