Potholes and Beauty and Mess – Oh My!

the-story-is-bigger-blog-header

 

Remember that lie, the one that whispers, “I don’t have anything to talk about?”  The one that leads to hanging heads and shuffling feet?  The one that sounded eerily familiar to me, and probably to some of you, when my hubby dared to expose it for what it was?

By definition, a lie is not true. (Forgive me for stating the obvious, but sometimes I just need to hear the kindergarten version for myself)

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One of my pastors when I lived in Florida told me about a season when he struggled with depression and believing lies – about himself, about God, about others.  The darkness would be so overwhelming and the lies so loud at times, he said, that he would wake up in the morning with the clamor already running through his mind.  Before putting his feet on the floor, he would have to pause the mental conversation in his head, literally holding each sentence up for examination.  “This is the truth.”  “This is a lie.”  This is true.”  “Nope, this is a lie.”  He systematically had to break down each thought in his mind, hold it up to the light, test it, and remind himself what was true and what was a lie.

That’s discipline, y’all.  I’m not gonna go all unicorns and fairies over here on you and tell you it’s easy to do.  But sometimes the hard is what’s gotta be done.  And sometimes, the hard is learning to believe the truth – about ourselves, about God, about others.  It’s costly.  But costly also equals valuable.

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The valuable truth is that God HAS given you something to speak about.  He has given me something to speak about.  We have a story to share…and it’s usually bigger and more covered in His fingerprints than we may realize.

For me, learning this truth meant opening my eyes to see what God was doing in our lives through this adoption process, opening and really seeing.  It has meant learning to grieve a loss of what I thought our family was going to look like, while at the same time, choosing to walk into an unknown (and kind of exciting) future with hope and joy.  It has meant learning to embrace the messiness of my right-now life and trusting that, by God’s grace, there is beauty to be found beneath the mess.

Each of our stories are different.  Mine looks different from yours.  But they all started out the same.

…He (God) chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.  In love he predestined us for adoption as sons (and daughters) through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace…  ~Ephesians 1:4-5

All of our stories – yours, mine, the neighbor down the street and the one across the globe – start with being chosen, with being rescued and adopted and given a new identity.  They all take detours and twists and turns and even potholes and white-water rapids along the way, but the beginning…that never changes.  We are chosen by God Himself.  Your story is important because God is the very One writing it.

We do have something to share.  We get to share our stories of being chosen, of being rescued, of choosing truth over lies, of choosing to see beauty in the mess.  And as we share, we point back to the God who chose us from the very beginning, the Author of our story.

Maybe sharing for you looks like writing it down – in a journal or a blog.  Maybe it’s putting lyrics and rhyme to music.  Maybe it’s meeting with a group of girls for discipleship and accountability.  Maybe it’s offering a listening ear to that friend who is struggling with depression because you’ve been there, and God has brought you through it.

Whatever that looks like, let’s share our stories.  Let’s embrace our identity as Chosen, Adopted and Rescued ones.  Let’s point others to the God who chose us and is still writing our story.  Because He has given you something to speak about, and there are people who need to hear it.

your-story

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Perhaps you’re one who has been feeling the same stirrings I was just a few years ago…stirrings to write a little bit more, in a journal, yes, but also a bit more publically on a blog.  I started this blog as a way to simply stay intentional about choosing hope and pointing myself in that direction during a difficult season of life.  Writing helped me do that.  Through the process, I have learned SO much – about myself, about God and His work around me, about writing, blogging and the technicalities of it.  Let me just say, there is WAY more to blogging than I ever thought when I originally signed up for a WordPress account.  The picture I had in my head was of sitting down in front of my computer in my yoga pants and cup of coffee and waxing eloquently as I tapped words across the white screen and they magically showed up on MY BLOG.  And all the angels sang glory.  The reality…well, looked a little more like some writing and also trying to figure out things like widgets, SEO, and graphics, oh my!  But like I said, SO worth it.

So, if you’re in the same boat as I was and thinking of starting a blog…or maybe you have a blog but you’re wanting to do a little more with it, allow me to offer two suggestions?

  1.  Find a writing community.  Writing can be lonely work.  The computer screen doesn’t really talk back, although sometimes I wish it would.  I’m usually left talking to myself while Piper (my dog) looks accusingly at me to please-for-the-love-just-take-me-outside-already.  Anyways, community.  I joined the Hope*writers and it has been The. Best.  It’s like the friendliest writing coaches and cheerleaders and fellow writers in the trenches all at your fingertips.  Highly recommend.
  2. Learn everything you can about blogging and writing and all the things (but don’t let it overwhelm you – how’s that for an oxymoron?).  Basically, just become a learner if you’re not already.  There’s a 2016 Genius Bloggers Toolkit offer going on right now (it ends November 1) that is pretty stellar.  It includes a wealth of information on things you’ll encounter in the blogging-world like time management (raising hand over here), addressing technical challenges (raising both hands now!), mastering social media, how to make a living from your blog, and tons more.  There’s an Instagram Course by The Nester that I’m really excited about, especially since I know basically nothing about taking good pictures and she’s basically the Queen of Home Decorating and Beautiful Photos.  It’s essentially a blogging library that I would have loved to have had when I first started.  If that sounds like something up your alley, you can check it out here.

Above all, if you’re feeling that little nudge to share your story through writing…WRITE.

**UPDATE: The 2016 Genius Bloggers Toolkit offer is now closed.**

 

 

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