You know when a bunch of women in an office or church seem to announce that they are pregnant, and someone says, “Must be in the water”, and you’re like, “Please don’t let that water come near me.” Well, recently, every time I turn around, I hear about some woman getting blindsided by her husband with divorce papers. Each story is more disturbing than the next.

“We were laughing and joking last night. And today, I get served papers.”

“I know we had a bad argument 2 weeks ago, but I thought things were fine. Who knew he’d be the one to open the door for the police and take my daughters.”

Each story I hear is more heartbreaking than the next, and all I can do is wonder:

“Did they really not know what he was capable of?”

and

“How far am I from getting blindsided myself?”

The sad truth is you really never know. There is a level of complacency that settles in after you’ve been married for a while… and “awhile” is different for every single person. Eventually that complacency leads to neglect and then regret. We’ve all heard of the 7 year itch, but for some people, that itch starts before the first anniversary. Still others make it beyond the 20 year mark, and as soon as the kids are out of the nest, someone starts leaning on the ledge getting ready to fly.

Perception is another real problem. It seems like these women who have been blindsided weren’t picking up on the signs that their men were posting all over the place. Maybe from the inside of the marriage, his actions or statements didn’t seem aggressive, but everyone outside could see that things were more than a little off. I heard of one guy moving 3 states away, and because he visited every month for 3 years, his wife assumed that they would remain married indefinitely. Sure, who among us doesn’t crave an empty house once in a while, but wouldn’t we all get suspicious when our mate moves to another state?

Perception is a funny thing. There are times when I’m in conversation with the person to whom I’m related by marriage, and I am baffled how his perception of a statement or a situation is so vastly different than mine. Here we are — two relatively intelligent people with 3 degrees and many life experiences between us — and we can look at the same television program and take away two opposing messages. We don’t come to the same logical conclusions, even though we would both insist that we are using logic. And I know that we are not the only couple in the world like this.

Let me be clear… I am not trying to build the case for blindsiding my husband or for him to blindside me. I know that if asked, we would both agree that we love each other, and want to be together. But didn’t all those other couples say the same thing? I suppose there are people who walk down the aisle thinking that they don’t want to be with the other person, but those folks shouldn’t be surprised when things don’t work out.

I have a godson who married the wrong person. They don’t even seem to like each other, and every step of the planning process was like climbing Everest, and every single one of us at the wedding knew we were watching a relationship destined for nothing but misery. I was, perhaps, the most vocal in my disapproval, and even though I was wedding coordinator, tears poured down my cheeks as I directed the bridezilla down the aisle to my child. When the officiant asked “Is there anyone here who knows a reason why these two shouldn’t get married, please speak now or forever hold your peace”, all eyes turned to me. But I remained silent, and like everyone else, wondered why they were doing this. At least neither of them will be blindsided when this union ends. They know what they walked into.

But these women I’ve heard about recently, they simply did not know who they married. One said she didn’t even know this man, in reference to her husband. I guess evil is easy to conceal. Or perhaps the desire to be married trumped the desire to be happy since so many women were taught that they were one in the same. Thank God my mother didn’t do that. My parents made it clear in my childhood that they would never push their children into marriage. Even though they have a beautiful marriage, they have seen a great deal of unhappily married people, and they never wanted that for their children. They always said, “Make sure you marry the right person.” That’s great advice, but it’s still ambiguous. Right for what? Right for the bank account? Right on paper? Right for the 20s? Right how?

Over 15 years ago, I was dating a man (let’s call him JD) that I just knew I wanted to marry. Despite being a different race and religion than me, I believed in my heart that we were meant to be together because we clicked so well so quickly. We had what I believed to be an intense, once in a lifetime love for one another, and that no matter what paths we traveled, whether separately or together, we would find our way back to each other eventually. We went through several small breakups, but managed to somehow reconnect and rekindle our romance. Then one morning, after kissing each other goodbye for the day, something in JD switched, and within 4 hours, completely out of the blue, he ended our relationship, saying, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” I was completely blindsided, and I knew that it was not like one of our previous breakups. I knew it was over and there was nothing I could do. It took me 2 years to finally accept in my heart that JD really was not the right one I was meant to be with.

I remember the pain of being blindsided. I remember sitting on the couch for 3 days, not eating, not sleeping, just crying and wondering what I had done wrong. JD was not my husband, though. He hadn’t put a ring on my finger, and he hadn’t stood in front of God and country to pledge his love for me. We hadn’t tied our money together and we didn’t have children, so even though I know what it feels like to be blindsided, I cannot imagine what these women I’ve learned about today are enduring. I cannot imagine the betrayal, the theft, the lies, the madness to which their husbands are subjecting them. These women have to prepare to fight for their finances, fight to see their own children, the homes they created, and more simply because the men they married have chosen to subject their families to unbelievable turmoil in an effort to get rid of their wives, and they have chosen to end their marriages like cowards. And make no mistake, they are not cowards because they no longer wish to be married. They are cowards because they smiled in the faces of the wives, and they went about their business as though nothing was wrong only to have a process server be the first person to let their wives know they were about to lose everything.

I hope these women can move beyond their hurt and disillusionment, and stand up and fight. I hope the cowards don’t win. And truth be told, I hope that I never have to endure what they are enduring.

Maya Angelou died yesterday. I didn’t know her personally, but I feel like she’s been a part of my life for a long time. Her influence and inspiration in my life started when I was child, and even though I have drifted away from what I learned from her — for whatever reason, her name reminds me that what my life has become is not all that my life is supposed to be.

When I was young, my mother used to assign me book reports during the summer. She was an English teacher in her former life, and she always encouraged learning. I have always been an avid reader, and an aspiring writer, so I enjoyed these summertime reports. My mother gave me Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings one summer, and I was captured by the writing. Despite attending a private school, the highly conservative and moderately racist nature of the organization did not promote non-white writers during my education, although I think that changed during the months of February when I was in high school. Needless to say, it was nice to read a book written by a person who looked like me. But more than that, so much more than seeing another brown girl was reading about a passion I had inside of myself. With nearly every word, Maya Angelou was the real life embodiment of the freeing of the caged bird. She pressed everyone blessed enough to listen to her that we are the keepers of the keys to our own cages.

I enjoy writing. I love words, and I have so very much inside to say, but I have let life — my life, my troubles, my minutia put me back into a cage. I have stretched my wings occasionally in facebook posts, minimally in emails, and frequently in lunchtime discussions, but even though the door is open, I have sat on my perch silent for too long. I want to sing again. I want to give myself the freedom to speak and the time to do it well.

Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” I have many stories inside of me. I will admit that some of my stories are not flattering, and could be seen as hurtful to some, and I have censored myself because some truths aren’t pretty. But I am reminded that the unpleasant truth still deserves to be heard.

Get ready for some singing.

It’s been about a week since I restarted my juicing reboot. The good news is that I’m down about 12 pounds (I’m counting what I lost before I started blogging about it). The bad news is that I had to take a break when I caught a bad cold and just “needed” the comfort of bagels and crackers — bad, bad carbs. After about 2 days of horrible carb loading, it occurred to me that the whole point of juicing real fruits and veggies was to heal my body, so I have quickly returned to juicing.

The truth about juicing real fruits and veggies — produce in its natural state — is that once the body gets a taste of the good stuff, it craves the good stuff. My body can do so much more with the proper nutrients than it could ever hope to do with refined sugar, preservatives, and whatever else the monstrous food companies decide to allow in their factories and, subsequently, into my food. I’m happy report that just 1 day after returning to juicing, I’ve noticed my congestion has drastically diminished. I’ll take the ability to breathe over a sugar high any day!

So, I’ve been experimenting with produce combinations, and lately I’m enjoying the orange drinks best. Here’s a recipe you might want to try:

3 carrots, 1 peeled lemon, 1 peeled grapefruit, and 1 red bell pepper. Juice and serve cold. 

I do try to drink more green juices than red or orange juices, so the next time I make this recipe, I’ll probably add a couple kale leaves or green cabbage. I also bought some wheat grass to include in my drinks. My brother tells me that wheat grass is disgusting, but we’ll see. I know that wheat grass is excellent for the body, and that is, after all, what this whole endeavor is all about — getting my body to a healthy place.

Today I feel healthy, despite being on the tail end of a nasty cold. This morning I put on black pants that, when I bought them in November, were too tight — my thighs were bursting at the seams. I’m happy to report that not only do the pants now fit, but I even need a belt with them. That’s progress for me, and I look forward to much more of that.

So many years, so many pounds… but I’m back. I’m back to write about the roads I’m travelling in this life. I’m back to write about what’s been going on. I’m back… to write.

In the far too many years since my last post, much about my life has changed. I married my true love, and gained 4 stepchildren and quite a bit of weight, and while each of those things are topics I could write about endlessly, for now, I’ll stick with the latter.

I have struggled with my weight since I was in college, and I’ve had varying degrees of success with my attempts at weight loss. Right before my wedding, I lost 25 pounds on the most restrictive diet I’d ever done,  only to gain it all back within a year of the honeymoon. Now, as I am almost the heaviest I’ve ever been, I’m willing to try almost anything to get to that elusive state known as healthy.

Recently, I was strongly encouraged to watch “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”, a documentary about Joe Cross– a once fat, sick and unhealthy man who traveled across the country doing a 60-day juice fast, and tried to educate others (specifically Phil) along the way about the benefits of juicing.   This documentary is a must-see. The idea of juicing is very appealing, that is, until you realize the amount of work involved with juicing, and how drastically different meals and mealtime become. Still, watching Joe and Phil transform their bodies and their lives gave me the impetus to believe I could do it myself.

Juicing is not for the faint of heart or will or pocketbook, and I strongly suggest that folks do as much research as possible before starting a juice only regimen. Me, well, I prepared along the way (not recommended). The first thing I did was buy the juicer. There are many juicers on the market, but because I wanted to be just like Joe and his protegé Phil, I bought what they used — the Breville Juice Fountain Plus. What I like about my juicer is that it is a) affordable, b) easy to assemble and disassemble, c) thorough, and d) the juicer that Joe and Phil used.

My initial plan was to buy the juicer, test out a few recipes for a week or two, then go on a 30-day juice fast. What actually happened was that once the juicer was in my hands, I immediately wanted to begin the juice fast, so I did. I went to the organic market and Wegman’s, and, using Joe’s recipes, bought enough food for 3 days. That may not seem like a lot of food, but 3 days worth of produce filled my refrigerator. Because I’m an organization freak, I bagged the produce for each juice separately  — there were 15 different juices in the first 3 days. I don’t recommend using 15 different juices at a time, but it did afford me the opportunity to try out a lot of different juices to see which ones, and which ingredients I liked and didn’t like.

I managed to juice consistently for 6 days, and lose about 8 pounds in the process. Then, due to poor planning, I stopped during a short trip. Here’s what I learned from my first juice fast.

1. Find 2-4 juice recipes that you can use consistently during your fast. It makes it easier on the wallet because you can buy in bulk, and easier for juicing because you can juice several servings at one time. I use Joe’s Mean Green and the Carrot Apple Ginger juices every day.

2. Fresh juice does not last for days, so plan to juice at least once a day. I juice every evening for the next day. I juice 1-2 servings for breakfast and mid-morning, and then I juice 2-3 servings for my remaining meals. Mean green is delish!

3. Plan to shop every 3-4 days. Produce has a limited shelf life, so buy enough to make it to 3-4 days.

4. Get new containers for your juices. We all have bottles and containers for days, but you want a reliable, LEAK-PROOF bottle designated just for your juices. The smell of spilled celery juice in the car is not appealing.

5. Clean that juicer as soon as you are finished. My juicer is easy to clean, but I can just imagine that letting the discarded fibrous produce sit would create a challenging mess to clean up.

6. Throw the produce remnants in an outdoor trash can or compost heap. I made the mistake of using the kitchen trash can once… but only once.

7. Don’t give up on a recipe without testing with different ingredients. I made one juice that required 1/2 of a red onion — never again. Now I use red cabbage instead with that juice.

8. Always follow soft produce with hard produce. Kale is a great ingredient, but you’ll get more out of the kale if you follow it with an apple.

9. Organic is best… more expensive, but it makes a difference.

10. Enjoy the juicing for as long as you can. Believe it or not, the juice tastes amazing!

Today I’m starting a 21-day juice fast. I’ll be charting my progress, to some degree, along with other stuff.  At the end of these 21 days, I hope to lose some weight, and I hope that my body will become acclimated to a plant-based diet. I also hope that I can keep up with charting…

I’m starting to understand that I need to go to church more often. More to the point, I need to go to what I consider to be “my” church more often, not just for the sound preaching and the purely selfless worshiping. Those are great reasons, but what my spirit needs, is crying out for, is the reminder that God can work out any and all situations for His good no matter what the situation looks like to you or anyone else. And one of the my fondest examples of God’s faithfulness is in the life of my dear friend … let’s just call him Jay.

I love seeing how God has worked things out for Jay, and the character with which he has carried himself through it all, especially since I know, at least in part, the road that he has traveled in recent years. Though I’ve known him for over 20 years, I only got to know him in the past 4 years when we were both at Jonestown Revisited. God has absolutely gifted him with more talents than most people could ever handle, and it’s a blessing to watch his natural use of those gifts. His incredible musical talent coupled with his bizarre sense of humor and comedic timing are only out-shined by his unashamed expressive love for Christ.

It is, however, something else about my friend that has inspired my writing today.  He, like myself and far too many others, was a casualty of the madness of Jonestown Revisited. His selfless ministry was usurped by his fellow ministry team members to satisfy one talented but dreadfully insecure woman’s desperate need for accolades and attention. His talents were misused and exploited at the expense of the people sincerely trying to learn how to worship. He was lied to and about by his peers until the Lord saw fit to lead him to an actual church where his ministry could continue and expand, and his future could begin. Despite the treatment he endured, he has managed, at least from all appearances, to have moved without any sense of bitterness to a personal space where no remnants of Jonestown exist. He has managed, somehow, not to become jaded by the unpleasantness of his past experiences but instead he continues to excel in the blessings that are provided him each day. Jay is one of my favorite people on earth, and I love seeing the pure joy in his face, the freedom in his worship, the peace in his heart. Still, I am convicted every time I see him at his church because there is a part of me that’s truly envious because I am, sad to say, quite jaded when it comes to church and all that the word connotes.

Webster’s Dictionary defines jaded  as “made dull or insensitive as by excess…” and “cynically callous”, and let me assure you, that’s an unfortunate space in which to live. I used to love going to church, serving weekly and seeing people who I considered to be my extended family and friends for life. Now, getting to church, even one I like, is quite a chore and personal struggle for me.  And make no mistake, I know in my heart that the only one suffering in this jaded state is yours truly. That’s the trouble with being jaded. It only hurts you.

I carry all the memories of the wrongs I’ve experienced at the hands of church folk, and given what I experienced, I think I’m justified.

–My closest friend in the church turned out to be a missionary in training who was sleeping with several married men in the church and was using my home as the rendezvous spot while I was at work. Why would I ever want to make friends again at church?

–The tithe money was used to fund iPhones and studio time to record personal R&B CDs and, of course, to pay  legal fees for the philandering pastor who was sleeping around and making passes at married women who came to him for counseling. Why would I ever write another tithe check to a church?

–A womanizing man who hit his girlfriend and impregnated several single women in the church was made the sole male ministry leader of a single women’s group after his violent behavior was reported. Why would I ever trust church leadership to appoint godly men and women over ministries?

–The broken, bruised, disgraced loyal parishioners and leaders were left to fend for themselves after being slandered for not supporting the rampant infidelity and mismanagement of funds and spiritual gifts. Why should I ever want to be a part of a church again?

This is what I know from church. My recent past has taught me that church is a dangerous place that rejects truth, blurs the lines, condemns values, encourages moral compromise, and disregards the word of God in favor of assimilation and popularity. Jonestown Revisited taught me that people were expendable and the godly leaders were unimportant, but the truth I’m learning through Jay is that what I think I know about church is not the end of the story. With faith and submission to God, old things pass away.

Jay didn’t carry what I carried away from that place, and God has shown much favor to him. Shortly after he relocated to his new church, he met the woman that he has since married. She is selfless and funny and kind and supportive and everything I would have ever hoped my friend would find, and none of it would have happened had he let himself become jaded. They recently had a beautiful baby (who, whether he likes it or not, now has a chocolate Auntie) and a ministry that is thriving and drawing people to God.

The lesson here, and forgive me for stating the painfully obvious, is that the only ones who lose are those who choose to be jaded. Those of us who choose to believe that the evil we have seen is all that’s available to be seen are missing a world of beautiful possibilities and opportunities. We limit our experiences, we stunt our growth, we reduce our opportunities to witness the truly awesome power of God and what He can do through circumstance.

I often hear about the idea of second chances, and it’s easy to digest the cliché as nothing more than just that, a trite expression that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse. But there is a need for second chances, and not necessarily just for the benefit of those who’ve wrong us, but also for the benefit of ourselves, which is equally as important.  The story does not have to end with what went wrong; it doesn’t have to end with the hurt and the pain; it doesn’t have to leave one jaded.

In truth, when I think about things, my time at Jonestown R brought me many wonderful things, including a great hat that makes me look clever, a virtually free trip to the most beautiful country on earth, 3 years with the most precious little boy I’ve ever known (and miss terribly) and a Hottie nickname to boot,  the opportunity to meet the man of the dreams I never even knew I could dream, and a handful of rich friendly relationships, none more supportive of my writing than Laura and none more entertained by my writing than Jay himself.  With all of these wonderful gifts, I have to question the advantage of allowing myself to be jaded at all.

Perhaps it’s time to open up to what a good church might actually be like. Perhaps it’s time for all of us who are jaded for whatever reasons, however valid, to take a chance, a second chance and let ourselves be surprised by the possibilities.

I cry when I watch So You Think You Can Dance. I cry when I hear the stories of struggle. I cry when I watch their feet point and curl, their legs stretch and jump. I cry as their movements draw me in to their creative spirits and the power of their passion.  I cry when they are told they will have to dance for their lives, and they do. I cry watching their colleagues and their critics go with them into the world of unexplored and unexpected exposure. I cry watching them pour out their hearts, exhausting every ounce of their energy for a chance to achieve their dreams. And my tears are real…

Tears come fairly easily to me, though I must admit tonight they were free-falling for more reasons than I expected. I love watching the creative process, and I love watching people pursue their dreams, and it breaks my heart when, despite their best efforts, their most sincere desires, their hard work, their emotional sacrifices, and their exhausted strength, they learn that they will have to wait even longer for their dreams to be realized, they learn that they are not good enough to continue even though they are still so much better than most. I am a kindred spirit.

I’m starting to realize that there are two kinds of people in the world — that’s right, just two —  those who are led by their hearts and those who are not, and without both kinds of people, life just wouldn’t work. Sure, everyone probably has elements of both “sides”, but one side is without a doubt more dominant. I am clearly and unashamedly, I might add, a person who is led by my heart. (And before anyone pulls out their WWJD card, I am a Christ follower, and I am guided by Him. He’s wired me with a sensitive heart.)  I am not making any judgments about people who are not led by their hearts, as I truly believe what they bring to a situation, relationship, etc. is necessary and beneficial.  I only mean to express my heart. But I digress…

I believe that the creative spirit functions most effectively, most purely in people who are led by their hearts. Whether it’s dance, music, writing, painting, sculpting, drawing, planning, or any other creative outlet a person might be drawn to, the heart must be open and exposed, or it should remain silent. One of my creative outlets is writing, though the months of silence on this blog belie that fact. I pour what is in my heart out on the screen, and I leave it there for all that it is worth, which to me is a lot. I do not lightly open my heart, I do not carelessly share my heart, even though I know that what I offer may not be received as I intend, may not be understood as I need, may not be accepted as I hope. Still, you know what you get from me, what you will always get from me.

I will always care more about people than I do about things or ideas or policies or whatever else might be thrown my way, and that’s not always a good thing because I get burned an awful lot. Still, it is one of the things I like most about myself. When I open up, the best of me surfaces and it’s like a fresh wind putting things in motion, and I go with whatever my heart commands. For so much of my life, I thought that was solely writing, but I have learned that it is my care and concern for the well-being of those around me that most often defines my heart, my true purpose.

So instead of putting fingers to the keyboard for the past several months, my heart has led me to pour out all that is in me to those around me, and even though that has been exhausting and overwhelming at times, I understand that to dismiss the heart’s direction would only detract from the beauty that has come from this creative flow. And make no mistake, some absolutely beautiful experiences have come to me and others in these past few months, and I don’t regret listening to my heart. I have pursued my dream with everything that is in me, I have put in the time learning the steps, I have used all of the strength I could muster, I have endured the voices of both the critics and the colleagues, and have managed to stand, knees wobbly, sweat dripping, eyes glistening with weighty tears, waiting, in fact, to see if the work, if my work will ever pay off, if my dreams will come true.

That, my friends, is my heart.

It’s been, for sure, one of those weeks for me. One of those weeks that I wouldn’t have guessed would go the way it did. One of those weeks that probably shouldn’t have happened. One of those weeks that I can’t take back, straighten out, do over, let go or break free from.  This week sucked, and I hope I don’t have to deal with another day like the past few.

When my heart is heavy, as it’s been for a few days, it seems I move in slow motion. It seems that I exist in a bubble from which I can’t break free, a bubble in which I have been placed because of the unfortunate decision to allow vulnerability to surface beyond the wall that had come down, the wall I carefully constructed, the wall that was slowly torn apart, the wall that is now at a stage somewhere between complete destruction and potential reconstruction. I guess I’m not suited for vulnerability outside of wordpress, anyway.

The Psalms are good for times like these. I’m always struck by David’s vulnerability, whether he’s broken and feeling defeated or unashamedly praising his God or even angrily bemoaning his feelings about life’s challenges, he is authentic in his expression, pure in his emotion, passionate in his love and trust in his God. David had enemies, real and perceived, but he always knew that his God was present as his refuge. David loved his God, and he poured out his praise with such detail and such candor that his motives were clear, enviable, and emulated by those who have taken the time to read the Psalms.

I think of the idea that God is our refuge, my refuge, and I am so grateful that I can rest in Him. I know He hears without judgment my heart’s deepest thoughts, my soul’s deepest desires, and that He doesn’t label me because of my vulnerability. He knows my heart even though I have done almost nothing for Him, and what I have done, I’ve done so poorly at times. Still, He is my safe haven… He catches me when I fall, He holds me when I’m falling.

In Psalm 31, David writes

9 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress.
      Tears blur my eyes.
      My body and soul are withering away.
 10 I am dying from grief;
      my years are shortened by sadness.
   Sin has drained my strength;
      I am wasting away from within.
 11 I am scorned by all my enemies
      and despised by my neighbors—
      even my friends are afraid to come near me.
   When they see me on the street,
      they run the other way.

It’s not often you see a man pour out his soul like this, admitting the intensity of his tears, the severity of his sadness, the perception of his surroundings.  We read his words, and assume that his perception is spot on, that he regularly had enemies against him, that his friends were fairweather at times, that he was understood by no one. Recently, though, I’ve been wondering if the weight that he carried — spiritually, emotionally, socially, etc. — clouded his perception, at times, leading him to feel things more deeply than others, than even he himself might ordinarily feel.

Regardless of the way he expressed his feelings, maybe, perhaps, in spite of it, he was always secure in his relationship with his God, he knew that he had the freedom to speak and that his God would love him the same. His vulnerability didn’t define him as weak, or unlovable, or as a problem child, or just not worth the effort. It seems to me that his vulnerability was a demonstration of his absolute faith that his God would hear him and love him anyway.

I, without an ounce of shame, envy David’s freedom to be vulnerable, and his God’s ability to care for the heart of his child. To this day, David is a cherished saint of the Father in the hearts and minds of Christians. Despite his infidelity, poor decisions, and his seemingly self-pitying rants, he is still known, accurately so, as a man after God’s own heart. 

I, too, have made some poor decisions. I have trusted the wrong people. I have given time, love, attention, cash, and energy to people of all ilks that took and took and enjoyed my spirit and generosity until the moment I let even a glimpse of my vulnerable side appear. I have believed the words “I love you” from friends, lovers, family members only to find that the words were temporary and conditional, when what they really meant was, “I love you until you show me you might need me even a little bit, that I might have to show you the care, concern and love that you have so often and so selflessly shown me.” And then I started construction on the wall.

When we are vulnerable, we expose our flaws, allow others to see that we are susceptible to emotional injury, and all we want to know is that we are loved in spite of because of even though we have flaws, and that the mere expression of vulnerability doesn’t negate all the good and strong and generous parts of us that are regularly present, and it doesn’t intend to isolate. Vulnerability cries out,

“I trust you with my heart, with my deepest fears, with my most intense desires. I trust you to protect me even when I’m wrong, even when I’m right. I trust you even though I’m still a little scared. I trust you because I know you want to know the entirity of me. I trust you to hold me up when I don’t think I can stand. I trust you to protect what is precious. I trust that you can see me, fully exposed, and choose not to condemn and walk away, but instead, choose to love me even more because it’s all part of who I am. I trust that you want me to be able to trust you, wholly and completely.  I trust  you because I love you, and I know I can.”

This week is nearing its end, thank God. Did I mention that it sucked?! I hope to spend at least part of it near the water, in the water even, where I can sit…  susceptible to the wild waves of the Chesapeake, with my arms outstretched and the breeze in my hair, secure in the knowledge that I do not need to rebuild the wall.