Every couple days I receive an email with a new post from a certain online magazine.
I signed up for it after I read some of the posts there and found a refreshing honesty and willingness to discuss the hard things in life.
Stories of harm, stories of shame, stories of self-destruction and abuse.
There were no easy answers offered, and it took great pains to avoid being preachy. Although it was informed by Christianity there was a lot of focus on negative self-image, manipulation, lonliness, pain and mistakes.
Once in a while there was a whisper of something more, an outstretching of a hand, a note delivered but no answer yet given.
And their posts are starting to make me a little crazy.
I know there are no easy answers.
I know that for almost all of us, growth and fulfillment come as a process over time.
That doesn’t mean I should stay where I started. We who try to follow Jesus have seasons of dormancy as well as seasons of insights and changes, but our faith will develop. We are to “be transformed by the renewing of our mind” because we are new creations in Christ. Some things change in an instant, others take a while to even notice, much less actually address.
Chronic depression or an inability to get past our history may indicate something in us that needs more attention, something that needs more intensive probing and maybe the insight of a trained professional to trace and address. Sometimes we need to seek out the help of someone other than Jesus to deal with hard things. There are things that others can tell us about ourselves that we can’t see from inside ourselves.
There’s nothing wrong with having rocky journey to faith. There’s also nothing wrong with a simple faith story, a story of knowing what Jesus offers and taking Him up on it, a legacy of coming from families who believe in Him and who make that appealing by their healthy example.
We belittle our own journey when we disparage it, when we wish to exchange it for something flashier or more dramatic.
I know there are plenty of people who have a story riddled with hardship who would have preferred to bypass the sadness, hurt or difficulty while it was happening (wouldn’t we all?) even though they might acknowledge that their journey made them who they are.
There is power in sharing story. Yes. Every person comes with a story and telling it honestly is part of claiming that we are made through mistakes and successes. Making public a story of abuse or neglect diffuses the power of secrecy that can keep us trapped in a cycle of shame. These are potentially exciting stories of redemption and transformation. But if what is shared is only the first portion, only a representation of the dark-side, are not the rest of us complicit in enabling a voyeuristic system that longs for the juicy tell-all TV magazine headline, the more scandalous the better?
Happily, last week the site included a story that focused on someone’s feelings about having a “plain” story. If you want to take a look, here’s the link: http://shar.es/ivtKK I think overall this magazine does a good job of representing the complexity of real-life faith. They often share glimmers of hope in the midst of difficulty and examples of real people wrestling with fragile situations, coming at it with a faith-informed approach that engages the gray parts of life.
I just happen to like some more frequent sunshine.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, maybe even hear some of your story. All versions (keep ’em clean, of course) are welcome here.
I like free. Do you like free? Who doesn’t like free? I mean, come on! Well, have I got a deal for you… *end used car salesman shtick*
But really, I want to tell you about a fun adventure, the fruits of which you might enjoy.
If you’re a super quick blog skimmer, here’s the link, so you won’t even have to scroll down. Am I helpful or what?! http://gabrielgadfly.com/writestuff/ You’re welcome. 🙂
I’m a part of a writers group on Facebook, Writers Unite. I hope I’ve mentioned it here before, because if you are looking for a fantastic group of committed writers, Writers Unite is the place for you. People are supportive, encouraging, collegial, funny and have a wealth of knowledge. They host a Twitter chat party on Tuesday nights that you can find (if you’re interested) using the hashtag #writestuff .
(Just a little aside, but are we connected on Twitter? If not, click the sidebar over here ——————> and we can join efforts in taking over the world.)
Okay, moving on. This group of writers opened up an opportunity to submit a poem and have it critiqued and considered for a free poetry e-book they put together.
It was gutsy, by my standards, but I went for it and submitted a poem. Note: I am not a poet. And I know it. (Stop stop, my sides hurt I’m laughing so hard.)
But I somehow tricked them into liking what I wrote. They offered some suggestions of things that weren’t as effective, I changed some things, and it actually made it into the collection!
That’s the adventure. That’s the story. Here’s the link so you can download your free FREE free copy today. And you should know that many of the people who submitted are also bloggers and writers, so try to look them up and check out their work around the interwebs.
As always, thank you so much for reading and following. I genuinely appreciate it. Whoops! The link: http://gabrielgadfly.com/writestuff/
I’ve been feeling like I need to post a video blog for quite some time. Here are a couple links you can click to read what I’ve been reading (if you’re interested):
With all that in mind, here’s my very first attempt at a video blog. Go easy on me!http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/quick-tip-add-video/
- Videos Scare Me: My First Vlog (sharadarden.com)