The Confessional Poet


It took two dead women to lead me back to God one a saint, the other a sinner. God loves them both. I didn’t think I needed them, but I did, I’m just being honest.

Strangely enough, one met her fate in the gas chambers at Auschwitz, the other by self-inflicted carbon monoxide poisoning. Is either one of them considered higher above the other? No, not at all. Especially when both have led you straight to Jesus.

When your dreams fade away because the devil is a liar, there is only tragedy. Even though you know God is there listening, even when you ingest Him.

Depression is a mighty swallowing evil, tempting fate, and the deliverance you may have already experienced. It is the creeping death at your door, an unwanted friend, your greatest torturer that you hold onto for dear life. 

On my journey home, it took a dead woman to revive me. She was more alive to me then some of the corpses walking through churches. She understood my plight in a way others didn’t. She showed me how to swallow God, which brought me to my knees of an altar at Adoration.

It’s been a year of this leg of the journey. I am now a formalized Catholic. I have been baptized, ingested the Lord and become confirmed in the Holy Spirit. I was called to feed the flock through my hands that are utterly unworthy. My husband told me Sunday that he was ready for conversion himself, baptized but not yet a part of the church. I fell to my knees in painful thankfulness. It has been a year of disunity. I am in, he was out. Then he was in. Then the Blessed Mother brought Him all in. And He is all in. So the devil decided to invade my space.

It has been a week of upheaval; great spiritual ruckus. Only God can undo that. I have begged on my knees, tried to read my way out of it. No luck. A rosary or two prayed fervently, prayers for the Blessed Mother’s intercession, fasting and confession. But the days remained dark, and I vowed to stay in my closet until the demon fled. 

I started with a Dave Matthews listening, he is hurting, and it’s good to listen to something raw and true. The tears could not stop, and I refused to stop them. Jesus over me. I prayed, “God help me” one million and four times.

Then to find Gray Street, what a sad, sad song. It’s gotta be about somebody, for somebody. And it was. And it led me to the second dead person to knock on my door, Anne Sexton. What a horribly tragic life, but the words of the priest struck me, “God is in your typewriter.”

And it occurred to me that I was denying the very gift that bit and ached at my soul. The journey is sometimes so rancid. I hate sharing the ugly stuff. But her pain was inspiring, because it was my pain too. 

I didn’t want to be in that pit, I could see it from the no-name words on Wikipedia- they were so generically tragic. That’s it? She put on a fur coat, poured a glass of vodka and left the world in a gas-filled car. It pained me. It pained me so much it woke me up from where I was, and changed my direction.

If I have to write naked to please God I will, because I am sick and tired of realizing I am naked. I have friends out here and in there.I have always struggled with being me, and wrestled with God because of it.

But I’m going to listen to the words of that very wise Priest, the keystrokes as confessional.

I don’t care how you get here, just get here if you can

(Listen while you read)

I am an outcast. I am not like anyone else. I am not accepted in so many places.

I am different and misunderstood and at times challenged.

I have gone against the grain, I have traveled, I have journeyed, I have cried.

I have lost the person I loved the most.

I have lost many, many friends along the way.

I have walked down long winding pathways and through valleys and up and down the tallest of mountains.

I have followed a God I cannot see.

I have continued to follow Him, giving up everything for Him, understood or not.

And the longer I walk, I run, I climb, I pant, I chase after this God I cannot see.

But the longer I chase, the clearer I see, the more I need Him, the more I understand why I was even born.

And I’d walk it all again, get spat at again, lose every friend I ever had just to be in His loving arms.

In the depth of my soul He is more real than any tangible item I have ever touched, His peace the blanket of my soul.

And I can get to him anyway, anytime, anywhere. Eyes closed, open, tearful, mad, cursing Him, loving Him, He’ll never leave.

He is the King of my people, the human race. And I’ll love you and forgive you and show you mercy because it feels good, it feels right to extend the same hand that was extended to me.

And I am ok with all of it. I accept all of it. I take all of it. And so does He.

And my greatest hope is that I’ll get a chance to say I’m sorry to you, to love you the way God loves you, to always have an open hand, an open heart, and to pour out His mercy all over you.

God, the Lord of the Universe, the great I AM. I will follow you on this earth until you call me home, whenever that glorious day is. And I’m scared to die. But I am more scared to know any life without you.

Let my feet keep walking, let my arms stay open, let my tears flow. And let me keep walking in your great and mighty name, in your power and in the hope of the resurrection.

I’m still walking…


Climb the mountain: How to pray “Your Will be done” and mean it

And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray.” Mark 6:46

His tombstone reads, “Pauper, servis a humilis” (a poor and humble servant) Saint Andre Bessette


When we are too close up, we can see nothing. Our nose presses up against the glass window, and all we can see is, us. A reflection of our own eyes and mouth looking back at us. I demand this! I want that! I pray your will be done, but I am looking back at me… I don’t mean it. This ministry you planted in my heart God, why won’t you move me? Stomping, exasperated, shaking a door that won’t come unhinged. And all the while He sits by and lets us trip over ourselves, fall, fail, get back up. He’ll let us do it as many times as we need, until our face comes away from the glass in front of it. We are so myopic in our view of God. It’s our corner of the universe, our family, our denomination, our church. This is the God of the Universe, not 7th Street. He didn’t give you the job you wanted? This is a grain in the essence of time compared to His vastness. Get your face off the glass and start walking backwards. No really walking. Keep going until you are at least a couple of feet away. You can’t see yourself so well can you? Now let’s start climbing.

As you back away from the glass window, it’s time to climb. You can only see laterally. You can only see what’s right in front of you. It’s time to get some perspective. Off in the distance you see the peak of a mountain. Suddenly, without thought, you see it right beneath your feet. Look up. It’s time to climb. God, He is up there.

So you leave your purse or wallet or bag behind. Maybe you have some other baggage. Leave that behind to, God’s calling. You start to edge up the mountain. Only a couple of feet up, you look down. Everything appears smaller. You’re not carrying anything with you. You are far from seeing your own face. You are far from seeing anyone at all.

You are now climbing with purpose. You’ve left the world behind you. You are just focused on getting to the top. You look down again and now all you can see are clouds and sky. You feel yourself breathing for the first time in a long time. Your spirit is lifted. You’ve forgotten about whatever it was you were asking God for. Your face is far from the glass window that is now a distant memory. You can’t even remember why you are climbing in the first place or how you got there, all you know is that you are free. Before you know it, you’ve made it to the top. You realized you’ve enjoyed the journey, without even knowing it.

You look down from the top. It is just wind and open sky. You can practically touch God’s roof. He shows you how big the universe is, and it is all His. You don’t even remember your own life down there. You see God’s infinity. You want to stay there. He says you can. That mountain, it is in you.

You’re still in front of the glass window. You open your eyes. You’ve just prayed “your will be done.” Now you know how. 

Invite someone else on the trip up the mountain…

Come climb the mountain with me at There’s Something about Mary