When you feel scared and you wanna run anywhere but here

We were a mere 24 hours into our trip before the text came in.

“He’s gone.”

…..and then the phone calls one after the other, after the other.

Having left my phone at home to charge, I’d missed ever last one of them.

I was two hours too late. 


I called him back. “What do you mean he’s gone?! What happened?”

“We were out walking and things were going great! He was off leash for over an hour and then suddenly, he took off… And he was gone.

He ran across the highway and before I could do anything he disappeared. I have no idea where he is! I’m so sorry!”

We had left our city dwelling labradooddle with extended family and while they loved dogs dearly, he didn’t know them too well.

I had told myself countless times he’d be fine, but to be quite honest, I had my suspicions. 

Our dog Guinness was abused and neglected as a pup, and when we got him, his behaviour was nothing short of timid, skittish and afraid. It took us months to get him to come out from behind our feet and even longer to mingle with other people or dogs. But with persistence and a patience love, Guinness transformed into the worlds best dog.


He was so loyal and well behaved and never did he need a leash. I could leave him outside a store to roam while I picked up groceries. The idea of running away did not allure him because he’d found home and a love he could trust. 

That is until we dropped him off, reminiscent of the times before he’s been neglected and given up by former owners. He knew he was far from home, that we were gone and and he didn’t recognize his new caretakers. And he spooked. 

Not knowing the whole story- that we were only gone a few days and would return to pick him up- he got scared and ran for his life. Except that where he ran was so much worse.

… onto the highway, into the mountains and far off the beaten path! He was out of our will and so far from our plans for him- our plans to protect him and to love him; plans for his good! 

Hours later in the pitch black some family picked him. He was just sitting there exhausted, they said, on the side of the highway, like he’d given up hope all together.

“If we hadn’t stopped, he would never have made it through the night! It’s bear and cougar country on that mountain pass!”

A cuddly, scared, suburban pup; certainly he wouldn’t have made it home… If it wasn’t for that family!


In his love and mercy, God gave Guinness [our dog] a way out of his own foolishness, and led him back to the safety of our arms. But it wasn’t without a long detour- a 6 hour car ride and an overnight stay in a land and with people he didn’t know; all the while, leashed and restrained – something he wasn’t used to even on his worse days!

And while I sat there shaking my head, I couldn’t help but think of myself;  that I too- perhaps you- have done the very same thing, time and again. 

While I know God loves me and he’ll never forsake me, I don’t always trust his plan. Because let’s be honest, a lot of the time, I can’t quite figure it out! 

In my limited understanding, my fear and my discomfort, I spook and run…. to anywhere but here!

….running in an attempt to take back “control” of my life.


Like Guinness, when I run from the centre of Gods will, I run head on into the wilderness ; to territory that’s far more dangerous and unknown then where I was!

And yet, the same way God rescued Guinness, our Father rescues us.

Ever faithful in his pursuit of bringing us home, he relentlessly chases after us regardless of where we’ve run. And sure, it’s not alway painless coming home – coming back to the centre of God will and his path for us – and it may require we take the long way home and spend some time in places were uncomfortable…

But eventually we’ll get back. 


The same way we were coming for Guinness but our return took shy of 12 hours, so too does our walk with God require us to be patient and to trust that he’s working to get us- to save us, to heal us, to change us and our circumstances- even when we can’t see it or feel it. 

Because regardless of the effort and inconvenience we’ve caused God, in spite of our naivety and our tendency to wander,  he always welcomes us home with open arms and a grateful heart…. the same way we welcomed Guinness home.

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He does not look at us disapprovingly, shaming us for our behaviour. He does not question how, after all this time and after all the ways He’s loved us, we’d could still doubt him. He does not get angry at us out of sheer frustration of the inconveniences we’ve caused him. And He doesn’t give up on us, leaving us to fend for ourselves with the bears. 

He cradles us in his arms and rocks us like a baby, for as long as it takes for us to trust again, knowing in our heart that we are indeed safe and loved, unconditionally.



Where the Battle’s Won | When your mourning turns to dancing

Over the past few months, life has felt heavy. 

In addition to taking one of the biggest leaps of faith I’ve ever taken, having no clue what the future holds for me, we’re walking through one of the most intense seasons of our marriage yet. Thankfully were on the assent from the valley and the peak of the mountain is in sight. 


On top of that, this new stage of motherhood – moving from babyhood to toddlertown- has proved to reveal many of my weaknesses on a daily basis. Where joy once came easy in every moment,  I’ve found myself having to fight for it and be intentional in choosing it throughout my days. I’ve needed far more help than I ever imagined and I’ve battled guilt and shame over failed expectations of what I’d be like as a mother. 

And then there’s Thursdays, my favourite day of the week as I welcome some of the women closest to my heart into my home. Together we wrestle and grow and encourage and laugh. And while it’s beautiful and profound what happens each week, we’ve been working through the most intense study yet. It’s uncovered deep personal struggles in all of us and we’ll, lets just say that while the intensity isn’t anything I shy away from, it, added to my other realities, has felt back breaking some weeks. 

Over all, my heart has hurt for all the brokenness and suffering in and around me. I’ve had to grieve losses for myself and for others. I’ve had to sit in the darkness of my emotions and not run from them, so that eventually, I could bury them and move on.

I’ve learnt that with every new beginning, there must first be a death. And this season has felt like many small deaths and the subsequent grief that must follow to properly heal. 


This may all sound cryptic but the truth is, much of what I’m walking through is only privy to God and the people it involves and that’s ok. 

I’ve had to remind myself that as people on the outside looking in have judged me and my circumstance.

I’ve had to remind myself of what they’re not seeing and of the hope that I cling to every day…. 

The hope and the promises that God has given me in this season: That he is doing something entirely new! That he is making streams in the wastelands of my life and building a road to a place I’ve only imagined. 


And that I must properly let go and fully trust him, in order to move forward. He’s been gentle and so kind and his presence has never felt deeper. 


But I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been a test of my faith. It’s been a daily choice, a daily seeking and daily re-commitment to trust and believe. I’ve discovered what faith really is in this season: believing for what is unseen even when it doesn’t make sense. 

And like the sun after a break in the rain, he’s turned my mourning into dancing. 



How. How do we seek? How do we trust? How do we believe even when it feels ridiculous?

For me it’s been a process and many days a discipline:

  1. Learning his voice [which, like in any relationship, takes time together and learning about each other] 
  2. Eliminating distractions [being intentional about regularly spending times in silence and in solitude to both pray and just listen
  3. Being honest with God about what is going on in my heart each time I pray  [I’ve found the more honest I am with God, no matter how ugly or messy it is, the more I experienced his presence and response] 

Faith isn’t a one size fits all walk and I believe we all experience God differently. He speaks to each of us in different ways – ways that resonate with us as individuals.

I don’t claim to have all the answers or the only way, but I can promise this:

God delivers. He shows up. I don’t know how or in what ways he’ll do that for you but I know that when we seek him [not just for what he can do for us and to get answers to our prayers, but to known him: who he is and what he’s like] with our whole heart, he shows up.  And many times, he shows off!

In my earnest pleas to know him- in crying out for him to show me how he feels for me, personally – God has made himself radically known to me in ways I cannot deny. And he wants to do the same for you.


My graduation… from Counselling

I could hardly keep from smiling as I read the post – the words I had typed in bravery over two years prior – confessing my inability to handle death, pain and grief. And I’m sure God was chuckling along with me. Not making fun of me, but in a playful “I told you so” sort of way.

Because I’ve never shied away from praying scary prayers; the bold ones that take courage to even muster out loud and leave you shaking in your boots hoping God chooses NOT to answer them! And I had done just that. As I carried my child in womb, I begged God to heal me from my greatest fear: death, pain and grief.

They kept me from loving well:

……running away when people needed me to run to them

…. Distant when others needed me close

…..Going when someone needed me to stay, to sit and to listen


But the reality is, we can only give away what we have first been given ourselves.

And in this case, I couldn’t love well in the midst of hardship, having never dealt with my own pain from my brothers death.


It was a pain I hadn’t touched in twenty one years, preferring to gloss over and pretend like everything was fine.

So that’s exactly what I would do with others.

Avoid the subject all together. Never ask specifics. Pretend like everything was fine.

And while it wasn’t a true reflection of my heart, it communicated disinterest, ill concern, a “could care less” attitude and a cold lack of compassion.


It wasn’t until I gave birth to my daughter, that the trauma came full circle and the band-aid was ripped off, leaving my wounds wide open for cleaning.


God used a traumatic child birth experience and 9 weeks of darkness to show me I needed to heal, once and for all.

“Burying the hurt, wounds, and scars of your heart and soul does not make them go away. You cannot eat them away, drink them away, ignore them or hide them in your work or relationships. Eventually, they re-emerge (often with habits that are harder to heal than the wounds themselves).” – Jo Saxton 


Oh, was this my reality!

While I’d come a long way in my healing journey, I’d relied almost entirely on my own strength; every self-help book read, philosophy learnt and self-discipline method mastered. But still I was wounded and what I’d done was merely bandaged up the hurt and learnt to cope for a while, until it re-appeared again. (Many times looking different than before, tricking me into thinking this new habit and my unresolved pain were not related.)


With 6 months of counselling behind me and victory on my side, I now stare at the page of things I’ve overcome-  the things I had run to for countless years to mask the hurt and pain.

Like any addiction. These were mine:


Now here I am on the other side, a completely different woman.

(Thanks to the Grace of God, much prayer, an incredible counsellor and hours upon hours of self -reflection and the hard work of change.)


While I could write a book about all that I’ve learnt and discovered on my road to healing, my most profound revelations are this:

  • The pain of our pasts never leaves us until we deal with it, no matter how old we get or how great we get at “coping”  (A good sign you’re coping rather than healed: the issue continues to resurface throughout your life unexpectedly)

  • We either walk inside our story and own it (the hardest, ugliest and messy parts too!) or stand outside it and hustle for our worthiness. – Brene Brown

  • It is our weaknesses not our strengths that connect us with others and it’s in our willingness to be vulnerable that others are drawn to us and a deeper bond/ relationship is formed

  • Your mess will become your message if you give yourself the gift of healing

  • God can and will use you to bring others hope and help set them on the path to freedom, victory and healing… (and that has brought forth the most AMAZING sense of purpose and meaning I’ve encounter in life yet.)

  • The dark looses its scary factor when you embrace it, even when it’s uncomfortable.


Because once you can sit in your dark cave and not run from it, you can sit with others in theirs and be ok with it…..

You can love them well in their broken and messy moments, when they need most to know they’re not alone.


Note:  I do not believe we ever “arrive” or that healing and freedom means we will never have to work or consciously choose to fight the temptation to fall back into old patterns. Instead, that those things that used to hold us hostage and control our thoughts and actions, no longer have the same paralyzing grip on our life.



Please don’t go through this alone! If you have never shared your hurt with someone, please start there by confiding in someone you trust. If you have no one, please email me at hello@kaileymichelle.com.

And secondly, I would strongly suggest you reach out to a counsellor and invest in yourself there, even if only for one session. I invested in 6 months of weekly  counselling with FREE TO BE COUNSELLING, and it was the catalyst and accountability I needed.


10/10 people die

Like countless times before, we followed the map and parked outside an unfamiliar home. With a sense of nervousness and unease, we inwardly analyzed the home…

Would we know by simply walking by their house? Do their neighbours know? What can be glean about them from the materialistic shell that houses them?

“I’ll park the car here and then you can run in.” Dave said. But my mind raced for what I’d say, coming up flat; ’cause nothing I could say would be right. And for this “miss fixit,” that’s not good enough.

The truth is, in cases like this, I most times put my foot in my mouth or say things that make me sound like a cold hearted idiot with her head in the clouds, kind of like those families who choose to sweep their [obvious and public] junk under the rug and pretend it’s not there, because dealing with it is just too painful or uncomfotable.

Jennie Allen

Yup, that’s me when it comes to tradegy, suffering and loss. But not because I’d rather be ignorant, but simply because I can’t relate.

When my baby brother passed away at six months old, I was six. And while I cannot blame that instance for my ways of coping altogether, I’d say they’ve shaped the way I handle grief more than I care to admit.  Around grief, my inner six year old puts up a protective shield to box my heart and chooses to believe life is like a storybook ; everything will be ok! I’d rather run through the fields in the other direction and frolic carelessly, than sit in silence shedding tears. I’d rather go on and get busy playing, to keep me from thinking and mask the pain with distraction.  It’s as if simply acknowledging, let alone realizing the weight of the situation, will somehow crush this tender child like soul and break it into a million pieces – an unreparable clay pot that forever leaks after being dropped. Yes, I’d prefer to wrap myself in invisible bubble wrap, bouncing reality off my imaginery six-year olds cape.

You’d think that at that very moment in my life, when I heard the words “It’s your brother. He’s passed away,” I stopped maturing in this facet of emotional coping.

I don’t know why I signed up to be a meal maker, making and delivering food to those in hardship. Somehow I thought it would be fun and my pretty cupcakes would somehow magically bring a smile that heals all wounds. But it’s been anything but and my naive optimism can only blind me for so long.  Each passing visit, gets harder.

My non-dealing and squeamish coping becomes more evident and what registers, is my innability to relate… or my desire to even want to. As if somewhere deep in my subcontious I believe I’ll be next if I get too close and register their pain.

So I’ll do anything to try and avoid going in… being the one to physically hand the meal over to those recieving it. Bringing me full circle to the point, where Dave gave me no choice but to do it and do it alone.

To be honest, it’s not my first time, but today it felt harder because this women was not afraid to talk. She wanted to share how she was feeling, the details of her experience, the all consuming grief that surrounds her family. And this lady [me] can do nothing but stare blankly, with “Im so sorry’s” on repeat and an inner mantra begging me to think of something else to say! I leave kicking myself, repeating every stupid thing I said and all I didn’t but should’ve.

I wish that day had been different and I had news of some great revealtion in how to comfort. But what I did glean was the discovery of something different; hope and joy in Christ beyond circumstance.

“Compared to whats coming, living conditions around here seem like a stop over in an unfinished shack… We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies. The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.” 2 Corinthians 5: 2-5

This woman takes things day by day , focusing on what’s in front of her- tasks, people and sensations. She trusts in God, moment by moment, for the strength to get through every day- to do what she needs to do and do it with hope for tomorrow and joy. Because all she has right infront of her is this moment and it alone, no different than you or I.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18

“God wants us to hope-  hope in something bigger; way bigger than today! He desires for us to believe in Him and the place that he is preparing for us… to actually hope in it and dare I say it, LIVE for it.” Jennie Allen

But instead I trust in myself, my talents and God given capabilities. I seek the council and worldly advice of others, just like myself. I listen to preachers, speakers and evangelists, running to them rather than their own teacher. And subconciously, I spend my days chasing the shiny luster this world offers- things, achievement, money, influence- the plea to matter and make a difference. Don’t we all, when we’re brutally honest with ourselves?

But on that day, when we get the news that the end is drawing near, [because not one of us is exempt and statistics show 10/10 of us will die], will any of that matter or have the magical power to save us from our predicament?

What would I do, how would I react, who would I run to? No doubt none of the above, but simply….stop. pray.  and God above.

So, why do I trust in the frivolous and freeting things of this world now? Will it take tradgedy for me to lean on him completely?

If I was diagnosed tomorrow with terminal cancer, how would I change? Let’s not wait to find out, but do it now.