Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Never Going Back

Recently a friend asked me if I could send him some of my earlier blogs that dealt with infertility and loss. As I began to look through my posts, it occurred to me that I have been at this for over 5 years now. 5 years! I couldn't believe it. What started out as an experiment during my (reluctant) sabbatical when my oldest son was just 2 years old has turned into a very real, very necessary part of how I process life. You could never have told me that would happen.

As I looked back through what I had written, I began to see how much had changed. The secrets, the shame, the frustrations and guilt. So much of that starts to strip away as I read through the posts. I can SEE the work of the Lord happening. The work that I've learned can only happen when I refuse to buy into the lie that keeping it to myself, that plodding through it all in stoic silence, makes me a strong person. The change that occurs when secrets are exposed, when struggles are spoken of before there is victory.

And what I really didn't anticipate was how many people out there would read this, how many would relate to the infertility and the miscarriage and the life transitions and the hard family relationships and the chaos of being a working parent and a stay at home parent and adoption and waiting and weight issues and well, everything I've ended up sharing. Sometimes I think I'm crazy putting it all out there and I haven't always had positive responses.

But mostly?

Mostly what I've seen is that people are longing for vulnerability. For honesty. For someone to voice their own confusion, their own fears, their own failures, successes, hopes and, yes, victories. In a culture that mostly feeds us things that have already been packaged up in lovely boxes or tells us who to be on the surface, we are longing for more. Deeper friendships, healthy living, life abundant.

Possibly the neatest thing for me has been that people who may not agree with my belief system still feel the freedom to read and chime in. That good conversations have come from this. That we can agree to disagree in civility on some things and still find commonality and joyful agreement in others. I love that.

So, as I've read through some of what I've written, I've been truly humbled. Someone told me to take a risk and try this at a point in my life where, as I wrote in my very first post,

"I'm faced with the true situation of my soul. Fatigued, sad, confused, unsure of what's next...my blog is, in a sense, my own personal bomb crater. The place where I will sit, waiting to hear the voice of the Lord, wondering what will next come in this uncertain life and hoping to hear from the "Command" about what next move will advance the grand campaign."  

I thought at that time that the blog was just for me and just for a few months. But it has been so much more. The freedom I have gained from speaking what is hard and hidden cannot be described in adequate words.

So, more than five years later, I want to declare that I won't go back. Tempted sometimes to hide again, to stop, to keep quiet, to recoil in the face of critical feedback, I will keep writing and rejoicing in the changes I see. Changes that are so small I may have missed many of them until asked to reflect this past week. So, to the supervisor who first suggested I try this and to the friend who asked me to look back through and send him some post,s I say "thank you." 

I had no idea how much had changed, how much good had been done in the dark and quiet places. I am so truly overwhelmed and grateful to see the bigger picture of who I am becoming, how God uses truth and community so powerfully and how relentlessly and lovingly God is in pursuit of all of us. 

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