Introverts Don’t Hate People

Do introverts hate people? The evidence seems to say so: Introverts typically don’t go to many events or parties. When they do, they only talk to a few people, and after a few hours, talk to no one. But the evidence is misleading. Behind this avoidant exterior is a person who actually loves people. In […]

When Everyday Life Isn’t Enough

Rose Tyler from the first season of Dr. Who reminds me of my high school self – always searching for deeper meaning in life and wanting to be the best version of myself. Everyday life wasn’t enough for me. Now, I’m a little more down-to-earth. I realize that sharing such thoughts with people who love you can […]

My One Chance to Rebel

Multicolored lights flash around you as the final guitar chord vibrates in your ears. The crowd goes wild. It almost feels like you’re at church. What? Evangelical Christians know what I’m talking about. Often, there is little distinction between a rock concert and a worship service. Perhaps the strangest similarity is the insistence upon engagement […]

My Faith Had to Die

My Christian faith has always been very me-focused. My motivation to adhere to it for seven years was mostly driven by selfish motives – depression relief and anxiety management. I suppose I could return to the faith and do it right this time. You know, practice the humble sort of faith that loves Jesus simply […]

Why Take Risks?

My cat, Flynn, is an idealist. At the ripe young age of two, he left home to explore the great outdoors. Soon, someone found him and brought him to an animal shelter. At that point, Flynn probably thought his adventures in the great outdoors were over. Little did he know, he would soon be adopted […]

Dear Water

For this blog post, I’m going to anthropomorphize water. It’s weird, but I promise there’s a purpose. (Note: all references to water refer only to swimming pools and other still bodies of water) Dear Water, I haven’t trusted you. For that, I am sorry. Clearly, you have unchanging scientific properties that govern my interaction with you. […]

Encouraging Others (with my Etsy shop)

A couple months ago, I opened an Etsy shop. I guess I needed a new hobby. I didn’t immediately realize it, but my shop, Two Wild Gingers, and this blog, Wide-eyed and Wild, actually have very similar missions. They’re both about hope.  I’ve developed a knack for challenging my negativity, and I enjoy encouraging others. […]

Giving Doubt a Voice

Throughout my blogging journey, there’s been one question that continues to gnaw at me: “What’s the purpose of sharing my struggles with the world?” At first, my answer was, “Showing people that Christianity isn’t nearly as weird as it seems.” Then, it was about sharing my doubts and how I was overcoming them. At one […]

Don’t Mess With Belief

Belief is a decision to trust something or someone completely. Don’t mess with belief. It could change your perception of reality forever. But for the mercy of God will you ever find your way back again. I could have sought a second opinion. But I didn’t. I could have consulted with friends outside my church. […]

Humble Light

Incandescently hidden, But through a veil, Burnt orange mercy. Unresistant, Fire turns to stone, Innocence to wisdom. Sacred yet intimate, Eclipsed In moon’s mortal flesh For Earth to see A humble light.

Stop Acting Normal

  We people please because we don’t trust people To love us the way we are. We can’t admit weakness lest they judge us. They seem nice but maybe not nice enough To handle our true selves. So we people please. And when we can no longer maintain the façade, We terminate relationships Because we can’t […]

The Simple Gospel

Have you ever challenged your own beliefs? It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes, it is the only way to test their strength and sincerity. During this season of faith, I’m discovering that many of my particular beliefs about the Bible aren’t very strong. Normally, I’d despair over this, but this time, I’m letting go – […]

Introvert Extremism

Have you ever misinterpreted something or taken it to an unhealthy extreme? It’s easy to do this with religion or politics, but what about less-controversial topics? What about the theory of introversion and extroversion? Can that be taken to an unhealthy extreme? At first glance, this topic seems harmless. In my life, however, it wasn’t. […]

I Need More Faith. But Why?

I feel like I’m always asking God for more faith – either because I need hope for my personal struggles or I feel like a “bad Christian.” I’m so focused on myself, my mood and my morality that I forget why faith is so important to begin with. The real reason I need faith is […]

The Cars Beside You

In front of you is a Town Car. Behind you, a Jeep. On your left, a Mercedes. On your right, a Caravan. Wait . . . the Caravan is now in front of you. You slam your palm against the steering wheel to communicate your displeasure. In response, a hand with bright pink nails emerges […]

When I Try Too Hard

How do you view yourself? I see so much selfishness in me, and no matter how hard I try to love God more than my desires, I never succeed. Eventually, I just stop trying. Persistence is good, but at some point, I have to accept that I am helpless without God. All I can “do” […]

When My Hope Disappears

Recently, my optimism has been evaporating. So many people are dying. I see it on the news, and I hear personal stories every day from friends, neighbors and coworkers. So the pessimism begins. You know how hearing encouraging stories gives you hope? Well the opposite is true as well. Instead of being hopeful about life, […]

When I Reject God

Why would I reject someone who looks more glorious than a mountain, sounds more glorious than a rushing stream, smells more glorious than fresh air, feels more glorious than soft white sand, and tastes more glorious than honey . . . someone who is the greatest good of all good and more good than I […]

When I Don’t Accept God’s Blessings

My refusal to accept blessings that are not given to everyone on earth does no one any good. Does it help the people in Africa who are starving right now? Does it help the people in Orlando who are grieving right now? Feeling guilty for my “good life,” and feeling pity for others’ “not-so-good lives,” […]

When I Forget About God

When it comes to the Gospel, I think I suffer from short-term memory loss. While that’s an exaggeration, it is a good metaphor. In this metaphor, the “memory videos” in 50 First Dates – the ones Lucy has to watch every morning – represent the Bible, and Lucy represents me. When I don’t watch my […]

When I Was Little

When I was little – I mean like elementary school – I used to enjoy thinking about difficult questions at night before falling asleep. I guess I liked thinking about things that hurt my brain, my favorite one being, “If there wasn’t this [as in the universe], what would there be?” I can’t quite explain […]

Week 6: Not My Own Strength

This week, I’m going to try something different. I’m still going to take intermittent breaks, but I’m also going to try to take one long, eight-hour “break.” Before you start freaking out, hear me out. Week 6: Bible verse – “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you […]

Week 5: Just Doin’ Their Thing

I’m still not taking lunch breaks, and nearly every time I get an hourly reminder for my one-minute break, I hit “skip.” I’m still going to blog, though, because that’s my thing – it’s what I do. Week 5: Bible verse – “’I tell you,’” he replied, “’If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’” (Luke 19:40) […]

Is Joy the Solution to Unhappiness?

For some Christians – including me – unhappiness is seen as “morally wrong,” and joy (satisfaction in God regardless of circumstances) is seen as the solution. It’s easy to view joy as primarily an antidote to unhappiness, but instead, I think joy may actually be something we can experience in the midst of unhappiness – while still feeling […]

Week 5: What is Praiseworthy?

We’re halfway through! It hasn’t been easy, but I’m taking more breaks than I would be if I hadn’t created a plan. Here’s a recap: Week 1 Bible verse– “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 Meditation-ish concept– Commit to “being still” for one minute every hour. Commit to “being still” for […]

Week 4: Losing Steam

I’m losing steam. I’m losing energy for writing, and I’m losing the motivation for meditation. Nonetheless, it’s time for Week 4, and it’s time for me to breathe in God’s love. Apart from him, I cannot breathe. Apart from him, I can do nothing. The practice of deep breathing is often associated with the practice […]

Week 3: Slow to Anger

As it turns out, there are a variety of opinions on Christian meditation. A quick Google search revealed that Christianity Today is against it, and Relevant is for it (if it is focused on Christ and not on other powers). I’m siding more with Relevant on this one. One concept of meditation that I like […]

I’m Entering a Writing Competition

I recently had an idea for a literary short story, but instead of posting it on my blog, I’m going to enter the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition. I’m also going to be mean and not tell you what my story is about. All I can say is it involved research on cars, body language, […]

Apologetics and Roadside Beet Sales

I’ve been reading Rainn Wilson’s memoir, The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy. He’s definitely not shy about what he believes (and what he doesn’t believe). It’s a hilarious read but makes me a little uncomfortable at times – not necessarily a bad thing. At one point, Rainn takes a hit at some […]

Pigs and Perfectionism

On June 22, I will graduate from re:generation, a 12-step recovery program. When I began recovery, all I knew was that I was depressed and anxious and didn’t want to be. I gradually came to discover why, and one root cause I uncovered was perfectionism. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a […]

Be Still Challenge: Reflections From Week 1

So did you survive the first week? I did, but just barely. You wouldn’t think it would be so difficult to be still, but somehow, it was challenging beyond reason. Before I tell you about it, I want to remind you that it’s never too late to join the #BeStillChallenge and tweet about your experiences. […]

Be Still: 8 Weeks of Christian Meditation

(Disclaimer: Thoughts contained in this blog post are not the equivalent of professional advice, and readers must agree not to hold the author liable for any damages caused as a result of engaging in meditation, prayer or any other form of peaceful stillness. Please consult a mental health professional for advice specific to you. That […]

My Book: Wide-eyed and Wild

Someday, I’m going to self-publish a memoir based on this blog. My book will include stories of frustration and elation on my search for truth (and healthy faith) during college and throughout my life as a young adult. Sample Title: Wide-eyed and Wild: Fumbling Through Faith as a New Christian Sample Chapters: A Dancing Animal-rights Activist Churchgoer The Clarinets Faith […]

With Our Words

I love stumbling across articles that provide scientific evidence that validates some of Jesus’ teachings. Today, I ran across an article from Psychology Today that cited a study pointing to the possible cause-effect correlation between our words and our psychical health. Coincidentally (perhaps not), the sermon I heard last Sunday was about the power of […]

Loving (but Not Limiting) the Way God Made You

  This website is a good illustration of how my intelligence is narrowly focused on that which I’m passionate about (i.e., psychology and theology). In a mind like mine, there is less room for practical things as I spend so much time contemplating theoretical things. It’s a phenomenon where my brain has so much “expertise” in one […]