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It's interesting to look at your life, past to present, and think: "It has all led up to this...." And then wonder where it will lead to next.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blogging: The Honest Truth

There is so much on my mind these days that it is hard for me to even know what to write about. Unless I have a specific story to share, I rarely know what I am going to write about before I sit down at my computer. But as I write I often ask myself, what should I share? What should I keep to myself? What will be helpful/amusing to others? What will just be selfish vulnerability? Sometimes I hold my finger down on the back space button and close my computer for another day. Other times I press "post" without a second thought (and end up going back later to edit 5-6 times). I like to hope that my blog encourages those who read it. That maybe my little bits of brutal self-honesty will push others to be open, even if only with themselves. But mostly, I blog for me. I have always had trouble journaling, even though I love the idea. I have never finished a journal. Each one remains at least half blank. Part of it was the fact that I hated my hand-writing. The other part was that I hated how vulnerable it allowed me to be. I know that sounds silly, that's why people keep journals, right? But it's true. I didn't like that I doubted God so often. That my mind changed so abruptly. I didn't like that my deep and honest thoughts were there on paper, so easily found by a sibling or friend. Honesty doesn't usually paint the prettiest picture.

My fear of honesty began dissipating when I found out I was pregnant with Aiden. I was a missionary kid, an RA at my Christian college, supposed to be a spiritual leader for the girls around me, and yet there I was, unwed and pregnant. This is the epic sin right? Sex before marriage is easily hidden. You can fool around and then decide not to any more, or get married, and all is forgiven. But once you get pregnant it seems to be a different story. People assume things about you. I had a close friend tell me she was shocked to find out that I was one of those people who sleep around. In truth, the only person I have ever slept with is the man I am now married to, but that didn't matter. I was pregnant, I must be  one of "those" people, right? I struggled with this for a very long time. In a way I still do. I realized that I could get over the fact that my life was completely interrupted. I could give up all my plans. I could be a mother even though I in no way felt ready. I could commit to my child for life the instant I knew of his existence. But I could not live with the judgement. The silent (and sometimes verbal) accusations of my character. People not only assume things about your character, but about your relationship with your spouse, your ability to parent, and your ability to achieve your life goals. Every hurtful thing that was said to me during that time is permanently cemented in my brain. I am still fighting the accusations a lot more than I would like to admit. Here is the thing though, the reason I was so aware of even the unsaid judgement was because I myself had those same judgmental thoughts about others before I had been through it myself. Once I did I realized that you can love God, you can want to serve Him more than anything, and still fall. I could be the best Christian in the world and still sin greatly. Isn't David a testament to this? Yet I could not understand it myself until I found myself there, publicly caught in my sin.

God healed me of guilt, but I still have scars of hurt from careless (and even thought out) words. So that is when honesty became more important to me than making myself look good. Because I am not good. God is good. That is the only reason I am capable or willing of anything in my life. I never want to give people the impression that in order to be a follower of Christ you must be as perfect as Christ, because I know how detrimental thinking like that can be. The guilt, the fear, the anger that comes with it. I still have to choose God everyday, because my heart still wants to look back and dwell on pain or regret. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. It's always obvious to me by the end of the day.

Blogging is the opposite of journaling. Instead of writing something to be kept secret and hidden, it forces me to be open and honest because most of you who read this know me and see my life. This blog gives me a chance to be honest before myself and others. To share both the blessings and heartaches in hopes of encouraging others who are here, have been here, or will be here one day too. Let my life (the good, the bad, the awkward) be a testament that God is good.

4 comments:

Noelle said...

This is maybe my favorite blog post to date. :)

I've never read something that felt so much like I could have written the exact same words down. And by the way, I love your honesty and it IS very encouraging and refreshing. My impression of you has only ever been that of a good person if perhaps flawed like the just of us. Thanks for writing publically.

Sam said...

Faith, I love you--the good, the bad, and the awkward! and I agree with Noelle--this was so good to read and one of my favorites yet. It seems like yesterday that you and I had breakfast in the cafe and I knew even before you told me, your good news! I literally just laughed b/c immediately I started asking you about your folic acid intake and recommending pre-natal vitamins :)

Memories aside, your walk with God is real and something so tangible to me-your grace and perseverance in life are both traits not easily acquired and for that reason, not readily taken away.

The honest truth is we're all trying to keep the 'sins' hidden from a God with night-vision goggles...If we could just see that to Him, the night is as day and there is not a sin that He chooses not to look past when we accept life in His Son.

you did. and you do. and you will.

thats why we're sisters.

Caitlin said...

I also agree with the above sentiments. Your honesty has again and again encouraged and convicted me in ways that I so often needed.
I too still remember when you told me about Aiden, we were at Cheshire, while we both still worked there. I remember being surprised, but the thought never crossed my mind that you were one of 'those' girls. People are so silly to see a speck in others' eyes without noticing the plank in their own, regardless what sin it is. You were brave, and still are, and I admire you for that. You keep writing, you're brilliant.

Caitlin

Betsy said...

Love this, Faith. I read this a while back and kept meaning to post a comment. Keep the honesty coming, it's refreshing and encouraging.