The Face Behind Je Suis Julie



Hi readers. I suppose I should unveil this person I am and let you guys in a little more. I tend to just give you a glimpse of my life and to mask the rest with anecdotes and metaphors. But it’s a new year and my college roommate inspired me to do a Q&A to better inform you of who I am. So here it goes.


Why do you write?

Because I love it. Writing to me is a sixth sense, a way in which I can feel and process my emotions and navigate through life’s circumstances in the most comfortable way. Also I love to publish my writing and to give readers a way to see life differently. Life involves perspective, and writing allows me to put a new perspective on every day things.


What do you enjoy writing most?

Blogs posts about racial identity and cultural differences. But recently I’ve written a lot about death because I lost a best friend back in October. I do write some fiction, mostly short stories. The novel I’m working on depicts a student journalist exploring her racial identity and the issues of immigration in France. It was inspired by my time in Europe as a college student. I’m not sure I’ll ever submit it for publication but it’s a fun project to work on.


What do you read most often?

The news. I’m a communications specialist so I constantly try to keep up with the media. I generally read The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. I also read blogs and newsletters. As for books, I’m gravely embarrassed to call myself a writer because I don’t read a lot of books, but I do love the classics.


Favorite book?

To Kill a Mockingbird.


Favorite blog?

I read Relevant Magazine sometimes and a few months ago I came across a blogger named Ethan Renoe. He’s super relatable in his writing and he’s a deep thinker. He writes about Christian living in the 21st century and the common struggles of young people. Also Ana Harris’s blog is great. She writes about recovering from Lyme’s disease and pursuing healthy living.


Favorite word?

I don’t know. I have trouble with this question. Can I use a French word? “Formidable”. It means “wonderful”.

Or maybe a Korean word “Moegja”. It means “let’s eat” and carries with it a lot of memories of eating Korean food with my college friends.

An English word? Probably “Coffee” no explanation needed.


Most used app?

Generally Instagram. Guilty Millenial.


Top track right now?

King’s Kaleidoscope, Joy Has Dawned. It’s a Christmas album but worth a listen. The song “All Glory Be to Christ” is my favorite.


If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?

This is difficult. There are too many places, and choosing one would be so unfair to all my friends who live around the world. Also, after a three week vacation in Paris–by my self–I learned that it’s not where you go that makes an experience great, it’s who you go with. So I’d probably go to South Africa with my brothers and sisters. Trouble is, I have nine of them so don’t ask me to narrow that down.


Dream job?

Foreign Relations officer. Yeah I’m doing my Masters right now in Public Management. I would love to work for the United Nations and be an Ambassador. Where to? Probably East Africa or East Asia.


Book character you relate to most?

Honestly it’s hard to say, because I’m a biracial female Christian. How many books depict this type of character? But I sort of relate to the protagonist in Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s a great story about culture shock and the experience of living in another country.


Movie/TV show character?

Jim Halpert. I generally feel like the only sane person in my office that’s trying to find humor in everyday life.


Celebrity crush?

Right now it’s Kumail Nanjiani after I watched The Big Sick. And how often do you see a person of color taking the lead role in a movie? He’s super funny but I have to admit, not all of his humor is clean.


Favorite activity?

Baking and playing music. And no, I’m not a Stay-At-Home mom. But these two activities are what I call my “back to joy” activities. When I’m down I play music to lift myself up.


iPhone or Android?

iPhone.  My Dad has always been a Mac guy so naturally our whole family conformed. Except for my brother-in-law. We’re still working on him.


Flying or sailing?

Is it weird to say I’d be a pilot if I could? I love flying so much it’s probably a little strange. I took a 16 hour flight from Indy to Seoul and loved every minute of it — well maybe not the last three hours. But for some reason I love being up in the air with the clouds and the sunshine.


Favorite season?

Spring, my birthday season, and all the flowers.


Mountains or beaches?

Beaches. They’re so therapeutic and also they’re how I picture heaven will be.


Go-to Starbucks drink?

I used to be a SB barista so I kind of got tired of all the fancy drinks. Now I just go with a grande dark roast with room. I know, kind of boring.


Best advice you’ve ever heard?

Great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events, and small minds talk about people.

– Eleanor Roosevelt


A Grave Visitation

Friday was the one month anniversary since John died. His best friend and I went to the grave to pay our respects. I wasn’t ready for it. The night before I tossed and turned until I found myself in the kitchen chugging a glass of water to replenish the tears I’d cried in my bed.

The graveyard is an easy half hour drive from the city. A quiet countryside surrounds it with square farmlands and big roofed houses. Gravel crunched beneath our feet as we silently approached the grave. I trembled with pulsing thoughts that said, I’m not ready for this.

It was one of those moments in life that you never expect to live. To be in your early twenties approaching the grave of your dear childhood friend, on a Friday afternoon in November. Isn’t this the time of life when you’re thinking about who you should marry, or what job you should pursue, or what countries you want to visit?

How surreal it is to visit the dead. They hadn’t set a tombstone, so we stopped at the bed of grass that was raised up from the ground with the bouquet of flowers from the funeral at the foot of it. They were white and wilted with long green stems and their petals were starting to brown at the edges. It felt odd, the two of us looming over this plot of grass where his body was laid. So I told him we should sit down.  And so we did, and then we wept. . .

“I wish there was a tombstone,” I remarked. I’d pictured this moment in my head since the day my brother said we’d occasionally have to visit the grave. I wanted to see his name and the date and the bible scripture his parents had chosen to engrave in the stone. But no. There was just the earth and the flowers and the sky and the absence.

It was indeed surreal, too surreal to recount. Not pleasant, not healing, not restorative. Just sad. Sad that people have to die. Sad to think I too will lie in the earth someday. Sad to consider how many times we will return to this spot to grieve the loss of our dear friend.

Two is better than one. I’m glad I went with his best friend. We cried together. We prayed together. We sat in silence heaving deep breaths of autumn air, while flicking bugs off of us and listening to John’s favorite album through an iPhone speaker.

Leaving was harder than coming. As we drove away with the gravel crunching beneath the tires, I wept again, feeling the absence of John so very strongly. It would no longer be  the three of us.


Another week begins. And I am doing better. I was feeling so distant from God lately that I sat in church yesterday and waited patiently for a word from him. He met me in the back pew with a passage from Romans 8.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[g] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

I woke this morning ready to declare my usual greetings to God, but all I could manage to say was, “Thank you for grace.”


400 words on contrast

I like to walk through the city on my lunch. Yeah I’m sort of a loner sometimes.

It’s only lonely if I consider what other people think of my lonely self. But usually I enjoy the silence and let my thoughts take off to interesting places.

I was thinking today about the diversity in my city. Not just racially, but the sheer contrast of different types of people.  My inner cinematographer wanted to capture it on film and play it to some hip hop music with a person rapping about the differences in humanity.

Oh, if I’d only studied film.

In art school they teach you that one of the key elements of design is contrast. If art is beautiful, and design produces art, then contrast is beautiful . . .  even in humanity. Design is a combination of lines, shapes, colors, textures, repetition, and . . . yes, contrast.

Contrast is my favorite element of design, because it appears in variations.

Today I saw the concept of contrast from a sociological aspect. Humans contrasted with humans. This indeed is diversity. And this is good.

So, I sometimes struggle with understanding why diversity is good. More ingredients make the soup taste better right? But sometimes those ingredients just don’t go together.

I would say the root of a lot of societal issues comes from diverse people groups cohabiting. There’s a reason Toads and Tortoises swim in different seas. Of course there’s the truth that all people are inherently bad, and from a Christian perspective, need saving. But how do you explain the comfort that comes from like-mindedness?

I use to write about diversifying friend groups. I pushed for more variety, saying people should mix with other ethnicities, in other words stop hanging out with people who resemble you. Then I began to see how hard this really is. I realized that I myself didn’t feel comfortable around certain people. I started to wonder if people of the same ethnicity, background, and language, should just stay together.

Different is never comfortable.

But wherein lies the beauty of contrast when all the same birds flock together?

I think it helps me, as an artist (who feels emotions to the tenth degree and struggles to maintain even the simplest feelings) to see diversity as human contrast. There is a beauty in this, especially when no one is domineering the other, when both are valued and equal.

Enough said.

Unexpected Kindness

What is it about life that when someone show’s you a bit of unexpected kindness, everything seems brighter?

It’s almost as if because we know how wretched we are that we expect to receive the same kind of self-centered spirit from people around us. Then someone goes and does something nice and suddenly we realize that goodness is not just about abiding by the law but it is somehow connected with an emotional response that the receiver experiences. Allow me to explain.

I was sitting in the garden’s behind the Simon building in downtown Indianapolis. With a half hour ’till the end of my lunch break I shut the pages of my book and headed toward Georgia street for a midday cold brew.

I entered the confines of what should be called the world’s smallest coffee shop, and asked the barista for a drink. With an apologetic smile he explained they had just run out of cold brew.

“Iced coffee?” he suggested. I agreed.

“Do you want any sweetener in there?” he asked, reaching for a cup. I told him a splash of coconut milk would suffice and he asked if I worked around the area.

“I work for the state, so just a few blocks down,” I said, peering out the window through the words Georgia Street Grind plastered on the glass.

He placed the black iced coffee on the counter and poured the coconut milk, blending the colors to make a creamy brown beverage. When I tried to pay with m credit card he merely smiled a wide grin.

“On the house,”

“Wow, really?”

“Next time you’ll have to get our cold brew.” He stood there with his broad shoulders measuring twice the length of mine, his hair combed a good two inches in the air, and watched me leave on cloud nine. How often does a good looking barista hand you your $4 coffee ON THE HOUSE?

On the house. It’s something you hear in movies, not on a Wednesday afternoon in the heat of August.

It was one of those experiences that makes me think about how life use to be before I existed, before the hotels and office buildings went up in this city. Before the convention center attracted those oddly dressed Gen Con characters. When Georgia street was just storefront brick buildings and churches. A time when hot climate culture was the norm. When life was more relational, and you couldn’t simply block out the world with two ear buds and a Spotify playlist. I wish we could go back to those days.





How to survive an anxiety attack

I’m sipping a coke through a red straw in the outside corridor of my office building. It’s quiet out here. I listen to the roar of cars on West Street and the bubbling fountain down by the canal. I remember three things I’ve done today: Meeting with IT, emailing our Marketing Vendor, finding a coke in the break room.  I count the bushes in front of me: One . . Two . . Three . . Four . . Five. I smell the corn chips from my lunch box and the cigarette smoke from somewhere else.



It’s a new technique my aunt showed me to get through an anxiety attack. Count something you can see. Count something you can smell. Remember something that has happened today.

Anxiety is exhausting. At first it’s scary. But days of feeling this fight or flight sensation simply drain me. Trying to focus my eyes and keep fear from blurring my vision. Trying to calm my heightened senses that distract me. Trying to steady my breath when my heart begins to race.

Eventually I just want to shut down. My eyes droop, my mind goes blank, and I feel nothing.

Scripture is what really works against anxiety. Truth conquers fear. The other night I slept at my parents home, beneath the covers of my old bed. My sister slept in her bed across from me and the box fan on the floor was blowing loudly. I felt the release of a panicking chemical in my brain making me feel like I should run out of the room and find safety.

It’s the feeling you get when you’ve woken from a nightmare and cannot go back to sleep. Even though I wanted to run and find safety, in reality I was in the safest place I could be. So I told myself this and then I started rehearsing truth through scripture.

“Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8

“For I know the plans  I have for you,’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 29

“Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything.”  Philippians 4:6

I suddenly remembered something my friend Esther told me to do when I feel afraid. She said to speak these words out loud: “Jesus Christ is Lord of my life.” I rehearsed this truth three times and as the words slipped from my lips I suddenly smiled. This was real, my fears were just imagination. Fear had no power over me.

As I thought about all of my fears, from experiencing death to facing life, I considered the sovereignty of God and how Jesus Christ is really Lord of all these things. I’m facing a lot right now, starting graduate school, moving to a new place. Realizing that God is in control allowed me to feel more than the nothing that usually hits me after a panic attack. I felt peace in the midst of my circumstances.

Peace is not the absence of fear but the presence of faith.


A Phone Call to Taipei

pexels-photo-488464I step outside my office and inhale the damp air. It’s Friday morning in Indianapolis and the sleepy citizens of this city are starting their day. I’ve already started mine, downed a cup of coffee, checked my email, and even bought a bag of chips for today’s office barbecue.

Now it’s time to make a phone call across the world.

My sister lives in Taiwan and it’s never been easy to keep up with her. When she moved to Taipei to teach English I was of course very excited but I never realized how hard it would be to keep in touch. How do you convey your life to someone who is thousands of miles away? Better yet, how do you follow their’s?

“Hello?” I breath into my cell phone when someone answers. Her voice is faint and sounds as far away as she is. I sigh and pull the phone from my face. A single bar of wifi smiles up at me. “Shoot!” I step inside to regain connection. The halls of my building are crowded with people heading to their offices. Some are stopping at the concession room to buy coffee and snacks for the day.

The faint voice of my sister dies as the call abruptly ends. Ugh. I call back several times before we stabilize a connection. Despite the awkwardness of trying to hear each other, I feel a sudden calmness at the sound of her familiar voice. My sister. My big sister. She asks all the right questions and I don’t even have to tell I’m still battling depression and anxiety. What’s important to her is how I’m doing now.

Siblings are the best.

We talk about travel, of course, and language. Her Chinese is getting better, so she says. And 7,602 miles doesn’t seem so far when I realize she’s the same Kate who I use to share a bed with when I was three. Who taught me not to be afraid of taking showers instead of baths, who told me curly hair was socially acceptable as long as you used conditioner.

It’s time to hang up and as I say goodbye I look out the office window as the sun peeks through the stormy clouds on the East horizon. It’s weird to think this same sun is setting in Taiwan behind the muggy mountains of Taipei.

Life is strange.

The world is enormous.

People are lovely.

Another Sleepless Night

It’s almost 2 am and I turn over my tear-soaked pillow to find a more comfortable position.

It’s been a long time since I cried myself to sleep. Well, only if a long time means a few months.

I just can’t believe I still struggle with chronic pain.

I’ve suffered from joint inflammation since the winter of 2013 when a technical injury cost me my musical career. The pain has never subsided and sometimes when I haven’t diligently taken care of my body, the pain progresses.

Yeah, it sucks.

So last night as the clock neared the wee hours of the night, I was lying in a mess of tangled blankets wondering if I should get surgery.  I spoke to a surgeon at one point who discouraged me from doing it.

“Once you cut, there’s no going back,” he said. And I don’t know if it was the wrinkles on his face or the fear of cutting opened my swollen wrists, but I decided not to get surgery.

My bed is cool. I begin wondering if insomnia is triggered by hyperactive nerves. No, I don’t have a sleeping disorder. I just allow anxiety, stress, and the results of a prolonged injury, to withhold my precious hours of sleep.

There came a point when I accepted this outcome of my life and I was okay with the circumstances. It just meant occasionally icing my aching joints, taking some pain relief when it was bad, and not doing anything that was too strenuous.

But sometimes I don’t have the strength to keep telling myself “I’ll be okay.” I try to say it  in different languages as if somehow using someone else’s native tongue will ease the horrifying thought that I will live with chronic pain for the rest of my life.

Tu vas bien

Estas bien

괜찮아 Gwaenchanh-a

And this is when the tears come.

I cry to feel something other than my aching joints. The tears spill down my face unlocking the chains that bind my mind with fear.

Stress relief comes from a good long cry. A cry that says, I can’t do this anymore.My lungs expand and I try once again, after a dozen times, to draw myself into sleep.But sleep has abandoned me.

“I hate you. . .” I say it to no one in particular.

And suddenly I regret this subtle remark I’ve directed toward my body. I try to make up for it with something that is true. “I love you. . .”  I say in defense to my body. But do I really?

I suppose in reality I do love my body yet as soon as it becomes uncomfortable to live in, I don’t. My body is the one that carries me everywhere I need to go. My hands are the ones that type these very words. My arms lift, and drive, and hold, and comfort. My neck holds the eight pound head that sits above it.

I turn over my pillow again and shove my head into the moist, cotton fabric. The clock reads ten ’till two. Will I sleep or will this be another sleepless night?

What does one do when one painful night turns into dozens?

One cries.

One sighs.

One waits.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37:7

I hate waiting.  Someone shared in church on Sunday about waiting. He said that sometimes in life, waiting is God’s greatest gift to us. Without waiting we would have everything we needed all at once and would never learn to trust in God or rely on his providence. Isn’t it through the waiting that we develop character and grow spiritually?

Hours later I wake to another day of sunshine and I hit the snooze button a few times before I rise. “Thank you father, for another day of life.” I say the words with sincerity because although my joints ache and I feel incredibly tired, God has a purpose for my pain and a reason for my existence.



Singleness: Thursday Thoughts

Okay, put down your Grande, no-foam, coconut milk Cappuccino and listen to me for a minute. Yes I’m talking to you, millennials and recent college grads who feel you’ve missed the marriage boat and are now spending your Thursdays scrolling through social media.

Let me tell you about my morning commute.


I spend every morning driving to work, balancing a mug of coffee on my knee, and listening to podcasts. I recently heard a powerful podcast on being single as a Christian.

One morning as the first rays of summer sun were blinding me on the way to work, I thought that maybe I should share what I’m learning.

Singleness seems like a time of waiting. Waiting to move out. Waiting to buy furniture. Waiting to meet the right person. Let me guess, you’re probably hoping that maybe this summer you’ll meet that person you’ve been waiting for. Here’s my response.

Stop waiting.


If there’s one thing I’ve learned about being single in the last few months it’s this:

The season of singleness is intended for undivided devotion to God. 

As I pressed a steaming cup of coffee to my lips and listened to this recorded talk, I began to see that my desire to be married could hinder my ability to live life. Furthermore, I saw that waiting for life to begin could prevent me from fully devoting my life to God.

What? I thought waiting was playing it safe. You know, so I don’t make any wrong decisions before meeting the right guy.

Let me be honest, going to all those post-college weddings makes me want to be married too. But I need to stop putting the status of marriage on a pedestal, and realize marriage too is sometimes a barrier to living a life devoted to God.

Singleness is a time for single-minded devotion to God. Whereas in marriage, a wife or husband has to devote their attention to their spouse, their kids and their growing household, the single person has more time than he/she knows what to do with.

So, single post-college Millennials, where are you spending your free time?

This is a difficult question even for me. I, who have abundance of free time usually spend it watching TV and Netflix? I am vicariously living someone else’s life when my own is waiting to begin. It’s not that entertainment is a waste of time. In fact we all know it’s nice to watch a few episodes of Parks and Rec and just wind down.

But I’ve been recently convicted about the way I spend the free time I’ve been granted. I often feel like my friends and I, in high school and college, would zone out through TV and video games. For some reason, watching the conflict and resolution of someone else’s life was easier than dealing with my own.

I use to consider singleness as a plague that I didn’t want to catch. What kind of gift prohibits you from community?

But getting involved with my church, I saw that being single really is a gift. It doesn’t mean I spend life alone, rather I spend it in community with other believers and we are able to identify issues and talk about solutions.

When it comes to the four stages of romantic relationships (Singleness, dating, engaged, married), singleness is the first. So if you’re single, don’t constantly worry about who you will marry.

Being single for you could be a season of life. How will you answer the questions of what you did with your single years? Did you zone out and watch Netflix, or did you engage with the world because you had the time and ability to?

I’m challenging you and myself to not be afraid of having a single status. Understand that singleness is a gift, and learn to unpack that gift with gratitude. Use your time for undivided devotion to God, and encourage others to do the same.


Revive the art of conversation



In school I studied a vital key to communication: Writing. But as adulthood has forced me out of my shell of adolescence and I’m no longer able to hide the fact that I’m actually a really shy person, the oral elements of communication have become more important. By oral elements I mean conversation.

Conversation: Oral exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, or ideas. 

With the use of texting, messaging, snapping, and social media comments, conversation has evolved radically since the days before the age of technology.

I’ve noticed that people are more likely to text or message me than to strike up a conversation in person. Quite honestly, I hate having conversations through instant messages, because there is such a loss of clarity in the mix. No facial expressions. No body language. No personality traits. And let’s face the truth, emojis hardly do the job.

I recently had a very good conversation with someone and it caused me to wonder how I learned to get over the fear of talking to new people. When did I begin using my words instead of my keyboard? I once was shy and quiet, but somewhere between high school and now, I learned the great joy and satisfaction that comes with in-person conversation.

So I want to encourage my reader to consider this post as a challenge for you to be more intentional with your communication and to seek those “in-person” conversations, where both individuals are entirely present.

Observe the following seven steps to good conversation.




  1. Begin by asking questions. I recently met a guy at a laser tag outing among friends. Although we had not previously been introduced, we shared a similar social circle. I asked him how to read the score  after the game and he explained that if you are at the bottom of the screen, which I was, you probably came in last, which I did.
  2. Introduce yourself. After a few moments I introduced myself saying, “I don’t know you. What’s your name?” Yeah, I’m pretty forward with introductions, but not everyone has to be. Right away I learned his name and he learned mine which unfolded a conversation of why we hadn’t met before. I explained I was in Korea the week before when our friends met up. He explained he was out of town the week before that.
  3. Ask general questions that pertain to what you know about the person. His name was Joel and after another few moments he asked what I was doing in Korea. Keeping it simple, because most people don’t want to hear about your fantastic trip in South East Asia, I said I was visiting friends. Apparently Joel had been to China  and we made light conversation about the 13 hour flight  across the world.
  4. Try to find common ground. Joel asked what I did that allowed me a vacation to Korea, and I told him. In exchange, I asked what he did. When he said he was an ESL teacher, my mind immediately thought of my brother and sister who are both international ESL teachers. This note of information spurred him to tell me about his upcoming venture to Brazil, where he’d signed a two-year contract to teach English.
  5. Discover what they are passionate about.  I began to ask Joel what drew him to Brazil. In college his roommate was Brazilian, or from Brazil, sometimes details get lost in the art of conversation because you are trying to connect the dots and keep momentum going. I gathered that Joel was interested in teaching overseas, curious about Brazil, and really liked soccer.  I pocketed this information because I also liked soccer, but it didn’t seem like the right time to say it.
  6. Allow time for thought. In conversation the person you’re talking to is going to know if you are really interested or if you are just being polite. By now our chat had turned into an extended talk, as Joel expounded on the process of raising money for his trip to Brazil. His travel dates were unsure because his support had only covered 90% of the costs. So I decided to indulge my curiosity and ask Joel what he’d been doing up ’till now.
  7. Don’t change the subject too often. This was a natural turn in the conversation where we left the thought of Brazil and the money to be raised, and focused on the now. Joel had just finished teaching at an ESL school in Indianapolis. I was familiar with the school because my parents are International Home Stay hosts, and they hosted a student from his school. We talked about the Japanese student who lived with my family for the passed eight months. The commonalities we shared seemed to be more than we could count but the richness of our simple conversation diverged from the fact that we were both entirely present.

So what did I learn from talking with Joel?

Approach every conversation expecting to learn something new. Be curious because you may never know when your path will cross with this person again. You also don’t know what this person is going through. Maybe shifting the focus from you to them will open opportunities you never imagined. Conversation is a lost art. Let’s learn to revive it.








Anxiety at 23

Today is my birthday and the clouds have decided to weep. Don’t worry, it happens every year.

I woke to the crash of thunder, and thought ‘of course it’s raining on my birthday again.’   My wipers cleaned the windshield on my morning commute, and I splashed through the flooded roads, thinking about the outcome of my life.

In the last year, I lived as the average 22-year-old girl: Graduated college, worked at a coffee shop, finally landed a salary job, bought a car, and moved out of my parents house. Shortly after, the anxiety set in.


Angst. Panic. Fear. Depression. Unease. Distrust. Doubt. Worry.

This is not a post on how I overcame anxiety, but what I’ve learned through the process. I write this because I know there are many in this similar situation.

I’ve never had an issue with anxiety before. Rather, it was depression that played the antagonist in college. Anxiety is a new character in my life, an unkind friend who enters unannounced. I don’t know what triggers it, but unfortunately it visits weekly.

When I started thinking about my upcoming birthday I realized how quickly this year is slipping by.  I wondered if this will be a year I recall as full of anxiety.

I hope not.

My anxiety is showing me that this life is not perfect. The idea became a reality when I studied the book of John this year. In chapter 16, Jesus says,  “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I didn’t realize that a lot of people, people my age especially, suffer from anxiety, until I told people I was experiencing it.  I began searching the scriptures for solutions to these unpredictable panic attacks.

Then I came across the passage about Jesus’ resurrection. “Peace be with you,” he said to his friends after his resurrection. When I read this, I wondered why his peace was not with me.

A friend explained that anxiety is a physiological experience. Chemicals surge through your brain causing panic to rise in your body. Perhaps the peace he gives is a spiritual peace. A peace so subtle it takes a step of faith to see.

Even though I’m turning 23 and entering a new stage of life–that may involve daily anxiety attacks and lonely, depressing nights–I won’t let it overcome me. Resting in the knowledge that in this world there will be trouble, there is no need to freak out so much when things go wrong.

Things will go wrong.

So how do we face tomorrow?

Perhaps by resting in the comfort that he has overcome the world. He knows our greatest needs and how to fulfill them.


It always rains on my birthday. The clouds weep and I’m reminded of a letter Paul wrote to the church in Rome. “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.

Hope is looking toward the future with a smile on your face. Today I’m 23 and I have anxiety. But peace and hope are stimulated by a fire that comes from above, and not even the torrential rains can put it out.