Upside Down

It was a photo that she didn’t recognize. An extreme closeup of her face, with her hand tucked behind her ear and several wisps of her hair floating out in front of her. She appeared to be surrounded by a gauzy white fabric that partly obscured her. With a soft smile on her face, she seemed to be looking down at something. Confusion filled her.

“When was this?”

15

And if you fall, my love, if you fall? It might feel like par for the course, or it might devastate you. Either way, remember, tomorrow is another day. Go to sleep, and wake up, and take it one day at a time. You don’t need to change the world right now, but your existence is putting ripples into the universe that are affecting the course of history, for better or for worse. You are necessary.

Finally Getting Into It

For some reason, Lilah’s unquestioning  acceptance made  Lanie’s fists clenched. “You know what? None of this is supposed to be happening. From the minute of that explosion, my whole life has been turned upside down. When my grandfather died, I promised myself I would never, ever let a man control me ever again. I wanted to focus on helping children. That’s it. And I did that.”

The Graveyard

“Do you ever feel like you’ll wake up one day, and be in your real life? The simple, uncomplicated life?” Chelsea thinks every day about going back to New York when her mother is finally done grieving her dad and can face their home again.  But Emma Wallstead has a long memory when it comes to grief, and Chelsea has the feeling that she might have to make the trip alone, and lose her last remaining parent.

Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

“No!” she bellowed, as loud as her destroyed voice would allow. “For once in my life, save someone I care about! What good are you, if you just let us die without caring? Save him!”
She closes her eyes. She deserves it. She doesn’t have that moment of wanting to be saved. She’s been fighting for so long. Too long. The fighting is just too much. 

But…Ben.

7

Do you see where I’m going with this story? Even though I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve conceived of every metaphor under the son to try and understand what’s going on in my head, maybe this is new to you – if you’ve got an emotional disability like depression, or anxiety, or something more complex like borderline or ADHD, you’re playing the game of life without emotional shoes.

6

We show up. We show up as much as we can for as long as we can, even when we’re in pain that others can’t even imagine, mostly because we don’t want them to see. So we struggle on, and slowly our symptoms wear away at our resolve to act “normal” until we’re too tired to keep up the front. And then, sometimes, the dam breaks, sometimes with disastrous results. And we’re left there, soaking wet, looking at the ruins, and wondering what the hell just happened.

8

I don’t know what demons you’re facing, whether seemingly insurmountable or mere inconveniences that make you falter from time to time. Either way, you’ve probably experienced some sort of cycle like this. For those of you for whom the fight seems impossible, maybe this resonates as strongly as it does for me.

The Real Tea

Thoughts shatter discordantly around her in an endless cacophony. She’s broken protocol. She shouldn’t have taken this on by herself. And now she’s going to die. Quite suddenly, quite unexpectedly unable to speak, unable to move because of the concrete weight of him. Two minutes ago, she’d just been looking for a snack. Now, the end.

She closes her eyes. She deserves it. She doesn’t have that moment of wanting to be saved. She’s been fighting for so long. Too long. The fighting is just too much. 

But…Ben.

Remembering The Why Part 4: Writing In Circles

I love those moments when something just clicks. I’ll write something for no reason other than to have something to say, and later I’ll get an amazing idea of how to connect it all together. Again, just walking through the world and seeing what I find that I want to show to others. It’s like I’ve got these dolls that I’m playing with, except that they talk to me and move on their own. Sometimes I give them a nudge or a drop them in a new setting, and then I record the simulation because of how fascinating I find it.

Believing is Not Believing

Moses loved his people a lot, despite the grief that they caused him. Sometimes he complained to God in the same way that they did, asking why He doesn’t just kill him. But despite those words, Moses’ actions still demonstrate the love he had for the Israelites. I was struck in this reading by how Moses apparently spent forty days praying for them so that God wouldn’t destroy them. Have you ever spent forty days praying non-stop? Has anything ever been that important to you, that you would drop everything just to pour out to God? Not me. Those are some actions I can’t even fathom.

Remembering The Why Part 3: Amateur for Life

Of course, even when I was a kid I had dreams of being a famous writer, of finishing my books one day and being discovered and being one of those teen authors whom everyone is so astounded by. But then I started writing for more than one or two adoring fans, and going much, much darker and experimenting with different styles and elements, and things got hairy. Even though I was still proud of what I wrote, I think it was beyond my target audience, and it was a blow to my confidence.

Remembering The Why Part 2: The Greats, Big and Small

Actually, I LIVED for Twilight back then. I was stalled on one of them, I think it was Eclipse, and when my mom got it for me, I never put it down, and I was chomping at the bit for the next one. There are so many book series I’ve read that are like that. I just need more and more. I need to be in that world. I HAVE to know what’s going to happen next. I can’t put it down, and I’ll finish it in a few days. So even though Twilight gets a lot of haters, especially for spawning things like Fifty Shades and 365 days, the book has enough people who “get it” and like it for it to be successful.

When Faith Calls

Maybe your family was a little more like Shameless and a little less like Good Luck Charlie. But when you’re part of the family of God, you know that you belong, forever.

Whenever I’ve seen someone get baptized, it’s been the same. Are you up there thinking some of the same things that I did? “Wow, their lives must be going so great.” “I could never do that – I’m a mess.” Or “I’m a Christian, sure, but it’s not like I want to make a big deal out of it.” Or maybe you’re even thinking: “When will this be over – breakfast is only served until 11:00 am.”

Generations of Marfan: Part 1

One thing I really hated was having my eyes dilated. Sometimes we had to do it days in advance, and I remember being about four in Quebec, staying at my aunt’s house in Montreal, being held down so that my mom could put the drops in my eyes. It was awful! I vaguely remember having braces and casts on my legs when I a preschooler as well, because my legs were so crooked. But other than that, I don’t have a lot of early memories of dealing with it – it was just a part of life. What will Obsidian remember? Being a YouTube star, of course!

Remembering The Why Part 1: Negative Feedback

Do you ever stop in the middle of a project and think: “What on earth am I doing here?” I get that a lot. Especially when I’ve been going round and round with a problem in my head and I don’t know where to turn. Especially when my self-esteem dips to below zero and I’m left wondering whether what I’m doing will really make a difference at all. But every now and then, I get this little nudge reminding me why I love writing and why I love books. Last, week, I got to have a nice long chat with some mentors from my church’s evangelism group, and I was left with that pilot light relit and the flames of my passion rekindled.

It’s so incredible how similar Marc and Michelle are to Ben and Lanie. I really think God put them into my life for a reason. I was in a bad mood (borderline anxiety) when I first met Michelle during my first official time at the evangelism meeting, but she was so loving and kind, explaining things to me and guiding me through. Still, though, I planned to go to a small group that involved sitting around the fire and getting warm, even though I felt the nudge to go with Michelle to serve outside one of the homeless shelters. But as I was waiting to leave with the group that would be warm and seated and singing songs, there was a call specifically for volunteers to go with Michelle’s group – and I knew I couldn’t ignore it. And ever since, it’s been an incredible journey, even if it’s frightening sometimes.