All of it still blows my mind. To see how deeply God has been working in my life at a personal level–yes, you wouldn’t even believe the stories if I were to share them all! Or maybe you would, because He is an impossible God that loves to do impossible things. But more than anything, I am amazed by the growth in this place. I am amazed at the growth that all of this represents to me personally. And so much of that I love, and yet so much of that makes me uncomfortable.
Because, you see, this little blog isn’t really about me.
I started blogging back in 2011, back in a time when I was still walking through the deepest grief of mourning the mom that was tragically taken from me as a baby, and yet while I grew up knowing all about the circumstances of her death and the pieces of that very public tragedy that just never seems to go away, at a personal level I truly wasn’t able to walk through that journey until I was an adult–until I was at a place where I was developmentally capable of feeling the profound loss of this person that should have always been there in my life.
And honestly, that experience erupted my world in ways that you don’t even know. Because although there are pieces of it here in this place, the full journey hasn’t been told yet. Oh, I have it all written down, and I have no doubt in God’s timing that my story of suffering and completely undeserved beauty will be out there. It’s coming, but right now I am amazed at how far I have already come in sharing this journey.
That blog back from 2011? I kept it under lock and key. It was password protected for the longest time so that only my eyes could see it, that place being more of a personal journal as I walked through my own pain. Eventually I started to share it with friends here and there, but always felt awkward when they would bring it up in person, especially around my family members. For some reason, I felt like I had to keep it under lock and key. I felt like I had to keep it hidden. And there are SO MANY REASONS why at that time in my life I felt that way. First of all, I didn’t feel like I was being truly seen as an individual anyway and many of the relationships that I held dear turned out to be the opposite, so after navigating that and then inviting someone into my deepest thoughts and feelings felt so intrusive. But then there was that other part–that part that made me embarrassed at the time but that I now look back on and wonder why.
I was scared. I was scared that others would think of me. I was scared of what friends from my childhood and my family that doesn’t follow Christ would think of it all. Especially as so much of my blog at that time was processing a very personal loss but a very public tragedy that we were all walking through. I didn’t know what people would think. I didn’t know how to live my faith out loud. So many years I felt like I had to keep my relationship with God almost a secret. Like people wouldn’t know what to do with me if I shared it. There were already those times when I felt like I was ostracized for my faith–in high school when everyone called me a “Bible thumper” or when I wouldn’t be invited to certain things because everyone just assumed that I wouldn’t want to be part of it, which at that time in my life, was probably true.
There is so much more to all of this that would take so many words to explain, but mostly I am just blown away at far I have come–and it is all God. Because my blog was a total secret until about two years ago. I didn’t really let anyone know about it at all. But through my own healing journey and so much work going on down in the deep, it also began to enable me to live it out on the outside. I still remember the first time that I posted something on Instagram where I talked about what God was doing in my life. It was a moment of utter victory.
And now–to see what all of this has turned into now–I am blown away by the wonder of it all.
It points to so much healing. To God working in the deep. And I am grateful beyond measure that He gave me that quiet space to process the deepest grief covered under His mighty wing. There are so many reasons why those years back then weren’t the time to share about this all. But in His brilliant God way, He lovingly cracked wide my heart and allowed His light to pervade in the deep–not just changing how I look at my circumstances and my circumstances themselves, but me as well.
Two years ago this was under lock and key, and now there is nothing that I want more than to live my life out loud. And that is my promise to you–to present my full, real, and vulnerable self. Yes, there are parts of my life and my story that will always be my own and always be for that close inner circle that is in my life. But from a girl that used to hide it all, to now to see this woman who won’t stand to be silent blows my mind. And it is all God!
Being open about my story has brought so much healing to my heart in so many ways. I think that is the beauty of it in the end–when we are open about our struggles and our insecurities and are willing to be painfully vulnerable and lay ourselves down, God steps in and takes that total offering of ourselves and uses it for His glory. He turns it into something beautiful that blesses others and blesses ourselves. I live my life out loud now and I don’t ever want to stop.
But even as I say that, there is one thing that I want to make clear–this isn’t about me. It was never meant to be about me. This blog may have my name on it, but truly it is about my God. It is about what He is doing and what He is done. It is about His glory and His renown and His name alone. May this ever and always point back to Him.
Because I have heard those words multiple times and they make me uncomfortable. Family and friends and strangers alike that thank me for sharing my journey–which I am more than happy to do. But I also hear the other part of that–“I am amazed by your faith.” “You are a woman that really loves God.” Which, yes, I do really love God. But I also fail in loving Him well every single day. If you only knew the shaky thoughts in my heart and the struggle in every moment to yield to God instead of myself. This isn’t about me. This isn’t about my oh-so-weak faith. This is about my God’s absolute might.
This website may have my name on it, but I want it to tell the story of who my God is instead. As lovely as it is to hear these types of things about myself, they can quickly become strongholds. They can quickly turn to pride in my own accomplishments and what I think is my own strength. and I don’t ever want that to be the heart of what this blog is. This is about my God. The stories of my life that are interwoven–I pray that they always point to Him. So instead of seeing me, you see Him instead.
Because if that isn’t what is happening, then that makes all of this useless to me.
My story can only be shared because it is HIS story. It is about what HE is doing. It is about HIS love and HIS grace and HIS strength and HIS beauty and HIS redemption and HIS wonder and HIS power and HIS everything. So please don’t see me. See my God instead.
That’s what the heart of this blog is all about. Living my life out loud so that it points not to my own experiences and accomplishments–but to the One who truly bestows every good thing.
My name may be written on the top. But this blog? This blog belongs to Him.