Telling the Truth Wrecked My Life

“I’ll be discussing sexual addiction in a few weeks and I want you and Sam to share your story with my class.”  Diane, the psychology professor who adopted me when I moved to San Diego, stood at my office door. This five-foot-two, blond and blue-eyed, inoffensive looking creature was about to wreck my life.

What? Is this a joke?  I first thought.

She was dead serious. [Read more...]

When You Are Wrecked From Birth

We don’t pick our lives, our parents or the circumstances we are born into.  God, in His infinite wisdom and in His love for our soul….but more for His Glory decides those things.

For years I walked around ashamed and bewildered by why He had chosen me to have the life I had.

I remember, at the age of three, walking by the side of the road, small satchel in hand…while my brothers and Mom walked near me.  She was done, they were finished.

The truck was unpacked and the four of us began building a new life.

One filled with rushing and running and yet delights of riding big wheels down the road…the smiles and laughter seemed to be returning, a new peace discovered.

But there was a knock at the door….that changed it all[Read more...]

The Book

Three years ago, while I experienced disillusionment over the fact I couldn’t find a job in my field after spending four years completing graduate work, my friend Greg Martini continued dealing with Duchenne’s, a form of Muscular Dystrophy. It was during this time we decided to write a book loosely based on his high school days. Greg talked; I wrote. Greg told me I didn’t have to write everything he said; still I wrote, organizing later the notes into a story. Every two weeks we met to go through it, making changes.

One year turned into two. Eventually we had a finished manuscript. We had done this for ourselves, but once it was done we realized it was truly going to be out there. We decided to give half our royalties to Make-A-Wish, because ten years ago Greg and his family had received a trip to Disney World. There was no hesitation where he wanted to give. [Read more...]

When Love Can’t Get In

I started therapy five years ago because I was having flashbacks that were making my life hard.  I couldn’t shake the images that were in my head, and I walked through the days full of fear.  I didn’t know who I could trust and who I couldn’t trust, so I erred on the side of trusting no one.

I had friends, but I didn’t share much of my inner life with them.  I went to 12-step meetings, but I said as little as possible when I was there.  I went through life with a deep, deep fear that something bad would happen to me or someone in my family.  I worked hard to look “perfect” on the outside…calm, happy, put-together…but my inner world was full of turmoil. [Read more...]

Allowing the River of Grief To Carry Me From Wreckage To Transformation

On April 22 2010, Doris E. (Breed) Hoyle, affectionately known as “Deb,” passed away after a long decline. I had always called her Mommy.

Grief certainly is a mysterious thing. I thought I understood how grief progressed after I lost my father in 2003, but the course it has taken this time has been totally different and frankly, confounding. At first I believed that after the first 6 months, grief would finally begin to come to the surface and the tears would come. Two years later, the tears have been but a small measure; grief is manifesting itself in ways I never imagined. [Read more...]

Holding on to Faith

Late afternoon sun spills golden over the water.  Abandoned sand castles collapse and erode as the tide sweeps the beach.  They stand hand-in-hand in the shallow surf, a mom and little girl, laughing as the incoming waves tug and swirl around their ankles.

They look like any other mother and daughter walking the beach near sunset.   Except I know their story.  The girl with the chocolate brown eyes and the smile that melts hearts is named Faith.  Melissa is her foster mom. [Read more...]

No Guts : God’s Glory

Parents divorced when I was five. One of four kids of a single mom. Angry at God, decided I was an atheist. Diagnosed with severe Ulcerative colitis, spent 23 days in the hospital, one of which was my 15th birthday. Almost died. Doctors wanted to remove my colon, I said no. Angrier at God. [Read more...]

24 in Kampala: What I’ve Learnt So Far

Had you asked me a year ago, the direction in which I thought my life might be heading, or which country I saw myself living in, I know without a doubt that ‘Uganda’ would not have been among my first 100 guesses.

Sitting in a dark, dilapidated, local cafe in downtown Kampala, waiting for my (instant) coffee, I find myself marveling at how life will sometimes take all of our expectations, all of our safe plans, our predispositions, our malnourished ideas of adventure, and will throw them to the wind. And that, I suppose, is what has happened to me. [Read more...]

WARNING: Do Not Open

“Hey, Jerk-off!” I tried to ignore the taunt coming from the pack of junior-high punks standing around the dented outdoor lockers. If I could just grab my stuff and make it to class. . .  Rough hands grabbed me, and I struggled as Mike Kasting hurled me headfirst into a mud puddle. I tried unsuccessfully to wipe the rank smelling slime off my clothes.

I could hear others snickering up and down the shaded sidewalk. I hated him and his stupid pink Izod shirt; the alligator appropriately marked him as a cold-blooded hunter, stalking the weak and preying on new kids. Since moving to California this wasn’t the only thing going wrong; something dark stirred deep in my gut. Foolishly, I had believed a pair of Vans tennis shoes and my Sony Walkman would be all I needed to fit in at my new school. [Read more...]

Time to Tell

The time had arrived to tell my husband I had been unfaithful and aborted my pregnancy by the other man.

We had three Family Life “Weekend to Remember” marriage conferences under our belt and my relationship with the Lord was as strong as steel. We were on our way home from our 2nd year of volunteering with Family Life and I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to confess. [Read more...]