I deleted my blog in the hopes that I could run away from the very thing that God called me to- talking about my abuse. It is such a thing to deny one’s call amidst the notion that the call is inextricably tied to suffering. Most people understand suffering in the context of misery and pain and not in the light in which Christ bathes it. Shunned is the man who walks away from the light. This man indeed calls himself a Christian.

In the arms of the gospel, Christ’s soldiers falter for just an ounce of understanding, for one inkling of His mind. And when we spend enough time on the one word, or the one story that particularly convicts us, its uncomfortable sway leads us to continue on as if we never read it. Such for me was the parable of the Dishonest Steward found in Luke’s gospel Chapter 16. It took me ten times to read it, and hours of rage to understand it. I wanted it to come easy, like this is what he says I read it let’s move on. Like that run on sentence. Like we read, move on with our day, we completed one-third of our day, I got it Jesus. But today was different. With the day off and imminent silence, the frustration of His words led to a rush of trying to understand Him. And that led to an Aha moment, which in turn led to this post.

It was the commentary from MacLaren that pierced me, opening wide the gaping wound sewed up with the consolation of knowing He was behind them,

Let God be Your End

He was talking about applying the same success used in the world as being the same success we should use in Christianity. He goes on further to say,

“And let there be a correspondence between your end and your means. That signifies, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all they mind.’ Or else when everything comes to be squared up and settled, the epitaph on your gravestone will deservedly be. ‘Thou fool!”

When we find success in the world, we find it at the expense of another, at the expense of ourselves. Our means to an end are for our own self-fulfillment, our monetary gain, our own name recognition. We may not recognize it and so then it is simply a matter of time until we do. But when Christ lifts the veil from our eyes as He did today for me, I realize that I am tired and broken because my perseverance has been weighed down in the worldly definitions of success rather than in the context of the Kingdom. My shrewdness has been capitulated to the world, shrouded in defeat of the success I thought I wanted or needed to attain. So I say no not #metoo, I say instead #whynotme. For those of us who have suffered at the hands of our abusers but who find our solace in Christ. For those of us who are not recognized by Hollywood or by professional sports leagues. For those of us who are not rich or famous. This is perseverance in the kingdom of God- recognizing our abuse as a platform for Christ’s message of forgiveness, mercy and redemption through Him who gives suffering a meaning and a name. Who gave me my name- Melissa, servant of Jesus.




Let go

This is what is meant by following Christ. In this way, disregarding earthly gains, Matthew attached himself to the band of followers of One who had no riches. For the Lord himself, who outwardly called Matthew by a word, inwardly bestowed upon him the gift of an invisible impulse so that he was able to follow-

excerpt from a quote by Bede the Venerable (673-735 AD), Anglo-Saxon monk

This was my Lenten meditation for today:

In a given situation, act as if everything will work out. Allow this to influence what you say to others and what you say to yourself.

This was both terrifying to me and freeing at the same time. This idea of freedom is what we strive for, but in the context of the contemplative life is a much different idea. This freedom exists from materialism and worry, from earthly wants for heavenly gains. This freedom exists in believing in the notion that God works all things for the good of those who love him. It exists in the freedom the trees experience, swaying to and fro, in the birds of the air who do not worry and in the hearts of men who long to be there.

Our words influence our steps. God moves our hearts but we are afraid. We then tell people that we are afraid. Then they are afraid. This is not freedom.

This type of spiritual freedom is jumping off a cliff type stuff, diving into a deep body of water, embarking on a mission to a place you’ve never been, selling every possession you’ve ever owned for something more…

It’s dropping the net when He tells you, following when He tells you, not looking back when He tells you. It’s a forward movement, an awareness of adventure, a trust, a not being afraid.

It’s living not on the surface but below it, it’s individualized, it calls you to be different, it tugs at you and will not let go…

God does not give us time to plan, He’s had eternity to do that for us.

When it’s time it’s time.

This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover.

Exodus 12:11

Our lives are not our own, but we hold onto them with an undying and unrelenting grasp. Instead of holding onto Jesus for dear life, we are holding onto our own thoughts and ideals. We hold onto friends and houses, churches… we hold onto where we are and fight the forward movement. We don’t want to leave but we’re afraid to go. We’re not necessarily wrestling with God, we’re just telling Him not to move us…

But the spiritual life is forward movement, it’s a letting go of self, it’s a giving away and a taking on of a new life, it’s losing our tight grasp on things and grasping onto the cloak of the one who saves us from ourselves…

So ask yourself, what is it that you are holding onto, what is that you just can’t let go of? Release it, take your clenched hands and open them. Then turn around and clench onto Him.

Act as if everything will work out, because it will…

Live forward

If today you hear His voice, live forward

If you have been living backward, move forward

If you are expecting things to change while doing the same, force forward

If you are on that wheel and can’t get off, jump forward

If you are praying with no result, think forward

If you are stuck right where you’re at, lean forward

If things are not going as you planned, breathe forward

If you have nobody to console you, be forward

If you are on the borderline of decision, leap forward

If you are standing in a wide open space, build forward

If you are comfortable right where you are, leave forward

If you subscribe to the theory that life sucks and then you die, break in forward

If you are living in the land of indecision, creep forward

If you are all alone, embrace forward

If you have nowhere to go, make forward

If you have not chosen Him, step forward

If your heart is ranting and pacing, walk forward

If you have nowhere else to go, find forward

Whatever you do, don’t go back…. go forward

For the God I love


My son Collin, a gifted student in the 2nd grade, won the county-wide haiku contest, beating out all students in the county up to 5th grade. Collin has been diagnosed with ADHD, a daily struggle for him. We have overcome, by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony.


For the life that I was not supposed to live

For the days I spent doubting my existence

For the pain and suffering I could not explain

For the God I loved, and the God I let go of

For the many books I read about why bad things happen to good people

For the day I quit life, and the day I found out it again

For the God who just wouldn’t let me go

For the child he gave me who was never supposed to be

For the child that couldn’t walk, and lagged far behind

For the child that they told me would never be… anything

For the child they told me wouldn’t make it

For the one to which they said, give up… now

For all the days I chose to believe God over them

For the many nights I stayed up crying

For the days where I was slowly dying

For the pain to return in the form of my son

For the struggle I relived as if we were one

For the times God called me to move him

For the times I was afraid

For the face to the floor praying, and nights of waiting

For the child they told me would be, was  … nothing

For the life I believed he would have

For the Christ child to which he was bound

For the savior who he had

For the one that held me up

For the seven years of life

For the moment I’ve only dreamed of

For the disability that has been his greatest ability

For the thorn in his side that has been made strong in his weakness

For the God who loved me

For the God who made Him

For the God that just refuses to let go

For all of these things, He is, I AM

Those who love God’s name will dwell in it

Sleeping, Bible, LoveHow do you dwell in a name? How do you stay there when it is uncomfortable, oppressive, against your own will? How do you stay inside something that you cannot see? 

What keeps you coming back for more? This name that may or may not have been revealed to you. This place that draws you in. You may not know the name, but He knows yours. Could you love and be attracted to a God that you do not know and you cannot see?

For all the reasons to read the bible, there is one for me above all the others, because He lives there.  We may not understand or see clearly or know exactly what is going on, but we will definitely not know anything if we don’t read at all…

People want answers from God. They want signs. Their bibles sit with dust in their homes or maybe they don’t have a bible at all, those are for the weird folks. You want God to walk into your house and give you an answer. You want him to hold you. You want Him to comfort you and tell you everything will be ok…But don’t dare open a bible. That thing is outdated, inapplicable and wholly unreadable. You have errands to do. Doesn’t God know how busy you are? How many children you have? What demands your job brings you? How could He ever expect that you would be seen purchasing one of those old books let alone reading it!

Which reminds me of the story of Naaman. ..

Naaman was the commander of Syria’s army and suffered from leprosy. He had an Israelite servant girl who suggested he go to the prophet Elisha to be healed. So Naaman goes to Israel to seek out Elisha. When he gets there, Elisha does not come out himself but sends a message to go wash in the Jordan river seven times in order to be healed. Naaman is in disbelief that this is the answer and rattles off what He thinks Elisha should have said and done. After his servants ask him to reconsider Elisha’s advice, he decides to wash himself in the Jordan river seven times as Elisha had instructed him. He was completely healed. And he then acknowledged the God of Israel as the true God.

I tell you this story from 2 Kings because it’ ridiculous. It sounds ridiculous. The instructions given by Elisha, a prophet of God are too simple, and sound ridiculous. Naaman couldn’t believe that this is all that it took. And at the end of the day, he knew he had no other option. And the outcome was an outcome glorified in the Lord, in His name.

But I wouldn’t have known that or got that message had I not been familiar with the story. Had I not accepted the ridiculous proposition that a 2,000 year old book had any kind of answers in it. That I was not excluded as a Jewish person from the promises of Christ, but rather He came for me FIRST. That there would be days of direct answers to prayers in the most ludicrous of ways through the words of those pages. That the words somehow would transform themselves to speak to me; that they had breadth and depth, even on the days I did not understand them. That my medication would be found in this book, that the book knew the correct dosage, that all I had to do was ask for Him to dispense it. Ludicrous…

“My written Word is your daily fortification to guide the decisions of your heart.” From the devotional “Talk to me Jesus” by Marie Chapian