When I started blogging I had absolutely no idea what it was or what I was doing, let alone any idea of where it would lead. (If you want to have a chuckle, here are some of my very first posts. Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking either.) Ok, let’s just hit the fast forward button to today, shall we? Alrighty then.
After all these years of finding my way through the vast, tangled mess of the interwebs, getting lost and found and lost and found again along the way, I think I have finally come to a place where I know where I am. I know what I want to say and I know this is only the beginning, a new beginning for me.
I now know that I am a writer. I always have been a writer and I now want to be a writer, again.
I say again because I used to be a writer and a good one at that. I received many accolades for my prose and poetry poured out of me. You would have been hard pressed to ever find me without a pencil and paper in my hands. If you look closely at my right middle finger you will find remnants of where a very well developed callous used to reside. I couldn’t imagine NOT writing. That is, until I became a Christian.
After I gave my life to Christ my world was turned upside down, in a good way. It effected every part of my life, including my writing. When I looked at the words that came out of my heart, I saw a heart that was dark, devoid and devastatingly depressed. I had no idea who Jesus really was yet, but somehow I knew that who I was and what I was expressing through my writing did NOT bring Him glory nor did it reflect the new creation I was becoming.
So, I made a vow.
I remember that day perfectly. I was sitting on the freshly vacuumed, tan carpet in the bedroom of a strange women’s house. (I had terminated the lease I shared with my daughter’s father, because I knew it wasn’t right for us to live together without being married. Having no where to go, an older single mom from the church took me in. Lord, bless her!) I was putting the few boxes of our things into the small closet space when I came across my writings, a lot of them were from high school, barely a year old.
As I read, something inside me started to become uncomfortable. The words on the pages started to blur as I began weeping. I felt ashamed and exposed as God’s gentle spirit was convicting me of my sin. Out of all of those words, all of those words, not one single one of them spoke of good things, not one of them had any life inside. It’s so hard to explain to you, it’s such a personal conviction, the way God showed me how I had been wrong and controlled by my inner darkness and self-exaltation. Now that I was a Christian, it meant that I was now living in the light of Christ. I knew I couldn’t write like that anymore. I knew that I had to throw it all away. So I did, and as I sobbed and put things in the garbage and apologized to God for not knowing, begging for forgiveness, in my heart I told the Lord these very words: “Don’t ever let me put pen to paper, ever again, unless it glorifies You, unless there’s life in it. I never want to write again, if that’s what’s inside me.”
I meant it, with all of my being I meant it, and from that moment on, I kept my word. And He honored my plea.
On that February day in 2006 I had lived 13 years without really writing anything at all. Sure, there had been some off and on and then completely off journal writing for a few years (some of which I hope to share with you). It was such a part of me, it was hard to just quit. But over time, I did. My depression, anxieties, fears and self-condemnation overpowered me to the point where I couldn’t stand to look at myself, inside or out.
You see, writing is taking what is inside of you and bringing it out into the light to see. I was so ashamed of my past sins, what I had become, and now, being very aware that a holy God could see it all, I couldn’t stand the thought of anyone, especially God, finding out who I really was. A poor, wretched, depraved, ugly, useless, good-for-nothing committer of evil, prone to pride and laziness. It doesn’t make for a great greeting card topic, trust me.
On your side of the screen you may have seen an inconsistent, sometimes flaky blogger. But on the other side of that screen, what was really going on was this: a woman, struggling, crying, wrestling with all of her past baggage, trying to obey what she felt God was calling her to do, consistently failing miserably. I was so bound be fear that I couldn’t even bring myself to write many times. My biggest fear? “What if people find out who I really am…and they don’t like me or want me?” I was petrified of rejection and abandonment. It had happened all my life, why would this be any different? Who would really want to know me anyway? Who was I to think my life mattered that much to anyone? Why would I willingly put myself in a place like that? Why was God asking me to put myself in a place like this?!
Because of His great love for me, that’s why.
God loves us so immeasurably that He is willing to put us in places, have us go through hard situations, in order for us to come out victorious on the other side. His goal in our lives is to make us like His Son, Jesus, and Jesus was free from all bondage of sin and death. He died and rose again so we could be set free from the shackles of this world. Jesus paid the ultimate price for the redemption of each one of us, He paid with His sinless life, His very blood, so we could live, reconciled to God.
God wants me to be who He originally created me to be. His daughter. A daughter of the King. The child of a loving, heavenly Father.
Whole and holy.
I am now in a place I have never been before. I am in a place where I know who I am and I know Whose I am and nothing, NOT ONE THING, can change that or take that away from me. I only got here because I let God bring me back through the fire. This time, though, He was with me.
I now feel like I’m in a better place to really share my life, with you. It’s not that I’m not afraid, it’s not that I even know what to say or how to say it so it all comes out right, but I know now more than ever that God accepts me, all of me, no matter what I share. You can reject me, it will sting, but it won’t change the fact that God loves me and that is all I need to believe, trust in, hope in and cling to.
I hope you can forgive me. I hope you can look past my weaknesses and extend grace. This has been a difficult journey, finding the real me. I hope you are willing to stay by me, I really do love your company.
I will be ending this book (blog) and starting a new one. I’m working on a new website, complete with a new name. I’ll let you know when it’s ready and I really hope to see you there. You mean so much to me. Thank you for sticking by me, I hope in time I can show you that I will do the same for you.
Soli Deo Gloria,