Sometimes Sharing is the Worst Thing That You Can Do
For a long time, I pushed back on starting a blog. My excuses (in no particular order) ranged from everyone has one to I struggle with writing for the wrong reasons to anyone can be a “blogger” these days. Excuse after excuse poured out of my heart and lips, and no matter how hard I prayed for direction, I was still stuck.
It’s tricky putting your words and heart for anyone to see. A quick google search will lead you straight into the arms of my online diary. Plus, writers envy is real y'all. Looking at others work and comparing it to my own- all while trying to be true to the words put on my spirit is a struggle. Not that blogging (at least my kind anyway) can be put into the “life difficulties” pile, but there is a certain tension there that I am constantly trying to juggle, and some days it feels like a fight to keep up with the (blogger) Jones'.
To be truthful, I’ve been putting off writing. My thoughts are swirling and twirling and dancing so fast I can’t keep up, which leaves me in muddled and confused mess. I’ve never had issues articulating my thoughts. My mom tells stories of how I am 18 months old and speaking in complete sentences. Although many other areas of my life need work, voicing my thoughts and feelings have always come naturally to me.
Until this year. And, of course, that was the year I decided to start a blog. As a rule of thumb, I try not to speak into lessons that I have not fully learned yet. Don’t get me wrong- I have no shortage of words on just about any topic of the soul- but it has always felt inauthentic of me to write about topics that haven’t fully penetrated the heart. So, what to do when there are currently 10,000 different lessons that are being learned all at once, and they are pressing in, needing to be processed, but there are simply no words in the human language to describe all of the feels I have been feeling? Maybe I sound a little crazy. Now you see a glimpse of the war-zone in my head. Writing is my therapy, but instead of running to the keyboard, I have been heading the opposite direction. Maybe it’s because I don’t even know where to start.
Cal and I are in the middle of an intensive discipleship training school through our church. Think: three days a week, for about 9-10 hours total, gathered around the table- talking, praying, crying, laughing, opening scripture, and learning. Now is the time that our relationships with ourselves, each other, and the Lord are skyrocketing, and if you ask me what I am learning about God right now, my answer would be do you have 5 hours?
And yet, when I am asked about training school, and how it is going- learning how to be a true disciple and joining in arms to help build the only true Kingdom- I am stuck. I can’t put into words what is happening in that conference room nestled in the heart of our church. And this bothers me. What pushed me to start this little blog in the first place was to share the truths that are being impressed upon my heart during this time. I feel ill-equipped to share my heart because I simply don’t know how. Imagine this: a story teller who has thrived her whole life on articulating thoughts and feelings- who, dare I say it, often builds her identity on her ability to communicate. She is me, and so you can understand why I am feeling at a loss. I imagine others tapping their fingers, sitting back, studying our lives curiously thinking why did they chose to throw away their careers, finances, time, and energy to do this THING- this program for some unknown purpose?
I want to scream at people who ask BUT I SWEAR IT WAS A GOOD INVESTMENT, I’M LEARNING A LOT, GROWING IMMENSELY, DIGGING DEEP.
Over the course of the past three months we have made 10 other ragamuffin strangers our family, shared the deepest depths of our souls, wrestled with who is God? Is there truly a Hell as we know it? What is right and what is wrong? How can we reconcile our interpretation of scripture with someone else’s who might see things differently? What are the solid truths that we build our foundation on? What is our calling?
We have undergone severe disappointments, career changes, spiritual attacks + oppression, major life decisions, job transitions, and having the rug pulled out from under our feet many, many times. How do I put all of these experiences into words? How do I let others in?
And so, I sit. Waiting, wondering, wrestling, and wishing- wishing that I could justify our decisions to others, wishing I could just say what I wanted to (if I only knew how!), and wishing that our lives looked like the “normal” person’s do. And so, what it boils down to, is the need to defend. Defend Cal’s decision to move from accounting into aviation, defend our decision to participate in a 6 month discipleship program that eats up many of our resources, and defend all of our transitions.
Why can't our lives be normal? I asked Cal the other night, pressing deeper into my lament that everyone has it better than us. Because that’s just not the season that we are in, his answer came muffled in the sheets.
I’m often self conscious about our endless transitions. Oh, there go Abbie and Cal, with yet another life change, I picture people thinking,I just can’t keep up. And I want to shout back, but we didn’t ask for these changes! We were called to them! But in the end, no one actually cares that much.
Hear me, our community has rallied around us through this time, excited for us and praising Jesus for answered prayers. It doesn’t matter to the side of me that is self conscious, though. I still find an overwhelming need to explain.
And so, when you ask what I am learning during this crazy season of our lives, I will leave the answer simple: I am letting go of my need to explain. I’ve begun to realize that I want to talk about training school and throw lessons in the air like confetti because I want to be seen, and known, and heard by others. My friend, Manda Carpenter, started a campaign via IG that talks about how impressing is exhausting, and she is spot on. It is exhausting to keep up with the rat race- even the Christian rat race. I feel a constant pressure to learn more in order to write more, and a pull to have more wisdom, more knowledge, more understanding- more, more, more to pour into others right away and with no space to just breathe. And I am now seeing that while I am running, trying to keep up with the sprinters, I am leaving Jesus behind. Honestly, I would love to share the big God moments that this year has held. I would LOVE to shout it from the rooftops. But for now, He is whispering that it is between Him and I.
Share when it is only about Me, I hear Him saying. And I pray that I will. I could write a whole book on what this year has handed me (a great possibility 😉), but now is not that time. Now is the time to rest in what He is revealing to me.
Girlfriend, sometimes the Lord teaches us lessons for the purpose of shouting His goodness from the mountain peaks, but sometimes He teaches us lessons in the private corridors of our hearts. The temptation is to read or learn something, only to spit it right back out into someone else's listening ear. Today, I am choosing to sit, wrestle, and process in my heart the lessons that are being given to me. What it boils down to is you and Him. It always boils down to you and Him. You don’t always need to share.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19