or Why I Blog… because really, aren’t they the same thing?
Some women can paint, or decorate their homes with amazing constructions out of nothing. Some design the most lovely clothes. A few create wedding cakes and take breath taking photos. As for me, I have a love affair with words. I love them spoken well. I love them illustrated. I love words written, chosen carefully and strung together in fascinating sequence. I love to write them. I even love the Thesaurus.
This summer I met someone who also reads the shampoo labels in the bathroom, and it was oddly comforting! My brother and I used to read the dictionary when we were little and talk about words. “‘Orts.’ Doesn’t that just sound exactly like the scraps left on your plate? ‘Schlep.’ What an awesome way to carry stuff!” And it would make us feel happy, just thinking about it. As weird as that may be, we grew up to be fairly normal. 😉
Writing is a catharsis for me, a way to process what is going on in my world. I get up in the middle of the night to write, and goodness, if it is more important than sleep, it has to be a fairly strong urge. If I have real navel gazing to do, I assure you, if stays in my paper journal!
Yesterday I had a lovely conversation with two old friends that I rarely see. Both of them are ladies who always bless me and give me nudges in the right direction. We talked about using our gifts, not hunkering down to play it safe. I thought again about my blogging, about my motives, about the narcissistic bent to be affirmed that can underlie it all.
Many years ago I hit a particularly painful patch, one of those where I really didn’t want to keep living. I journaled about wishing I could just fit into a groundhog hole and disappear. Now I look back and am not sure why it was such a big deal, but then it was a crisis of faith. My roots didn’t go very deep yet, and I wasn’t sure I would make it. Silly me, I just struggled through it on my own when I was surrounded by people who would have been glad to help.
One night I told God that if He would just help me keep breathing and learn from my mistakes, I would be willing to use my story to help anyone else in similar circumstances. Through that experience, I have come to see that every hard thing can be redeemed, that the mending of brokenness is why Jesus came.
I think the worst thing in human existence is to feel all alone and hopeless. There are times when I have written a particularly revealing post… you know, one of those that show me up for just who I am, not very lovely at all. I sit there, feeling vulnerable, not sure whether I dare to hit the publish button. Sometimes I ask my husband to read it first, just to be safe. It never fails that those are the posts where I get the most feedback from others who are relieved that they are not the only imperfect one out there. I will be shameless enough to admit that those comments make my day.
If I can share my humanness and the glory of forgiveness and transformation, then I can extend hope through my words. I am that lady with five children and a husband still in school, but I can reach out to bless others just by being real. I even get to play with words while I do it!
That is why I stick my neck out.