When a horrific terrorist attack happens, the first question that comes to my mind is, How afraid should I be? I live in Washington, D.C., so it’s fair to assume that my family and I are, at any given time, at risk of being killed or injured in a terrorist attack.
The other night, I visited my daughter’s kindergarten classroom and sat in her miniature chair as the teacher gave a recap of the class progress so far. In that little chair, I learned something my daughter doesn’t know yet: she’s being ranked.
When I was in my 20s, I was obsessed with the fear that I was not actually saved — that my so-called “faith” was nothing but an elaborate web of self-deception that would end in eternal damnation.
I spent a lot of my early Christian walk hiding the areas of brokenness of which I was most ashamed. It was like I believed the worst stuff would go away if I simply didn’t acknowledge it. All it did, however, was cover up the symptoms until my issues bubbled to the surface, causing me to sink into shame. But over the years, the Lord spoke a lot of comfort to me with this Bible story about a man who was seen as unapproachable.
This is a story about a law student, a partner at a firm, and gross towel usage. Brace yourself. Here we go.
Last week, Washington, DC, was abuzz with excitement over the blizzard that was forecasted to dump two feet of snow on the city. The snow was just beginning to fall when I looked out the window and saw something across the street that surprised me: a homeless man was sitting against a brick wall, drinking something. “Hey girls,” I said, “look out the window.”
Last week, a series of minor, negative events happened throughout the morning. It started with a bit of unexpected, disappointing news, and the dominos just kept falling from there. By mid-afternoon, my chest felt tight with anxiety, and my breathing was slightly more shallow than normal. When I got home, I made dinner for my daughters and tried to distract myself from the heaviness inside by checking my email and social media. It didn’t work.
Last week, I wrote an op-ed for Fox News Opinion called, “How to Know the Moment When You Really Got Saved.” I have never written something that provoked so many comments, personal emails, or Facebook messages. Fortunately, most of the responses were filled with awe at how completely God saved us through the blood of His Son, Jesus. And one of those messages, in particular, touched me.
Be careful what you name yourself; and be careful what you allow others to name you. Clown. Dumb blonde.
Last weekend, I got out our trusty, old fake Christmas tree and put it together. But when I plugged it in, I discovered that half of the lights in the middle section were dead.
In March of 2001 I was hospitalized for emergency abdominal surgery, a blockage. In the course of it, I developed a serious blood clot, which also had to be treated.
Back in college, I was a high maintenance friend. As I’ve described in my article, “Facing Insecurity, Finding Friendship,” “I always needed a prompt reply to my phone call or email, an enthusiastic ‘yes’ to my invitations. I needed to be coddled and comforted and assured that I was liked. If someone neglected to call back, it couldn’t be because they forgot — no way, it had to be because they were ignoring me and my all-important need for affirmation.”
A few days ago, my wife and I drove our daughters to their first day of school. I hardly noticed that my breathing was becoming shallower as we got closer. I didn’t want to notice it. “You know,” I said, “I’m not going to cry when we say goodbye to the girls today, but I understand why parents do.”
When I was growing up in Petal, Mississippi, I felt a steady sense of being out-of-place. I didn’t play sports; my dad didn’t take me hunting; I paid the reduced price for my school lunch; and we weren’t Southern Baptists like almost everyone else in town. These were a few of the clues that helped me see that I didn’t belong.
Although I hate ironing, I went on a wild ironing spree this past Sunday afternoon.