I try to write what’s on my heart and instead of reaching my target audience, I accidentally offend others, some who never even crossed my mind as I wrote. It’s not that I don’t care about their perspectives (quite the opposite, actually); it’s just that I didn’t write what I wrote for them.
Perhaps that’s an inherent problem of the internet. Everyone thinks everything is written for them.
Most comments come from those who disagree. If people agree, they tend to stay silent. Why repeat arguments already stated? But anything written invites opponents, usually quite vocal ones. I am okay with that! I really am, but I also find it exhausting and frustrating. I want to quit. Shut down the blog and stick to my family and my little Bible study and just forget it. I know … I know … you’re not supposed to vent on a blog. I’m just tired of benign crickets and critical friends. (You’re well-meaning, I know!)
History and statistics would prove that, if I want interaction on this blog (which I do), then I need to be edgy. I need to be fearless. I need to be controversial.
Unfortunately, I am naturally none of that.
I am passionate, sure, but I’m no Jamie Wright or Rachel Held Evans (both of whom I highly respect). While I am definitely opinionated (probably more than necessary) I’m not good at being contrary and confident at the same time. If my posts incite debate, anxiety almost immediately overtakes me. I spend the day praying and fretting (honestly, more fretting than praying) about how to respond and how to make it right and how to make everyone happy again. I’d blame Middle Child Syndrome, but more likely it’s just cowardice.
I want to write stuff that matters, but I fear those who oppose me. I fear being misunderstood or unable to defend myself. Worse: I fear being irrelevant.
And so once again I return to the question posed so many times before: Why do I write?
Seriously, why do I bother with this? Why do I get so worked up over something that seems inconsequential?
Because it’s not. It’s not inconsequential.
My parents divorced when I was seven. For a long time afterward, anger and fear consumed me, but there were also voices. Angry voices. They yelled incessantly in my head. I never understood what they said. Muffled, but audible. Accusing, disgusted, disappointed. I hated nighttime and empty rooms; I hated being alone. All that made them louder. I could try to drown out the screaming. Music helped. Loud music through big headphones, preferably while reading a book far removed from my realities. Even with that, I could still hear them. They were always there, never waiting to torment me.
And then I met Jesus. And they stopped. When I gave my heart to Him, this beautiful silence enveloped me. I was fifteen and had never before, to my memory, enjoyed a perfectly quiet space. It was absolutely amazing. PEACE. Finally.
That’s why I write. I want to share that — I want to share the reality of Him — with others. I don’t always write it well and I don’t always get it right, but sharing what I know of Him is never inconsequential because He is everything.
My words may be misunderstood and taken out of context. I may offend (more accidentally than not) and I will definitely make mistakes and frequently change my mind, but I won’t quit. I can’t. The stakes are too high. Somewhere someone might read something I wrote and it will all click. They’ll meet Him and their life will never be the same.
In the meantime, thank you all for extending grace to me. Thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt and working through my insufficient words to see my heart. Thank you for knowing God is bigger … bigger than me and my attempts to describe Him, bigger than we combined imagine Him to be. He’s just bigger. And I’m simply thankful.