The wisdom in pruning.

I”m starting to realize the wisdom in pruning.

John 15 has a lot to say about it, and one of the things that I find fascinating is that God doesn’t just prune the bad things from our lives, He might even prune good things so that we become even more fruitful.

I’ve adopted this thinking when it comes to my writing ministry.

God has created me to be a “one thing at a time” person, but I keep taking leaps into territory not made for me. It’s so much easier for me to nurture one thing to its fullest potential than to do five million while trying to keep my head from spinning.

BUT, I think I’ve finally gotten the memo (and printed it off and framed it for good measure).

I’m going to continue writing and posting my “podcast” through my website. But I’m no longer calling it a podcast. It truly is a recorded diary that I love sharing with you guys, but I really have no intent on becoming a podcaster. However, I’m still publishing my diary as a video series you’ll still receive in your inbox (it’s also available on YouTube). Just push play to hear my heart.

So I’ll continue to write my heart out and talk to God, offering it all up to the One who hasn’t failed me yet.

A poll.

This week’s posts.

Except pray.
My mental health journey as a Christian writer.

“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him…”
– Job 13:15

© 2023 by Ericka Clay


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Except pray.

My thumb fans recklessly through all these years until I find her—blank-faced, the tears a silent delight, the stoniness the only thing that can keep the rough barbs of a thirteen-year-old at bay.

There she is. My mother.

And there I am, small and stupid, because what else would you call a reckless mouth and a self-centered heart? I am young and growing beautiful like a rose rooted in poisoned soil.

I don’t know any better, and isn’t that the sweetest gift a person can receive?

But one day, I do know better. I’m in my late thirties like my mother used to be. I hit the gym, and listen to other parents wax on about parenting. I take my dog for a walk and try not to stumble on loose pebbles. I’m reaching the age of “she used to be,” while I’m still firmly footed in the “she is.” What can you say when your biggest adversary sprung from your womb?

I shuffle back there again, my finger holding the page to look at my mother’s face. I’ve hurt her again, but to hear me tell it, I’ve never hurt her at all. I love her, that I know, but I must be going now because sixth, and seventh, and eighth grade, onward and upward, offer all the things a mother can’t. And she knows this too. Maybe that’s why her suffering is basking behind her steely resolve. What hope is there in hoping for everything you’ll never be able to change?

I think of my mother’s prayers, each one braided like flowers in my hair. Each one anchoring me in the ground as the angels watched me drink my life away. I wonder about their eyes, round orbs, watching my next move, waiting on God’s. What will happen to this girl who thought she knew everything, hoarding nothing at all in the back of her mind?

But I didn’t die, and I suppose it was my mother’s reckless heart, breaking through any bit of stoniness, her steeliness, her frank understanding that nothing can be done, so nothing she did.

Except pray.

And now here I stand, heart for God as if I’ve cut it out and offered it in my trembling hand. How powerful those prayers were. I shuffle through the pages, gathering all of them, hoarding them in my empty mind for my own daughter, her face not close enough to touch.

© 2023 by Ericka Clay


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Breaking my own heart.

Yesterday, I deleted everything. I deleted my diary and these writing updates. I felt numb and questioned why I even write.

I considered deleting my blog posts, too but just left them fearfully clinging for their lives on this website.

It wasn’t a great day.

I haven’t had one like that in a long time. Today, I feel differently. After a friend commented that she couldn’t leave a comment on my post (because I had deleted it), I realized these aren’t about me. God is using me to give comfort to others. To show that they’re not alone. To make them see things differently, maybe from a Biblical perspective for the first time.

Who am I to tell the potter that enough is enough?

I’ve talked about self-sabotage before, how I’m the queen of it. I often second-guess myself, mired down in my own incapacities. Motherhood is hard. Motherhood of a teenage daughter? Even harder. And I don’t have a long history with children, how they grow and sometimes turn on you, and how your heart has to be guarded and resolved.

Thank God for…well…God.

There was a voice yesterday, small and still. It said there will never be a point where I’m perfect enough to do this. I just have to do this. And that’s all there is to it.

So here I am, doing this, whatever this is. Writing words, recording words, breaking my own heart, and watching God get to mending it.

I am tired, so exhausted. And wondering where we go from here.

I have a feeling He’ll let me know.

For my paper people.

I thought long and hard about it, and I’m still giving away my books for free. BUT, I know there are those of us who like the smell of paper and ink, so I will be continuing to offer print copies of my books through Amazon. I have lowered the prices so be sure to check those out if you’re interested. I only offer my ebooks through my bookshop which you can access here.

This week’s posts.

The dust of ourselves.
Taking hold of my writing future.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
– Psalm 34:18

© 2023 by Ericka Clay


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Embracing scary…again.

Not too long ago, I recorded a diary entry where I talk about embracing scary as a writer. This “scary” for me was leaving Amazon KDP forever to start my own bookshop on my website. I then backtracked and decided that was a bit too scary and left my books on Amazon.

But I’ve never felt settled there, and I think the main issue is that KDP gives you this nice little screen where you can see your book sales, and I’m just not into that anymore. As I’ve opened up all the doors and windows of my life and have asked God to take over every inch of it, I’m learning more and more about my sinful tendencies. And one of those tendencies is to see results ASAP.

Results aren’t necessarily bad. Assessing where you are in a process isn’t bad either. But what if that process was never meant for you in the first place?

Staying on KDP started to feel like how staying on social media always felt for me. I knew I didn’t belong there either, so every day that I continued to fire up my accounts and anxiously scroll was another day spending my time and energy in a space not meant for me.

KDP is the exact same thing.

So I’ve decided that it’s okay to go where I’m being led even though it seems a little strange. And as much as I’d like to sell my books, God’s been asking me to give them away for free.

I know.

A few months back, I was listening to a book called Angry Conversations With God. It’s a really great memoir about a Methodist woman who has to confront the fact that her image of God isn’t the true God of Scripture. She’s an actress, and there’s a part where she realizes God wants her to act “for fun and for free.” This makes her pretty upset considering she’s quite good at acting and all her friends get to be paid for it, so why not her? But she realized her path isn’t the same as everyone else’s. And that line? “For fun and for free”? It’s been plaguing me all these months.

And I know that was God speaking to me.

So I’m giving away my books in ebook form in the spirit of “for fun and for free.” I’m no longer weighed down by sales and marketing but get to do what I love and share it with some really great readers who have blessed me with their stories and struggles and have given me the opportunity to look outside myself and pray for them.

In exchange for free access to my books, I am asking that you subscribe to my blog. That’s it. Just enter your email below, and you’ll receive an email with a link to my free books. You can also directly download your books here.

Join 3,320 other followers

NOTE: If you’ve already subscribed but haven’t received the link to your free books, please contact me. You can also always purchase print copies of my books on Amazon.

Because story is necessary.

A while back, I started a series of testimonies that in-person and online friends sent me to publish. Life happened, so I didn’t continue the project, but recently, a good friend of mine wanted to share her story and asked me to help her with it. I suggested I lightly edit it for her and post it in this series.

It reminded me how important it is to share our stories when sharing Christ. And now that I have time devoted to my online writing ministry, I’d like to officially start this series back up again. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact me. I can either chat with you and write your story myself as I did for this testimony, or you can write one and send it to me, and I can edit and publish it.

All I ask is that this a redemptive piece that shows how God has been walking alongside you all along, even in the times you’ve forsaken Him. Because it’s in our weakness that His glory is revealed to the world.

This week’s posts.

Like a flower breaking earth.
How self-assessment can heal your heart.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10

© 2023 by Ericka Clay


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Like a flower breaking earth.

You’re still here in all your flesh

and memory serves to correct me

on the little details caught up

all around me like dead skin in dust.

How often I look at photos memorizing

the ghost lines of a gone face,

paying my condolences to an empty casket

and curled consciousness, yellowed with the wear

of bringing you out and setting you in my sun.

And grief is a cruel mistress, keeping the dead alive,

or maybe the living just dead enough for me to still own you,

take your future captive,

to tell stories to my friends of the used to be,

ignoring that there is a right now going on in a universe

I don’t belong to.

And it’s only when I set my heart on my Portion,

On the lone One who knows the intricate weave of all the cells

I can’t see,

That I can see my right now, too, how it doesn’t have to be

darkened by the once was.

How I can bury you whole and still breathe,

watching you breaking through all my wrongs

like a flower breaking earth.

© 2023 by Ericka Clay

You might also like…
Forge me anew.
The elder’s wife.


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Learning to push pause.

I’m officially calling it. I’m pausing on writing my novel. I have quite a bit on my plate right now, which I’m loving, but having a huge looming project like writing a novel over my head isn’t helpful at the moment. BUT, I know summer will be here sooner than later, and instead of waking up super early to take my daughter to school, I can instead wake up super early to make myself some tea and get to writing and editing.

I think I’m learning not to strive for perfection. I’m learning that it’s okay to hit “pause” and to realize what season I’m in. And I’m also learning a lot about myself as a writer. I love reading fiction, and I’ve felt convicted to write a few novels for the Lord. But I feel there might be a shift in what I write after my next book. I think maybe instead, I’ll be thinking about writing a nonfiction book. I have no clue what that will look like, so can you do me a favor and pray that God confirms my next steps?

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands. 
Psalm 90:17

I did want to mention I finally have a schedule down. Monday (blog posts), Wednesday (diary episodes), and Friday (updates like this one). Planting away and watching God grow this thing!

P.S. – If you’re wondering where you can listen to my diary, you can do so on YouTube.

Love edgy Christian fiction?

I’m doing a promo with a few other Christian novelists and thought you guys would love to check it out. These are Christian fiction reads that aren’t your typical Christian fiction–right up my alley! Click the button below to check out where you can purchase them! Click here to check out this promo.

This week’s posts.

Making changes, finding routine.
Finding faith through parenting.

“In peace, I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.”
Psalms 4:8

© 2023 by Ericka Clay


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The peace I feel is surreal.

If you’ve been following the saga that is my life, you’ve probably been aware that peace isn’t something that I’ve had the past several months. I’ve been bogged down by my writing, the idea of marketing it, and this in turn has led to a ton of headaches and dead ends that have exhausted me.

But in truly submitting (and I mean TRULY submitting), I’ve seen God’s redemptive hand, and I’m blown away.

He’s blessed me with a diary (or my random ramblings into my iPhone), a blog I love, a book I won’t stop writing, and beautiful readers and friends who keep reaching out.

I’m starting to realize what my head and heart were so stubbornly set against for so long–the beauty of being in the journey and watching God transform my stupid mistakes into something that finally makes sense.

I have to decrease for Him to increase. And the fruit of something like that is amazing to watch blossom.

A little housekeeping…

I’m full-time on WordPress now, friends. I’ve created an updates section on my website, so instead of a Mailchimp newsletter, you’ll be seeing updates like these every once in a while. You can also read my creative posts on my blog and listen to my writer’s diary.

I do have a list of my email subscribers I’m able to download, so for book releases, I’ll be sending you a personal email from

Finally, a rhythm.

Thank you for all the kind words about Chapter Twenty-One of my novel I sent last week. I’ll send out the link to another chapter soon in one of these updates so be on the lookout!

This week’s posts.

Forge me anew.
My ultimate goal as a writer.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7

© 2023 by Ericka Clay


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Forge me anew.

Sometimes in the space of my ribs or the span of my arms, I’m still three. I’m sitting on my grandfather’s lap, and he’s feeding me sips of his beer from his bottle cap. My grandfather’s hair is black and shiny and smells of V05 hot oil, and I’m the most important person in the world until my mother comes and takes the bottle cap away.

Sometimes in the space of my ribs or the span of my arms, I’m still five. The boy across the street comes over, and we swing on the swing set in my backyard. I’m swinging higher and higher and he twists and he twists his swing around until he sets himself free, and I see the trainwreck in the width of a second. He hits me hard as I fly high, setting out into the ether with no one to bring me home except the solid weight of gravity and the sick thud of my body against ground. My father shuffles him out to the tune of my wailings. I never want to see that awful boy again, and my father pats him lightly on the shoulder, knowingly nods, and in a quick glance, offers a lifetime of sympathy, knowing himself the shrill sound of the girl you hold in your heart.

Sometimes in the space of my ribs or the span of my arms, I sit shell shocked as my mother leaves us at the chicken sandwich place. My father and I gape, two fish at a table, the checkered tablecloth covering the nervous bounce of my knee. She’s never left me. She’s never walked away. And it’s only years later with a husband and child and two dogs that bark a nervous twitch in your eye that you understand the art of wanting to leave and the grace of coming right back.

Sometimes in the space of my ribs or the span of my arms, I’m a stupid teenager who did stupid things and loved a boy and lost all of it like the time I was three and I dropped the crystal bowl at Jones department store after my mother firmly told me not to touch. Everywhere there are shards of it, bits of story and one-liners, and lost smiles, sunflowers growing wild like weeds and every bit of happy I’m sure I’ll never have again.

Sometimes in the space of my ribs or the span of my arms, I’m a grown adult who spits in Your face. I do it like rhymed verse and broken characters and swooping storylines that lead to nowhere, and my hands are invisibly inked with the pain of wanting to lose yourself tub-deep but not even having the guts to start the faucet.

Sometimes in the space of my ribs or the span of my arms, I let go, my pride like broken diamonds crushing into the soles of my feet, and all I can see is the bright lights of the megachurch above my head, and that deep water, that filled tub, that turned faucet, and down I go, buried with You, until somebody’s strong arm brings me back, and I’m there again where I started, only it’s not the same place in the slightest.

And there You were, all in the thick of it, even when I couldn’t see You. I sometimes wonder, why didn’t You stop it? The hard parts, the pain, the constant whine in the back of my spine? That voice that licked at my ears and broke my heart? But then I know now, You were there, on Your knees, broken shards stabbing through the skin of Your palms, picking up my lost pieces, holding me close until it was time to forge me anew.

© 2023 by Ericka Clay


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Guilt is a bird in my ribs.

If there’s a memory that I can feel the taste and smell of everything, it’s the day I did the splits and ended up in the emergency room. Not because of the splits but because of the lone piece of wood that popped up unabashedly from the floor to defend itself from me.

Into my leg it went, a pain so clean and succinct, I made myself pretend I had imagined it, the heart in my chest knowing otherwise.

I didn’t tell anyone about it until my mother came to pick me up, and only then I whispered it to her like I had been a victim of a very cruel game.

My crime was being alive and not knowing where my voice went.

Years later, I tell a friend about this event, and I laugh because children are silly, and she stares because who suffers pain due to the guilt of feeling that pain in first place?

I do.

The whole time you’re a young Catholic girl, guilt licks you like a kitten. It’s not all a horrible thing to have a pet, especially one that’s gentle. But it follows you around, and you just assume, as young children do, that everyone else is just the same.

That everyone has something small and breathing that nestles against their necks when they have the audacity to do or say something just left of what’s right.

There’s a friend I have who I truly wish wasn’t. I play with her when my other friends can’t see. Her name is Marcie, and she’s the opposite of cool. I am, too, with my big flutter bangs and coke bottle glasses, but I’m best friends with the most popular girl in our class so you really can’t mess with me.

Plus, my mom’s a teacher, and I can make her give you detention. At least I’m pretty sure I can.

I go to Marcie’s house, which is cluttered and smells like dust. There’s a fine coat of it everywhere, and some dances mid-air in the light streaming through the windows and glass sliding door. We pretend to be veterinarians, her sizable congregation of stuffed animals our patients, and I like typing on the blank-screened computer as I check our patients in.

It’s the most fun I’ve had in a very long time, and when Monday comes, I ignore Marcie completely.

My guilt is a bird in my ribs I shut up with excuses.

Marcie sings in church and her voice is the loudest in the building. She stands in front of me so I can watch her thick, waist-length hair sway like a pendulum. The girls in my row stare and giggle, and my face stares and giggles, too, but my insides wonder what it would be like to do what I really want to do. To sing at the top of my lungs to God, eyes shut to the cruelty of unrelenting hearts.

Marcie dies when we’re sixteen, but it’s been years since I’ve seen her. I moved and live in New England while she stayed and lived life in Arkansas. I imagine myself her best friend if things would have remained the same. I can see myself sitting next to her in class and having sleepovers, talking about boys. The best of friends we’d become, time and a backbone changing my outlook.

But time is vicious and they ran plumb out of backbones, so I never did tell her how much I wanted to sing next to her.

And I suppose her leukemia wouldn’t have acknowledged me as a formidable adversary anyhow.

My guilt grew and had to be fed, and it’s exhausting when it barks at me late at night. It will be a constant rendering, this existence of quiet prayer in the dark to something I don’t even understand and swallowing down that chirping bird until all I can feel is a slight flutter.

Until I can finally go to sleep.

© 2022 by Ericka Clay


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Every time my heart broke.

I never understood death until my dog died Christmas morning two years ago. I wasn’t a stranger to human death. My great-grandmother died when I was sixteen, and before that, my great-uncle. I had seen their bodies still, and I had seen their bodies in motion.

But neither of them knew my heart.

There’s a fine line in your life when somebody or something you love can no longer be reached. There is the “before that moment” when life hurts and there is the “after that moment” when life still hurts, and you find yourself shuffling to the corners of your house to find something that’s no longer there.

It left me in a panic when my dog, Roxie, died. That evening, I had an attack, one that I hadn’t had in a very long time, and only two things calmed me: stepping outside to stare up at heaven and going inside to find my daughter. I could see her body still breathing, a reminder that maybe not all the good had decided to pack up and move away.

When I first got Roxie, I was young and stupid. I was an instant dog mom, dressing her up in clothes (a blue t-shirt and a black hoodie. I didn’t conform to the world’s standards so why should she?), and I would carry her around like the baby I wouldn’t have until a year later. She was so small, she’d belly under our couch just to poop. We didn’t even realize she was pooping under there until we moved, and as she got older and I studied her habits, I realized she was uncomfortable with us watching her every time she used the bathroom.

Finally, a dog with some sense.

I think the worst thing I ever did was tell her my secrets. It had been a long six years of suicidal ideation, a fancy word for “I just don’t want to be here anymore.” I loved my parents, I loved my husband. But I never saw in their faces such a pure sense of loss every time my heart broke.

In their defense, she was the only one who I’d ever let see me cry. And given the chance, I probably wouldn’t let them lick my tears.

But she did, with relish.

At night, we’d drink together—vodka water(s) with a twist of lime. She’d lap a drink while I’d watch Bridezilla late at night, watching women fly off the handle. And in cozying deep into my functional alcoholism like snuggling into a down blanket, I’d be thankful I wasn’t anything like them.

At least I had my life together.

She’d sit and watch me as I wrote, my attempts at being the next Shirley Jackson ever-present and as real as the giant aspirations I had created for myself. I’d get famous and maybe cart her around as Paris Hilton did with that little dog of hers, but Roxie was pretty fat, so I considered some sort of baby stroller contraption instead.

But then soon enough, I’d need a real one of those. I was pregnant. I didn’t let my heart catch up to my brain and realize that maybe I never would be what I always knew I would. So there I was, my dog side-eying my growing belly, leery of what would break open sooner than later while I closed my eyes to reality. Something I was pretty decent at if I do say so myself.

My child was(is) a force to be reckoned with, and sometimes, Roxie and I would hold each other, watching the havoc. It was like another being had invaded our space and dashed my dreams of glory and Roxie’s dream of pooping in peace.

We were tormented in the worst and best ways, having to grow outside ourselves. So we took to our late nights, sharing our vodka and mild regrets but not overly concerned because at least we had each other.

In the house with the demons, Roxie walked the wooden floors, never being able to sleep at night. The clip-clip-clip of her nails was morse code signaling her fear and discomfort until it echoed in my dreams.

In my room at night, God showed me the evil, and it was too strong for me without Him. I gave my life over, trusting Him and not a bottle of vodka to light the darkness. No more late nights and freshly made drinks.

I could tell Roxie was a little miffed.

My soul sang, but my mind was still a mess. Jesus saves, but the darkness especially craves souls willing to follow His lead. I worked hard and late and would look at Roxie sitting next to me on the couch and think, “One day, this, too, will only be a memory.”

Years marched as years often do, and when you look around, you realize how things have changed. My daughter grew, her body rivaling mine, and we’d play “pass the Roxie” as I’d teach her things about math and science and personal boundaries people often cross, people who have no real understanding of who Jesus is.

And I also taught her about grace, too, because without it, I would have been stuck on the couch, drink in my hand.

Roxie was who she still is in my heart and mind until she suddenly wasn’t. She got sick and her body detroriated, her spin protruding out of her skin. To hold her was to hold weakness, helplessness, a past slowly wearing away.

The worst part was her eyes because she knew it too. Soon enough, she wouldn’t know us anymore. I think maybe they were a soft reminder of my own suffering. How it pained me enough to live behind my own flesh and bone and how I was helpless to help the soul dying behind hers.

I think if anything, Roxie reminds me of Jesus. I mean obviously not the anxious pooping or nonstop barking or clip-clip-clipping across the hardwood floor. But the desire to just sit next to a person and look out into nothing and know the end of something is so near.

And the beginning? How beautiful it always is.

© 2022 by Ericka Clay


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Back from the dead.

How much are you an accomplice to everything intent on killing you?

You don’t think this is a question you would have once considered. In fact, this question would have seemed absolutely ludicrous.

Because, after all, you can never stop anything from happening to you.

And maybe in some circumstances, that’s the case. Maybe there’s a loose grasp on the reigns so there’s no surprise when the horse bucks you off.

You live there in the dirt and don’t give it a second thought.

But at some point, you noticed the dirt wasn’t really the best place to live. And when you lifted up your head, you noticed how clean everyone else was.

But there you lay, as everything happened and with no reigns to hold.

Suicide seems like such a lofty goal for some. An insidious undertaking that claims a loved one or a person of someone you used to work with who always brought bologna sandwiches to work. But it’s never really been about you, even though you collect your own dark moments when it’s tried to nuzzle your shoulder.

But you don’t talk about that. Those things won’t get you followers on Instagram. So instead, you collect those instances like stray kittens with no mother, foster and hold them awhile but only in the quiet.

On the outside, everyone thinks you’re the best.

After a while it wears. Being the best. Being the smartest and being pretty and being fit and being…well, everything the world craves.

Eventually, those things wear away. We have the Fall to thank for that, and even though it all goes on its slow, downhill march, you still claw at it. Your humanness always needs to be fed.

It’s such a headache to feed it because it mostly means starving yourself. You don’t eat, which means you sleep standing up but never laying down. When you’re in bed you count the stars and talk to no one because you don’t believe in God. You silently pat yourself on the back for not needing a crutch.

You, my friend, are so strong.

The bags are thin-skinned under your eyes and you rub your ring finger round with concealer. You pat-pat-pat, pretending you’re erasing away every little regret.

At work, you are the best worker. There just isn’t another option for you. You eat in the breakroom, careful to look like you’re feeding your unfed body because everyone knows rumors are worse than calories.

You’re promoted and there’s a vile sense of self-worth from everyone’s projected hate. You only need friends from the outside looking in.

You go home alone to no one but a cat who is less concerned about you than you are. You drink white wine and accidentally chip a tooth on the glass but you keep on drinking anyways.

Your stomach rumbles, a reminder that you’re in control, and you will let it rumble with every ounce of will you have left. You watch a show on Netflix about tiny homes, wondering why seemingly competent people would be willing to contort their bodies just to live in a shoebox.

Your days are weeks now and your family are voices lost in your voicemail. You sometimes call back when you know they’re not available and turn off your read receipts on your phone.

You text like Lazarus, back from the dead.

Everyone smiles if they see you in Wal-Mart but their well-wishes are tinged with an “Are you okay?” You thwart it, though, with a question about the baby, a soft touch on the arm, a general warm undertone that emanates from your malnourished skin.

“No, absolutely not,” your eyes struggle to say, but you swat them away, batting your lashes.

There’s a church you drive by where all the people are. You think about those people more than the people you actually know. What is so different about them that they can congregate every week, being their same selves, and not panicking or vomiting as they walk up the steps?

What’s so different about you that the notion plays like astrophysics in your head?

One day, you think, Maybe I’ll get there. Maybe, I’ll clean myself up, scrub off all the dust, and walk in like I’m my same self too.

There’s a tug deep, deep, deep. It’s inside of you as your eyes scan the out. You’ve sunk chin-deep in the tub. It’s the perfect scenario for your friend, Death, to come and whisper all the things you already know: you’re alone, you’re so hungry and tired. That cat won’t stop staring at you. Why don’t you just walk away? Let’s walk away together.

You sink, sink, sink, a little deeper than you thought you might. The water is warm. There’s a soft end to all the hard you’ve had to endure. Don’t you deserve it?

But then, a still, small voice. It says your name. How does it know your name? You push up, break the surface of your bath and look around, but the only thing you see is the cat staring back at you. Again, you hear your name, as if it were knitted long ago before your cells ached and danced. You want to hear your name forever, so you clutch onto it, wondering why it feels like it’s inscribed in your very DNA.

All the regrets under your eyes are there in the tub, and something guides your hand, removing the plug.

The water—it washes you clean as all the burden swirls down the drain.

Your heart finally has something to hold on to.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

© 2022 by Ericka Clay


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