Jess Reed

Since Feb. 2016, I've encouraged myself and others on this honest blog, Roots and Hope. I love to share my heart about faith, mental health, & young adulting.

Making Sense of Concrete

I have been thinking about concrete. Three weeks ago, this word randomly came to me as words occasionally do, and it has consumed me ever since. Created with earth and brokenness, concrete is a heavy blend of fragmented stones, water, clay, and other particles of matter. In its hardened state, it functions as a sturdy foundation for buildings and a […]


When Loneliness Feels Routine

Last year on Valentine’s Day, I cried during the cross-campus walk to my dorm. I was the co-president of the Black Student Union, and we had just concluded our annual Black Love concert. Our headliner, Luke James, anchored a night of beautiful performances, and we thankfully hosted another successful event. I joined others in cleaning up the venue […]


The Allure of Unchangeable Circumstances

“If only…” and “How come?” have, for many years, been pills of choice in my medicine cabinet. Whenever I find myself discouraged, I ache, and I’m tempted to medicate myself with yearnings for unbounded abilities – like longing for infinite wisdom, or another extreme, desperately wanting an alternate life with ignorance of suffering. I have struggled with exhausting energy on […]



In September 2011, I frantically packed blue suitcases with my start-over items. As I prepared to attend Stanford for the next four years, I gathered objects that I hoped would be fitting for a new journey: the most memorable being my journal and beloved iPod Nano (which, in my opinion, had an untouchable collection of ’90s R&B and […]