I write stories, vignettes really. I write them because they open my heart. I write them because they invite me to make sense of my life. I write them because they slow down my frenetic pace and reconnect me. I also write stories that reflect on things that catch my interest: from funny things to emotionally painful things; but in every case it’s something real, honest, true.
I'm at a point in my life when I don’t want to be disconnected anymore. For far too long I’ve been removed, from myself, from others, from God. I want to have an open heart to the whole of real life – the traumatic, the mundane, the hilarious. I want to see. I want an open heart to receive God’s redemption here and now.
I have found, though, an open heart is extremely elusive. It’s darn near impossible in fact unless you are really intentional. There are so many obstacles; so much harm. So much regret. So much shame. So much accusation and self-contempt. And so little time.
Without apology then this avenue is first for me. I need to tell myself vulnerable, honest, and hard stories. I need clear eyes. I need to slow down enough to pay attention and attune to what is around me. I need to be present. But I write stories for you too. I hope you will read them. And I hope in reading them you too will courageously venture to tell your own stories to be be present, attuned and honest about what you see around you.
Facing your stories is life changing - trust me. But it's hard difficult work.
I pray we experience an open heart in the middle of our life stories.
What Others Are Saying
"With so much 'Christianese' rhetoric cluttering the airwaves, I'm eternally gratefully for my friend Joel Willitts, who isn't afraid to get real and talk about the nitty-gritty issues facing us today. If I was on my death-bed, I'd want Joel at my side, because I know that he genuinely and passionately cares."
"I am so thankful for Joel Willitts and the powerful and transforming work that God is bringing about first in his life and now through his life to many. I believe his story and the ongoing healing and transformation he is experiencing provides both an example for us to follow and hopeful and helpful steps for all those bent and broken by sin to take. I trust and anticipate that his desire to see us all live openhearted will greatly serve the healing of many."
"Rare is the scholar, the theologian or even the pastor who is genuinely Openhearted. The apostle Paul's plea for the Corinthians to open their hearts to Paul's care has been answered by this wounded healer, Joel Willitts, my friend. This site is a space open to grace."