Hello, all! This is my “first” blog post of what I hope will be many. I’m happy you’re here reading this! There are so many other things you could be doing with your precious time. My time is precious, and little, as well. That is but one of my many excuses for not having started this journey much sooner.
I tend to go through phases of deep longing to start a blog. I start thinking about what it would look like and who it might reach. I get excited about the idea that it might become popular and reach many who need to read it. Then I resolve to wallow in the unlikelihood and ask myself a bunch of questions that lend to giving up: What if no one reads it? What if too many people read it? What if the wrong people read it? What if it sounds stupid? What if it looks ugly? What if it seems pretentious?
I wrote a post recently on Facebook admitting that I have been planning to start writing (publicly) for at least a year. The truth is it has been almost 2 years since I opened this WordPress account and started writing posts that I never finished, or never published. Hence the quotations in my first line up there around the word “first.” I have had so many ideas over the past few years about posts I want to write and ideas I want to share, but there never seems to be quite enough time to get them out.
That has to change, soon.
There are other doubts I have about writing for a public audience. I worry about writing honestly and unintentionally exposing things about people I love. Those who know me well know of a past that is riddled with scandal and heartache, deception and hypocrisies, forgiveness and healing. How do I write about my experiences and my ideas without exploring those pieces of the past – the good and the bad? And how do I write about those experiences without writing, to some extent, about the other people involved in them?
But I long to write honestly. I yearn to be candid and open about things that others may not know about my life, or life in general. I ache to provide encouragement for people who have been where I’ve been, or who will be there one day. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to this realization: we all have heartache in our pasts. My experiences are both unique and unoriginal. Unique in that they happened, and are still happening, to a “me” that has never experienced them before, a “me” that must learn from them as I go because they are unlike anything I could have come up with on my own. But my experiences are unoriginal, because I am not the first person they have ever happened to. Not by a long shot.
Someone else out there is a child whose parents divorced at critical time in their youth. Someone else out there married their high school sweetheart and started a life with them against all odds, struggling through and welcoming every day that they come out on top. Someone else out there is right in the middle of parenting young children, and constantly questioning their abilities to do so effectively. Someone else out there wrestles with having an open mind in a subculture that isn’t exactly kind to those who do. Someone else out there is living far away from family and missing them dearly. Someone else out there knows someone else out there who hides behind smiles and niceties to get through their day, when what they really need is an open ear and open arms to get them through one of the darkest times of their life. Someone else out there has taken in someone who is hurting, and finds them self hurting, too, in ways they never expected.
No, my experiences are not the first of their kind. Nor will they be the last. And I have to believe that they have happened in order for me to share them with others who may be going through something similar. To pretend they never happened does me no good. To act as though I never went through those fires, or the ones to come, dishonors the lessons I have learned, and will continue to learn, from them.
My prayer is this: that someone, even just one person, somewhere, finds encouragement here.
Lord, guide my words, that they may be exactly what they should be for your purpose. Amen.