Feb 082012

I’ve been really sick for the past several days – like can’t get out of bed sick. You newbies should know that I suffer from Lyme disease. I mean, I’m recovering from Lyme disease. I’ve been recovering for almost three years. Sometimes Lyme leaves me alone, but when it hits, I feel like a butterfly who some bastard is trying to pin down into one of those awful display boxes. My body becomes literally pinned to my bed as if by centrifugal force – every limb weighs a million pounds and the aches in each joint are ridiculous. My mind becomes foggy  – chronic Lyme is neurological – but I’m just coherent enough to know that I’m not at all coherent. I can’t think of the right words, which is a lot of fun for a writer. My mind panics. Panics, panics, panics. Why won’t you work? What if you never work again? And what about all my dreams? Another baby, a writing career, not totally sucking as a wife and a mom and friend, SIMPLY REMAINING VERTICAL….is none of it going to happen because of a damn TICK? My soul knows, always knows, that all is well. But my mind and my body- they fight that knowledge.

When I’m Lymie, neither my body nor my mind is my friend. Last night I lay pinned to my bed considering how wondrous it would be to get rid of this broken body and spastic mind and become all soul. That’s how I imagine entering heaven . . . it’ll be like stepping out of the freezing cold and into a toasty family room – shedding my mind and body like a heavy coat and itchy scarf. Sitting my soul down in front of the fire.

I’m a skinny girl, and skinny has been in this past few decades.  When I was eight, I started worrying I’d be fat and spent the next twenty years being bulimic. After I stopped binging and purging, I turned out to be naturally skinny. Probably would have been all along if I’d just left well enough alone. So annoying. What a waste of time and tooth enamel.

Anyway – whenever women mention that they’re jealous of my body, I consider that I’d happily take on an extra twenty if it meant I could have a body that worked right, a body upon which I could depend. I guess the ass is always greener.

I got a few respectful but concerned emails yesterday regarding the family we helped in Atlanta. In short- these people were wondering if it was responsible of Momastery to support a woman who continued to have children while knowing she couldn’t support them.

I’m not going to have that conversation right now, except to say that I am not in the business of deciding which human beings are deserving of help and which aren’t. That’s a slippery slope, and one that a girl like me must avoid like the plague. I spent the first twenty years of my life with my arms open wide, accepting gifts from God and family and friends and promptly walking over to the trash can and throwing them in. By the time I was helped out of my crappy life once and for all, I certainly didn’t deserve it. But help came anyway. Grace, I believe it’s called. Undeserved favor.  Grace is scandalous, and I can see how someone who has lived a responsible life might get frustrated by it. I really, really can. Grace is totally unfair. So, that’s the bad news. The good news is that if you ever need help- we will be here to offer it. And you can bet your Monkee bottom that we won’t be concerned with whether or not you deserve it. You’re worthy of love and grace just because you are.

Since I write about God a lot, people often ask me to explain Himself.

They send me pictures of earthquake victims and babies with cancer and they say, “How can you believe in a god who would allow this to happen?”

I always tell them the truth, which is: I don’t know. Seems totally ridiculous, doesn’t it? I just don’t know.

Mostly, I have three prayers. I imagine them as huge signs – billboard sized signs – that I hold up toward the sky throughout the day, in hopes God’ll see them. The first sign says: Come in! The second says: THANK YOU! And the third says: WTF?????

Many of you will write to me today.  You will be angry about the irreverence of a WTF sign to God. You will tell me I shouldn’t write like that, shouldn’t think like that, even. But I don’t write what I should think, I write what I actually think. And I think it’s irreverent NOT to tell the truth. My truth is that I feel just as angry at God as those who write to me do. Maybe more so, because those people aren’t always writing about how GOOD He is all the time. They got less ‘splainin to do. The truth is that I think piety is sometimes inappropriate in the face of the insane suffering and pain that people face. And if we want to get biblical, we could discuss the fact that most of the Psalms are one giant WTF???? sign to God.

I’ve sat with a friend whose son just drowned in a river. I’ve stood in a room with two families whose children just died of cancer. I’ve felt two adoptions – two babies – slip through my hands like sand. I’ve sat on a hard floor with my Sister’s head in my lap while her marriage fell apart. I’ve held a best friend’s hand minutes after she discovered that her husband was cheating and leaving. In none of these situations did I feel like the appropriate reaction was to give thanks, to assure a suffering person that everything happens for a reason. Jesus. We get to gratitude, eventually. Slowly, slowly, impossibly slowly. But we’ve gotta get through the WTF? Stage first.  Kind of like how Jesus, on the cross…said, “My God, WHY have you forsaken me?” If Jesus is allowed to feel abandoned, than I think it’s okay that we occasionally do too, and that we tell the truth about how that feels.

And even so.

I believe. I do. I believe that in the midst of all of life’s chaos and clatter and awful, awful noise there is a constant note – a frequency that vibrates softly but certainly – and some people can handle the awful banging and clanging of life’s suffering because they can somehow tune in to that one glorious note. And that note is what I call God. Jesus. You call it what you’d like. I just want you to listen for it. Eventually, you will dance to it. Even amidst the clanging.

In the meantime- here is a story for you. About God. About the clanging and about the note.

By God, There Will Be Dancing

I am sitting in a quiet bedroom with God. We are alone – the two of us. I am perched on the edge of a four poster bed and my legs are dangling off the side. God is in a rocking chair across the room and She’s knitting. God knits, it turns out. She also rides a Harley, but never while knitting.

I am pissed at God, so I’m glaring at her while She rocks and knits.

She won’t ask me what’s wrong. I’m waiting for Her to ask. I’m dying for Her to ask. I sigh. I breathe as deeply and loudly and with as much angst as possible.

Nothing from Her. Nothing disturbs Her peace, nothing breaks Her concentration. She is not curious.

So I just start.

Why would you say all of those things about caring for orphans and make me love them so much and then lead me on a seven year wild goose chase and then leave me empty handed? This adoption’s going to fall through, isn’t it? You’re going to leave me empty handed, aren’t you? Aren’t you? I know you are.

Please don’t. If you do, that’s it for us. I’m not kidding. I’ll quit trying not to be a jerk. I’ll quit writing. I’ll quit talking to you and caring about other people and smiling so much. I’ll spend all my money on fancy make-up and couches and I’ll spend all my time watching Real Housewives of Orange County. No. Housewives of NEW JERSEY. Take that. I’m serious. Friendship with you is too exhausting. I’m going to have to quit you, based on principle and utter confusion. If you don’t pull through for me this time- it’s atheism for me. Atheism. I’m so serious.

God keeps knitting. Then She smiles and holds Her stitch for a moment. She looks up at me with her soft crinkly eyes and She says:

Honey. You are so angry. I understand. I love you so much. Would you like me to stop knitting so that we can talk about all of this?”

I think for a minute and look at the knitting in her lap. I gaze at the part that’s done. It’s breathtaking. All blue and green and hot pink and gold and silver. At first the colors seem to swirl wildly but then, suddenly, I recognize a pattern. The pattern is me. I am beautiful. Swirly, wild, and beautiful.

No, I Say. Don’t stop. Keep knitting.

Because She is knitting my life, of course. I am what Her hands are working on. And I want Her to concentrate. I still trust Her.

God? I say. I’m going to dance. While you knit, I’m just going to dance. I don’t really know what else to do.

And God looks up one last time and I see that Her eyes are twinkling this time.

She says:

Oh, Good. That’s all I’ve ever wanted you to do, Sweetheart. You dance and I’ll keep knitting. It’s going to be beautiful, Honey. I promise. Just Dance. I’ve got this.

Kay, I say.


Tomorrow:  WE DANCE.


Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  349 Responses to “Extremely Long, Completely Scattered, and Containing Curse Words”

  1. I just discovered your wonderful writing (Carry On Warrior) and would like to tell you how much it has given me life, but I have chronic Lyme disease – 30 + years now and though I am much better these days I still fall into paralyzingly brain fog – so for now I will just say – THANK YOU, thank you sister!!

  2. Hey G. Right, basically, I was just on facebook (yes we are already heading for disaster) and someone posted a video of stephen frys response to God when he gets to heaven and his response whilst probably slightly valid was quite judgemental and negative and unrecognisable of the good and sun and waves and stuff like that and anyway I felt frustrated and then thought right Google.. Yep I’m a Google girl.. so I ask google “why does God let people suffer” and I got loads of bible websites with essays in them that confused me and non of their answers satisfied me. So then I think who can help me, who can I text, who will help me to understand God a little bit more, who will help me understand why stephen fry is stupid (coming from the girl who dropped out of school at 12 so clearly isn’t in any position to call stephen fry stupid but I did and I stand by it. Yep) and I thought Glennon! Glennon will teach me! Because i didn’t learn much for years other than about how to not freeze or starve to death (still alive so clearly not that stupid) basically you have taught me most of what I know, I read everything you write, I come to you for answers and reassurance and wisdom and education and love and a friend and so here I am now learning about God and Stephen Fry and you and me and I found this post, Google “why does God let people suffer, momastery” and bam Google/ God lead me here, and now this is what I learnt: who knows! it’s ok to be like wtf God! God come on what are you doing! That’s ok. But also waves and dancing and sand and dancing and knitting and more waves because the sea is the best and God why does God have to be perfect anyway! Maybe he’s like ‘IM TRYING MY BEST HERE’ look at all the good he is doing, non of us are perfect, we haven’t created an ocean, we haven’t blessed people with love and learning, God did that so back off Stephen Fry you well educated idiot. Anyway that’s what I learnt. Thank you Glennon. Your the best. Love you x

  3. I just read your book and was struck by the story of God knitting. My eight year old just told us, laughing, that when she was young(!?) she used to think of Heaven as a blue room where God knitted. We all thought this was cute and interesting. She doesn’t know anybody who knits. The word knitting isn’t really in her lexicon for any concrete reason. Maybe she’s a little Buddha. It’s sad that she looks back on her original idea of heaven with a laugh. I guess she must have seen a picture somewhere and realized her utter, childish silliness. Too bad. Little does she know we are spending our remaining years trying to get back that perfect silliness! Thank you for your stories.

  4. […] figure out what to write.  Then I remembered a post I read by Glennon Doyle Melton called, “Extremely Long, Completely Scattered and Containing Curse Words”  and I so got her response to God in her tough season of life.  I echos mine in this tough season […]

  5. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I have loved it since the moment I found it. But this really resonated with me because my journal, particularly over the past few months, is FILLED with notes that read “WTF, GOD?!?!?” Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone.

  6. Thank you G. This just saved me.

  7. Lyme info. to help you: Found out recently the connection between Lyme activity and sugar. Just wanted you to know that it really makes the Lyme bacteria more active…not that it stops me from eating too much sugar. I’m an addict! I also found out recently that drinking alcohol greatly increases lyme activity….. b/c alcohol turns into sugar. (You don’t have to worry about that one…but for anyone else reading this, FYI!) I’ve been living w/ Lyme for 8 years. (misdiagnosed w/ Lupus the first 3 years). I’m sorry to read you have it too. I’ll pray for you! Thank you for your blog. It has been an inspiration for me!

  8. Revisiting this post because I can’t let go of my thoughts on the Sandy Hook tragedy. Just having one WTF GOD moment after another. Gonna keep dancing though. Thanks, G. Can’t wait to meet you in Raleigh. Sister on.

  9. best post so far. keep on keepin it real. grace is scandalous.

  10. […] that Tropical Storm (now Hurricane) Issac was headed for Haiti, part of me wanted to hold up one of Glenon Melton’s WTF?!?! signs towards heaven. Seriously, can these precious people in Haiti not get a break? And now what? Now what? I imagined […]

  11. I have been one of those people who found this blog through a friend and has been kind of driving my husband a little nuts by reading the archives several times weekly after the children are down for the night (and luckily, stay there most nights). In any event, as so many have posted before me, it seems like your words speak to me and like you are reading my mind almost all of the time.

    As I said, I am catching up and just read this one. I volunteer at a food pantry once weekly and give food to the needy. Some are homeless, but most are just people who cannot seem to make ends meet for whatever reason. I don’t tell many about doing this, but even in the small circle of people who know, I have heard–more than once–“Do these people really need this free food?” “Can’t they just find some little job to help?” “Why don’t you all see if there are jobs that they can do around your homes or the church or community so they can ‘earn’ this food”. “Aren’t a lot of these people mothers who just have too many children?” (My personal favorite).

    Honestly, I kind of doubt that I would stand in line FOR TWO HOURS for one grocery bag of canned food, one package of hot dogs, one box of frozen green beans, and, on a good week, some juice or cereal, if I wasn’t REALLY hungry. If my children (or grandchildren, in many cases) were not REALLY hungry. None of the rest of it is really my business. I have been doing this for a few months now, so you kind of get to know (to an extent) some of these people. I think that those that are unemployed would love to get a job…but they can’t due to health problems or the crappy economy or whatever. Some do work, some two jobs, but they just cannot make enough to feed their family. My guess is that their employment status or birth control choices are not really my problem. My guess is that Jesus is probably with me on that one. I agree with your statement that there is almost nothing worse than when someone says “deserving poor”. Like there is any other kind.

    When you ask most of these people how their day is, I hear (more often than not), “Oh, God is taking care of me” or some version of that. When I go to the country club pool on the weekend and ask the other moms how they are doing, I usually hear something about how their (healthy and beautiful) children are driving them crazy (to which I can relate, but I think you catch my drift) or what an ass their husband has been or, God forbid, the freaking club went up 50 cents on a hamburger. This is their thing, I get it. It is even okay with me–everyone has their thing.

    It just kind of puts things in perspective. Helps me put on my perspecticles.

    Thank you for all that you do for women and for children and people in general. Glennon, you make a difference in the world.

  12. Today I decided to take a break from my normal lunch routine and spend sometime checking out blogs… boy am I glad that I did!!! Thank you so much for your post, I really needed to hear that I am not alone, nor is my husband. He received a positive diagnosis of Lyme 2 weeks ago. He has been treated for the last 2 months, but finally received the dreaded words that he does in fact have the disease. WTF!?! has been on my mind so much lately… why is this happening, what are we going to do, when will he feel better… is this my new life? I know we are just in the beginning stages of living with this nasty disease, and that our life will go on, and that it is just a new life for my hubby, myself and our 3 little girls. I look forward to checking out your blog more frequently… thank you SO much!!!
    ~ Jenn {wifey to a lymie}

  13. I can’t decide if you are the craziest woman or possibly a true angel. All I know is I’d like to live next door to your craziness and be your friend. Thank goodness for the internet. Love your blog and I adore this post. I am sorry for your Lyme disease…shingles did/does the same to me. I just try to take the slow down with the least amount of bitterness and lack of grace I can muster. Thanks for your thoughts. Love them.

  14. Beautifully written.
    There is other help for Lyme. Thankfully I never made it to the chronic stage, I treated with homeopathic remedies as soon as I realized that’s what I had – I’d had it about 4 months at the time. In particular, Ledum Palustrum was very helpful for me and has been used with great success by many. I also took something that I think started with a P and helped cross the blood-brain barrier to kill Lyme in my brain… I can’t recall the name now, but I could search for it if you are interested. Bearfootbiologist at gmail dot com

  15. Thank you! I came upon this today as I went to drop a hello on the page of fellow “Lymie” on Facebook. This was so honest, and so authentic, so clear in its expression (your expression), that I read it and then immediately dashed to share it on my Facebook wall, wanting others to share the beauty that I just experienced. I don’t if anyone will look at my link, but I hope so. I needed to read this.

    So often we’re told to snap out of it or given blythe, quick, dismissive comments by others at times when we’re really reeling from what Lyme has done… is doing… reeling from the physical pain and the anguish of disappointment at our inability to join in and live life with those around us. … to join in the dance. We’re judged for being ill. Judged… for…. being…. ill, when what we need is just some understanding. That’s not a lot to ask. I’ve heard comments, one in particualar from a local newspaper columnist, and radio talk show host, on an NPR affiliate station, where I know at I’d least expect this kind of thinking. The comment, was basically that people with chronic Lyme, were just a group of people who refused to take responsibility for their own lives. Ouch! And really? Are you kidding me? It’s a bizarre notion, that we’d rather be sick, and kept from doing everyday things, like dancing, like grocery shopping, or visiting friends, or having to make a choice between taking a bath or fixing a meal, because either is going to use all the energy that we have. How unkind. How unenlightened. How cruel. I think “Lymies” are in a fairly unique situation, having to battle for care, fight a cruel and debilitating illness, and suffer from a very strange form of isolation (being physical, emotional and cognitive- at times one,or two and other times, all three), AND be blamed by many for having the illness, for heaven’s sake! I tried to enlighten this man by sharing some information that he could access when and if he cared to. I always feel that it’s good to try to plant a seed that may later see sunlight, particularly when dealing with a public figure who has a daily platform for dissemination of information to a large number of people and who can affect the opinions of so man. He clearly had no interest in a dissenting opinion about the subject of Lyme, which I found odd and unprofessional for a journalist. But I came to see that he was taking the discussion in an oddly personal manner, and that this was a pattern with him, so I quietly backed off. With Lyme, most things come down to choices in where to allocate every scarce and precious ounce of energy each and every day of our lives. For some of us, a lot of the days are spent as you said, “…literally pinned to my bed as if by centrifugal force…”.

    Perhaps even more disturbing, is the all too common brushing off of our feelings or the feelings of others. What are we, if not our feelings? So, how utterly disprectful it is to brush off another’s feelings. We hear it with Lyme, with loss, with nearly anything we say that isn’t up and cheerful. All too often people respond to our loss with a need to dismiss it. I can honestly say that I don’t know how someone else feels when they’ve lost someone they love. I know how I felt, and I care. But that’s not what we hear. More often we hear that someone knows exactly how we feel, or that our loved one, our loss, is in a better place. But we’re still here, missing them and hurting and they are our loss….and isn’t that the point?

    People are in such a dash these days that being heard is oftentimes a very rare and precious commodity. I posted a comment on my Facebook page, about a slice of a pizza that I’d eaten, sharing a special moment with my daughter, who’s just moved to an apartment. I know better. I don’t touch the stuff. But this was a unique situation, and so I did. My reaction was so swift and severe that it blindsided me. My body reacted with massive inflammation and severe joint pain, which lasted for more than 48 hours. One of the comments that I received (and I’m grateful that they cared enough to respond) was basically, “I know how you feel. This happens to me all the time.” ….Only it doesn’t. Because I had over two days of this kind of whole body pain, and this person gets a tummy ache. Listening is a precious gift that we can give to others.

    I loved your descriptions of sitting with or holding friends when they’d suffered unbearable losses. Just doing that, and nothing more. That’s all anyone can do, and I thought, “Wow, this person is an amazing friend!” I felt more than that. I wished that at the worst times of my life, I’d had such a friend. I didn’t. I do now. But thank you for putting your example out there. It’s important. Many will read and take away a seed that at some point will find the light it needs and the right soil and will germinate and become another person’s comfort in a time of need.

    In this day and age, it’s rare to see comments about faith as honest as yours. WTF? Exactly! A huge proportion of life is WTF! And that being less than honest with God is a disservice to God? Exactly. We’re God’s creatures, and as some say, “God doesn’t make junk”. That you embraced the state of being human in its entirety, a breath of fresh air. I loved the comments you made about who are we to judge who should be helped. We live in a cynical, materialistic and divided world, one where it would seem to be more important to be right, than to be kind, to be heard than to hear (even if it involves “out-louding” someone else…I just made that up), and to judge than to care.

    So thank you. I felt heard in reading your feelings, and I heard you.

  16. […] Extremely Long, Completely Scattered, and Containing Curse Words […]

  17. I was excited to share this blog post on my blog here: http://emilyelizabethstone.com/2012/02/25/saturday-sampling/

    Love it!

  18. Thank you for this post! I’ve had Chronic Lyme for almost 6 years and it’s like the WTF?! moments just roll together. I’m so glad I serve a God who can take WTF and turn it into something beautiful.

  19. What an incredibly moving post. I have a friend with Lyme too, so I appreciate the detailed (and painful) description of how it affects you. I’m a new follower, your blog is beautiful.

  20. […] until I read this story on Momastery (at the end of the post) about God-as-knitter, I don’t think I’d appreciated the […]

  21. G-
    Thank you for paying attention to your need for writing. I find so incredibly much healing in your words. I have been reading your blog for a while now and EVERY time I read it i think-YES-she gets it-that is EXACTLY how I feel or think or whatever. So thank you for being us-cause as everyone knows it always feels better to have an us. By the way I love the WTF sign and I think God does too!

  22. I’m an Episcopal priest, and I tell people all the time that the WTF prayer is one of the best around.

    So it really doesn’t sound like you need any back-up from someone with a collar (because you clearly know as much if not more than I do about God) but I thought I’d throw it out there just in case it came in handy. ‘Cause I really don’t think anyone should be giving you grief about being honest with God.

    Thank you for your beautiful, beautiful writing.

  23. Over 300 comments….wow you must be a very popular blogger. Will you read my humble little 300 and whatever message? Do I care?….Nope. Am I grateful for what I read today? Absolutely, a God send. Thank you Lord.

    I will never write again but I just want to say that I too have lyme disease and lay in bed frequently thinking A LOT about heaven. I am reading for the second time the wonderful book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. It helps me to not be afraid of what is happening to my body and my mind and to know that to ponder what heaven will be like is good and okay.

    I admire you for your ability to articulate so beautifully your truth. Your truth validates my truth and for me, validation has never been more important. Lyme sucks and WTF big time!

    I am 52, my son is away at college and is doing well. My husband of almost 27 years, a fire captain and my high school sweetheart, adores the ground I walk on. I love Jesus and gays and want to adopt Anderson Cooper….and I really like you Glennon and your writing gift. It was like good medicine to my spirit.

    I will say prayers for you that your lyme recovery is a complete success. Never lose hope. B

  24. I’ve noticed that when my kids scream their distrust to me (1-7 year old) and I stand there waiting for the frustration to be over, and then I go over and hug and love them– I have not once held their comments against them. Because, I know and understand them better than they know themselves. These moments have given me insight into how much God wants us to get out the screaming so we can get on with the hugging and the reconciling. I hope and pray you feel well and whole again soon. thanks for your stories Lisa

  25. Love your honesty, NEVER edit yourself. AND, “I guess the ass is always greener” – GREAT LINE!

  26. Yet another amazing post. It’s almost like meeting my doppelganger, on the inside that is. My husband and I were headed overseas as missionaries when our daughter was diagnosed with a terminal illness. She died a handful of months later. Our lives continued to fall apart for a whole decade, one thing after another. I have been in the “WTF God” mode, and have had the “I’m in danger of becoming an athiest” threat conversation that I can never quite follow through on. I want to believe so badly that He is still knitting my life. It is simply so hard to do when everything in my life would seem to indicate otherwise. Thank you for writing this. It’s good to know somebody gets me, even if you’ve never even met me! :) And it is such a good reminder that there are people in the church who see reality and are tackling it just like I am.

  27. “The LORD your God is with you,
    he is mighty to save.
    He will take great delight in you,
    he will quiet you with his love
    he will rejoice over you with singing.”

    …and we will dance

  28. I am a muslim living in Istanbul. Each and every one of your posts makes me laugh and cry at the same time with a pain in my stomach, but mostly with gratitude. Thank you.

  29. I loved this post. You are brilliant. Thank you so much for your blunt unsugarcoated writing. I wish that more people would be so bold. You are wonderful and I definitely will be following you :)

  30. just wanted to say, i am deeply touched by this visual of God. thank you for writing it.

  31. FANTASTIC! Love love love momastery! Glennon, you rock. Feel better soon sister. :)

  32. Hi – I’m new to your blog, but I love it. I so admire your honesty and outlook on life. It’s inspiring…and I love what you’re doing for the family in Atlanta. Love it, love it, love it. My question for the people who have written you about the family (and maybe I’ve missed something big here) since when does not being able to afford taking a family vacation qualify as “not being able to support her children”? Vacations are luxuries not requirements for healthy, functional, loving, successful families. As a mom of three with the hope of adding at least one more, I truly believe the greatest gift you can give your child is more siblings. Vacations only last a week a year, but the amazing graces siblings give each other last throughout their entire life.

    • The comments regarding helping a family were not in response to the Atlanta family. There was another family the Monkees helped. Their needs were very basic. Beds for the kids, help cleaning, a washer and dryer etc.

      They were an amazing family and the Monkees did just what we were supposed to do. We helped.

  33. G – I can’t agree with you more about your response on whether or not this suffering mother and family you have posted about on your blog ‘deserves’ our help or not. I’m not sure anyone who has ever been to the ‘depths’ and back would ever ask such a thing. All I could think about is how frantically panicked I would be if I got that diagnosis and about NEEDING to be here to raise my boys. And I only have 3. You’re right. God’s grace is scandalous. I’m going to donate right after I finish this comment. My story is long, but I’ll just sum up that your blog is among the few I can read right now that mentions God b/c of the journey He has me on at this point, which sometimes I’ve wondered if it really is a journey at all compared to how close I felt we were for so many years and what it looked like in the past. I can read your blog b/c you are real. You are honest. You are ‘one of us’. And for that, I thank you. I thank you that I can get encouragement from someone who is down in the muck with the rest of us and speaks out loud the questions to God we sometimes are afraid to really speak outloud ourselves. The “WTF”s. You go girl. It took me a few years of being away from church and hanging around people in AA when I’m not even an addict (to alcohol or drugs anyway – I have other issues like everyone does) to get to that inner pain that allows me to ask God the hard questions and to even admit to myself how I feel and not fear His wrath. I’m still on that journey. I’ve grown up in the church and was heavily involved in leadership for about 10 years up until a few years ago and I never got to the point of getting to the root of my issues during that time and being honest there. My marriage was a mess. Our personal lives were messed up. When I finally got the courage to speak the truth, we were ignored – things were glossed over probably because we were in leadership and the pastor was afraid to lose us. The environment was as sick as my family was and the dynamics were a replay of my growing up years. I think God was sad healing was not available to me and so many others there. In church. Not all churches I realize. But that was my experience there and at the time I thought God thought we were among the ‘best’. Yuck.
    Except I have now found real healing now that I’ve been with my AA friends and away from church. Kind of sounds like God to me in a strange sort of way and the kind of people Jesus loved and was drawn to here on earth and yet this path is so different from what I thought it would look like. The AA people know they need help – everyone is on an even playing field and in process like everyone else. The truth is spoken. The hard things are said and not denied. People are held accountable. Love is shown and demonstrated in a way I’ve never seen and been a part of before. Maybe this is where God likes to hang out and ‘go to church’. And maybe, just maybe I’m actually one of those people he would’ve wanted to hang out with too when he walked this earth b/c really, I am not that different than the alcoholic, the prostitute, the thief. I am not pretending anymore. And I know more than ever that if there is a God, I sure know I need a savior.

  34. I totally agree with you regarding God! I also believe if God brings you to it, God gets you through it!

    Maybe, just maybe He allows us to suffer, feel pain, deal with terrible natural and man-made disasters and horrible illnesses so that we may go through those journeys and once on the other side of the pain and suffering we develop compassion to help the next guy suffering in the same way….just as there was probably someone there to help you through your journey of suffering…justt a thought.

    Thanks for writing! You really are amazing..this was my first post of yours I have read! Quite remarkable. Thanks and feel better soon! And definitely keep DANCING!!!

  35. My 2nd Daughter is a almost approaching her 6th year as a cancer survivor, She was 3 1/2 when we where told “the best we can hope for is leukemia” Because any thing worse which they feared it would be would not be treatable. I Had to explain to my 5 year old when she asked “will she die” as she is hugging her baby sister tightly on the hospital bed ” I hope not” That’s all i had to give her because we didn’t know.

    During that time i don’t know how we survived, How we made it. We where forsaken by family and friend’s but not God. In spite of me pushing him aside for the “How could you let this happen to me God” Question asked by every parent in our situation.

    My daughters cancer was not Gods doing, Her body went hay wire and misfired causing physical changes it was nothing to do with God. But God does give Mankind the knowledge how to treat and cure and I have my daughter. For that I am truly Thankful.

    As a family we have returned to God I am sure God knit’s these thing’s into our lives so we can fully know we can trust him he will never forsake us even when our best friend’s AND FAMILY DO! he might not be able to bring dinner around or help with child care when you have to rush your child back into the hospital for the millionth time. But he’s there watching, protecting, Guiding the hand’s of those who need to heal us.

  36. I have never written a comment to anything before – and your blog is the first i have ever followed. Wow! That’s a lot of firsts!

    Recently, I was catching up on some of the older posts. One that had me in absolute tears was the one about Tish’s fish. You told Chase that you believe because you have to….because I have no other choice, because I was made to believe.

    That is what I have been trying to understand WHY I believe. And that is because I know I was made to believe. I was brought up believing and I try and teach the same to my kids. But lately, I just don’t believe.

    Then you write this one with WTF??? – and it really hit home. I find myself saying WTF?? to God all the time. My husband is terrified and my kids just keep telling me it’s ok. He’s in heaven. (no, I’m not saying it out loud to my kids:) ). In one of the 200 comments made (can’t seem to find it), something was said like ‘if you are saying WTF, then you are talking to God.’ so I guess I still believe because I am still talking, yelling, crying, to God.

    My reasons for WTF seem so insignificant to everyone else’s reasons. My beautiful, incredible, full of life, handsome, intelligent, athletic, very tall (that’s my daughters description), Christian, cousin, brother, son, best friend to everyone, my 20 year old nephew was taken from us on Oct 1. He was riding a motorcycle on a college campus the day of homecoming. Someone turned in front of him at the stadium and he hit her. She never saw him because she had been drinking, had a car full of friends and was “shadowing” a big van when turning.

    That is one of those days that I will never forget. I will remember what I was doing when I got the first call, what I had on, what I had for lunch, who I was with and where I was. It is forever burned in my mind. When I got the second call that he didn’t make it I had an out of body experience. In my 38 years of life, I have never understood the people that completely fall out. Well, I did….right in the middle of a Fall Street Festival. I screamed and yelled and FELL down to the ground on my knees. I do remember my 7 year old boy walking away and kneeling at a tree to pray (I must have done something right with him).

    Weeks later, people that I never ‘saw’ that day (but they saw me) came up to hug me and say they were praying for us all. That was when I really wanted to stay “WTF – why are you praying to God, he just took Matt from us?”

    All that to say “thanks” for sharing your prayers (billboard signs) that say “come in”, “Thank You” and “WTF???”. Everyday gets a little better – but this journey for me will be a long one to understand “why”.

    Thank you for your wisdom, your grace, the laughs and the tears. They are so special to everyone. I will continue to “talk” to God with “Come In”, “Thank You” and “WTF??”.

  37. Thank you for this post. From the mother of an 18 yr. old who has been throwing away gifts her whole life and tried to kill herself for the 2nd time today, your post brought hope that she will one day come around and be the loving, giving incredible person we know she can be. I know that’s not really what this post was about, but HOPE is what I got from it, and that truly was what I needed beyond all else today.

  38. I don’t really have God in my life right now. I’ve read all about God but never really felt it concerned me. But this post has come the closest in my whole 41 years to making me feel a connection. It may not be the one for me but please know that your words carry power…

  39. Loved it. You are so right on! Thanks for saying out loud what so many of us feel. Hope you are feeling much better today.

  40. Tears. That was beautiful. I honestly don’t think God allows bad things to happen to good people. I honestly don’t think God want’s babies to get cancer or or that He plans for mamas to have to leave their babies because of cancer. I don’t think God sets earthquakes in motion to destroy thousands of lives. I think those things happen because they just do. After all those horrible things happen then God steps in and weeps with us and says “let’s figure this out together. You’re life can still be beautiful…I’m certain of it. Let’s make it beautiful together.”
    Love always wins.

  41. i pray that you are feeling better… i pray that you will recover quickly & get your strength & love of life back as soon as possible…
    With regards to the WTF question, i don’t think it’s irreverent to ask that question – but i also think that as we ask of God that question, we need to be ready to be that answer & to me that is what Monkees are all about – being the answer for all those people who need it…
    & by God, There will be dancing – AMEN!

  42. Could not agree more! Thank you!

  43. Wow! Awesome. I have a 33 yr old girlfriend whose 32 yr old husband died suddenly almost two weeks ago. He left behind two daughters (one 16 mo old and an 11 yr old). I know God’s plan is bigger and better than mine, but sometimes, I think HIS plan really sucks. I told HIM so Monday. HE still loves me today.

  44. G,
    This is def. one of my favorite posts. Hands down, beautiful. Dance. Dance. Dance.
    Xoxo Susie M.

  45. Can I just tell you how SUPER EXCITED I am for your book?!?! I want it on my coffee table, I wanted to thumb through it with my coffee in the mornings, I want my company to see it, I want to read it to my daughter. Can’t wait!

  46. LMFAO!!!
    True True

    first time commenter here….how many times God and I have had that convo…well lets be honest me with God
    God is not offended
    He/She is not like us…thankfully
    not trapped in emotions that come with this body

    keep letting it all hang out sister…it is a good thing
    and about those people who send the pictures…shit happens, it is part of the life we live…if they are so concerned about it add the the positive energy and get some FAITH and then learn to walk and live in that FAITH everyday…now THAT is a journey

    thanks for keeping it real

    Love and Light

  47. Thank you for this post (and all of them really). I hope you feel better soon.

  48. Thank you. So much.

  49. I have been reading your blog for awhile (just never commented).. I have to say that I have LOVED the last few blog posts. They are so honest (even when you presume you are rambling incoherently!) and just what someone needs to hear sometimes. I think our relationship with God is like a long lasting friendship that always changes and even goes through rough patches. But in the end we know S/He is someone we can count on no matter how mad we are how long we have strayed.

    PS love the ‘splaining to do.. Huge Lucy Fan

  50. I love this post, THANK YOU! I pray that your body starts treating you better soon. I love what you said about Grace. Thank you for saying it. Thank you for spreading WISDOM and LOVE. More people need to hear that. . .I am scared about how many negative voices people hear that are telling them otherwise. It’s just like the story of the prodigal son. . .it makes people uncomfortable and they think it’s so unfair, but that’s the awesomeness of our God!! Grace is free. It’s for everyone. Every human has dignity and worth, and we love them all and help them all. We don’t waste our time and energy judging. Thanks for being that voice crying out in the wilderness telling people how to love!

  51. […] that stuff happens?) I was right. She is way cooler than I am. And she’s writing things that stun and comfort and wrap me up. I love her. You should be reading her as well. As long as there’s room in your life for two […]

  52. Amazing display of grace and humor under pressure, G . . . I do so enjoy the way your minds works!–but I’m very sorry to hear that it’s been having to work under these awful conditions the last few days. Keep dancing and I hope you start feeling better soon!

  53. Hope it’s OK…but I gotta borrow this dancing story for a future sermon!…with credits to you, of course!

  54. I’m a newbie to your blog and I love it. I totally can relate as a mother, writer, and fibromyalgia victim, which also causes the cursed brain fog, I know just how you feel being stuck in bed in a broken body.
    I also follow one other blog regularly, it’s the blog the author Meg Cabot writes. She too suffers from lyme disease. Her blog may be something to check out for some inspiration having a writing career and lyme disease.
    Feel better!

  55. Beloved,

    You did a good and hard thing today. You had that nasty Lymie sucking every ounce of strength out of you, and you still manage to show up here to defend Love and remind us of a very important Truth about GRACE. Thank you for reminding all Monkees, young and old, that we do not judge each other’s hardship, we do not have contests to see whose challenges are most difficult, we do not pretend to decide who is deserving of love, grace, help, time, money, or any other thing we have to offer. We simply offer. We give. Because giving is a gift in and of itself. Because we know that We Belong to Each Other, and therefore we take care of one another.

    I hope you can feel the love emanating from these comments. We all care for you so much and want you to feel better soon. However, I remember a post from last year about saying “Yes” to Lyme and how much clarity and peace and simplicity the disease has brought to your life. So if Lyme is telling you to lie in bed and watch Real Housewives while Monkees come entertain your children and clean your house and cook you food, be sure to say, “Yes, Lyme” and let us know! Because we don’t have to decide if your need is enough, remember, we just need to know that it exists and we will offer what we have to meet it.


  56. I also discovered your blog just recently and I have been encouraged, laughed, and been thankful for your persistence, even through pain, to bare your soul, love, and share the WTF moments. Thank you for sharing that story again. It is a gift to be able to dance while not understanding and even more of a gift to be able to write out that word-picture-story for us. Thanks for sharing your gifts so liberally with us.

  57. Glennon,

    I’m a new monkee and so glad I stumbled onto your site!… but firstly, I am so sorry that you are sick! :( Please feel better! Sending all my positive energy your way :)

    Secondly, I really needed this today… and after reading all the comments from all of your wonderful monkees, my troubles seem so insignificant. I have read through so many of your posts and they all move me. Although I am of a different faith, I feel so connected to you and so connected to all of the strong and beautiful monkees in this community. You really make me feel like I belong to something bigger – your words continually echo how we belong to each other. I’m not a mama either — eventually I hope I have that privilege though <3 I'm currently a student in a professional program working towards the day I will feel like I make a difference. In the meantime, I will have to dance my little heart out …

    Thank you again for your inspiring words, G :)

  58. you just saved me. I have been reading your blog daily, sometimes a few times a day and tonight was an emotionally crippling night. I’ve shed some tears, I’ve cursed and I’ve had a glass of wine….life just seemed so unfair. THEN I pulled out my iPad and clicked on one of my favorite bookmarks…you… and I read this. Thank you for reminding me that God is in control and hasn’t left me even when I feel all alone. I am beautiful and this trial will undoudtedly enhance my beauty….gosh we all make sweet beautiful music with God…I think I shall dance. I’ll dance in circles around my daughter longing for my ex husband and my mom so sad that my brother is in jail. I’ll twirl around the silence that exists between me and my boyfriend and the void I feel at my job…I’m dancing…and I have to tell you I’m laughing too.

    I hope you start feeling better soon so you can dance too :)

  59. OMG,
    I love this. My friend, Lisa Whitman, sent me here and I love her for it. I’m hooked. Keep on writing, dancing and wtf’ing. It works.

  60. thank you for sharing so openly, honestly and beautifully. your words are touching so many lives. you have been in my thoughts and prayers a lot recently. carry on. you are doing an amazing job!

  61. Wow. You have SO tapped into the raw, real heart of God. LOVE the image of God knitting our lives…reminds me of a controversial book I read a few years ago, and loved… :)

    You remind me of my friend, Amy, whom I have always loved for her brute-force honesty (and sweary-ness) while maintaining a rock-solid faith and trust in Jesus. I never used to think that those two could go hand in hand. Now, I don’t see how they exist without each other! It feels like the longer I walk with God, the more honest I get with Him. I think it’s what He wants.

    Thanks for keepin’ it real. It encourages me to do the same. xoxo

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