brittleeallen

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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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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So Does This (a poem)

So Does This (a poem)

A single tear
drips
on the bed
as I stare at the white wall we painted when I felt 
hopeful. 

Depression is a funny thing;
you don’t always see it coming.
But it comes
crashing
like those waves at the Outer Banks
that almost drowned me.
We laugh about it now, 
how silly I looked running from the shore.
But it scared me.

And so does this.
So does this.

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Blessings and Birth Injuries

Blessings and Birth Injuries

Every morning I wake up hoping that today will be the day I can walk again. I slowly try to lift myself only to feel paralyzed by pain. The once simple task of rolling over to get out of bed has become one that I dread every single sunrise. Once I finally make it out of bed and steady myself with a walker borrowed from a friend, I make the long, excruciating trip to the bathroom. My days are spent missing out on life from the couch or bed and not knowing when it will get better.

If you didn’t know, when our sweet William was born I suffered a birth injury. They tell me it could be weeks or months before my pain is gone. These days are real and raw and wearisome. I’ve heard the bootstrap theology—those who plead self-sufficiency and stoicism over their suffering.

JUST GET UP ALREADY.…

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The Storms that Flood the Fruit

The Storms that Flood the Fruit

Years ago, on a whim, I grabbed a bag of zinnia seeds and scattered its contents into the empty earth of my flower bed. A few weeks later, after I’d just lost our first baby at 9 weeks, they began to bloom.

The tall sea of flowers became a sort of oasis for me. Bright corals, deep reds, and unique pinks sprung up before my eyes singing songs of life at a time when death felt so close—so, within me. I cherished these blooms, clipped and gathered them to my heart like I would’ve the little one we lost. I stared at them for long moments, savoring the gifts God was giving me through them. Gifts like perseverance, remembrance, and abiding joy. 

That was six years ago and each year since I’ve anticipated the last Ohio frost so I can push tiny seeds into the earth and watch God work.…

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Sin has Stolen Much; Christ will Restore it All

Sin has Stolen Much; Christ will Restore it All

I felt them coming. The tears. The ones that had been threatening to flow from my eyes all morning as we prepared to go to the church we were visiting.

It was there, in the corner of the nursery and surrounded by strangers and small children, that the dam broke. The more I fought it, the more the tears streamed down my face.

Honestly, in the moment I couldn’t tell you why I was crying. But now, weeks later, I’ve realized those tears were a declaration.

“It’s not meant to be this way.”

I transitioned into motherhood just months after experiencing one of the most painful conflicts I’ve ever walked through. Then a few months after our son was born, we entered a never-ending pandemic. I don’t think about it much, but it really has stolen a lot. It was a thief of my son entering the nursery at a less anxious age, learning how to sit still at restaurants, and attending more play dates.…

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