My blog is five years old!
Whether you are an old reader or a new one, I am so glad you have chosen to spend even a little bit of this time with me. Some of you have been familiar names in my feed for a long, long time and I smile seeing you like I would with any dear old friend.
For those who read, or comment, or who offer encouragement or prayer, for anyone who’s ever dropped by just to see what’s going on – thank you.
I started the blog five years ago as a dedication of practice and craft to God. I have managed to keep it up even in all the changes I have experienced during that time, and I pray that by His grace I will continue to do so. At the time, I considered it a way of giving my creative first fruits to God, but (of course) I see now that He also intended me to learn from it.
Here are five lessons from five years:
1. God wants to give you good things. This is shockingly easy to forget. Somewhere in the middle of trying to be dutiful Christians and reasoning to ourselves that what is good to God might not feel good to us, we run the risk of talking ourselves out of a simple truth: God loves us and wants the best for us! He doesn’t promise His children bread and then hand out stones. He acts, always, from love. Looking back over the last five years, I can see Him working to good ends for me – and yet in the middle of that work I was convinced He was trying to turn me away from hopes and dreams.
2. Listening is a craft, and you will find God there. The more I have written in the blog, the more I have learned to listen for God and where He might be speaking – not just in His word, but through others, and in my daily life. That it took until my thirties to set about this practice is mortifying, but it has been an enormous step in leaving a wish-list attitude behind.
3. I have so much to learn from so many people. In the years that have passed, I have been tutored by all manner of believers from all manner of denominations. Sometimes, even people from other faiths – or no faith – have spoken words that God has used to teach me about His love and His way. Cultivating an attitude of curiosity, especially in regards to those who are different from me, has been an invaluable asset for growth.
4. I will never remain in the same place if I stay close to God. I don’t just mean this in terms of daily life, although it’s true that change is the only thing that stays the same. I mean that as a believer, my concerns, my hopes, and my dreams all evolve. I started the blog railing against the forced and badly-implemented phenomenon of small groups (and still feel very deeply everything I wrote there), but I have moved now too into questing for what a Christian community that works might look like for me. I was a Southern Baptist, and now I attend a Methodist church and have developed an intense admiration for liturgical worship. I have moved through times of trial and times of peace. I have focused on different aspects of God’s identity. And that is as it should be. I am excited to see what comes next.
5. We are not alone. Occasionally I am struck when I notice a particular piece that has resonated with someone. Those little comments or emails that I receive in a response are a blessed reminder that even in this time of isolation, we really do live in community. If I have a concern or a struggle, it is likely shared. Sometimes knowing that other people are walking the same path in their effort to grow closer to God is just an immeasurable joy. We are separate, and yet not. We are the church, all together.
Thank you, again, for walking down this little written road with me. In God’s grace, I hope to go on for another five!