Most days I feel unsure, out of place, unknown, empty, and maybe a little bit stuck.
And that’s just when I’m talking about my writing and my “online self.”
I sit in front of the lit screen, watching the black cursor hit the blank page over. and over. and over. The words just won’t come. I pull up post after beautiful post with honest words and funny thoughts, and I think to myself that I just don’t belong in this space.
I write something deep, pour my heart out and dig in deeper, and no one clicks over, not a word is left to say someone has seen me, my words, my heart.
But it can be easier to talk of that, of feeling unknown or “less than” in this space, than it is for me to admit sometimes I feel the same way – in real life.
I can sit at the same table as my friends and somehow miss out on the laughter. A joke has slid by and I’m unsure, feeling a little in the dark, even if it’s my own fault for busily entertaining thoughts of whether I should go to the gym or get chocolate ice cream. (I always pick the latter, thankyouverymuch.)
I work long and hard on something important, putting in time and effort and forsaking other to-dos, and my work is passed up for someone else’s better job. Their 30 minute project outshines my three hours, and I’m left standing with nothing but empty hands.
Time and again I hear words fly out of mouths without a second thought. No one means anything by it; to them it’s only a joke. But when people flippantly use the words ‘cancer’ or ‘brain tumor’ (and you’d be shocked how often these words escape), I shake a little inside. I never say a word, but my eyes are pleading and beaming with tears, “This is not a subject to throw around. Please, oh please, would someone notice?Would you see that this upsets me? I want you to know. I want you to understand that I’ve been there, I’ve faced surgery, and He stands the test of time. But please, would you know me? Because I feel so unknown.”
The conversation shifts and I blink fast, hurrying to catch up with where my emotions should be. Happy. Carefree. Joyful.
And I am. I am all of those things solely because the joy of the Lord is my strength.
But today I want to pull back the curtain a bit: I am not always okay.
I’m choosing to believe that you aren’t, either.
There are moments I’m undone. There are words that stop me cold inside, names that can bring tears in an instant, and secret prayers that I will never stop begging God for. There are days when I am empty and would rather not claim to be a writer.
The last thing I want to do is share these things we too-often call inadequacies with the world.Many times I feel I must have it all together if want to make a difference, and if things aren’t perfect then I need to find a way to shift your attention. Here, look at my pretty picture! See, I just was invited to this, that and the other! Look at who I just became friends with!
All of those things are good. They are.
But I want you to know me. Behind the staged pictures and the online “trophies,” just know me. Know my Story, where I come from and what shapes the words that fall from these fingers.
Lately He’s been showing me that if I want to be known, I must allow myself to be found.Not the cleaned up, polished me. No, the messy ‘this is where I’m at’ me.
If I don’t share the words He gives, how will others see that this hole-y, cracked and mended vessel is proof that we’re all okay – even when we don’t feel like it.
He is all things good and Faithful, and because He is inside me, I can lift my hands and praise the One who brings life out of the ashes – even when the tears are still fresh on my face.
Will you write your Story? Don’t wait until you’re okay. We’re never going to get ‘there’, because we’re always going to need Him.Let’s write together, evenespecially in the broken spaces. I’ll go first – today I claim it once again: I am a writer, I’ve been broken, and I will sing.
Because He is good. In all things, in all ways, at all times.