Be Brave. Be You.
I have been wanting to write this post for awhile now. It’s something I have been processing, and even though I’ve come to certain conclusions, I’ve still let this post gather dust in my drafts folder. I have had many thoughts over the past two years or so about my blog – many post ideas and themes. Yet, I haven’t written a lot of them. They sit in my draft folder as we speak.
When I first started processing why I wasn’t posting, I thought that perhaps I was too busy with being a mum or maybe it was because I had other obligations hanging over my head. Even with those things, I realised that it was neither of those because I was in fact still posting. I just wasn’t posting much.
I looked at what I wasn’t posting as opposed to what I was, and I noticed something very quickly. What I was posting – what I have posted – it’s fun or nice or encouraging. It’s about pregnancy and Eleanor and motherhood and photography. Even before that, it was about travel or cafes, or revelations I had been having about God or ministry. These are all great things, but what I wasn’t posting were things that were a touch more vulnerable or controversial. It was pieces that I feared would create backlash or bring on hurtful comments. It was topics that I worried would create debate or would have people look at me differently.
Fear really is the culprit here. So then I dug a little deeper, and I asked myself why I was so afraid now. When I was first in college, I wrote often. I had a blogspot blog and a xanga site. I wrote what I believed in, even if it may have frustrated one person or another, because I believed it was worth it to help others. I was bolder and more courageous. I was also less life experienced and definitely more immature. There was a lot yet to discover about myself and about God (and there most certainly still is). Even in the midst of my courage and boldness, there was a good dose of refining that needed to happen.
I thought about the journey from then until now.
A lot can happen in 12 years, and a lot has happened in my life. I finished college in a much different place emotionally and spiritually than I started. I moved halfway around the world to try this “missions thing”. I was changed in many ways and given new and fresh perspectives on things that had previously left me hurt and frustrated. I met my now husband, got married and had a child with another on the way. I’ve gone on outreaches. I’ve planned events. I’ve appealed for financial partners. I’ve had victories with immigration, even amidst the challenges and setbacks. I’ve been challenged and refined in weaker moments. I’ve learned. I’ve learned I have so much still to learn.
Yet in all of that “life happening”, I got scared somewhere along the way. I got a bit more worried about what people think, particularly as a mom, and somehow I forgot about the quiet call God had spoken to me. The call to write and to teach and to disciple. The call to be myself and to find all of my confidence in Him, even in this area of motherhood. Especially in this area of motherhood.
The more our culture and world becomes digitally engaged, the more I find my temptation to disengage. It’s probably the harmony in me. I cringe at online “comment debates” because they’re mostly done quite poorly. (I have definitely seen it done well, which is worth saying). I follow many different bloggers and writers who represent different spheres and nationalities. I read their blogs, and mostly, I find myself giving them the benefit of the doubt. I can’t help but notice the mean comments or the disbelief in their choices or lifestyle. I think about the desire to write, to influence and to impact, and then I see the comments and backlash and get scared.
Be Brave. Be You.
That is the call I am feeling. It’s been a gentle nudge over the years, but I am feeling it stronger than ever now. The minute I worry, God swoops in with someone to encourage me down this path. Lately, there has been so much encouragement, and I am feeling challenged to really pursue this. To pursue this dream and to continue walking in the calling and gifts God has placed within me.
So I will write.
You read it. You can quote me on it. I will write. It may not be perfect, and often, it’ll probably be in the midst of my own learning and development and growth. In fact, I hope it’s always in that place: in the journey. A few months back, I had a thought about authors and how scary it could be to publish your own thoughts and opinions onto hard copy, knowing it’s out there forever. What if you change your mind about something you’ve written or learn something new? Then I remember all the second and third (and fourth and fifth!) editions of books and the vulnerability of the authors in those first introductions. They’ve grown, and they’re not apologetic about it. They’re inspired by it. In fact, it is what makes me want to read them more because it shows humility, teachability and growth. I want those in my life through Jesus so much, so I am inspired. I am inspired to continue journeying, and I am inspired to write about it. To be vulnerable in this space. To share. To grow together.