It was a death that brought me to this place of wrestling with what it is that I will stand for and that which I will not stand for. It revealed the cult of certainty, the absolutes that I framed my perceptions with, and the all of the beautiful shades of grey in life that I failed to see while trying to keep the lines of black and white so sharp. It has been 17 long years since my family laid my daughter, Bailey, to rest. It has been 17 long years of inspecting the rubble that that one event left me in, to distinguish the pieces I could keep in the rebuilding of this new paradigm. It has been 17 long years searching for new perspectives, voices, thinkers, and questioners that add something new to the plethora of building materials that were just right outside of the small lumber yard that I had been confined to.
If you are reading this as someone who subscribed to my blog under the same name, you know I left the story abruptly with out much explanation. I got to a point in the story that I could not reconcile nor felt comfortable sharing until I began to get things straightened out in my own mind. I did not feel like I could answer the questions others might have when I couldn’t even face questions that had risen to surface in the retelling. I became angry with that young mom, with the things she said and did. I was sure no one could forgive her – because I sure couldn’t. The naivety was so repulsive to me that I could not recognize the champion she was trying to be for her family. I see now that young woman was using everything she had, and leaning into something she thought was certain, that would not take death as a realistic outcome – rather it was a mere circumstance, one that in the certainty of her faith was inconceivable, therefore not an option.
Except it was.
Fast forward to 2017. We were searching for a safe place to land, and basically crash landed in a sweet church in Tyrone, GA – Southern Crescent. We stumbled in with with our hurts, our brokenness, and our tough questions and found a group of people who were also in process and not afraid to say, “I don’t know, but none of this scares me – let’s walk together.” In 2018, it was the introduction of Sarah Bessey’s book “Out of Sorts” and Rachel Held Evans’ book “Inspired” through my church’s book club. More recently the release of the Brene’ Brown special on Netflix “The Call to Courage” and the tragic passing of Rachel Held Evans. All of these things together have pushed my voice to the top of my throat, and I need to speak.
I promise to process and choose my words and thoughts carefully, before I blurt them. I want to add to the conversation not distract from it. This is an invitation to join me in coloring outside of the lines, doubting the things we have been taught to be so certain of, walking this out with all of the falling, bumping and scrapes that may happen along the way – respecting one another, loving one another, and possibly having to carry each other.
I love you. Let’s do this. It’s go time!