Sometimes I fret about what I’m writing here and then I envision giving myself a smack on the face like Cher slapping Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck. Snap out of it! I need to remember why I’m blogging in the first place.
For me, writing isn’t about eloquence; fashioning the perfect stories so you’ll bow at the altar of my writing voice – bleh and ick. I’d be less than truthful if I didn’t admit that positive feedback fuels my passion. But for me, blogging is about community, transformed lives, and a spark of hope or tiniest hint of grace from a paragraph that evokes one to notice the presence of God’s nearness in a seemingly insurmountable circumstance.
Mostly I want you to know that God is personal, not an ideal or a principle.
Over Christmas, the greatest gift I received wasn’t tied with a ribbon. It was an email from a blog follower who I now consider a dear friend. We haven’t met in person (yet) but God has joined our hearts through the Sabbath Society. We pray for each other and she’s allowed me to speak into her life. Why was her letter so special? She told me how this blog and the newsletter I send out every week have restored her faith in the Body of Christ. I can’t think of a more meaningful gift, really.
In the The Alphabet of Grace, Frederick Buechner tells about a response during a job interview for a ministry position — You like to be in the limelight –that spawned deep conviction within him. He writes, “And out of his mouth issues a sharp edged sword and his face is like the sun shining in full strength. He has named my name. The limelight.”
While I don’t make resolutions, my only goal this year is to be named by God and give myself away more generously for the Kingdom. And while that may sound lofty and pious to you, I can assure you it isn’t.
I am weak in remembering the truth and in desperate need of saving — daily. If I’m honest, perfectionism has named me because I’ve allowed it. This year I’m trading my perfectionism for the one who is Perfect. This isn’t my magic mantra; it’s a daily surrender of smacking me in the face with the truth. (Not literally, for those of you who are concrete thinkers.)
While the limelight looks appealing, I know the realities of the platform because I’ve lived a life around it. I know how easy it is for influence to become an idol. How unattractive selfish ambition looks from the vantage point of someone seated in the audience watching.
I don’t want to be that person.
Lord, save me from myself.
Last year, I didn’t follow the crowds of bloggers choosing one word to welcome the New Year and that seemed to be a curious declaration for many when I wrote about it. This year the word found me. Trust. It’s the word God is giving me for 2014 through sacred echoes.
Behind the broad chested posture of trust is the phrase I tend to repeat to myself in such a small whisper it’s barely noticeable, unless I’m quiet. Are you ready for it? Here it is: But what if– then I add the scenario. And trust doesn’t have buts in the sentence because trust doesn’t control outcomes; it lays them at the feet of Jesus, walks away, and doesn’t look back.
There are things in my future that cause me to bite my lip and lose myself in spiraling unresolved thoughts. My husband chants, “Are you listening to me,” a lot lately. I’m stuck in but Ville. Can anyone relate?
The words agent, book proposal, and writing a book are in the forefront of 2014 for me. Did I just say that? I have a Speaking tab on my blog now which makes me want to hide underneath the table one day and push my way through the frontlines of a battleground on the next. My daughter is going to college this year and well, does that really need any more explanation? This is just a few of the ways God is saying, “Trust ME.”
So, while I’m taking the plunge, naming my year Trust, I know it won’t be a cakewalk. That’s why I’ve decided being open-handed is the only way to experience it. Because this is the faith paradox: we give our lives away to find them.
I’m giving you permission, as someone who follows my journey, to tell me — Snap out of it– if you read me writing from but Ville.
Have you joined the One Word Challenge? Share your word in the comments.