Fight Song

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I’d like to tell you about something I’ve learned recently. Here it goes.

(Deep Breath.)

This past year I have been learning more about lies. Not about what a lie is, but what it does to me. Lies dig deep under your skin like a parasite. You don’t have to know where they are for them to destroy you. Lies have been trying to destroy me – they want to take out my life. I was reading a book the other night when feelings started stirring inside me. The book was amazing, it wasn’t about the book. When I started processing, I felt something coming to the surface.

Most of my life I have been labeled as strong willed. Just recently a couple of my respected human beings told me that I am strong. I want to believe that. And I might be just a bit smug that people believe that about me. But I don’t fully believe that I am strong. This is the lie that came boiling up to my mind after reading that book.

“I am not strong enough. I have fought hard to prove to myself and everyone around me that I am strong enough, but I’m not. I, Hope am not strong enough.”

On New Year’s Eve, KD and I were writing out our new year’s resolutions together. Actually she was writing and I was goofing off. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to actually think about resolutions. In between writing my goals, I scribbled this down in my notebook. “I hate New Year’s Resolutions. It just feels like another thing to fail in. I’m so tired of trying only to blow it.”

I don’t actually hate resolutions. I enjoy them. Why did I write that I hated it? Deep down inside of me there is a weariness that dreads the thought of more things to do. Every task is another test of whether I am strong or whether I’m going to blow it and reveal the lie’s truth. Projects are not just projects in my life. They are the enemy’s way of inserting the lie over and over again. “You, Hope, are not strong enough. You don’t have what it takes to survive this battle. Everyone else, now they are strong, but you are a failure.”

I know this is a lie. That means I’m on my way to freedom. This is step one. I know this is a lie. But I only know it in my mind not in my heart. My heart still believes that it is weak. Lies don’t come out overnight, I know that too. The strangest thing about this lie is that fighting doesn’t seem like the way out. I have to actually tell myself that I don’t have to fight to prove my worth. I am enough whether I fight or not.

This is what I do know.

With Him I am enough.

He is my Fight Song.

He will bring me out from the lies. I can’t do that on my own.

He is my enough.



The Song of a Broken Heart

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Empty like the smile on your face

like all the words you say

it’s all meaningless.

Tears are in vain

pain is inevitable

but I refuse to feel.

Joy is an illusion

life is void of purpose.

God remains silent

Hope whispers quietly,

I turn away because

hope takes courage and

I don’t have the courage to hope.

My eyes are dry

my laugh is hollow

the lights are out and the rain is falling.

One day it will wash away

all the heartache of

this wasted life.


The Place of Pain

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Life is good.

You can get up in the morning and accomplish a lot of things.

You teach Sunday school.

Praise and worship songs are your favorite.


Life is good,



Then, something happens. Someone says the wrong thing to you at the wrong time or the wrong place. And suddenly you are swimming – no drowning in levels of pain you had tucked away.

Why did that have to show up?

You have to get out of that pain as fast as possible. You go with the quickest fix.


Extreme physical labor



Taking it out on someone that wasn’t even involved

Because, you know this game. It will work, for awhile. The pain will be pushed back down to it’s proper place. The world will be okay again. If you are one of the talented ones, it will look like you are farther ahead. Bigger paycheck or better spikes. It will all be okay. Except for one person. You. You are hurting more than ever. Your body and heart begin to believe the lie that they deserve to be punished for feeling the pain. Pain is dangerous. Pain will kill us. Don’t ever allow the pain to surface. Whatever you do, don’t tell anyone about the pain. They will just add more guilt and shame to your life.

If this is you, then we need to talk. No judgment – just talk. Because there are some things that you need to hear and if you could see my eyes, it would help you believe me. This pain you are going through, it is NOT because you were a horrible child. The lies that are attached to pain are just lies. You do not deserve this pain because you believe you are stupid. You are not an accident. You are not unwanted. You are not trash.

When the pain comes, the lies come with it. The pain won’t destroy you, the lies might. Do you have a safe place? Do you have someone to wrap their arms around you and help you reject the lies? No judgment – just grace and love. Let yourself be honest about the pain. Was your childhood a nightmare that you felt responsible for? Just let the pain hit you. It’s okay; I know a rock that won’t let you get washed away. That childhood pain was not your fault. The abuse that happened to you – that was not because you were a monster and deserved it.

Maybe you are just fine with avoiding the pain. You have life together. I need to tell you something. Pain can always run faster than you can. You might be okay for the moment but it will probably find you.

There is also something else I want to share with you. This is my favorite part. There is freedom waiting on the other side of the pain. Life is so much better on the other side.

Don’t run.

Find a safe person.

Don’t hide from the pain.

Don’t keep hurting yourself.

Walk through the wall of pain.

It is worth it.

Freedom is waiting.

The Good Father is holding you.

Let it go.

~Your sister, Hope

The Void

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It’s so valuable that without it we die  but few of us have it.

I feel my lack of it with an intensity that takes my breath away. I beg God for it then I snuff it out with my own bitter perceptions of all it should be.

It’s Christmas time, all the towns are lit up, everyone is trying to create it but no one is successful, we have even started reaching into each others trying to rob what little they have for ourselves but we all just feel empty.

No one has time to stop and be still, but that’s how it’s found.




I beg for it with every breath I take.

I want peace with my self, my life, my God, my world.

God, help us all.



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There are three things that can make you feel trapped.




If there is a lie operating in your life – there can’t be freedom in that area of your life.

Lies attack us personally.

Lies feel like the truth.

Lies won’t ever let us be the person we were created to be.

What happens when the lie coming at us is hidden in a person we love/respect?

How do we deal with the lie and spare the person?

What if we wound the person while trying to kill the lie?

What if we allow the lie to live because we don’t want to hurt the person?

I don’t know how to solve that one.

This I do know.

Lies must die.

You need to separate the person from the lie.

One is a friend,

The other is an enemy.

Truth will set you free.

If you want truth –

Lies must die.


Instructions on how to kill a lie.

  1. Dig the lie out. Lies have power when you don’t know about them. You need to dig it out and say, “This doesn’t seem like truth.”
  2. Then once you see the lie, you need to figure out how to get it to let go of you. This is the scary part. You go to the Father of truth and ask him what he says about this lie and about you. He will tell you the truth.
  3. The truth will set you free.
  4. Take the lie and drown it!
  5. Use the truth you now have to set other people free.

It will be beautiful.

~ Your sister, Hope

To My Dad


There are so many things I need to tell you but I can’t. I can’t put you through it. I hope you never read this but I still want to say these things

Dad, you tore my heart out and ripped it to shreds. I don’t even know who I am anymore. You were supposed to love me and that’s all I wanted from you.

I tried so hard to please you but nothing I could ever do would please you. I lived in fear my entire life Dad, tormenting fear. My stomach was always tied in knots and every time I made a small mistake I tried to cover it up so you wouldn’t yell at me or punish me.

You weren’t a safe place at all. No one could reason with you. Do you want to know what it felt like to watch you look for objects that would hurt the most when you whipped me? The pain you put me through and the welts I had on my body told me that I was a failure. I tried to make the bruises go away as soon as I could because I felt so much shame from looking at them.

Dad, the physical pain was excruciating but the emotional pain was one hundred times worse. Today it’s over, you’ve changed, you’re softer now, you love God and you really are a good Dad.

Please don’t try to stop the ripple effect, this is my life Dad, this is what I have grew up into. I’m not saying it’s your fault, I’m responsible. But you keep saying you’re sorry, trying to tell me all the lies you taught me are not true.

Dad, this is my life and it’s messy now but it will be beautiful. The waters of my soul will mirror the mountain soon.

God is my Dad now and He’s amazing. You wanna know what He taught me? He taught me how to love you and forgive you.

Dad, I really do love you and I wouldn’t trade you for any other Dad in the world. Please just love me and watch the ripples fade away. If you can’t stand seeing them now, look to the mountain.

Love, KD

For You KD

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She longed for so much more but was afraid of what would happen if she got it. Dreams were painful reminders that she was here trapped, unable to fly. Sometimes she saw glimpses of a world more beautiful than her own but the voice held her prisoner. She was afraid to die and too hurt to fight for life. All the humans added to the voice. They told her to get used to all this despair. She couldn’t hold her ears to block out all the words.

Occasionally she would hear whispers faintly calling to her, trying to save her heart. She didn’t know how to believe them. She believed her heart was evil and needed to be destroyed. The whispers would tell her that her heart was good, even beautiful. The whispers kept her dreaming for something more. She knew even if it wasn’t freedom. It would have to be something better than this.

I agree with the whispers. She is a beautiful woman. Her heart is made of gold. She will learn to believe the whispers. They will give her life.

Abundant life.

For you KD




To Men, With Love

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I’ve been watching you since I was a little girl. I was always so fascinated by your strength and I knew you had the ability to protect me fiercely. But you have hurt me deeply. I’m not angry at you, actually I wish we could talk because I want to understand you better.

Why do you think crying is a bad thing? Why do you feel so awkward about love? You have feelings for a reason and even though some are really painful they still have a purpose.

I used to see you as the enemy, all I wanted to do was shred your dignity and show you that I know best and that I’m the better sex but now I am sorry for that. I put myself in danger by doing that. I’m sorry for all the times I didn’t trust you when you were trustworthy, or when I doubted you. You hate being doubted and that’s ok, you are allowed to make mistakes although you rarely do. I’m sorry for all the times I’ve played on your emotions then suddenly rejected you because I felt you weren’t safe.

I see in you a need to be awesome, you want to be strong and courageous and you are but I have fed the lies you believe about yourself, that you are not enough, that you’re not brave. You are very brave, I don’t care how many fears you have, they’ll simply make you braver.

I love to see you confident, it’s very attractive but when you become arrogant I will still love you but I won’t respect that. I am weaker than you and you do have the power to hurt me deeply and I think you should keep that in mind whenever you talk to me. I will keep in mind that I have strengths that you don’t have, I’ve manipulated you so many times and I admit it’s very low and very evil. It causes you to shut down and withdraw and that makes you very weak. Guard your heart against it and don’t allow me to ever try it again.

I wish I knew how to step inside the fake world you’ve built and pull you back out. You say you love to spend 8 hours immersed in virtual reality but I know you better than that and I wish I knew how to undo the pain I caused that put you there. You spend so much time in the other world building castles and conquering the enemy and you find that you’re actually good at it. I don’t blame you for enjoying it in there. But I need to tell you that you were made to build kingdoms and destroy the enemy. God himself equipped you for that and now the real world is suffering because you think you don’t have what it takes. You do have what it takes I just wish you would believe it. You have been so shut down but you still crave anything to get that adrenaline high. Your life is consumed with sports, video games, alcohol, Netflix and porn. I’ve been there too and I know how lonely you feel. It’s not filling the void very well at all because you were made for so much more.

I don’t expect you to be able to walk out of this in a day, it’s all so intertwined with your emotions that you can’t make sense of. Are you willing to get uncomfortable? Can you face those feelings and allow yourself to be loved again? I’m sorry I broke your trust and wounded your already broken heart. I’m asking you to please give me another chance, we were made to conquer together and we need each other in this world. We have a God who loves us both so much and we have a calling we both need to take. Can you step out of the world you’ve created and come find healing? It’s ok to be afraid and unsure, I am feeling that way too but I’m willing to take a chance. We have a whole new world out there who needs us.

– KD (your sister and friend)

Under the Church Door

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I’m sitting here wondering if I can talk KD into writing a whole book about this topic. Knowing her as well as I do, I think it would a lot of convincing. But. Maybe someday. She has the real life experiences to bank on.

The title intrigues me. This isn’t about the normal events that take place in church. These are the secrets that destroy the church from under the foundation. Pain and hurt that happens behind the title of Abundant Life. Wounds become infected instead of healed. This is about the things that creep in – Under the Church Door.

The biggest question in my mind right now is, how did this happen? How did we stop welcoming people into the truth but instead keep them trapped in lies? How did we learn how to use fear instead of the Holy Spirit? When did we stop protecting the weak? When did we start giving broken cisterns instead of Living Water?

We ask an individual how they could possibly leave. I want to know how they could even stay. There are stories of the horrible pain this person has gone through. It’s not just one person either. You can ask an Amish: a Beachy Amish, a Mennonite, a Baptist, a Catholic, the stories are all traumatic. The wounds are real.

Not every church or every person is hurting or wrong. There are healthy people raised by the church. But why aren’t there more? Why are the hurting the majority? Maybe you are wondering exactly what has hurt these individuals. Here are a few of the instances I have heard about; physical abuse, emotional abuse, even sexual abuse and one of the hardest ones to explain, spiritual abuse. Spiritual abuse is using the name of God to inflict pain into people.

Church leaders use the Bible to control, shame, and manipulate their members. They preach hellfire on those who sin and at the same time, brush sin under the church door because they don’t know what to do about it.

There are two kind of pain in churches. The first is all the active abuse that happens, things like fathers beating their children. The other kind of pain is passive. It happens to the people who are brave enough to ask for help. Many churches don’t have answers. They honestly don’t know how to help. But, they are the church; they are supposed to have answers. To admit that they don’t is almost like admitting that the Gospel isn’t truth.

What happens to the people that ask for help? Not much. The church might send them to a treatment center. That’s sometimes the best solution they could hope for. Other times they will just get a list of rules that, hopefully if they follow, will give them the answers they are looking for.

This. This is what hurts so many people. The church isn’t willing to help them find answers. The church isn’t willing to get real and messy with people.

What has hurt you?

Has the church given you wounds?

I’d like to tell you the truth.

This is not what God is like.

He is good.

He has hope and answers for you.

I believe it.


The Altar of Lament


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I was curled up in the back seat of my car tonight talking with a friend.

We were discussing grief, I’ve concluded that all the times in my life when I thought I was going through grief I was actually dealing with alternatives.

I mean sure, I have had some really good long cries and I felt better afterwards. It was definitely not a bad thing  but they also have so far not helped me in the long term. Often I was simply feeling sorry for myself and I don’t think I ever faced reality enough to feel the full extent of my pain.

My friend was telling me how she always feels guilty when she pours her heart out to God because it feels like self pity. It made me take a good look at her life, she did spend years in bitter pain and agony but in the last couple of years she has walked an amazing journey and it started when she was honest with God. I knew that she was not feeling sorry for herself, she was actually lamenting. Then I took a good look at my life, I’ve never been real at all with my struggle and I’ve been wallowing in self pity.

I’d cry, I’d beat myself up both literally and figuratively, I would get lost in binge eating then attempted to throw up or overdose on laxatives and try to add more workouts. That’s totally not grieving, it’s just a sick form of idolatry.

I have scars on my body from cutting myself because I wanted to prove something:

  1. I was hurt
  2. I have a voice to let everyone know it.

But did it do any good? Not at all. Am I sorry I did it? I’m not sure yet. I sometimes have shame when I look at my scars but I more often have a sense of pride because I’ve felt they proved I have an excuse.

But now God has been calling me to the altar of lament and I really want to go but it means I’ll have to let go of this version of KD that I’ve discovered nad that means letting go of all of this bitterness and self justification and I’ll have to face the reality of what has happened to me and all the consequences of all I have done. It means I no longer have an excuse, I simply have brokenness and a God who will walk with me to wherever He wants to take me and that place might be somewhere I don’t want to go. I would have to come under authority and to me that’s scary, as long as I keep my knife, my alcohol, and all my other little idols in one hand I’m fine with reaching out to God with the other hand because then I’ll have some measure of control. But God has showed me that He has taken me as far as He can take me while I’m dragging the idols along on the other side of me.

I’ve been mulling this whole thing over for days now and I’ve been wrestling with God. It seems everywhere I look there is a message waiting for me on surrendering and facing pain and I know God is calling. Today I saw a quote “Let your grief be poured out so your cup can be refilled.” It speaks exactly into what I know, I can’t cling to this pain and expect to receive blessings, so I can either let go of the pain and walk with God or sit here in my misery till it either kills me or forces me into surrender.

I can just hear you saying, “but KD, why are you so stubborn and hesitant?”

I’ll be honest with you, I’m deathly afraid of the truth. I’m sitting here like a 3 year old who refuses to eat their broccoli and people all around me are coaxing and coaxing me to move on.

I don’t blame little kids for not eating their broccoli, have you ever tried eating something you hated and your gag reflexes kicked in?

My soul is rejecting the truth it needs and it feels like no amount of willpower will ever open me up to the truth.

I got drunk again this past weekend, it wasn’t planned but it happened, I found it was easier to keep pouring the drinks then to face reality but once again I’m seeing just how insidious and foolish it was.

I’m aching for the altar of lament if only I could gather up the courage to go there and cry and pour out my my grief. I’d become a whole new person I just know it.

But I don’t know where courage comes from. God, I need a miracle.