{ about me }



I have always disliked these 'about me' sections, never quite sure what words to use to summarize who I am and why I do what I do.  To make a long story short, I am a free-as-a-bird twenty-but-closer-to-thirty-something who thrives on making space for creativity and soul searching.  I am a DIYer {who loves to turn other people's trash into my treasures}, a photographer, and a story teller. 

Sometimes, I wonder if the Big-Man dropped me on the wrong continent, as if I was really supposed to be latina, dwelling in the mountains of Ecuador and making my living by knitting hats and scarves and all-sorts-of-beautiful-things. 

But I am blessed -- so unbelievably blessed -- to dwell here, in the inner city of Baltimore, with my husband -- my passionate and devoted runner-man who thrives on doing the same thing at the same time everyday.  His cup is filled by having schedules and consistency, and mine is knocked over by the wind that moves it and me wherever-the-heck it wants.  I guess you can say we're two, lovely peas-in-a-pod who help each other stay grounded and balanced and focused on what really matters.  And I wouldn't have it any other way. 

I consider myself a Christian, but if I'm truthful, I feel just as lost as anyone else.  I doubt.  I get angry.  I struggle with depression.  I worry about the future.  I even shake my fist at the God somewhere-up-there when things aren't going my way. 

Most of the time, I only pray when I need something. I'd rather watch Breaking Bad than read my Bible.  I gossip.  I fight with my runner-man.  I judge others.  I act on selfish desires.  I neglect my gifts of writing and sharing my life in ministry with others.  I let tragedy throw me into a ditch, and I don't grab hold of the hands that reach down to try to pull me out.  More often than not, I question the goodness of God and how all-of-this-mess could be anything but unholy, unholy and more unholy.

So why do I still consider myself a Christian?

Because ten years ago, as a broken-depressed-and-suicidal teenager, I invited God into all of my mess and now, He refuses to leave.  The Bible calls it relentless, unconditional love; love from a God who loves me too deeply to let me stay the way that I am, so He brings tragedy, and change, and chaos to refine my soul to look more like His. 

Sometimes, all this relentless love stuff feels more like a massive-sticker-bush in my flesh

But in the quiet, desperate parts of me, it is so tender, so life-giving, so pure and holy.  His love draws me to peace and meditation.  It quiets my soul and begins to heal all that has been broken inside of me.  That is, of course, if I let go of myself and let it do it's work.   

So why am I sharing all this stuff on a blog?

When I was in Ecuador a few years back, some missionary friends encouraged me to blog about what I was seeing and experiencing.  I journaled privately, but never quite had the guts to share my thoughts on the world-wide-web.  A few years later, I experienced a very public loss that completely rocked my world -- one that I couldn't hide from in the face of facebook and social media.  Instead of hiding, I started writing about my struggles on this blog and could sense that God was moving amidst my suffering.  Blogging gave me an opportunity to process what was happening and to be authentic about how insanely difficult life -- particularly life as a Christian -- can be.  It provided opportunity after opportunity for me to connect with others, including those I may have pressumably had little-to-nothing in common with.

I have come to realize that suffering and questioning and wandering are common experiences for all of us, regardless of what faith we consider -- or do not consider -- ourselves a part of.  Living and suffering out loud has the power to bridge gaps, shake souls, and create community where there is none.  This is why I write and share my soul with my the world. 

I am honored that you are here, sharing in this life-journey with me. 

With love, 

Shelly


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