I haven’t been writing as much lately. I haven’t known what to write about. For some reason, I feel like I’ve hit a wall. When I decided to really pursue writing and blogging specifically, I think I assumed that if I felt led to do this, I would see more of an impact being made through me. I’m struggling with negative thoughts that are telling me what I’m doing will never mean anything to anyone. And instead of combatting those thoughts with what I know deep down to be true, I haven’t had the energy to try and fight off the attacks of the enemy. I’ve honestly felt a little defeated.
When I’m feeling confident, I view putting my words and feelings on display as an act of strength and I’m proud of myself for it. But when I’m feeling the way I feel right now, all I can think is that I’m willingly setting myself up to be embarrassed. I’m allowing people to watch me expose myself as I attempt to connect with others and have conversations that are actually meaningful. This isn’t about follows or likes on social media — those things don’t matter to me. What does matter to me are the conversations that spark from my posts and the times someone says they’ve been encouraged by what I wrote. My goal has always been to feel connected to other people, and I thought that pushing through my fear of vulnerability would help me foster those connections. But, I don’t know if that fear ever fully goes away, and it’s hard to ignore at times. More often than not, whenever I make a post on social media these days it is immediately followed by intense feelings of self-consciousness because I anticipate that no one will respond. As trivial as it sounds, this has always been one of my biggest fears — something that has always held me back from doing the things that I really want to do. I worry that my words will not translate to everyone else with the same weight that they hold in my mind, or that what I have to say will be just another long post that people don’t want to take the time to read. I never want my deepest feelings and convictions (or anything I put out on the internet, honestly) to be viewed as annoying or irrelevant. I think satan is throwing my fears in my face to keep me from continuing all of this. I wish I could say right now that it wasn’t working.
I love getting to know people — what they’ve been through, what they’re passionate about, what they like and dislike. Honestly. I wish I could hear everyone’s story. I read so many blogs, listen to so many podcasts and follow along with so many people’s lives because I genuinely LOVE to do that. And I always just assumed everyone else was that way too. But when I remember that not every person in this world has the same brain as me (y’all ever heard of the enneagram lol yeah I think I’m a 4??) I have to also realize that not everyone will react to what I share the same way I would with other people. And that’s okay.
I know it sounds so self-absorbed to be so concerned with how other people see me. But, for the sake of complete transparency, I REALLY AM SO CONCERNED. I don’t want to annoy people. I don’t want people to judge me. I want to be relatable. I don’t want people to think negatively of me or the things I talk about.
And the thing is, I know that in reality most people probably have no opinion on me trying to be more intentional with my faith/lifestyle writing — maybe no one even knows I’ve changed anything in the last year. (It’s a fun thing 4s do… we think that everyone in the world is paying attention to us and noticing every little thing when really NO ONE IS). But, even if people do have an opinion and it’s not a good one: why do I care? Why am I so fearful of what people might think of me when my supposed main goal is to encourage and point people to Jesus? I wonder how many of us have those same thoughts.
I have been leaving this post and coming back to it for a couple days now. I wasn’t sure where I was going with it or if I would even post it. I decided to pick up the book I’ve been trying to read for a few months, “It’s Not Supposed to be This Way” by Lysa Terkeurst. Who knew God was going to show up the way he literally just did.
In the chapter I’m reading, Lysa talks about her fears of what people thought of her. And about how those fears really boiled down to her fear of being exposed, because she didn’t know how to be exposed and also be unashamed like Adam and Eve were before the fall. What I just read actually stopped me in my tracks and brought me immediately back to this post.
“I have allowed myself to believe that to be stripped of all the props and pretensions and accolades and approvals is to be stripped of the best parts of me. When in reality what’s best about me comes to the forefront when I’m closest to the way God created me, naked and unashamed.”
Naked and unashamed — to be exactly the way I am, to speak my truth and to do it without the fear of judgement. Because there are no opinions that could contend with the love God has for me. The person he created, with all her passions and imperfections and interests and desires. Nothing I do has to be for anyone; just me and God.
That’s something I have to intentionally remind myself of often. What we do shouldn’t be to bring glory to ourselves, ever. We have no reason to receive glory for anything because Jesus is the reason we’re all here. He’s the only reason we have for living, and if we’re not seeking to bring him glory in the things we do, then what’s the point? What other opinion matters when the Lord has the final say?
Honestly, although I hoped my blog would be a little more than it is right now, I’ve been so blessed through this and I never want to discount that. Starting this blog helped me through one of the lowest points in my life. I’ve heard from some people asking for advice and thanking me for being honest and encouraging me to keep going. It’s not a lot, but those little things still mean something. And when I find myself falling for the lies that satan throws at me that none of this matters, I want to think about the times that the Lord has shown me it does.
I am really at a loss for words lately when it comes to anything else, so this blog post was all I could muster up right now. Ever since I started writing publicly, I wanted to focus on being real. I know my thoughts and feelings right now are a little messy, but that’s life kinda. If this little blog is all this little passion of mine ever amounts to, then I pray I will be okay with that. Not only okay with it, but thankful for it. Because any platform that the Lord allows us is a blessing and an opportunity.
Guys, please don’t shy away from showing up because it doesn’t look the way you thought it would. Or because it’s hard. Or because you feel inadequate. Or because you’re afraid. I feel all of those things. I’m feeling all of them right now. I’m going to keep writing, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t sound way easier (and safer) to quit about 70% of the time. But, our lives really aren’t about us. I’m praying that my focus will shift to bringing God glory through everything I do rather than worrying about how others will perceive me.
If you ever want to chat, my dms and comments are always open. To everyone who has been following along, it means the world!