What does it mean to be clean? I’m still uncertain on how to directly answer this ambiguous question, as well as distinguish what living a “clean” life looks like. But one thing I am learning is I am in fact, clean; I’m not tarnished nor soiled, discounted or fragmented. The decisions that were made for me, the words that were spoken at me, the lies I believed for far too long, I believed, ruined me. But when the loving countenance of Jesus looks at this prodigal daughter, he still calls me beloved—not seeing the stained lies that have made their home in my mind, he declares over me that I am his daughter who he knows how to love well, and in his eyes these dirty rags are purified, I am white as snow. What love does that? The love of a father whose love knows no bounds, a love that is not blind to my faults and failures but fully aware of them.

My sweet Jesus, aware of the walls I’ve built, the lies weighing me down, prepared me for a moment of pure vulnerability. He sweetly declared the blood running through my veins may biologically come from my mom, but it is his blood that has sustained my life. It is his blood that runs through my veins. It is his blood that makes me clean. There is no questioning this genetic makeup because I am my Jesus’ and my Jesus is mine. The instability of mental illness no longer has its grasp on my joy, but the stability of freedom found in Jesus does.





I come from a broken home and that has manifested itself into broken view of God. I’m not the girl with an unreliable father, I am the girl, however, whose mother is unreliable. My mom struggles with bipolar disorder, a mental illness that that has stolen too much from my family. When I was born until I was about 9, everything seemed fine. I thought my picturesque view of my family was normal. But as I’ve grown, I realized the household I lived in wasn’t normal. My parents separated when I was nine, but hey, whose hadn’t at that time? It was just me and my dad. My mom had left, and life started to get back to “normal.” Having previously lived in Alabama, my dad and I moved to Ohio. After the divorce had settled, my parents had decided to give it another try, this try lasted a few months, but it ended worse than the first time she left. A few weeks later after realizing the consequences of her actions, she wanted the family life back. This try, however, only lasted a few months. I remember it was the Fourth of July and my mom dropped me off at my cousin’s house and promised to pick me up later that night, but the evening rolled around, and my mom never showed up. She was gone… again. After the second time she left, she met this man who she ended up leaving my dad and I for. Her new boyfriend had a son my age and, in her instability, she told me I was so ungrateful and unworthy of her love, that she was so glad she left me because her new boyfriend’s son was so much more deserving than I was. It got to the point where she would send me pictures of what she would buy him for Christmas, meanwhile I didn’t even receive a card.

I can’t say that I never doubted God through this time in my life, mostly because I didn’t know God during this time. But it is from this moment that this seed of doubt was planted in my mind and from then I thought I would never be good enough for myself or anyone I’d come into contact with. My own mom even told me I wasn’t enough. However, I’m a striver. I strive to be perfect and I strive to please those around me. For so long I have strived to win the praises of others to mask the rejection I experienced from my mom. But the praises of those around me didn’t fill the void I had been carrying with me for all these years. I still doubted how capable I was, how worthy of love I was, how essential to my community I was, all because I allowed my mom’s choices, choices I didn’t even chose for myself, define me for far too long.

I’m not telling you my childhood trauma to paint my mom as this awful person, but I’m sharing this to show where our relationship has been but also where it is going. I hadn’t spoken to my mom in 8ish years up until this past Friday actually. I called my mom and told her I forgave her, that I was interested in a relationship with her. Leading up to this point, I have been going to counseling for the past 2 semesters and I realized that I harbor a lot of resentment and mistrust towards my mom and really most people. But hey, can you blame me? I remember over Christmas break praying for my mom and I’s relationship, desperately wanting reconciliation but not knowing what a healthy relationship looked like, what it could look like. I was so doubtful that anything good could come from pursuing my mom, rather I expected heartbreak and rejection. I didn’t trust God, the one who I definitely think planted this seed of reconciliation in my heart. I remember telling God, “God she doesn’t deserve my love, she doesn’t deserve my forgiveness, she ruined me.”  And I remember after giving God a piece of my mind, this voice in the back of my head asked me, “Heather what if I treated you like that? You are so undeserving of being forgiven, but you have been forgiven.” And it was in that moment that I think I finally began to understand what extending grace should look like. I kept wrestling with this idea of pursuing a relationship with my mom because I really don’t feel like I need her in my life, the mom role had already been filled through my step-mom, and all she could do was hurt me again. I just kept doubting the work that God could do through me within my mom and I’s relationship. And every time I think about a relationship with her it’s like the enemy screams into my mind, “She is going to hurt you again. You will never be enough for her. Why would she want you?” I just couldn’t let my doubt of these “what if” scenarios dominate the hope of what it could be.

I can’t act like this relationship has been reconciled and my family lived happily ever after, because that’s not reality. But I think I’m learning to slowly release my grasp of always wanting to have control and play it safe, and slowly trust God who even started this far-fetched idea of reconciliation to do what He said He would do. God is not scared of your doubts, or your questions, my friend. I think this idea of doubt, specifically in a Christian society is seen as a lack of faith, but you are not a second-class Christian if you choose to be vulnerable with the community around you. I just want to encourage you if you’re struggling with doubt especially in reconciling a relationship whether that’s a parent, a friend, really anyone, me too.


I feel like there were all these parts of me that were broken and I bandaid-ed them together masking their broken reality. A mended vessel looks good enough. All the broken pieces are bound; finally complete. I deceived myself into thinking I was okay; mended, whole. The way God works on this broken vessel has astounded, and continues to astound me. I was able to be broken in order to be mended; finally able to breathe again. And slowly, but surely, the pieces of this vessel were reassembled, not by bandaids, but with the permanent fix. There are cracks that tell of brokenness, yet I am not defective. I am being mended. I am becoming free— not because of me, but because of the Potter who remolded this hard clay. I haven’t arrived yet, not yet completely mended and whole. However, I am the Master’s handiwork. His image barer, this title was the one I was destined to own. I am a cracked vase overflowing. These broken yet mended pieces shine light. Light that is true, light that is authentic. I am my Potter’s intentional handiwork. I was never destined to be broken, but something to be of great use, letting light shine out of my broken places.

raw + real

I’m learning to be in pursuit of vulnerability is the best route I can be on in this season of life. Vulnerability is hard, it goes against everything we’ve made ourselves out to be, up until this time. It’s the raw, unfiltered, and the mostly messiest versions of ourselves. How can we say we’re truly ‘living our best life’ when we can’t even talk about the difficult things that got us to the apex. We can’t– at least not honestly. Vulnerability is as necessary as the air we breathe: to maintain quality friendships, as well as our relationship with God. Satan can be so cunning to trick us into thinking what we’ve done and what’s been done to us is too much or too dirty to share. Our minds begin to harbor these events and, in turn, we feel the weight of shame and guilt in its fullest capacity. But friend, you and I were not created to live a life bound to the weight of the past. We are a chosen people, destined for freedom. Freedom is our anthem… not shame or guilt. This gift of freedom seems so vast and impossible to attain, trust me. But throughout these past four months, little by little, the Lord is teaching me what it means to be free indeed.

I remember being so frustrated with all the people around me declaring,  “freedom is yours,” you just have to accept it and walk in it. Though said in good heart, there was something they happened to miss. Yes, freedom is ours and we must accept and walk in this gift the Father intended on us living in; but it is truth that breeds freedom. We cannot go from bound to free until we undo the shackles, and that cannot happen until we recognize and acknowledge we are a bound and broken people. We must illuminate what Satan loves to keep in the dark, our past mistakes and unfortunate circumstances—the real us, the broken us. Truth really does breed freedom, friend. It wasn’t until I started talking to people about my broken family, sexual trauma, and periodic porn usage that I finally began to understand what walking in freedom truly looks like. Neither I nor you were meant to carry the weight of these burdens alone. We were created for freedom. My voice shuttered, but I spoke. I felt compelled to keep to myself and not throw the weight of my burdens onto others, but I threw them. My words thrown into an atmosphere with nineteen other girls hearing the rawest and messiest version of me… I couldn’t undo what had been spoken. The atmosphere in the room changed, the heaviness I once felt in the deepest depths of my chest began to lighten and I could finally breathe. This heavy-burdened soul was being undone by the undoer himself, and right there, in that moment, I was becoming the best version of myself.

Fostering vulnerability is daunting and, in thought, makes me nauseous. But this where freedom lies. Freedom is found in speaking hard truths that make people uncomfortable, but most importantly, these hard truths remind people that they are not alone. Freedom is found where you speak it into existence. I am no longer bound to the weight of my past—my friend, neither are you.

Free indeed, truly.

why it is well

I stumbled upon this article from that discussed when the things of life are not well with our souls, I began to read and saw my own story within the article. Life is hard. Bad things happen, people leave, these are hard, hard, hard things to grasp as a young Christian. If this great big God who is almighty and powerful is good then why is my life falling apart? Why are people leaving? Isn’t His purpose to give me hope & a future? This man calls me beloved yet has allowed all of these things to happen to me? How is that at all good? That’s what my heavy-burdened mind was screaming into my soul. That is what I believed truth to be. God was like everyone else, fickle and only for me when I’m present but against me in my absence.

How wrong was I? Looking back, I see broken pieces of a little girl that were scattered and stepped on, forgotten and abused; all alone. I had fallen victim to Satan’s antics and truly believed I was defeated and alone, a bother to all, unwanted, and unloved. It wasn’t well with my soul. My soul was tormented and dark, I separated myself from people who loved me and drew myself into an isolated hole, destined to never escape. But God. He was for me, He saw my tears and His heart broke for his prodigal daughter who couldn’t see her worth. Little did I know, God fought for me. He was picking up the pieces that were broken, making something beautiful from the ashes of my past hurt. I didn’t know this but He was going to use everything I went through, every negative word spoken to me, every tear I shed only to propel me into the mission he had for me on his earth. I didn’t see this hope nor would I see this hope until my freshman year and truly believe it for myself until my junior year.

I finally understood that life isn’t always happy and wonderful, but it is still beautiful and purposeful and God is still good through it all. I read this article with tears streaming down my face only to be comforted by security found in Jesus alone. I’ll link the article down below but in summary, the author discussed it’s easy to talk about the goodness of God when life seems to be for us, but when tragedy strikes we’re merely just singing “it is well” out of habit and routine instead of understanding and declaring “it is well” even when it’s not. It’s hard sometimes, my feelings are so fleeting and life can be well at the time but it doesn’t feel well with my soul. But as I learn more and more about God it is well with my soul even if life isn’t going as planned- these feelings are anchored truth; unshakable, life-giving.

Knowing that, I wanted a permanent reminder of this truth that life happens and it’s hard sometimes but Jesus will always be good and His promises are yes & amen because He is constant and true, so I got it is well tattoed on my right wrist written in my handwriting. This is my story, who I am, where my identity is found.  It will get better. And if not on this side of Heaven then it will be the next. Jesus hears you, you my friend are heard. He loves you & He is for you. This comfort has been the prayer of my heart: to forever sing it is well because through Jesus, I have the victory for He has already overcome.

Here’s the link to the article!


wake up call

Ah- what a beautiful day to wake up & love Jesus & his people! I’m sure you’re thinking, “Isn’t every day a beautiful day to wake up and purposefully serve the Father?” You’re right my friend, but my identity has recently been more securely anchored in the Father’s love. How beautiful is that? To be reminded of to whom you belong and reminded that I can still approach the throne boldly even when my life seems like it’s falling apart.

For so long I believed the lie that a.) my life had to be all-together to pursue Jesus. b.) Jesus wants the polished version of me & c.) I chose repentance.  All of the above are lies that Satan for so long, whispered in my ear. But through grace and learning more about my Father I’ve learned these are so far from truth. When Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the temple was torn, meaning we no longer had to have the priest enter the holy of holies on our behalf and our offerings no longer had to be a spotless animal. For the lamb of God himself was spotless and paid the debt of sin we owe in full. I pray I never become apathetic over this extravagant love because it has set me free!

When I first learned about Jesus I was under the impression that moralism and legalism were required for a relationship with the Father- how wrong was I!? As Jesus breathed his breath and spoke “tetelestai” he meant it… it is finished. In order to seek the throne I simply just have to say yes & come as I am- not the prim and proper version of myself that the world desires but the messy and broken version of myself that brings vulnerability and an open mind. For so long I thought I had to pick myself up, figure my problems out, “get right with God” to be in a fully intimate relationship with Him. I read my Bible, didn’t cuss, and loved the people around me bUT THAT WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH TO SAVE ME. Salvation comes from Jesus, not a decision we make but the kindness and the grace the Father lavishes on us leads us to repentance. So it has never been about me, the decision I’ve made or the rules I’ve followed-it’s always been about Jesus it will never be about anything other than Jesus. He just wanted me and He wants you too regardless of where you are in your life or what you’ve done because who you are isn’t what you’ve done. I’ll say it again for the people in the back, WHO YOU ARE ISN’T WHAT YOU’VE DONE. You are loved and called and pursued and cherished. Remember that. Walk in that. Say it until you believe it because that is true.