the Allure of Being a Popular Blogger

girl twirlingMy heart races as I sit down to my computer to write my first post after nearly a month in hiatus. I can’t explain my absence except for that fact that I kept hearing the Lord speak to me the word,

“Silence”

Over the past month, both my writing voice and my actual voice have fallen quiet, insecure and fragile. I am on a new journey. I am not sure exactly what it is or where it will take me. But, I sense that I am entering another place of waiting. And, from what I have learned before, the Lord will meet me there and show me where to go next. My job is to wait and pray with expectation; to rest and be silent – for I will not hear him if I am making or surrounding myself with a lot of noise.

I am reading through a book titled When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd (author of The Secret Life of Bees). Of all places, I found it on the free shelf at our local library. It was published in 1990, yet, despite being over twenty years old, her words are breathing comfort into my soul. I realize I am now on the same journey she describes – a mid-life journey seeking meaning and purpose.

I am entering mid-life. I don’t like it. I am definitely not happy about it. I don’t see myself as a soon-to-be-forty-year-old, yet here I am on the precipice of a new stage. What now? What am I doing with my life? Is this all that there is? These are the questions racing through my head, and they are the same ones Sue writes about.

She shares lessons learned along her journey – lessons of Waiting, Resting, Entering into the dark place. She describes an image of becoming a “cocoon” in order to allow the His Holy Spirit to transform her into her True Self – the self that Christ sees.

Her words are familiar to me and capture the experiences I have had and lessons I have learned. And, I ponder, who is teaching these lessons to the next generation of women?

In my recent silence, as I have been reading through this book, God is reminding me of His first calling on my life – to share my story – to share the lessons I have learned, the wisdom He bore in me during a period of waiting.

But…then, this is where I begin to struggle and shy away from doing just that. Who do I think I am? What could I possibly have to say that hasn’t already been said? Is it egotistical of me to think that my words are of any significance? Who am I serving – myself or God?

I look at the beautiful, uplifting blogs that are out there. They share ideas about parenting, cooking, marriage, and home-decorating. They are happy, colorful, and fun. I am intimidated by it all, and feel that I am just a thorn in everyone’s side reminding them of the darker side of life.

But, here is the honest truth: I wish I could write about things that make everyone feel good and perfect and put-together. I wish that were the voice I had been given. It is more acceptable to write about things that make us comfortable, that feed our egos and materialistic tendencies.

(I am not bashing those blogs, please don’t misunderstand me. I love looking at them and getting insights on great fashion, home decor, and cuisine. The blogs are beautiful and their writers talented.)

I also know this to be true: My words flow freely and easily onto the page when I share personal spiritual struggles and the parts of my life that rub raw against the truths of Scripture. Beneath the squeaky clean spiritual surface of me lies a dark underbelly that is fighting for a chance to breath and bear witness of Christ’s love.

My blog may not be the most popular. I may not generate thousands of followers or start a movement and “go viral”.  And, I may never be able to afford, or decide to allocate, hundreds of dollars to develop a beautiful, new blog design.

I fight fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, fear of failure.

Yet, God has given me eyes that see the grief and suffering in this world; a mind that questions the status quo; a heart that aches to know more of Him; and a spirit that needs to rest so that He can fill me again.

I will write as I feel led, when words hang on my heart aching to be spoken, and try not to strive for popularity.

newly purposed, 

jana

 

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8 thoughts on “the Allure of Being a Popular Blogger

  1. Oh, Jana, please, don’t shy away from this calling! I find your blog refreshingly real. The flowery, seemingly-perfect blogs are sort of like magazines-pretty to look at, fun to glance over, but no substance. I love that your blog addresses real issues that humans must grapple with. We all encounter grief, most of us are affected by suicide, but so rarely does any one talk about it. I applaude you & encourage you to continue God’s work!

  2. Hey sweet friend. I feel like I know you. I am sitting in silence, too. I have been in this same place, distracted by all the other stuff floating around out there. Then God reminded me that I have a story and He is my audience. I am right there with you, sister. Please keep telling your story. It’s not dark and you are no thorn… it rings of truth and redemption and we all need that. Keep writing and let it fall where God wants it. By the way, your blog is one of the few I subscribe to :)… AND the 40’s are great. Truly. You’ll love ’em. Blessings to you, Jana.

  3. Oh, friend. You are certainly no thorn – you are a sweet blossom fragrantly blooming in a dark world, like a flower pushing its way through the hard ground of a barren landscape. You spread beauty and joy, even as you tackle ugly-hard subjects. You remind us to that God is good, even as you write about painful circumstances. It may not be the most popular thing to blog about, but it is so necessary – and your words (God’s words) give life to so many who may be too afraid or shy to ever write a comment or share your post on facebook. And what an eternal reward you may reap from that, worth so much more than earthly gain from temporary popularity!

I would love to hear from you!