brittleeallen

Even When I Hate My Body, God Calls it Good

Even When I Hate My Body, God Calls it Good

I said “I hate my body.” 

The words came out like venom. And in that moment, I meant each one. It’s not even just the way my body looks. No, it’s the way it feels. It’s the persistent bloat that presses tightly against even my sized-up jeans. An ever expanding pressure; a ticking time bomb. It’s the searing, twisting cramps that creep slowly through my entire abdomen as we head back home instead of going to small group. It’s the feelings of failure as I hear my baby cry and can’t run to him. Or the pain of his weight on my stomach while nursing him during a flare. It’s the wrestling with God over withheld healing. It’s the frustration of missing out on another family walk. 

It’s the fact that I can’t even capture all the things it does to me in words. It feels like a prison—a place where pain reigns. …

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The Control We Don’t Have (a poem)

The Control We Don’t Have (a poem)

I hear myself say it.
“Oh, how I wish he’d let go
of the control he doesn’t have.”
And my heart is pricked.
Because I know,
that’s a word for me too.

An anxious mama
mothering an anxious little boy.
I think,
what could be a bigger
train wreck?
But I know God is trustworthy.
And he’s given us each other.
A mama who can empathize
and a little boy who acts as
mama’s little mirror.

He will be faithful my sweet boy
to grow us both.
And to be with us through
the tears we both shed.
And the years it takes
for us to feel
safe,
secure,
at peace.

May I be a safe place for you
here on earth.
But more than that,
may I point you to Jesus,
Our refuge.
Our security.
The place where peace is found.

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Heart Weeds (a poem)

Heart Weeds (a poem)

The crabgrass creeps in,
weeds reach high toward sun rays,
across the full length of what’s meant to be a flower bed.
They seek to overshadow every bloom and cover every inch.
But beauty reaches higher.
Abiding, abiding.

And I think of my own heart weeds.
The ones that try to prowl upon my soul,
telling stories of unbelief, loneliness,
and a God who forgets his promises.
But I believe
beauty reaches higher,
by the grace of God alone.
Pointing me to the Son.
Abiding evermore.

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But I’m Okay (a poem)

But I’m Okay (a poem)

And ever since that day
when I sat in your cold office 
hands on my lap,
ears hearing wounding words,
heart taking heavy blows,

I’m scared to tell someone when 
I’m not okay.

But really,
I’m okay.

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Do You Remember? (a poem)

Do You Remember? (a poem)

a poem for my sweet husband on our ninth wedding anniversary.


Do you remember
how in the beginning
I took offense to your joke
that I should sew?
“Not my type.”
Famous last words.

Do you remember
months of friendship and laughter and Bible study later
I changed my mind?
Nine years now and
I still choose you.
I will always choose you.

Do you remember
the waddling duck before us
as we walked the path
ahead of our friends
when we got lost in our conversation?
I knew you’d be my husband.

Do you remember
when we walked for the first time
our favorite trail
on a warm February day
and you held my hand in your own?

Do you remember
how I forgot the people in the pews
and wiped my lipstick off your lips
on the alter
when I became your bride?

Do you remember
how many bobby pins
you patiently took from my hair
before we could
become one?…

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A Safe Place from Wounding Words

A Safe Place from Wounding Words

Have you ever decided to open up to those around you only to have them use your honesty as ammo? What happens when someone who is supposed to protect and love you wounds you so deeply you begin to question everything? Maybe it was a friend, a fellow church member, or even a pastor. You start to wonder who can you trust? Who won’t use your honesty, vulnerability, struggle, or grief against you? Their words may even cause you to question your identity or worse, your salvation. Is there anyone you can run to now?

Friend, there is. You can run to your Lord who sees. More than that, he cares. He knows the nitty gritty details of your pain—the words that wounded you that you can’t share. He sees how confused you are and the questions racing through your mind. The injustice you’ve experienced is not lost on him.…

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