Let me set the stage for some of my new followers. I started project Shine almost 5 years ago. Since then, I have been unashamedly writing my blog with no regard to trivial details like spelling and grammar. Stick with me long enough and that will become apparent to you!

I write for 3 reasons. First, have you ever filled a water balloon so full that it popped? That’s me. I am a giant balloon full of stories. If I don’t get those stories out of my head, I feel like I may legit actually pop. Hence the blog. I also write to encourage and inspire. I have seen the miraculous, and it is too big not to share! Lastly, I write to be a good steward of my pain. There have been great miracles, but there has also been great pain and sorrow. I don’t want to waste the pain. I share about the pain so that it will not have been for nothing.

If you have been reading my stories for all 5 years, you will notice a recent shift in my tone. My writing reflects my season. So much of my early writing focused on sharing about the amazing love of Jesus, and the seemingly endless miracles I was encountering.

God is good and He doesn’t change. But my seasons do change. My current season heavy. This season is often characterized by the foreboding tone of grief. I believe there is value in vulnerability. It takes courage. If you fully understand the depths of a persons struggle, then you can fully celebrate the heights of their victory.

The bi-product of engaging in my journey may be that you are encouraged in your own journey. I’m going first, and it’s uncomfortable. I feel like I’m unraveling. Next time I will let you lead!

In full disclosure, I started going to trauma therapy in the spring of 2021. I didn’t know that I was anxious. Christians don’t get anxious, they get on their knees. Christians don’t have anxiety attacks, they have faith. I didn’t know I was depressed. Christians have joy, not depression. I didn’t know that it wasn’t “normal” to never eat, never sleep, or to spend 24/7 rehearsing which of my 4 children I would save if my car drove off a bridge and quickly submerged under water. Christians don’t have trauma, they are a new creation.

Somewhere between my less-than-ideal childhood and having a chronically sick child of my own, I started shutting down. I destabilized. Christians stand on The Rock. Christians are supposed to be stable. But what happens when Holy Spirit (I call him Hank) invites a Christian to to take an honest assessment of their own mental health? I don’t know yet. I’m in the middle of it. I don’t have the answers or the victories yet.

Some of my writing will now be about this journey that I am on to find solid ground as I reprocess trauma. Its okay to not be okay. Its okay to be a Christian who feels lost sometimes. And, I hope that what I write in this new season will bring you hope. Its not very popular to discuss complex trauma and PTSD within Christian circles. But maybe it should be! Maybe its time that The Church developed a scope for mental health, trauma, and abuse.

I’m coming apart at the seams
And everyone’s pulling at me
And I am unraveling
The smile isn’t quite what it seems
But it does well to hide what’s beneath
All the pressure is staggering
And in the unraveling, father unravel me
And when I can’t feel a thing
Have mercy and let me bleed
I know it’s dumb
But I have been numb
For way too long
I don’t want to be alone anymore
I don’t want to survive anymore
And I want to feel, unravel me
Unraveling by Cory Asbury

I would like to thank Amy Watson for helping me with courageous vulnerability. Amy hosts the “Wednesdays with Watson” podcast. I highly recommend it!

Dark Nights of the Soul

Light SHINES in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

Shhhh! Let me tell you my top secret strategy. My story telling strategy has been to first introduce you to my Trinity before introducing myself.

Weird God, Friend Jesus, and Hank are the reason I’m alive to tell you my story. It is vital to have an understanding of who yanked me out of the darkness before I vulnerably share about the depths of my darkness.

Yes. This is my story. I’ve been strong. I’ve been brave. But I have had a lot of supernatural help along the way.

I’ve been very very lost before. I have seasons where I’m not okay. In the days ahead I will be sharing stories about these times. I believe that we can’t appreciate the magnitude of someone’s victories if we don’t first have a revelation of the depth of their struggle.

Please follow me in the struggle, for it is there that you will also share in my redemption, recompense, and healing.

In the days to come I will be sharing vulnerably about what I have walked through. Some of these topics include:

Childhood trauma and PTSD, Cancer, The car accident that earned me the nickname “Christmas Miracle”, Suicide, Infertility, Postpartum depression, Having a child with special needs, Miscarriage, and Loss

If you feel lost, it’s okay. I do too sometimes. I haven’t arrived yet. But I do hope that my transparency will help light the way for you when you can’t find the path out of the darkness. I’ve needed the encouragement of others to light my way too.

After all, light and darkness can’t coexist. When we walk in a dark room we don’t say “Hey! Could somebody please turn down the darkness”. No. We simply turn on a light and the darkness is extinguished.

May my stories help to extinguish some darkness in you, my fellow warrior.