i use to be a writer.
at least i think i use to be a writer.
i use to write.
so in some strange universe, i suppose that works.
i got really tired of everything i was seeing. everything i was reading. and worse everything i was writing.
it all looked the same. sounded the same. and i found myself murmuring like a grumpy bear with a bone tiredness that only hibernation could cure.
every time i wrote and every time i read, the murmuring increased.
so i hibernated. or evacuated. or whatever you'd like to call it. i disappeared from my small writing nook and went silent.
my little writing nook back then was a blog. i had a lovely blog. oh didn't we all.
and at the time, that blog was getting noticed. in the middle all my frustration and seemingly stumbling footsteps, people i deeply admired seemed to be noticing all that i was mumbling about. around the time i began to foresee my departure, i received an e mail from a prominent christian writer. he said he had been reading the musings from my little writing nook.
when i read his words, i almost fell off my chair.
i was awe struck that anyone of substance would listen to my incessant ramblings. he told me he thought i could really be something if i continued to contribute to the "movement", as he had named it. the whole "Jesus was a feminist" conversation
i was speechless.
and then i became wordless.
i turned his words over and over again in my mind and i pondered what it all could mean. and with one swift swipe of my mouse, i promptly hung up my "online pen" and went silent. i muttered to myself that i was crazy, and yet my soul felt assured that i was doing the right thing. his words were meant for encouragement, and encourage me they did.
i knew in an instant that i was not ready to have such a podium. i knew there was no delete button in cyberspace. no error that couldn't be traced. no theological license that would forgive me a thousand heresies. (of which i know have many) my heart was not ready to be eaten alive by the online vultures.
some bruises break the skin, but others break the heart.
i was not strong enough to be disliked. my heart was faint and for the taking, and i knew one bad review could leave me in crumbles.
please don't hear what i am not saying. i am no martyr for the cause.
the affirmation i received was just that.
my success (should that have occurred) would have been predicated on hard work, creative writing and a dose of good luck. who knows what would have happened.
who knows. but what i did know was, i needed to walk away. and so i did. offline life was there for the taking, and i took in every sweet part.
i spent seasons of silence, learning from those whose wisdom i can only hope to one day attain.
i studied, and not just from theological text books.
i traveled, clocking miles and memories along the way.
i learned what sweat equity really means. i learned to build a real business. a business where others are dependent on you, a business with budget and board rooms.
i cultivated rich and deep roots as part of the teaching team at the church i attend. what an honor to serve with people who are discerning how missional theology shapes the practice of communities, compassion and creativity.
i spoke at conferences and churches and facilitated meetings with leaders whom i admire. nothing is more humbling than to teach those who once taught you.
but most most importantly, i prioritized relationships in my life. our days never fail to betray our priorities. a freeing love, that let them be all God created them to be. a love that appreciated every individual intricacy and nuance. a love that was surrounded in joy and laughter. to my astonishment, these relationships reciprocated in ways i could have never imagined. broken places in my heart were healed smooth again with the faith and faithfulness of those i hold dear.
life is wonderfully messy. and thankfully grace is always astounding. no one is ever really prepared for the journey ahead.
but as prepared as one can be, i believe i am. ready to write again. ready to try again at whatever this was. and whatever sacred i can find in this chaos, i would like to share with you.
whoever you are.
there is room for you here.