tms week one

What. A. Rollercoaster.

For me, and for you, I want to keep a journal of how each week of treatments go.

I was a ball of nerves walking into my first appointment, Monday afternoon.

Sitting in a chair, stickers and magnets stuck to me, huge mechanical arms behind me... 

I didn't know what to expect, so I defaulted and started crying.

Knowing it was only anxious nerves, I assured my Dr I was fine, just overwhelmed.

They hooked my hand up and "shocked" my brain until my hand/arm involuntarily jerked.

They continued to "shock" me to find my "threshold."

Once they found "that spot" (these re-caps will be full of super science-y words) the fancy computer then told them to move ever so slightly to reach the "deactivated" part of my brain. (The serotonin store.)

Then, they moved the massive magnet to the right spot and started my first treatment at only 80% of my threshold.

It was to gradually increase over the week, ending on Friday at 120% of my threshold.

Once it was over, I was beyond overwhelmed. 

I was feeling all the feels.

Anxious. Excited. Nervous. Hopeful. Nervous about being hopeful. Etc.

I was also experiencing a "new" type of headache. 

(Which is super fun for someone with chronic tension headaches and migraines.)

I felt God nudge me to use my 30 minutes of treatment time in a way that glorified Him.

It had been a while since I felt any Godly nudges, so I immediately acted.

I turned to my family and friends, asking for verses and prayers to copy and bring in with me.

And then Tuesday came...

I honestly have no idea or explanation what happen.

We were supposed to move to 90% and once the "shocks" started, I almost lept out of my chair.

It felt like my eye and eyebrow were being ripped backward.

Twitching is normal, expected, but this was something beyond twitching.

Confused, my Dr lowered the power a little and tried again.

Same thing.

Lowered a little more.

Same thing.

After a quick "pep talk" that translated in my mind as "Lauren, get over it. This will hurt. Suck it up." we basically did the procedure at 82%.

(Please know, my Dr is in NO way a jerk. He is very kind and was worried about me, but also needed to show a little tough love. I'm just a tad sensitive.)

Feeling like a failure, and in a lot of pain, I came home and passed out in bed.

Husband woke me up a few hours later, claiming I'd really want to look outside.

He was right!


It was a sweet, simple reminder that God sees me.

(Not to mention the many, many friends covering me in prayers and speaking God's word over me.)

To say I was nervous to return Wednesday is an overstatement.

But the craziest thing happened...nothing happened!

It was the exact opposite of Tuesday's experience and I was able to make it to 90% with no problem.

Thursday, I woke up apprehensive.

I couldn't get past Tuesday's pain to not feel uneasy about that day's procedure.

But as I drove through the beautiful snowy roads and reminded myself of the many, many people praying for me at that exact moment, I walked into the office with unexplainable peace.

(If you follow me on my messy blog Facebook page, you know this part...)


Skipped right past 100% (byyyeeee) and back on schedule.

Or so I thought.

When I returned today, I realized the nurse made a calculation error and I hadn't made it to 110%, but only 100%.

I keep reminding myself that progress is progress.

However, I couldn't help but feel let down for the false hope I'd been riding on the whole day before.

As soon as I sat down today, things immediately felt off.

The dread starting to creep in and sure enough...today hurt.

Just as Tuesday, it was an unbearable pain.

I started crying out of frustration, why does it hurt on some days and not on others?

I started crying out of failure, why can't I progress like everyone else is?

So, today I only made it a little past 100%.

Progress is progress.
Progress is progress.

I am not failing.

I am not defeated.

God is still here and fighting for me.

I have until next Friday to make 120% power.

Please join me in praying that I made that goal.

Progress is progress.




My why.

I feel like it's the night before the biggest test of my life.

It feels like waiting for Christmas morning and yet also dreading the box you've been given to open.

Unless you are a complete stranger, you know I've struggled with depression and anxiety (which umbrellas a host of other health issues) for years now. 

My journey has been an open book.

I can't help it.

God literally put my heart on my sleeve.

This journey has been...messy.

I've had all the highs, all the lows, all the symptoms, all the withdrawals, all the everythings.

And now we've come to this.

Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation.

Over the next 6 weeks, everyday, Monday-Friday, I will go to my doctor for a short procedure.

Then spend the next 3 weeks tapering off the procedures.

The name itself sounds scarier than it actually is. 

I can honestly say I'm not scared to start this.

I'm scared of what happens if this doesn't work.

The lies in my head distort reality and this procedure holds promise to fix that.

But the "me" in me can't help but worry...what if?

So I'm asking you, my friends, from all states and walks of my life, to PRAY.

Pray everyday over the next 9 weeks.

That change is VISIBLE.

That hope becomes CLEAR.

That God is SEEN and I can SEE Him once again.


tuesday letters


Cuties with the most photogenic penguin at the Atlanta Aquarium!

Dear Audiobooks, 

I love to listen to you. I love that I get paid to read for you. What a dream job!

Dear Closet Office,

You are cramped and small, but cute and perfect for my recording needs.

Dear Emmerson,

I forgive you for being SO dramatic when you asked if I was "from the NINETEENS?!" 

Dear Hutch, 

I forgive you for telling me you'll marry someone else one day.

Dear Hair,

Grow faster.


emmerson is eight!


Happiest of days to you, sweet girl.


new year, new me?

I don't want to write this post.

I wanted to end last year with healing, resolution, and confidence in my future.

Instead, I'm bringing in all of 2022's baggage into 2023.

I actually ended 2022 with a huge question mark.

So, I don't want to write this post.

I don't want to ring in the new year.

I don't want to think about new goals or new resolutions.

Because I still have plenty, too many, unresolved issues.

I don't want to write this post.

I have a fear of things not being tied up in pretty bows.

I can't call something finished if it has gaping holes, unattended wounds.

I can't start something else when there isn't anything else to begin.

So, I don't want to write this post.

Because I'm afraid I've lost something in the old year.

That I'm coming into the new one lacking.

I had hopes for healing.

Hopes for reconciliation.

Hopes for new foundations.

Hopes for answers.

And I didn't want to write this post 

because I'm afraid I've lost my hope.

And I don't want to say that, 

because that's not allowed.

As a pastor's kid, a pastor's wife, a christian, a mother...

I can't say that.

But I needed to write this post.

My health problems have tripled.

My mental state hasn't improved.

I yell at my kids for no reason.

I get upset with Husband for every reason.

My imperfections are magnified and made clear to me every hour of every day.

And when I feel this way, I'm reminded of what a younger, wiser Lauren wrote:


(October 20, 2015)

"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrow, like sea billows, roll;
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
'it is well, it is well with my soul.'"

We take for granted the rivers until we're being tossed in the sea billows.

We're oblivious to the peace until the sorrow pours onto us.

The biggest lie the enemy uses against Christians is that we are promised a life of peace and when we are in a season of sorrow, it's our own faults. That if I'm a Christian (or worse, a pastor's wife) I'm not "allowed" to go through dark days. Or if I am going through sea billows, I have to keep my mask on while fighting for my life.

Can I just blast that lie and send right back where it belongs?

Friends, family, brothers and sisters,
it is not well with my soul.

But just as He taught me,
I will say, "it is well with my soul."
I will chant, "it is well."
I will weep, "it is well."
I will whisper, "it is well."
I will scream, "it is well with my soul."

Because in my sorrows, in the midst of fighting my sea billows, I cannot hear the truth. I am deaf to the truth. I am unable to save myself.

But because in my peace, in my rivers, I absorbed His truth, I hid His truth in my heart,
I can say, "it is well with my soul."

I may not believe it at first, as the waves crash down over me.
"It is well with my soul."
When I can barely keep my head above water,
"it is well with my soul."

When it is not well with my soul, I still have to SAY it.
I have to chant it.
I have to weep it.
I have to whisper it.
I have to scream it.

Because there's truth in those words. I'm suffocating in my sorrows, but He is still God. My soul is well because He won't leave me in these sea billows. Trials will come, but the clouds will be rolled back. I don't have to believe it in those first few moments, but the truth becomes an anthem in my heart and my sorrows become peace once again.

"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrow, like sea billows, roll;
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
'it is well, it is well with my soul.'"


I needed to write this post.

To mark this beginning.

"I don't have to believe it in those first few moments, 

but the truth becomes an anthem in my heart 

and my sorrows become peace once again."