My Life on Chronic Illness

By Suzanne Burden | Twitter: @suzanneburden There are days I feel completely irrelevant and invisible to the world. “You look good,” others often say, trying to be helpful. I am not good, a voice on the inside sometimes eeks. I am fighting the battle of my life to be able to do normal things. I […]

Grief Draws Us to Belonging

As we rounded the corner, I saw the hearse. It was parked in front of the doors of First-Centenary United Methodist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee and the finality took my breath away. This past Saturday, we shared in Rachel Held Evans’ funeral. I drove up from Atlanta with my dear friend Tina Francis-Mutungu and the miles […]

It is My Place to Believe in the Church

I grew up in the church. I spent Sunday upon Sunday sitting in the first third of the pews, staring up at the stained glass tree of life, while dutifully taking notes, just in case anyone took notice and needed confirmation that I was, indeed, a pastor’s kid. I looked out at those velvety pews […]

On the Other Side of this Dusty Wardrobe

My children blur fantasy and reality. Right now, they are yipping from the other room, pretending they’re puppies. Later, they’ll be ninjas, superheroes, or bunnies. They stack cardboard boxes on overturned chairs, drape them with blankets, prop pillows all around, and create cozy puppy rooms for one another. They scavenge for ordinary objects, using them […]

Liberate Me from Body Shame

The first time I felt body shame, I was ten years old. It felt white hot, like swallowing a burning coal and feeling it slowly sink and settle in my stomach. Someone told me it was time for me to start watching what I ate, because I was getting chubby. Embarrassment flamed my cheeks. Am […]