|Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative|
And now, we are back almost where began with my post of 6/10/11. Much to my amazement, folks have kept coming back for more despite the Lemony Snicket nature of my tale! I envisioned that I would use this vehicle to tell you about other folks whose lives had presented almost insurmountable challenges. In fact, I started out doing so! I wanted to tell you about fraidy cats who had conquered their inner most fears and struggles and become people they'd never dreamed of. I'd hoped to spice it up once a week or so with some hilarious tidbit about the foibles of life since laughter is good medicine. I even managed to hit a few home runs with that effort according to my blog traffic stats. Well, you know..home runs for me...not as compared to Ree-You-Know-Who-Drummond.
Instead, I ended up feeling as tho' I needed to write my way back to God before I continued telling you other stories. As I look back on that decision, I think about a study of politics that my son and I did during his high school years. The author of the curriculum said that, when you read something political, you need to understand the person who is writing. What is the author's philosophy and bias, etc.? I'm guessing that need is equally, if not more, acute when you read a faith-based blog about folks who endure challenge and overcome. If you don't understand my breadth of experience, how can you understand the perspective from which I write?
So, now you know about my challenges as well as my struggles to reconcile those in light of my faith in a loving God with a good plan. Not a day has passed that I don't tell myself this blog was the single most ridiculous idea I've ever had and that I'll NEVER write another post again. That includes right now tonight as I type in case you wonder!
Without fail, every time I resolve to pull the plug on myself, creatively speaking that is, the unexpected happens. One of you kindly leaves a comment that lets me know my story resonates in your heart. Maybe I get an email or a new follower signs on via Google or Networked Blogs. Sometimes you inbox me to tell me you've asked others to join the fraidy cat experience. Lo and behold, they do! Gracious!
Often, when I least expect it and can't figure out exactly why it happens, someone courageously hits 'share' on their facebook wall under my blog link or gives me a thumbs up. Consequently, I can watch stats and see evidence that my blog is traveling far and wide in the cyber-universe. Ok..again..far and wide for ME not as compared to Ree-You-Know-Who Drummond. I know where I am on the food chain. (If I forget, my 14-year-old thinks it's his sworn duty to remind me that you are all here by accident! Don't think I'll go getting a big head any time soon!)
When the blog begins to travel with velocity, I watch in stunned amazement. It's as if the blog bounces around like a ball in a pinball machine increasing my visitor count as it does. Do you wonder what my reaction is? I say a prayer that my words will impact someone who is hurting and who feels alone in that pain.
There are days I know that I can write 'real pretty'. In fact, I'm sometimes shocked at what comes out of my fingers onto this screen. But, even on the days I think I've written the most inspired words I'll ever live to write, it won't mean a thing to me unless I've warmed someone's day. Especially if that person is hurting and feeling as if no one can possibly understand his/her sense of isolation.
|Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative|
I was never more sure of that perspective until a few days ago when I learned of the untimely and sudden death of one of my heroes. Yes, I still can't write those words without tears welling up. He wrote for boys and young men, but he had a profound impact on this fraidy cat as she shared his wisdom with her sons.
Only 2 days after I learned Bob Schulz was gone, Isaac and I read a chapter in his book, Boyhood and Beyond. The book was published in 2004 when he had but a few years left to live before his death at age 57. (I am 53 in case you wondered!) He wrote, “I thought about the future and wondered if I would live to have gray hair. And if I did, what things would I want to tell the next generation about God's strength?” (p. 130)
Oh, my, my, my! You can imagine that for this fraidy cat daughter of Abraham, who feels as if God has sidelined her and kicked her off even the injured reserved list for his cheerleading squad, those words were just about my undoing.
The talking heads who tell you all about the path to blog success tell you early on that having a poorly defined purpose for your blog is the kiss of death. I've struggled with that one as I've meandered down this path to where we are going. I've asked myself: if writing my way back to God is my purpose, who on God's green earth is going to care besides me and him? Some days, I've asked myself if even HE cares!
Tonight, if I were drawing up a mission statement, it might look like this:
- To write my way back to God.
- To do so in such a way that those coming behind me would say, “I wanna know her God because anyone with a cheerleader like that must be someone I want on my team."
Thank you for wandering over to this invisible corner of the cyber-universe. No matter what brought you here tonight or how many times you've come by to visit, you honor me. This world is a busy one. So many things are clamoring for your time. In that chaos, you chose me to share part of your day. WOW. Who knows, maybe before we are through, I'll have written my way back to God and discovered that I really am a writer after all. You? Maybe you will say, “I wanna know her God and have him on MY team.”
Love you long and strong. See you soon. I'll keep coming back if you will.