I went to church my entire life (minus two years in college when my body sat in a pew but my heart was a million miles away). As a result, my personality formed within the construct of righteousness and evangelical steeples. My story didn’t just happen in the church–it is the church.
When my mother died, I examined every part of my life and thought I might leave the church. However, I did not. That was a decade ago. I stayed because the church was all I knew. I was drawn to her like a moth to the flame. There’s so much I love about her. I want to belong. I need to belong. But, for now–11 years after I first considered it–I’m taking a break from the institutionalized version of the church. I’ve opted for some spiritual direction instead. I think this break and the way I am filling that freed space will help me know myself and God better.
Regardless, I need to tell the truth. I need someone to hear my story. I need to recover my voice.
The Church gathers around a common love for Jesus. But, we aren’t very good at loving like him. So, our diversities suffer profound dishonor. I wish we loved well and were inspired to celebrate our differences. Instead, we war. We destroy one another. I wonder if this breaks God’s heart. I know it breaks mine.
Nevertheless, I love the Church. I’ve seen her beauty and it’s healing. Still, I have lots of questions. Some may forever go unanswered. For others, I must have resolve. So, I’ve adventured into contemplation in hopes of experiencing the Lord in new ways.
I’m the proud mom of two pretty amazing, very grown, kids, Bethany and Isaiah. The fact that makes me most proud of them is that they are kind to each other (most of the time–they are still siblings).
Bethany married her high school sweetheart, John. They grew up in youth group together. We love John and how he loves our girl. She graduated from Belmont University, a Studio Arts major, and landed her first grown-up job at Watkins College of Art–she loved it. Covid19 upset her utopia but, we’re excited about what she’ll do next. One of my favorite things about Bethany is the way she brings beauty into the spaces she inhabits–it’s truly divine.
Isaiah was a Religious Studies major at Belmont University. He survived graduating amidst a pandemic. It was strange. But, we’re so proud of him for getting it done anyways. He’s taking a break before graduate school. He loves to cook good food, make snobby coffee, and mix fancy drinks. His ideas are remarkable and his heart is drawn toward social justice. Watch out for his up and coming mind–he’s a world changer. I’m excited to watch him embody his dreams.
I’m married to my babies’ daddy and my heart’s deepest love outside of Jesus, Tom. He’s an amazing cook and I’m the luckiest dinner guest. He’s my favorite worship leader. His voice pierces my soul and his passion inspires me. Best of all, I’m undone by his tender heart and his love for me. Our marriage is more glory than earth these days. It feels good to be on the other side of the hardest work. Here’s to 26 years strong.
My career has been in ministry. Most recently as a College & Young Adult Pastor in Nashville, TN. Prior to this role, I was the Middle School Pastor at the same church where I served their youth for 9 years. I walked with them through two youth pastor transitions; during the second transition, I served as Interim Youth Pastor for a year and 4 months.
Teaching, training, and mentoring students are my passion. I especially love the transitional life stages. College is my favorite. I side hustle as a Coach for CYMT (Center for Youth Ministry Training). I get to encourage young Youth Pastors with a lot of I’ve been there’s and me too’s.
I’m a second-year graduate counseling student at Trevecca Nazarene University, studying Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I’m enjoying every minute of the process. I feel incredibly blessed to do it.
I earned my B.A. (2019) in Psychology from Trevecca. I was ordained in 1995. I have a Bible diploma (1992) from Florida Bible College, a M.A.R. (2002), and a D.Div. (2006) from Tabernacle Bible College & Seminary.
I love to read, write, think, learn, knit, crochet, make macrame plant hangers, and care for my plants. Once we’re good friends–and I’m less afraid of your judgment–maybe I’ll tell you how many plants I have. I’m thinking about adding a cute little longhaired dachshund named Gracie to the mix.
I’m excited to share my story and my thoughts with you. Thanks for reading!