It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a blog post here! But it has been on my heart to pop back over here and say a little something. I’ve missed the community here, and think of you often, but there are a few reasons I haven’t been so active on this blog any longer. They are not necessarily the generic reasons one might expect, like writer’s block or being too busy or too ill. It’s true that I’ve been very sick, and that it interferes with writing just as well as the rest of life, making it difficult and painful. As my fellow spoonie Meg said, “I want to be able to do a lot, desperately so, but I live in a body that’s temperamental and if we’re going to be frank; a body that can’t really handle commitment.” It is challenging to write with M.E., let alone on a schedule like bloggers are expected to. But writing is one of the beautiful gifts that allow me to process living each day with such severe illness. It’s something that I love and enjoy. I’m always writing, even if I’m not sharing it. And so, I can’t simply give a reason like this for my absence. Truthfully, it’s been more of a matter of reflecting, of introspection, of observing.
We live in a day and age where it’s easier than ever before to share our words with others, and in doing so, share ourselves, really. We can connect with others with just a click of a button. We are invited into people’s stories each and every day. We can put ourselves and our work out there in a way that gets an immediate response. It’s a day and age where really personal information is often shared with perfect strangers. I think there are many pros and cons that we could discuss on such matters, but it’s not the heart of this post. The point I want to raise is that I don’t take the opportunity lightly, and sometimes, I feel very overwhelmed by it.
Writing… Sharing my writing… I don’t want to do it just to do it. I don’t want to do it because everyone else is doing it. I want to share because it’s something that I believe in wholeheartedly and am convicted will have a purpose in sharing. Sometimes, it seems as though we are quick to share things. Yes, meaningful things! But sometimes, we’re promoting ourselves. We’re so used to being constantly updated and intertwined in the lives of others, virtually, that it seems natural. But it is actually a crazy, crazy opportunity to have your words reach people all over the world. And the truth is, I’m really interested in forming connections with people through writing, not in building up numbers and using them as data.
Conditioned by an instant culture, the approval of others and a climate of comparison, we can lose ourselves in the quest to be seen, when the goal is to be steady. Don’t get in too big a rush to tell the world what you know. Get to know the One who is unseen and walk with Him as if you really believe He is the best treasure of all. Work diligently toward the mission He calls you to, embracing the reality that what you do in secret will be rewarded in the open. Go from acceptance, not for acceptance. From approval, not for it. You’ll never lose by digging deep, staying true, not giving up, building character in the crucible of challenge, breathing in, hanging on and becoming more weighty below the surface than you are impressive above it. Stop waiting for the world to applaud your branches and keep asking your Father to fortify your roots. ~Louie Giglio
I’ve always been more introverted and reserved in nature, so sharing my life so openly doesn’t always come naturally. I like to share my heart in conversations, but I don’t think I was made to speak to an audience. Which brings me to my point. I feel like I lose my voice in writing when I write to an audience. It may sound so silly to say that, when it seems like the point of blogging should be to address an audience. But the truth is, I’m a one-on-one person. I like to give the person in front of me my full attention. I like to build real friendships and real relationships. I like to know what’s really going on in the hearts and lives of others, and then, to respond. When I write like that, it flows so freely. But when I try to write for an audience, it feels like I lose a little something inside of me.
“It took a while to warm up to the possibility that i could simply be myself, that i could write the way i write, about the things i’m moved to write about. And then it took some more time to realize that perhaps my book was mostly written.” ~Jamie Tworkowski, If You Feel Too Much
So, with all of my heart I can say that I want to continue to write, especially in an encouraging way. I so desire to carve pieces that share love and hope and compassion in the midst of great sorrows and suffering. I want to pour out what I have to thirsty hearts, and build relationships in doing so. I admire the people that do this every single day. It takes courage and bravery, and I in no way want to diminish that by sharing this. I know that there is so much value in showing our scars. It is simply that I, personally, struggle with doing it in this social media type of style. I think it was purposed to me like a marketing technique: if you want to be a writer, you have to have a blog – you have to blog on schedule – you have to watch what gets the most hits – etc. And I do like having a blog, but I just can’t go at it in this “get results” way. It’s about loving others, not collecting them as followers. You guys are human beings, not numbers on my dash. I want to write in a way that’s worth the reader’s while. And so when my posts seem far and few, it isn’t that I’ve abandoned this place, it’s just that I’m learning how to stay true to myself even when it’s not the norm. And I want to thank you for being with me in this.
We all have the duty to serve God where we feel called. I feel called to help individuals, to love each human being. I never think in terms of crowds in general but in terms of persons. Were I to think about crowds, I would never begin anything. It is the person that matters. I believe in person-to-person encounters. ~Mother Teresa