Writings About Life and What it's Teaching Me

Gut Punch

I do not feel strong tonight.

Too many punches packed in too close together. Punch me here, punch me there – okay, I’ll roll with it. But punch me again and again, leaving me little time to catch my breath, well…it leaves me breathless. It leaves me little time to regain my strength.

No one has punched me intentionally. It’s just life. Although, I almost punched a student the other day. A young boy asked why I didn’t have kids yet. I playfully told him that it’s cause you kids are too much responsibility ;). He kept prying as to why I don’t have kids like all the other adults. Then, with sort of a bully attitude, he said, “You’ll probably never have kids! Hahaha!”


I knocked him out cold. Just kidding – only in my mind. I love my students – even this one who tends to test my patience on a regular basis. He is young and I have no idea what possessed him to say that, but shortly after that lesson, I came against the careless words he spoke. I sat alone in the church choir room and sang it out. “To Those Who Wait” by Bethany Dillon – listen to it if you find yourself in a waiting room and are totally over the waiting crap.

Over this last month, I have just felt gut punched a lot. There has been lots of news and events that simply reminded me that I’m still here and you are there – there where I want to be.

Kristen Wig – I have a small woman crush on you, and yeah…What is happening?!

So I am here and you are there and it seems that you got there with ease (at least relative to me). I may be wrong, but it at least seems that way. I shouldn’t compare, but I do. I shouldn’t make it all about me, but I feel the let down so deep and frankly, am probably a little self-centered about it all. I should be content in all circumstances, but heck, this is my battlefield right now and I don’t always fight well. I don’t always fight with faith. I don’t always have the best attitude. Just being candid. Thankfully, God gives grace.

Upon receiving some more news tonight, I promptly took off down the street – barefoot I might add. I texted the beast that I’d be back after one or two laps around the block and was out the door. My pace was brisk. Definitely not a run, cause I don’t do that, but it was fast because I was mad at God and needed to let off steam. I told God so – not in a defiant way, but just an honest way. God, I don’t get it. I know I’m not the only one out there with this struggle, but what else do I do? How long Lord? I feel really mad at you right now. It feels so unfair. I don’t feel strong tonight.

There is probably a lesson in all this. No, there is a lesson in all this. I just need to find it or remind myself of it and latch on. This struggle is a process and I am dragging you, my dear reader, through my processing – thanks for coming along even though I get stuck in the same ruts from time to time :). As our pastor said in his sermon the other evening – we love it when life is Glory to Glory, but sometimes the transition on the “to” becomes more like a “toooooooo”. The next glory is a comin’, but it just ain’t here yet. Glory hallelujah. Amen. Preach it.


Just look at that little old lady’s face. She is excited about Jesus, you betcha.

So, the lesson probably has something to do with cultivating a heart of thankfulness. It probably has something to do with opening up my eyes a little wider and taking in more of my surroundings – there is so much good in my life and things could definitely be worse. It probably has something to do with allowing the Father to take me higher…

Higher than what my eyes now do see

Beyond what is my perception of reality

Further than my heart knows how to go

You take me, you have me, and I let go

You are taking me higher, You are taking me higher

And I’m soaring on eagle’s wings

You are redeeming everything

Higher than the pleasures of the flesh

Beyond the satisfactions this world tempts me with

Further than my heart knows how to go

You take me, You have me, and I let go

You are taking me higher, You are taking my higher

And I’m soaring on eagle’s wings

You are redeeming everything

And as I wait upon you Lord

You are renewing my strength

You are taking me higher, You are taking me higher

And I’m soaring on eagle’s wings

You are redeeming everything in me.

It was during a worship set at church that the chorus to this song was birthed prophetically and spontaneously. The Holy Spirit was writing this new song in my heart. At first I didn’t know what He was taking my higher than – it was vague. Yet, as I prayed and began to write the verses, it became more clear to me what we were rising above – the world, my limited sight, my erratic emotions.

As I write all of this, I am feeling some strength return. Writing is incredibly cathartic for me. And there is something found in being open and vulnerable before the Father; something found in being vulnerable before you. When I write, I am somewhat forced to own the emotions; acknowledge them and say hello to some of the unwelcome friends. Oh hey there, it’s you again.


In a Ted Talks episode – Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability – Brown talks about people she describes as wholehearted and possessing a deep sense of worthiness. She says that through years of research she has found that these wholehearted people have a few characteristics in common: Courage to be imperfect. Compassion to be kind to oneself first, and then to others (for you can only be as kind to others are you are to yourself). Connection that comes as a result of authenticity. And lastly, Vulnerability.

She says that what makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.Vulnerability can be the birthplace of joy, creativity, of belonging and love. She also says that a lack of vulnerability may be due to shame, fear, and the struggle for worthiness. When we find ourselves living in shame or fear or unworthiness, we numb vulnerability with a variety of coping mechanisms (addictions, unhealthy habits, etc.).

Up to this point in her talk, I found myself nodding with a comfortable agreement. Yes, yes, yes…very good Brene. You is a smart cookie.

Then she said this – “We cannot selectively numb emotions. You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects or emotions…When we numb those, we numb joy. We numb gratitude. We numb happiness.”

Dang it Brene – stop talking about me as if you know me. I’ve pretended and pushed aside negative emotions at times and as a result I have also numbed joy. Numb numb numbity numb numb….

So, this must be why writing is cathartic for me. This vulnerability I share through writing is part of the process by which I don’t numb the negative, but rather I acknowledge it. And then I pray and talk it out with trusted friends and Jesus.

Brown ends her talk by encouraging everyone to do three things to access the power of vulnerability. She says to: Let ourselves be seen. Love with our whole hearts. Practice gratitude and lean into joy. And finally, believe that You are enough.

I am enough. Even in my infertile state. I am no less a woman. I will be thankful. I will lean into joy. I will let myself be seen and I will love others. Honestly, it’s easier to be seen via my writing. – to be seen in person is harder.

You are enough too. God created you with intention and for a purpose. Whatever waiting room you find yourself in – let it be seen because others will either relate (which is always comforting) or may be able to offer support. Take a chance and love with your whole heart. It can be risky, but great rewards may come  – and don’t we all want others to love us fully too? – So be the first to love. Practice gratitude and lean into joy – both of those involve an action, practicing and leaning. The love and vulnerability you give may not be handled with care every time, but if you always allow fear to keep you numb or silent, the color of life will be muted and dull.

So I didn’t feel strong tonight. I felt weak and weary and madsad, again. The despair drain tempts me (see my post “It’s Fightin’ Time” for more about despair), but it will not have me. As I let myself be seen before Him, my understanding is deepening. In this article on vulnerability it says “That’s why God asks us to pour our hearts out to Him.  He knows that if we do so, He’ll expose our hearts. He doesn’t expose them to condemn us but rather to heal and transform us. It’s also why God asks us to read the Bible. The Bible is called the Living Word. It cuts between bone and marrow. The Bible exposes our heart.”

Tonight I felt gut punched. But I will not numb it. I’ll feel it. I’ll pour it out. I’ll let it be seen. And there is still progress to be made, but His living words will help me along.


  1. Kasey, I love this!! You have an amazing way with words! Thank you for sharing your gift and your heart!

  2. Sweet Kasey, you make me cry with your words every time! I’ve grown to love and admire you through your honesty, braveness, and most of all your faith. I pray for you, I hope for you, and I have faith for you.

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