I like my eggs scrambled.

Like most girls, I’m a sucker for a great romantic comedy and growing up, the king and queen of romantic comedies were Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. It all started with Pretty Woman but there were several pairings that followed. One of my favorites is Runaway Bride (1999). Julia Roberts plays Maggie, a woman who has left three men at the alter and is now engaged to her fourth. Gere plays Ike, an op-ed columnist from New York City who loses his job after writing about “the runaway bride” without checking his facts. Ike travels to the small town where Maggie lives in an effort to redeem himself by doing the research he ought to have done in the first place. th Here’s your spoiler alert. In rather predictable fashion, Maggie leaves fiancé number four at the alter and falls in love with Ike. Through his research, Ike had noticed something interesting about Maggie. With each fiancé, she had different interests, different styles, and even ordered different eggs at the local diner – the same eggs ordered by each fiancé. When Maggie leaves him at the alter, he confronts her with this fact and she realizes that he is right – she does not know who she is! She doesn’t even know what kind of eggs she prefers! She has been unable to complete the walk down the aisle not because of the person she was walking towards, but because of her lack of knowing herself! Maggie does her own “research” and returns to Ike’s apartment in New York. She looks at Ike and says, “Benedict”. He replies, “Arnold?” And she says, “No, I love Eggs Benedict. I hate every other kind. I hate big weddings with everybody staring. I’d like to get married on a weekday while everybody’s at work. And when I ride off into the sunset, I want my own horse.” You can probably guess what happens next!


How often I’ve been just like Maggie! Instead of being true to myself, to the identity God has given me, so often I have tried to be whatever I believed others wanted me to be. Maybe I didn’t really know myself. Maybe I was afraid that I wouldn’t be accepted for being who I really am. Regardless of the reason, I know that I was unhappy. Living life trying to be what I believed others wanted me to be left me confused, uncertain, and sad. Maggie couldn’t go through with a wedding because she knew that the person she would be marrying didn’t really know her. And at some level, she knew that she didn’t know herself either. She was not truly known. And that is where God steps in and meets us. He longs more than anything else for us to know Him in the same way that He knows us. And He knows us well because He created us! And because He created us in His image, the more we know Him, the more we know ourselves. It’s an amazing thing!! Scripture says, “Be still and know that I am God.” In our busyness, we lose sight of God and we lose sight of ourselves. God longs for us to be still, to calm down, and to accept ourselves in the same deep way that He accepts us. Claiming the identity God has given us cuts through the confusion, insecurity, and sadness of trying to be someone else.

Healing Hurts


I spent nearly every summer of my youth on a softball diamond. Sports, especially softball, is a wonderful teacher of life lessons. I learned about teamwork, respect, the power of believing in yourself, winning, losing, hard work, humility, sacrifice, and pain. Yes, I learned a lot about pain! Most people are “playing hurt” by the end of the season, but I also witnessed my fair share of season ending injuries.

One such injury happened on an otherwise routine play at the plate. I was playing first base and my friend, Megan, was pitching. After a wild pitch, Megan ran to cover home plate in an attempt to prevent the runner at third, now charging down the line, from scoring. Unfortunately, she set her feet incorrectly and as the runner slid into home, instead of sliding between Megan’s feet, she slid right UP Megan’s right leg, now blocking the way to the plate. Playing first base meant I had rotated to the pitcher’s mound and had a front row view of the metal cleat slicing through Megan’s uniform and driving up her calf. However, the strangest thing happened. This gruesome injury didn’t bleed! Not one drop hit the ground or shown through onto her white uniform pants. It seemed that as the runner slid into Megan’s leg, her body drug an abundance of dirt with her than packed the fresh wound.


Gross, I know… but there are many lessons about healing emotionally in this story. When emotional wounds happen, there are three main ways we can respond. One, we can stuff the pain and pretend everything is fine. Like the dirt that filled my friend’s wound, we stuff the wound with busyness, alcohol use, good grades, or anything else we can think of to try to stop the bleeding. And it does stop the bleeding, but it doesn’t lead to healing. Eventually the dirt needs to be cleaned out for the wound to truly heal.

Sometimes we get stuck in the hurt and believe that everything is wrong. We take on a victim mentality and are no longer able to see anything good happening in life. Like a child with a cut, we want everyone to see our injury, but we don’t trust anyone to touch it. Our wound becomes our identity and does get people to tend to and care for us, but again, the wound does not heal.

There is a healthy response. We can share the hurt with God and with others. There are four steps to sharing our pain. First, name the pain. When Jesus passed by, those in need of healing cried out over the bustling crowd to get Jesus’ attention. They were often scoffed at and told to be quiet, but they were desperate and yelled all the louder. They acknowledged that they had pain and that they needed healing.imagesCA2XBI6S

Second, acknowledge Jesus is the only place to received true healing. Before performing a miracle, Jesus often asked the person, “What do you want?” What a strange question! Certainly Jesus knows that a blind man wants to see or a lame person wants to walk! Jesus wanted the person in need of healing to acknowledge that he alone is the source of true healing. When we are in pain, we don’t just need healing, we need Jesus.

Third, receive Jesus’ healing touch. In 21 of 34 recorded miracles, Jesus touches the person he heals. Allow Jesus to draw close enough to your woundedness and pain that he can touch you. Give him access to the darkest, deepest and most painful parts of the wound. Allow his loving and gentle touch to bring a kind of healing that you could never imagine.

Finally, share the comfort you have received with others still hurting. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all compassion and God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

This is no easy process. Healing hurts. We know and accept this when it applies to physical wounds. Everyone has experienced the sting of cleaning out a wound and know that it typically hurts worse than getting the wound in the first place. Anyone who has had surgery knows that recovery hurts worse than the injury itself. Physical therapy is often slow and painful. But there is healing in the hurt. Emotional wounds are no different. They need to be cleaned out and bandaged and tended to in order to heal properly. Yes, healing hurts, but it also makes us stronger and draws us closer to God. My prayer is that during this Lenten season, you will find the strength to share your wounds with Jesus, the provider of true healing. It may hurt, but the hurt is worth it.


Comfort is Found in Dad’s Lap

As a child, moving to a new school was one of the most painful things I had ever had to go through. My outgoing and charismatic sister made it look so easy. She seemed to know every kid in the neighborhood within an hour of moving in. I was painfully shy and insecure so making new friends was difficult to say the least. (As an aside to help facilitate the process, my mom took me to a basketball tournament to meet some of my new classmates before school started for the next term. The coach found me a uniform and then proceeded to make “the new kid” shoot every free throw awarded our team for fouls called on the guards (we played the wonderful game of 6 on 6 back then). Apparently none of the other forwards could even get the ball to the basket! I made 6 free throws that day. Our team scored 8 points. Yeah, we were bad.)

The experience of moving as a child made my ears perk up when a grad school professor began a story saying, “We often treat God like a kid who comes home from their first day at a brand new school would treat their father.” I had wonderful professors in graduate school who often taught through story. (Hmm, wonder where they got that idea!) My professor continued saying, “The child’s father says, ‘How was school?’ The child responds, ‘I had an awful day! The other kids laughed at me and beat me up and I hate you for making me go there!’ Then the child storms off to cry by themselves, alone in their room.”

My professor explained that this is how we often treat God when bad things happen to us. We almost immediately blame him and lash out at him. Now, like the father in the story, he is big enough and strong enough to handle our outburst. However, what would have happened if the child had climbed into her loving father’s arms and said, “Dad, I had the worst day ever. The kids teased me, beat me up, and I don’t ever want to go back”? That child would then be in a place to receive comfort. The father may say that they have to go back to school, the source of the pain, but the child knows they are supported and understood in the midst of the hurt.


Hurt happens and pain is real, but God’s love and empathy are just as real. And greater than any hurt or pain you can imagine. It’s ok to be angry with God, but express your anger in a way that allows him to respond with care and compassion. Comfort is not found when we are alone in our bedroom. No, comfort is found when we crawl up onto his lap and allow him to embrace us.