Honesty and Understanding
Trying to put into words what the heart is feeling is challenging. Every time that I sit down to pour my heart into a blog, I expect it to go quickly. I have already given so much thought to the subject, so I expect that I will be able to easily put those thoughts into words. Unfortunately, that is not often the case. It usually takes a few hours (5 hours today) before I am ready to hit “publish” on a rather short blog.
After I have written my thoughts, I go back and re-read the words, and I find myself trying very hard to imagine how someone will feel reading these words. I want to be certain that I am clear, and I do not want my heart to be misunderstood.
So I read and re-read what I have written, making changes in hopes that it is engaging and has a good point. I wonder who will read my words and what impact they will have. I pray it will be worth your time to read and will have a positive impact in you and your world.
Sometimes I do wonder how God can use these blogs, but then I remember that he is the Truth-teller and the Master Gardener. He grabs truth where ever He sees it and he plants it into our lives in order to produce life.
He takes what is offered and makes the most possible “life” come from it. Every year I am completely amazed that food I can eat comes from me taking an afternoon to put tiny seeds into the dirt and manure of my garden. I am equally amazed that what grows up out of my manure (my sin, junk and dysfunction) can offer energy and strength to anyone else. I think I still wonder about whether this whole writing thing is a calling from God…
Somewhere along the way, I have come to grips with the fact that I like to write. I really have not always enjoyed writing. As I have gotten older and since I began a journey with Jesus, putting my words on paper has played a major role in processing life. Journalling has served to help me land on solid ground when dealing with sticky, emotional issues. God has met me when I take the time to process with Him, instead of trying to figure things out on my own.
It is interesting to look back at past journals because I am reminded of prayers God has answered and I can often see more clearly what he was up to now that I am no longer in the thick of things.
I want to be honest, though. Some times when I read my old journals, I wonder if I was being completely honest when I wrote them. That may sound strange, but here is what I mean. When I reassured God in writing that I trusted him and I read the prayers I have prayed, some times they amaze me. Some times they sound like someone far more mature and loving than I feel I am or was.
Here is why I think I am amazed: I think something incredible happens when we sit before God with our hearts open and exposed. He pulls out the very best parts of us and exposes those, while skimming off the nasty because he does not want the nasty to remain in our hearts.
(There is plenty of nasty that gets poured out in my journals as well. I am just not as impressed with those parts.)
Now some honesty: I have a little (sometimes a lot of) anxiety after I hit “publish” on my website. Once I throw my words out there for you to read, I am nervous because I know they come through a vessel that is not yet completely whole. There is still some “nasty” floating around in there. Jesus has already bought and accomplished my wholeness, my cleansing, but the renovation is not complete, yet. I worry that my own junk or immaturity will get in the way of the good God intends.
More honesty: I am nervous that you will misunderstand the heart behind what is written – that you will misunderstand my heart. I am nervous that maybe you will not agree or you will get offended. I do not, for a second, want to throw salt on a wound or make someone feel judged.
A little more honesty: Maybe I am a little nervous that you are losing interest in what I write.
It pretty much all comes down to: I worry about what you think.
“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe” (Proverbs 29:25).
As long as I am concerned about what you think (it is really hard not to care at least a tiny bit), I will not be completely free to write as God would want me to write. Going after anything valuable always carries an element of risk. Usually the things most worth going after are the things that require the most risk.
Writing is risky because I know that Satan is a word-twister and a liar. I know that he often causes us to receive a word spoken/read to us through a clogged filter of our junk and dysfunction. Picture looking through a screen that has had mud smeared all over it, clogging the pores. It is not a clear picture. Our understanding of another’s words are sometimes forced through a muddy screen, resulting in a “muddied” message.
I am guilty of looking through a muddy screen. I have gotten hurt or felt judged by others only to take a step back from the situation and ask myself the questions, “Why did that hurt so much?” “What do I really believe about this situation? Do I really believe they meant to hurt me or judge me, or I might I have received their words in a negative way because there is a festering lie (muddy screen) hiding below the surface in my heart?
I suppose the reason I sometimes worry after I push “publish” is found in the risk. There is a chance you will not understand my words. There is a chance my words will hurt. I can not control how you receive them. All I can do is be as faithful as possible to pour out the truth God is teaching me in the most faithful way I know how to do.
My last post was about sex, specifically sex before marriage. I have wanted to blog about that topic for quite some time in hopes that someone will be nudged to walk in the path of freedom instead of being led down a path with many traps. However, I felt the most vulnerable after writing that blog because I know that the majority of people (including christians) have not waited until they were married to have sex. I did not want to heap guilt on anyone or appear as though I was passing judgment.
What happens is that Satan lies to us and calls us a hypocrite if we take a stand in an area we have fallen short. The result is that we feel disqualified. We feel we do not have a right to uphold a beautiful truth if we have not been successful in living out that truth. Satan is a jerk and a liar.
I firmly believe that we are called to uphold all truth – it does not matter how many times we have fallen short of God’s glorious standard in that area. We are called to speak of the beauty and purpose for why God ordains certain “rules” regardless of whether or not we have been able to keep those rules. If anything, we have a greater platform to speak from if we have broken the rule because we speak as those who have failed and can now see clearly the pit that comes when we choose to walk in ways that go against God’s ways.
So this week I asked myself, why do I blog? I blog because I feel inspired by truth that God has taught/is teaching me, and I get excited to share it with others in the hope that it will be as freeing and eye-opening as it has been for me. I hope that you will feel inspired, as well, to share the truth that God is teaching you.
…and lest I sound more awesome than I am, there is a hidden motive behind this blogging thing for me. I blog because I want feedback. I want to know if this whole writing thing is actually a call from God or just something I am pursuing because I think it is a good idea.
So I have a favor to ask of you. If you continue to read my blog posts, will you choose to trust that my heart is good? Will you choose to trust that the words I write come from a heart that wants the best for you? Will you also take a moment to let me know if you have been encouraged?
And I will try my hardest to write faithfully and truthfully. I will try hard not to care what you think…(that does not mean I do not value your input – it just means I am committed “to trusting in the Lord.” -Prov. 29:25)
Thank you for taking this journey with me…