I couldn’t really remember when I started blogging for the first time. It’s been so long ago now it’s but a faint, distant but happy memory. My girls were young, the baby was probably nothing more than a toddler really. A friend of mine wrote a blog and I was intrigued by it, so I jumped in with both feet.
I wrote about the funny things my children said and did. I wrote about the funny things I said and did. It was my first real foray into the world of social media and I wrote as a way to keep in contact with family that lived far away and we rarely got to see. Over time my blog grew, and I switched blog hosts, each one promised something bigger, something better, something brighter.
As my girls aged, they lost some of the cuteness and funny sayings. I kept blogging but more sporadically. Blogging seemed to somehow be something I had to do to drive off the crazy. I needed to get the words out of my head so I could examine them for what they were. I could see them in living, vibrant color. I could reject them or accept them as needed at the moment.
I could have, sure, written them down in a notebook journal. Keeping thousands and thousands of pages hidden away from prying eyes. Never putting anything out there for anyone to see.
That is what I’d been used to doing. I’d been hiding away for years. Everything I learned, everything Jesus taught me I hid away. I was sure I’d be laughed at, mocked, scorned. I thought everyone would have already said it, and I’d be found to be the last one to the party, arriving late and without a gift. Shunned for stupidity and stupidly not knowing what everyone else already knew.
I still hid away. I still kept quiet about things. I kept things locked inside me. I silenced my own voice out of fear.
A dear friend told me I was addicted to knowledge. I wondered how that could possibly be true. He said I gobbled knowledge like a starving man. I read all I could to increase my knowledge, my intelligence. But I never let any of it show. I never let anyone know I was smart. I was intelligent. I always felt stupid because I refused to see how I really was. And what I really was.
And my friend, with all the love in his heart for this woman, said, “That is wrong!”
And he was right.
I fought him on it for a time. I couldn’t help myself. I went on “smart book” (self-help, and everything non-fiction) fasts to prove to him how wrong he was. I could do very well without those kinds of books.
He said that wasn’t what he meant. He said I needed to get Jesus out of my head and let Him change my life by living in me and through me. I needed to surrender to Him and allow Him free access to every area of my heart and life. He told me I needed to stop all the doing and find Jesus.
I thought he was crazy. I was wrong.
You see, Jesus has given each of us a voice. He gave us all a life, filled with all sorts of experiences, highs, lows, joys, sorrows, giggles and tears. He gave us all a richness of life not so we could live in a tight woven cocoon of self.
But so we can burst forth in His glorious strength, open our mouths and share with anyone and everyone who will listen about His great work of grace and beauty in our life. He wants us to give others the hope we have received, to comfort those as we have been comforted because of His life living out through us.
We also need to tell those who don’t want to listen, don’t want to hear about how wrong we are, how far we missed the boat. We need to be like my dearest friend, completely unafraid to tell someone when they are wrong.
We need to accept those words from our friends and welcome them as trusted words from a heart that loves us deeply. It’s not easy but oh so necessary.
Please, dear soul, know I am not at all saying we have to allow anyone and everyone to speak deeply to our soul. There are those who will gladly tell us when they think we are wrong or stupid, but their heart is not our good. We do not have to entertain their abuse for one second.
Any time someone comes to you and says, “I’m only going to say this because I love you…” or “I love you but….” ignore everything after the “but”. In fact, feel free to walk away. You see, my friend never said, “I love you but you’re wrong”, he never said he only said those hurtful words because he loved me. I already knew his heart for me. We were already faithful, close friends.
It is friends like that you welcome correction, you allow them to speak hard things to you because you know and trust first the heart of your Daddy in heaven and then your friend’s heart for you.