To Be Loved Like That

with Kwame Alexander

Our most precious relationships are often our most complicated, aren’t they? Poet and bestselling author Kwame Alexander wrote an honest book of poems and essays that name the difficult and beautiful and heart-wrenching conversations we have (or should be having) with the people we love and with the ones who love us.




In this conversation, Kwame and Kate discuss:

  • How we can’t outrun our grief
  • How our own parents love us in the ways they want to be loved, but maybe not in the ways we need—and how we find our ways back to each other
  • The desire to share with our kids how we love, where we fail, where we tried, and who we were before we were their parents

CW: death of parent, divorce

Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, producer and #1 New York Times Bestselling author of 38 books, including An American Story, The Door of No Return, Becoming Muhammad-Ali (co-authored with James Patterson), Rebound, which was shortlisted for the prestigious UK Carnegie Medal, and The Undefeated, the National Book Award nominee, Newbery Honor, and Caldecott Medal-winning picture book illustrated by Kadir Nelson. A regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, Kwame is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, and the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award. In 2018, he opened the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic in Ghana, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded. In January 2023, a Kennedy Center-commissioned national tour for young audiences began for Alexander’s musical Acoustic Rooster’s Barnyard Boogie: Starring Indigo Blume, which is based on two of his beloved children’s books – Acoustic Rooster and Indigo Blume. He is the writer and executive producer of The Crossover TV series, based on his Newbery-Medal winning novel of the same name, which premieres on Disney Channel and Disney+ in April 2023.

Show Notes

Read Kwame’s new memoir, Why Father’s Cry at Night: a memoir in Love Poems, Letters, Recipes, and Remembrances

Kwame has written a total of 38 incredible books and you can learn more about some of our favorites here.

Kwame talks about his professor Nikki Giovani and what an important role she plays as his teacher, mentor, and friend. Nikki Giovani is a world-renowned poets and one of the foremost authors of the Blacks Arts Movement.

The Crossover, a new series on Disney plus is based off the best selling novel by Kwame Alexander.

Starting in June 2023, Kwame will be starting his own podcast, Why Father’s Cry: The Podcast.

You can also find Kwame on the NPR Morning Edition as their poet in residence.

The blessing at the end of this podcast is “for the courage to do something difficult” can be found on page 184 in the book The Lives We Actually Have. You can get a copy here.

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Discussion Questions

Discuss this episode with a book club, friends, or bible study group. Here are some conversation starters:

1. Kate and Kwame share the “unlikely love stories” that have shaped their lives. What friends, mentors, and chosen family have shown up in your life as “unlikely love stories”?

2. What is the story of the loves in your lives? Where do they come from? How did you discover this love did it just appear? Did someone show you? Did you seek it out? Who influenced that love and how?
3. This episode digs deep into complicated love and the ways we long to show our loved ones the whole story. What actions or hopes can you lean into as you meet someone in the midst of deeply complicated love?
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Kate Bowler: Hello, my friends. I’m Kate Bowler, and this is Everything Happens. Our most precious relationships are also our most complicated, aren’t they? The relationships we have with parents who we don’t fully understand, or who don’t fully understand us, or with our partners, or our former partners, with our friends who keep making the same mistakes. Bless them, bless their hearts. With our children when they’re little. And then, you know, again with them when they become fully-formed adults. And with ourselves as we change and grow and wrestle with our mistakes and regrets and hopes. My guest today has a lot to teach us about how to love and be loved. Kwame Alexander is a New York Times best-selling author of, yes, you will hear me correctly, 38 books, including The Crossover, for which he won basically just every single award, including the Newbery Medal and Disney Plus just released a TV series based on it, which I cannot wait to watch. Kwame, serves as the poet-in-residence for NPR’s Weekend Edition, and he is the author of a new memoir called Why Fathers Cry at Night. It is an honest book of poems and essays that name the difficult and beautiful and heart- wrenching conversations that we have, or maybe just should be having with the people we love and the ones who love us. It was a book he didn’t plan on having to write until his mom died. His marriage with his wife Steph came undone and his daughter became estranged all within a few years. So, yeah, tender times. I cannot wait to talk with him. Oh, my gosh. Kwame. Hello. Thank you so much for doing this with me today.

Kwame Alexander: Everything apparently happens because I am here with you, Kate. Wow, I’m honored

Kate: I’d love to talk about that feeling we get sometimes when our gifts align with something. Like, sometimes we run toward our callings, and sometimes we are chased down by them. So I wondered, which was it for you?

Kwame: You know, I tell people all the time that I did not find writing. I didn’t find poetry. It found me. I had parents who were writers. A very bookish, staid, sometimes incomprehensible father who who made me loathe reading because he made me read the dictionary and his dissertations. And so I went to college to become a doctor, a pediatrician. I was like, the only thing I’m writing are prescriptions. And I discovered organic chemistry. And that quickly sort of let me know that maybe this isn’t going to be my path. And I discovered two women, one who I had a serious crush on, and the other who taught advanced poetry, whose name was Nikki Giovanni. And my life changed completely. And I found my way back to books, back to words, back to poetry, and that, you know, that was 31 years ago.

Kate: I would love to hear the rather incredible full circle moment where you you took several classes from poet Nikki Giovanni, and when she was a visiting professor at your college. And at first it sort of seemed like it was just the right reminder to never meet your heroes. Like she just looked deeply in your eyes and kept giving you C’s

Kwame: Yeah, she kept giving me C’s and to this day, she will say she did not give me C’s. But if she did, then I needed it. And so, needless to say, I left Virginia Tech, you know, not really thinking that she liked me and not really liking her. And, and I remember selling my first poetry book that I had published, and it was pretty, you know, pretty crappy love poems like, “Lips like yours ought to be worshiped. See I ain’t never been too religious, but you can baptize me any time.” So I remember it.

Kate: I love it.

Kwame: I was selling copies of my book at a poetry conference and she was there and I hadn’t I hadn’t seen her in four years. And she bought a copy of my book and I thought it was really strange that she bought a copy of my book because we didn’t like each other. And fast forward a few years and I was in St Louis reading poetry and there was an article in the local newspaper, The Saint Louis Times-Dispatch. And in the article about me, there was a quote from Nikki Giovanni saying, “If I can have a literary son, then it must be Kwame Alexander.” And I was like, “Why is she saying that? She doesn’t like me, I don’t like her.” And so over the next ten years, I would see her at different conferences. We’d speak. It was very cordial and cool. We may have had dinner once and no one ever said anything about Virginia Tech and what happened. We had we had become friends, you know, And she had called me one day and she said, you know, she told me her mother had passed and that she wanted me to come and celebrate her mother’s passing by drinking the most expensive beer in the world, which is called utopias. And it’s about 200 bucks a bottle.

Kate: Oh, my gosh.

Kwame: And her mother was a beer drinker, so this was how she was going to pay tribute. I’m at her house and. About midnight, we we finish eating and she brings out the utopias and we begin to drink this very expensive cherry-tasting beer. It’s really it’s in a luxury bronze flask. And. And it’s like and we’re really happy. Kate We’re really happy at about one 1:30 in the morning, 23 years after Virginia Tech and I start crying and I just break down and I say, “Look, I’m sorry for all the negative things I said about you, all the things I thought about you. I’m sorry for everything I’ve done over the past, you know, however many years.” And she looks at me and she’s crying because in the way that you’re contagious, the crying is contagious. And then her crying turns in the laughter, and she says, “What are you talking about? I have no idea what you’re talking about. My job was to help you become the man you needed to become, to become the writer you needed to become. And, and if I give you a C, then you deserved it. And it worked out pretty well for you, didn’t it?” And so we had that moment. And then a few years later, my mom passed and she said that she wanted to come to the funeral. And having known Nikki for so long, I knew she didn’t like funerals. Neither do I. I try not to go to funerals if I don’t have to. And she said she wanted to come. And I said okay. And the night before the funeral was a Thursday night. She called and she said, “I’m in the hotel. I’ll see you tomorrow at the funeral.” And I had never called her to tell her about where it was. And I said, “Nikki, you didn’t have to come to the funeral.” And it was the first time she had ever used profanity. And she said, “Why? Why the insert profane? Would you would I not come to your funeral, your mother’s funeral? You need to know you still have a mother.”

Kate: Oh, love.

Kwame: So that’s. I love that woman. I love her so much. She. Yeah, she. She taught me how to write. She taught me how to make word dance on the page and. And what an unlikely love story.

Kate: I love that. Oh, my gosh. I love that. That’s what a good likely love story is. I remember, when I first came to Duke, I heard about this famous professor and he when he got sick, he didn’t have anyone to take him to the hospital. And so the guy that he shared a printer with ended up being the person, this colleague he didn’t love very much, that’s like they’re in the bowels of the hospital making sure that he gets the care he needs. And I remember hearing that as a young person and thinking, “How sad.” I’m going to have this incredibly rich, storied life. But like, you know, I would never be the kind of person to … cut to ten years later, the person who’s sharing a printer with me is, you know, putting anointing oils on my head and helping usher me into a life-threatening surgery. And I have found, like life to be full of the most unlikely love stories who are like, “Do we really love each other?” And the answer is, “Yeah, thank God. Yes.”

Kwame: Thank God.

Kate: Your mom was your first teacher and she really created a world for you to live inside. I imagine when she died a few years ago, that must have felt like the end of a world in a way.

Kwame: It did. And it’s a world that I’m still trying to reconcile and understand and heal. And, you know, one of the things I did and I know this is going to sound like I’m gasing you up or it’s a plug, but I literally just started listening to the podcast, your podcast, as a way to do that, as a way to figure out how to do that, because, you know, she was … I was the only person in the hospital with with her. She didn’t want anyone else in the hospital with her. And I didn’t understand that, but I honored it. And I’m her oldest son and I’m her oldest child. And so when she passed away, my siblings and my father were unable to really take on the weight of just, at the very least, planning a funeral.

Kate: Yeah.

Kwame: And doing all the things that were necessary when her death needed to be managed.

Kate: Yes, that’s a perfect word. Perfect word.

Kwame: I became the person by default who had to take on this role, the person who doesn’t really like funerals. I became that person. And so in order to do that, I had to compartmentalize. Or at least I thought I did. And I put all the emotion, all he grief, I put all of that aside and then I became sort of Kwame, the writer, the business person. Okay, I’m going to organize an event. I’m going to have this. I’m going to have that, you know? And so I had this amazing program planned. You know, and I remember at one point. You know, looking out at the sea of familiar faces and seeing my father and seeing my sisters. And they just looked so pitiful. They just looked so broken. And I felt so bad for them. I was like, I’m good. I’m managing. I’m handling the funeral. I’m doing what my mother would have wanted me to do. And I remember looking at them like, man, they in such bad shape. And hat was September 5, 2017. And of course, I realized that that thing that they were going through, I never got to go through that. You know, I never thought that perhaps I was the pitiful one. That I was the one who is still trying to figure out how to put the pieces of the puzzle of this world back together. To this day, I don’t know. I mean, I think that was part of one of the reasons I wrote the book was to try to figure out how to get to that place. But I do remember, Kate. I do remember a week after the funeral telling my then wife and my daughter, “I need to go on a cruise.” And they were like, “Huh?”

Kate: Right. Like $99 from Miami.

Kwame: And look, we we we were we’re a Disney Cruise family still. Oh, yeah, we’re into the Disney cruise. So that’s the context. So I was like, “I need to go on a cruise.” So they’re like, “Okay,” they’re excited. And I’m like, “No, I need to go by myself.”

Kate: Yeah.

Kwame: I need to go by myself for four or five days just so I can grieve. And I don’t think I said those words to them. I just said, “I need to be alone.” And they said, “No, no, we want to go. We want to be there with you.” And I didn’t have the language or the confidence or the courage to say, “No, you cannot.” So I did recognize I needed to have that space to to be pitiful, for lack of a better word … Probably the wrong word. But I never got to do it. And and I think that was sort of the beginning of a downfall for me.

Kate: The unfinished-ness of things. You know, our our unfinished loves. The stories that don’t get told the. Things forgotten things remembered later. And you just want to check. There’s such a hunger to love that goes on and on and on and on. I don’t know grief as anything except like, such a long, a long form of love. But it’s just very hard to know. It’s not like life stops and then lets you fully cycle through. It does seem like you had one of those seasons where all of your loves and undoing sort of came together at the same time.

Kwame: At the same freaking time. At the same time. And, you know, in my business life, I am, you know, really proud of the fact that I can juggle. I can multitask. I can make things happen. I can will them to happen. I put in the work, but I can will stuff to happen, you know? And you know, within the course of a year, my mother passing, the cracks in my marriage revealing themselves in a way that they were not able to be sealed. It was this woman who was my best friend and my wife will no longer be my wife. And my oldest daughter, my firstborn becoming … This is really hard. Kate, the thing about writing a memoir is, you know, I’ve written 37 books that are all stories. I made them up. This memoir. I couldn’t make it up. I wrote the book and thought, “This is great. Yes, it’s going to be good.” The fact that I now have to talk about it is really strange and hard. I am glad I’m doing it with you because after having listened to all your podcasts, I know the kind of kind and thoughtful person you are. So hopefully this will come out in a way where it’ll be valuable and meaningful. But I am scared. I am scared because I have never talked about this stuff. My daughter, my oldest daughter became estranged. And then to top it all off, my other daughter, who was a tween, is becoming a teenager and no longer wants me to walk her to school or hold her hand. And so all these things converge within one year. And I didn’t have all the stuff I learned in business. I could not. It didn’t apply. I couldn’t bounce back. I couldn’t rebound. I couldn’t will myself to be able to heal and deal and handle all this. Yeah, I just didn’t have the tools. I didn’t have the tools. And so I remember thinking to myself, “Man, if I could just talk to my dad. I can ask him some man-to-man questions.”

Kate: Yeah.

Kwame: How do you deal with how did you deal with this? What do I do? I mean, I’m going through a divorce. Did you and Mommy …? Like to have a real conversation. But I was too afraid. And so, Kate, I just wrote a book. I just wrote it down as a way to force myself to then have to deal with these things, have these hard conversations, process some of this. The book was my alter ego saying, “Alright, dude. You’ve had this wall. You’ve hide for so long. So you’re a writer. You’re writing this book.” And I’m literally having this conversation with my other self, but I’m unaware of the results, what’s going to actually happen.

Kate: Oh I totally hear you. You know, you and I are the same person. Obviously. I wrote memoir only because it was all the things, all the conversations I was not willing to have, and the feeling of shame. Honestly, it was the overwhelming feeling and the inability to have the language that didn’t feel like it was hurting everybody I loved. And then because the first casualty of all of it was was honesty, except in writing, I knew how to be honest as a writer. But then when I wrote it down, I found honesty, Kwame, this feeling you’re in, where you’re like, “I wrote it down and now what?” It’s the worst!

Kwame: It is the worst.

Kate: Oh, wait, you can read it? Oh, shit. Yes.

Kwame: Kate, when I got the galley, the advance reading copy, up until that point, I was like, Man, I wrote some amazing stuff. I really I’m really put myself out there. This is is great. This is great writing. Kwame. The storytelling is amazing. Your mom, your mom, who’s no longer here, by the way, would be so proud. And then my dad got his copy. Stef got her a copy. And I literally woke up and again, I’m in the I’m an assured person. Like, I’m really confident. Like, the quote I say each morning is “I am the greatest, not because I am better than anyone, but because no one is better than me.” So I move through life thinking that I am the guy. Not in a way that you can’t be who you are. But I am who I am.

Kate: I got you.

Kwame: This person woke up with panic attacks for the first time in his life. I immediately called my publisher, Kate, and I said, “Pull the book. The book cannot be published.” I had never thought about what it meant for this cathartic sort of feeling in therapy, what it would mean to my dad or to Steph or to these other people in my life. I hadn’t thought about that. I mean, I’m not telling their stuff. I’m telling my stuff, but they’re in it.

Kate: But you went back to parenthood as this core source question where like, “What was it like when you loved me? What what kind of person did it make me? What do I imagine love to be because of this his particular — not a dad in general — this particular dad? I hear you. I hear you. I do this thing where I can tell … It’s almost like I can feel like a resonance or something. And then I write my way into this part where it’s almost like I can land on the end of a pen feeling, “And that is it.” When you write about your dad’s love, what was the truth that you felt like writing really helped you get to that you wouldn’t have had otherwise?

Kwame: I’ve share with you that my father was extremely bookish. There were these moments where it was really obvious to me as a child that books were more important than me. Like in my childhood mind, it’s books. Books. Books. We’re doing book reports in the house. Books were a reward. Books were a punishment. So I loathed having to read The Wretched of the Earth by Franz Fanon, I loathe having to read (and again, I’m nine, ten years old) Letters from the Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King. I loathe having to read all these book because I want to be with my friends playing outside. And so I have this sort of dichotomy of this father who … He says, I used the word forced and I shouldn’t but that’s what I’m going to use. Who forced me to read these texts, these tomes. Funkin Wagner’s encyclopedia. So I have this memory of that it didn’t feel good as a child. I’ve written 38 books, Kate. And so, of course, he calls me and he’s like, “Where are my royalties?” So I said, I send this cat a check every month. But for me as a kid, it was a little bit traumatic. My friends were joking me. You got to go read, you got to do this. But at the same time, that’s how he loved. He showed me how to love words. And that’s who at my heart, that’s who I am. I am my father’s kid. I am a writer. And when I won the Newbery Medal, I called him. I called my mom first, but she didn’t pick up. I called my dad. I said, “Dad, I won the Newbery Medal for The Crossover.” And deadpan, without missing a beat, he says, “We did it.”

Kate: Oh my gosh. Uugh, Kwame. Someday, someday we’re going to have drinks called “my academic dad stories.” And it will begin with this, “Yes. The Oxford Concise Dictionary that we had the magnifying glass for in which, if we hadn’t (this was the only reason I was allowed to swear as a child) if it was the perfect word in a sea of perfect words.” But all other words had to be shaved off. So was ruthless with my vocabulary. There was an exacting nature to his love. And it has made me absolutely adore the power of words. And also, early on, wanted to be the first one to be my critic. It is an exacting kind of love. Yeah.

Kwame: You know. I realize as I’ve gotten older that our parents don’t love us the way, necessarily, the way we want or think they should love us. They love us in the way they love us. And when we recognize that and when we realize it. Oh, what a wonderful world that is.

Kate: Yeah, that’s right. Yes. Because he had a dad who wasn’t at all interested in books and therefore couldn’t love his son in the way he wanted to be loved. So therefore, he loves his three daughters in precisely the way he wanted to be loved. Like you’d begin War and Peace and saying, “Hey, don’t talk to me until you’re done.”

Kwame: Exactly.

Kate: I think he found the redemptive part in the … I mean, my dad’s a historian. Oh, wait. I’m a historian! My dad lives in a library where apparently bathrooms are also fully stocked libraries, and it’s apparently not unsanitary. I live in a library. I just like every echo chamber. So when my sweet little son the other day was like, “I want to be a historian,” I’m like, “Oh, my love, I’m going to try very hard not to play this game where I immediately … you need to understand something about history, to understand something about my love.” But it is a strange thing the way we give, the way we give and receive love in that aftermath feeling of having written it and then feeling the horror maybe, and then looking at it again. What did you find that you started hoping that your kids would learn about you and your love now that they can see the whole story?

Kwame: Well, I think it’s a good question. I think on a real practical level, Kate. And my 14-year-old who’s already told me she’s not reading the book right now; she’s studying memoir in her English class. And she said, “How cool would it be if I took in your new memoir and that the book I read, Dad?” She said, “It’s not going to happen. But how cool would it be?”

Kate: Very cool.

Kwame: On a real practical level, I want my kids to be able to know. I want them to be able to know how I loved. How I love their mothers. Where I failed. Where I tried. How they came to be. I want them to know who I was as as their father. And before I was their father. There’s a piece in the book called How We Made You. And, you know, to give this to a 14-year-old now, I know she’d be she’d be like, “naw.” But I feel like one day when she reads this, in the future, when you’re newly married and the two of you are half hanging off your bed, fingers playing in each other’s locks, your legs braided, loud garbage trucks beeping outdoors, no whining children yet to cook for. And you’re talking about leaving your job or whose family to visit for Christmas, or how lucky you are to be loved like this or whatever it is you talk about. After making love in the early morning, I want you to know that before our uncoupling, your mother and I used to work the door at a jazz club in Washington, D.C., that every Thursday night we stand at the entrance, collecting covers, greeting friends and regulars, feeding each other jerk wings, kissing the hot sauce from our lips, joking and laughing about this and that, holding each other when it got chilly. And later, when we get back to our one-room apartment or the other side of the bridge, we’d spread the money out on the bed, count our haul, smile if we pay the rent, worry if we couldn’t, and then we’d make our own music. And without fail, the woman next door would bang on the walls and tell us to turn it down. But we wouldn’t. But we couldn’t because we knew how lucky we were to be loved like that. I just want my daughters to know that the narrative is not that we got divorced. That’s not the only narrative. The narrative is that we loved each other and this is how we loved and you are a product of, a result of that. So I want them to know that. I want that to be the thing. And that’s my hope and my prayer. Yeah.

Kate: Yeah. You’re like, we sang all the notes.

Kwame: Kate, I didn’t say all that, but we did. But I feel like Kate’s having some memories. This is beautiful. Yes. Yes.

Kate: Thank God podcasts are not a visual medium or else you’d see that I’ve turned a really intense shade of purple. Oh, my gosh. Especially because I love to hear you read. Could you … the lovely list of reasons why fathers cry. Do you mind reading that for me? Because I was going to put it up in my house, so I’d rather just hear it from you, if you don’t mind.

Kwame: This was about the firstborn when she was 15. So I guess maybe I’m going to be dealing with that again soon. When she was 15, she came home one day and she said, “I want a date. I got somebody I want to go out with.” And I was like, “You can’t date. I mean, maybe when you’re 30, but not now.” So I ended up writing, “Ten Reasons Why Fathers Cry at Night.” One: Because 15- year-olds don’t like park swings or long walks anymore unless you’re in the mall. Two: Because holding her hand is forbidden and kisses are lethal. Three: Because school was fine, her day was fine and yes, she’s fine. So why is she weeping? Four: Because you want to help, but you can’t read minds. Five: Because she’s in love. And that’s cute until you find his note asking her to prove it. Six: Because she didn’t prove it. Seven: Because next week she’s in love again, and this time it’s real. She says her heart is heavy. Eight: Because she yearns to take long walks in the park with him. Nine: Because you remember the myriad wolves and wonders of spring desire. And Ten: Because with trepidation and thrill, you watch your teenage daughter who suddenly wants to swing all by herself.

Kate: Oh, Kwame, that’s so much love. So much love. You really are so good at sussing out all of the deep pools of love and staying there. And my friend, what a joy to talk to you, to read you, and to know your lovely mind. Thank you so much for doing this with me today.

Kwame: Thank you for making this palatable, doable. Thank you for making it something that I feel like, okay, this is a good start. Maybe I will be able to have these hard conversations. Appreciate you.

Kate: You’re going to do great.

Kate: We really want to believe that we’re going to do things differently, right? We’re going to have a better marriage or be easier on our kids or find the family or friends or career or all the right priorities that put all of our ducks in a row. Whatever it was that we criticized our parents for, done. Conquered. But sometimes there just comes a point where we might realize, “Oh, crap, I don’t know if this was any better.” And it sometimes might happen at the same moment that we realize that our parents were just people and we might be too. So here’s for all of us who need a little courage to have that conversation we’ve been avoiding, or to finally apologize or to finally forgive, or maybe take a minute to let ourselves grieve what we’ve been avoiding. Or, you know, find a deeper level of honesty about a bad habit or an addiction we can’t shake. So, yeah, I thought maybe we could have a little blessing for that feeling for all of our attempts and mistakes and all of our love, love, love. This is a blessing for the courage to do something difficult. It’s from The Lives We Actually Have. God, I am struggling to face the difficult thing I know I should do. The conversation I’ve been avoiding. The help I should have asked for months ago. The symptom I have long ignored. Oh God, help me. I am afraid to act, but afraid to admit my inaction might be making things worse. Blessed are we who recognize that we are struggling under the weight of the nothing that has happened but needs to. Blessed are we who say honestly, God, this is hard and I don’t know why. The longer I leave it, the worse it gets. God, help me begin — or even begin to begin — though I can’t know how this will go. Fill that inner space where I am quietly overwhelmed and stuck in mud. Or maybe it’s quicksand. But I hear you say, “I will strengthen you and I will help you.” You go before me and you are right here with me. Even now, in my panicking, in my anxieties, in my master-avoidance, your love never fails.  All right, my dear. Now it’s the time to do the thing that you’ve been putting off. Just right now would be great. Take a small first step, make an appointment, schedule a meeting, check your bank account. Tell a friend. Just get in there and then ask for what you need next. Okay. Bless you, my loves. Let’s talk soon. This episode of the Everything Happens podcast was made possible because of our generous partners Lilly Endowment, the Duke Endowment, Duke Divinity School and Leadership Education. And of course, nothing is possible without the wisdom and expertise of my absolutely fabulous team. Jessica Richie, my Heart. I love you. Harriet Putman, Keith Westin, Gwen Heginbotham, Brenda Thompson, Hope Anderson, Jeb Burt, and Katherine Smith. This really is my very favorite kind of group project. So if you want to know what else we’re up to, head over to so you don’t miss a thing. I would really love to hear what you thought about this episode. Would you consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts? Spotify? It means a ton to us when we hear what you like or who you want to hear in conversation next. Also, we really love hearing your voice. Feel free to leave us a voicemail. We might even use it on the air. So call us at 919-322-8731. All right, lovelies. I’ll talk to you next week. But in the meantime, come find me online at @katecbowler. This is Everything Happens with me, Kate Bowler

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