Letter To A Stranger

By March 31, 2014 Blog

An email I received recently, (quoted with permission): Dear Emma, It’s 5am and I am writing to a complete stranger. .. I apologise for taking this liberty but I have been reading your blog and I think you will understand. I will not be ruled by lies any more, but they shout loudly tonight. Alone, unprotected, unloved. Single women, particularly single women with a history of mental health problems aren’t taken seriously in evangelical churches. Or perhaps I am immature …Read More

3 mins on Love (updated!)

By March 30, 2014 Blog

Here’s a wee interview I did with BBC radio on ‘love’ (airing today as part of their Lent series). I’ve updated it so you can listen direct instead of downloading – sorry if this has been tricky. … Mum was very excited (but I think she got it mixed up with the Archers and I haven’t broken it to her yet).                                       …Read More

Happy Mother’s Day?

By March 28, 2014 Blog

Mother’s Day can be a tough one for many different reasons. … Some of us have mums, but not the mums we wanted. Some have mums we don’t talk to – or who don’t talk to us. Some of us have lost the mums we have: They’re here – but not the way they were.  Or perhaps – they’re not even here. … Some of us want children but don’t have them. Some of us have children, but had to …Read More

You Should Know

By March 27, 2014 Blog

I’m a Christian.  But: 1.  I don’t think I’m a better person than you. The opposite. I know myself and it’s ugly in here. 2. I don’t read the Bible like other books.  Not because the book itself is magical, but because it tells me about Jesus: about who I am and what the world is. This is important, because: 3. the stuff we see isn’t the only stuff that’s there.  And I’m not talking about weird spooky spirits and ouija boards. …Read More

Warning Lights and Triggers

By March 26, 2014 Blog

I was asked today to describe some ‘triggers’. Some are mine; some are what friends have suggested:   Trying to please others Winter (for me it’s summer) Bereavement Family stresses Loved  ones getting sick Life changes Exams Uncertainty about life and the future Expectations  – my own or from others Feeling you haven’t lived up to early promise Lack of direction Comparing self to successful peers Low blood sugar Special occasions (especially birthdays) People you love hurting and not being …Read More

Mind over Mullet

By March 25, 2014 Blog

The book of Judges. Is it really meant to be in the Bible? Or did someone just forget? I’m told that it’s very funny if you’re an Israelite. But I don’t get the joke. And it’s weird. Sex and the City meets The Killing; but not in a good way. (Check out Judges chapter 13-16). Samson sounds  like the sort of bloke who stands too close when there’s plenty of space.   In between protein shakes, he’s chasing women, or setting foxes on fire. …Read More

Dangerous Assumptions

By March 24, 2014 Blog

1. Mental health struggles are not necessarily a reflection of someone’s spiritual state. If they’re depressed, it’s not that they’re ‘just not getting’ something about the gospel – and if they only read their Bible more or pray harder they’ll be fixed.  For one thing, this piles more guilt on someone who’s already struggling.  For another it suggests that how you feel is who you are, (which is not the gospel). If you’re trying to help someone who’s low, by …Read More

Raw God

By March 23, 2014 Blog

Lord, I don’t want to settle for the safe middle ground. the easy affirmation the brief blessed thought. I don’t want a part-time faith a boyfriend in the sky a nice idea or a soft warming glow. I want a raw God real sweat and bones and blood with dirt under his nails and nails under his skin I want a God like me – who feels and breathes and weeps and sings But utterly different A Lord – who calls and …Read More

The One Thing

By March 21, 2014 Blog

I’m struggling with not having a baby.  Here are some of the ways I’ve been trying to handle it: 1. I’ve told myself it doesn’t matter.  Lots of people don’t have children and they are perfectly happy. I will grow out of this. 2. I’ve tried to find purpose in other things. Maybe if I read a book, a really good book, that will change it. Maybe if I can write a book,  a really good book, that will change …Read More

Repentance versus self-condemnation

By March 20, 2014 Blog

Repentance is a dusty, dirty word.  A shrivelled great-aunt with bony claws, dispensing ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’ instead of chocolate. Words like repentance make people feel bad.  So we cut them out. We soften and replace them.   And now everyone feels a whole lot better. Except that – we don’t. We’re more depressed and stressed than ever before.  Why?  Because there’s false guilt; but there’s true guilt too.  If we don’t acknowledge it, then we can’t turn from it. And …Read More