I struggle with why I write. I also struggle with communicating what I want to write.
I am torn whether I care what people think or whether I don’t. I am not sure if anyone is listening or if that is even why I write. I do know I express myself best in writing. But why do I write to an audience, or blog? Why not just journal as has been the case for years.
This is what I have asked myself several times since my last post. I have so much to say but after reading previous posts I just feel like I miss the mark of what I really think. As though I either don’t express completely what I really feel or I am afraid to say exactly what I see and think or both.
I know that my life (as every life is) is a reflection of God’s faithfulness and that is a worthy thing to share. I also know that when I am hurting and feel insecure and insignificant hearing stories of others overcoming brings encouragement. But why is this such a struggle?
I am reading Soul Survivor by Phillip Yancey. This book was recommended to me when I expressed discontent with “the church,” not to be confused with God Himself! The book is comprised of short biographies, if you will, of those who have gone before us in the trenches of life. I am so grateful for the stories of people we don’t hear about, the Christians that genuinely epitomize what I see of God. They give me perspective and extinguish some of my doubts about writing (my trench).
This post is not necessarily about my soul surviving the discontent with the church, although I will take this opportunity to share some of what I have gleaned from Yancey about struggling with the church, rather this post is about sharing my struggle to write about what seems to be my menial life that isn’t impacting a whole lot.
I think I am on to something – my struggle with writing and discontent with church folk completely intersect one another. I am just a bit turned off by how Christianity is portrayed in writing and example and yet remembering and writing about how the Lord saw me through dark nights of the soul keeps me grounded, accountable, real, and committed to God. Yancey talks about his need to separate God from the church – legalism, self-righteousness, racism, provincialism, and hypocrisy. This resonates with me because I am sick and tired of thinking I can live up to some Christian standard apart from the working of the Spirit of God in my life, the work of sanctification by the power and presence of God. I am breaking free from the boxes that feel like chains the “church” has created. Some may say I am a rebel. They are probably right.
I don’t want to be afraid anymore. I want to be free to write, free to worship, free to experience the presence of God, not just be a part of a well-organized church but a church where the presence of God is exulted in all ways! Just like the Christians I read about in Soul Survivor. The forerunners broke rules, they didn’t do what was common, and they didn’t come under the majority. In the same way, I don’t want to be a part of the majority of Christian bloggers that give lip service to the virtues of Jesus. Please don’t mistake what I am saying, there is a place for expounding on the word of God for purposes of instruction and correction, but that in my opinion should be happening amidst a community of believers experiencing the presence of God daily and communally, and this is the gist of my discontent.
As a result of these desires, it seems God is using writing as one way to show me how to be free to express my emotions, thoughts, and experiences without regard to what someone thinks about me or what the other Christian writers are doing.
This new way of thinking scares me though, I will be honest, I am not sure I know what this means. And most likely if I were told the outcome of this path I may resort to safer territory. So maybe it is better this way. Of course, those that are part of my story, I must consider. Nonetheless, I look forward to yet another story of God’s faithfulness through even this struggle, albeit, small in comparison to more serious matters like my relationships with people.
May the writing carry on, and as I unravel the pieces of my new approach please bear with me, it might get messy.