Living in the Uncomfortable

I was driving to fast to stop. And I saw the body after I had passed. A body beside a truck with a man waving people down.
“Someone else will stop.”
2 minutes later I was in the parking lots with 3 people watching a man seizure on the ground.
According to the witness he was going to a gas station to get water and was most likely homeless.
The ambulance came. He was loaded. I drove away.
How do I live in a city where the homeless don’t have access to clean water to drink?
I go to a church that helps drill wells in 3rd world countries. I have friends who have worked overseas in programs drilling those wells. A friends name is on a well as a memorial. A new friend is running a non profit drilling wells.
But I drove away from that gas station last night with the question ‘what will I do about this?’
A few miles down the road, on the outer side of the city I stopped at a red light and a man came up to my window asking for money. I held a bottle of water out to him. His squeal was something like a 5 year old on Christmas seeing a new bike. He ran up and grabbed it yelling ‘thank you!!’
At the next light another man sat there with a sign.
I’ll stock my car with bottles of water this summer to help the little I can.
But there is more to be done in Houston and other cities.
I believe in doing small things. I can give out water bottles. But I also believe in thinking big.
I’ve lived here for almost 8 years and never have an answer to ‘what about the beggars?’
It’s easy to push this out of my mind and be numb to it but I won’t be numb to the needs of others.
Letting something effect and change me is a choice. Letting something be uncomfortable without fixing it or shutting it down isn’t pleasant. But it’s where I am right now and where I believe change will come from.

My Parents

Sometimes I get questions about my parents. Mostly what they think and how they treat me now.

I realize that, based on what I’ve written, it may come across that I’ve cut them off or that we have no relationship.

My parents are amazing people. They are loving and supporting of me.


I call my parents several times a week and we talk about my current life. I appreciate their input and ask for their advice. Getting to this place hasn’t been easy or fun. I’ve had difficult conversations with them. But it’s been worth it. The important relationships are worth the difficult conversations.

Recently my family started a group text with all my siblings and parents and we were texting fun pictures and comments. My sister said it best ‘I never thought we’d do this’. Me either.

The progress my family has made has been incredible. I still have 2nd parents (everyone should!) but my parents are my parents. I love them. I value them and their opinion.


How did I get here? What were the changes that led to this different and new relationship?

There isn’t an easy answer. My own path of healing has been a huge part of the change. Also the phrase ‘my childhood was needed for the life I have now’ has been important for me to settle into and accept and believe and receive. I’m starting to see the wisdom in those words. But believing them means not blaming and throwing my hurt and pain at my parents. It means carefully working through the memories and pain to uncover the truth of who I am.

I can’t say ‘I can’t ____ because my parents’ or ‘well it’s because my parents…..’ or  any other phrase the puts the blame on someone else.
Because my past, my childhood, is a gift if I decide to accept it as such.

Me, Myself & I

He invited her to walk up to Him and as she did He knelt down. She was around 7 or 8 years old. Her brown straight hair hanging unkept around her face. Her bare feet dirty and her clothing worn. I vaguely recognized her. In His arms He cradled a small baby. She looked down at the baby and grinned up at Him. A knowingness passing between them.

I was watching all this unfold before me as if they couldn’t see me except when they looked at each other I felt myself step back. They both turned toward me and He beckoned me forward.

Tentatively, not sure but also scared of what was happening I walked toward Him. He stood up and invited me to look at the baby. As I got close enough to see features I saw myself.

I was the baby.

And I was the child.

“Can you look at her?”

I didn’t want to. She was so innocent. She had no idea the life that was before her. She was perfect and blameless.

The weight was to much. I shook my head.

He knelt down again and held her out to the child who eagerly opened her arms.

I watched the child me hold the baby me. She was still grinning.

I felt the weight of their lives. Someone should tell them, warn them, protect them! Someone needed to do something!! The only someone was me but I couldn’t speak.

He saw me wanting to make everything okay and He shook His head slightly. No.

I could do nothing but stand there and watch.



“I like myself” I wrote. “I look at the person I was 2 years ago and have nothing but compassion for her”.

It was months after the first encounter. The little girl still held the baby. He was still watching them and watching me watch them. She still had a grin on her face as she walked over to me.

I found myself kneeling down and folding back the blanket to see more of the baby.

She was really cute. And happy. I couldn’t help but smile back.

The little girl asked ‘Ready?’

I laughed a little. Yes, I was ready. Whatever had happened in the months between the first offer and this second had changed me.

Gently I took me. Still stooped down so I could be with both the baby and the child.

The weight had disappeared and in its place calm and tenderness.

“She’s so pretty” I told her.

“Yeah we are” replied the little girl. “Why didn’t you hold her before?”

The question caught me a little off guard and I let myself fall the rest of the way to the floor still holding the baby. I wondered how to explain it to an 8 year old.

“I didn’t like us” I started. “I knew the life that you have to live and it makes me sad. I want to help you and I can’t. I can just be here and tell you it’s going to be okay.”

She looked at me and I wondered if any of it made sense to her. Did she even know that I was her?

“But you’ll be with me right? You won’t leave?”

I was startled.

“Of course I won’t leave you. Would you leave this baby alone?”

A look of horror crossed her face. A look I felt and put scenes from my childhood to. She really was me in every way.

She didn’t answer and I knew that we both understood. She would never leave the baby and I would never leave her.


Saturday morning I planned to eat breakfast and have coffee and read my book in a coffee shop.
It was closed.
The little voice in me said ‘and the rest of the day won’t be what you planned either. Let it be.’
And Saturday wasn’t want I planned.
Sunday the little voice shoved me out the door for dinner with friends and said ‘let it…’
I’m in awe of ‘letting’.
Things happen and are created that are more then I could imagine. I take no credit for anything. I did nothing. Just let things take their course and stayed in the confusion or pain or joy or craziness. Just letting things naturally take course.


Flowing full and free
Careless and passionately
feels like an illusion
laughing in our faces –
we can see but not have.
Feeling stifled and alone
burdened and overwhelmed.
Feeling like an invisible promise has been broken
Not sure who promised us. Were we promised?
Or are my dreams and untouchable goals products of my fantasy?
Can I just blame it on this culture?
On my church? or lack of church? My parents?
Is there freedom in this life?
Is it a visionless dream?
Or is it a little whisper in my soul?
Poking through my mind-clutter
asking for attention
for a moment to be heard.
can life be more? Full? Satisfying?
Could I enjoy it? May be even thrive?

Full and free and flowing forth
For those who will partake.


The blank page of hope
The birth of newness
Creativity springing forth from solitude and stillness.
Bending before the truth in my soul that I am a perfect creation
No blemishes or imperfections – just life’s lessons of my past.
No shame in who I used to be for who I was is now redeemed.
Everyday more redemption
Everyday new birth
Everyday settling within myself.
Hope – this blank page. No nagging voices of my failings.
Hope – a fresh start
Hope – a light through the tree
Hope – saying yes to the unknown.


Michelle Kohler


In the first pages of a new journal I wrote this last night:
“In these pages are my heart. My soul. My musings. Themes. Ideas. My tears are spilled on these pages in agony.
My love poured out in words not full enough to explain the bursting in my heart.
My life is written honestly, open, vulnerable.
I offer this, myself, to these pages. Holding nothing back. Not seeking my own or myself.
The conversations on these pages are sacred. Holy. I hold them close to my heart, poured out of my soul, lifted to my God.
Held without shame. Full of grace. No fear. I stand naked before my God – my Father.”
What is your journal for you?


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