I suppose I have been avoiding this for a long time now. I used to blog often and unashamedly. I used to let people into my life through my words and I used to have an intimate relationship with writing. Writing was my outlet; it was this beautiful and friendly form of art that flowed freely and without hesitation.
I know, with clarity, when all of this changed for me. Life got messy. Life got REALLY messy. I got married and all of a sudden, my life was also his life and I couldn’t find it within me to be honest anymore. Any desire for honesty or attempt to enter into my relationship with writing was stifled my fear of sharing his life, because how can I share my life without sharing his? As a newlywed, life seemed to revolve around the us and I struggled to find the me in the mess.
I have been participating in this extraordinary program called Building Leaders Authors Speakers and Teachers (BLAST), led by author and speaker Shannon Ethridge, since September now. It seemed like the perfect program for me. My entry essay explains it best.
For a few years now, I have been wrestling with my calling from God. After realizing that being a youth pastor was not exactly what God had in mind in regards to youth ministry and myself, I began weeding through the mess of my life and God’s will in order to figure out exactly where God wanted me in ministry. In December of 2007, I wrote the following in my journal; “I have all of these ideas about what I want to do with my life, but it is killing me that I don’t feel like I know how I am going to get there. I want to be fully available for ministry on my own and with my husband. I want to rescue sexually abused and addicted teens from the bondage of secrecy. I want to write Christian living books. I want to be a speaker at youth conferences and women’s conferences. I want to have foster care teens in my home. I want to be a loving wife and mother. I want to write curriculum for junior high Bible studies. There are so many things that I want to do and I am so passionate about them; God has made me passionate about them. I feel that I am fully capable of achieving all of these goals, but I just don’t know how to get there. They don’t all fit together; it’s not like one is a stepping stone to another… they all seem so random. How do I get to a place in which I am able to do all of these things? What do I need to do in order to position myself for that place?” I firmly believe that the B.L.A.S.T. program is the answer to the questions I asked in my journal.
I have felt for a long time that my passions are slightly out of the “Christian box.” I am often hesitant to share my opinions and thoughts because I do not want to cause a stir, but at the same time, my heart longs for change. I am desperate to consistently be ahead of the curve and want to not be afraid of taking the risks that are necessary for growth in the Christian community. In February of 2008, I wrote in my journal, “I feel like I’m on the verge of something big and along with it being big, it happens to be the most terrifying fixation I’ve ever encountered. I feel like I am ratifying everything I’ve ever been taught and everything the majority teaches. I fear that I am creating something so that it fits what I want it to be, but at the same time, I have this fire in my bones and it can’t be anything but of God. I don’t want to walk out on this plank by myself. I wish I had somebody who could hold my hand as a statement of not just support, but also agreement. I wish I could be carelessly passionate about this, but there is so much at stake and I just don’t know if it is worth what could be lost. I don’t know if people are ready for this and I don’t want to constantly be stirring things up. This is not how it is supposed to be! This is not how He intended His people to live and love Him. I just wish I had the courage to get off of the verge and move into the unknown.” I want people to live in the freedom that comes with a relationship with Christ, but I see so many “church people” suffocating in their misconceptions of what it means to be a Christ follower. I want women to know that their sexuality is a gift from God and that it is something to be celebrated and not something of which to be ashamed. These are just a few of the things I want to see change and of which I believe I can be a part. Along with answering my practical “how do I get there?” questions, I believe that the B.L.A.S.T. program can help me “get off of the verge and move into the unknown” with confidence and a stronger ability to communicate my passions and beliefs. The B.L.A.S.T. program has the potential to single-handedly help me launch myself into the speaking and publishing arenas to which I so desperately feel called.
One of the challenges that has been presented to me in this program is to start writing again. It has taken so long for me to even truly consider it. I still fear being honest and because I am this innate need to succeed, I have avoided this effort stating that I don’t know where to start.
I’m tired of avoiding, though. I am tired to hiding. I need to move forward with this, regardless of where I start. I have to stop making excuses and just let this be what it will be. I am passionate about so many things and sometimes they don’t seem to fit together, which is why I feel like I don’t know where to start with this. What I have decided, however, is that I am just going to write about my passions and allow my writing to evolve into something unknown. I am going to allow myself the freedom to wander for a little while.