Have you ever taken that Myers-Briggs personality test thingy? We had to take it at work many years ago and I was pegged as an INFP. I don’t remember much of what it means, but I do remember that I am not simply an “I” for introvert (seriously, who didn’t know that?). My score for “I” was so high that it’s nothing short of a miracle that I have ever spoken any emotional thought out loud to anyone, ever. I do, but it’s never easy.
Over the past few years, every time I have prayed about what I was supposed to do, I have always heard within me, write. My parents had been telling me for years that I should write, but I stopped myself many times because I was scared. Write what? If I do, no matter what I write, a part of me is going out for whoever reads it to see. Ummm Lord, did You not hear the part about what an internal processing person I am?
So, after much consideration, I thought that the easiest way to start and to simply practice writing would be to create my own little blog. Nobody ever had to know about it. It was time for me to obey and I needed to start doing something before I lost my courage. When I started this blog, I was petrified. pe.tri.fied.
Eventually, I told a handful of people about it because I needed some kind of feedback. I guess I thought I had gotten through the nervous part when I put the address in our Christmas letter. OH. MY. gosh. I mailed the letters and then panic set in. Oh well.
It’s been almost a year since I began doing this, so I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned or seen more clearly along the way.
Fear subsides when you stand up against it.
It’s an oldie but a goodie. I still get nervous when I hit the publish button. I’m still practicing and getting used to it all. Maybe in a hundred years it won’t seem so scary anymore, but for now, I keep on writing and hitting the publish button and the fear factor is diminishing—at least it doesn’t feel paralyzing these days.
I’m supposed to encourage others.
I knew when I started this that I was supposed to share some of my difficult moments in life. Not because I’ve had the world’s worst life (not even close), but because struggling and waiting are a couple of things I know. My heart hurts for people in pain and if anything I write helps just one person make it one more step, then it allows me to be part of God’s hand at work. I really like to see Him at work. Which leads to…
The more I know, the more I know I don’t know much.
I’m a fairly smart gal, but I’ve come to realize that I know just about next to nothing. Of God’s ways or why things do or don’t happen. It amazes me to see how things set in motion long ago, when we didn’t know anything was going on, come to fruition before our eyes—all without our vast knowledge or help. It’s good, I suppose, not to know from the get-go. Really super annoying, but good.
Writing has been a good outlet.
Since my tendency is to internalize just about everything, I didn’t have a good way to get rid of all these things I’ve been taking in through the years. Experiences and thoughts just piled up in me with no place to go. I’d share stuff with friends from time to time, but over the past few years tears began to fall easily at unexpected times and anger would flare up without much warning. Writing about what I thought were long-forgotten-about moments, whether I published or not, has been an interesting way to look at, process and release some stuff.
I amuse myself.
Probably way more than I amuse anyone else. Oh man, if you could see some of the stuff I’ve written but not published. Well, let’s just say it’s been a lot of fun.
I want to say a great big thank you to my family and friends who have encouraged me in this. It has really meant a lot to me. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to write in the future, but I do have a lot of stuff swimming around in my mind that hasn’t even been touched yet.
Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and affliction for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes, and you will hear a voice say, “This is the way; turn around and walk here.” Isaiah 30:20-21 (NLT)