A New Name!

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
I have found the famous quote by William Shakespeare to not always be quite accurate. 
A name can hold so much power. It can fill you with pride of your heritage or drag you down with the weight of the memories of it.
For years now I have dreamed...
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Freedom Day 2020

Five years ago today, I began my journey out of a cult. 
I walked into a counselors office for the first time in my life and asked for help. 
I didn’t fully understand what kind of trauma I had endured; after all, it was my “normal”. 
I began the incredibly hard work of facing the reality of my trauma. I got angry. I grieved. I accepted. I healed. 
I then began to deconstruct everything I had been taught about God. Was He a God who only loved me if I did...
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Happy Six-Months, My Love!

Happy sixth month anniversary to the love of my life!! I never dreamed marriage could be so sweet, but I guess that‘s what happens when you marry your best friend. 💗
I’ve absolutely loved our continued traditions of four-hour long coffee dates, spontaneous “Haagen-Dazs Emergencies”, and late-night Downton Abby dates. ☺️ 
I’ve treasure our evening strolls together around the apartment and how we sometimes...
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The Body Holds Trauma

The body holds trauma.
This past week I’ve dealt with an unexpected flare up of my chronic illness.  I’ve also dealt with a frightening stream of relentless nightmares and last night a rare panic attack appeared out of no where.
After the panic attack told my husband I couldn’t figure out why my body had gone haywire this week.  He asked, “Is there anything significant about this time of the year?”  And then it hit me.  This week is the 9th anniversary of my brief stay at the cult headquarters. The week that forever changed my life.
Though this happens every year...
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I Am No Longer Praying For Healing

In the last two months I have made a large shift in my belief system.  I am no longer going to pray for God to heal me of my chronic illness.
You may have noticed I’ve been very quiet lately.  Almost immediately after my marriage in March, my health took another drastic turn.  I’ve suffered from a severe chronic illness for the past 16 years and the last two years have been especially difficult.  Even though I live in daily physical pain...
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Dating Long Distance

Long-distance dating is HARD, no question about it.  But when Josh and I entered this relationship we committed to one another that we would give 100% effort to keeping the romance alive, even while 1,500 miles apart. 
One way we do that is with unique...
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New Medical Crisis

Last Friday the pain I’d been enduring for many months suddenly grew unbearable.  I canceled my nanny jobs for this week and prayed that a week in bed would calm down the Crohn’s flare I’d been fighting for nearly two years now.  
By Wednesday night, however, I was screaming in pain and my husband rushed me to the Emergency Room.  With my husband on speaker phone (he wasn’t allowed in the ER with me), the doctors quickly performed a procedure (which involved slicing into me with a scalpel without any sedation) as a temporary fix to lesson my pain and then eventually sent me home with instructions...
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The Wedding That Wasn't

I awake to a warm breeze coming from our bedroom deck door brushing against my cheek. It’s a beautiful morning. A momma duck is keeping her baby eggs warm just a few feet away from our deck, the trees are bright purple with tiny flowering buds, and the early morning birds are singing their cheery, springtime choruses.
I turn over to see my new husband’s chest rise and fall with each steady breath.  It’s a sight I have longed for ages to wake up to, but this morning I am too distracted by the deep heaviness inside of me to fully enjoy the moment. The reality of what this day was suddenly hits me.
Today was supposed to be our wedding day...
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We Got Married!!!

Tonight, during a fifteen-minute ceremony over a candlelight bridge in Loose Park (the same bridge I was proposed to just one month ago), Joshua and I vowed our love and faithfulness to each other.
This tiny, no-frills, nearly impromptu wedding turned out more beautiful and special than we could have imagined, but it was definitely not how Josh and I had pictured things...
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We're Engaged!

After a two-hour long scavenger hunt with love letters and clues hidden at all our most memorable date locations (check my previous posts for live video updates!), I finally ended up at one of the prettiest places in Kansas City, a park where Joshua first asked me to be his girlfriend in March 2019 — less than 24 hours after we met face-to-face for the first time, and over three months into our long-distance relationship.
Tonight, as I walked out onto the bridge over the water, candles lining the wooden planks
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