Oh, what the heck. Here it is.
Many people in my circle know that I’ve been toying with starting a blog for the last year. And yet, nothing ever comes of it because I keep setting it to the back burner.
I keep waiting until all the perfect little details come together, because I’ve spent hours and hours reading all the Pinterest posts with “helpful’ headlines that shout “Ten Things To Do Before Starting”, and “What I Wish I Would Have Known First”, followed up with “25 Things You’re Doing Wrong With Your Blog.”
I’m sure all of those posts were meant to be helpful, and were just an honest reflection from the author. But what actually happens, or rather happened to me, is I got caught up in the fear of failure. Pretty soon, a simple list of “15 Things Not To Do”, becomes 100 things after you’ve read every Tom, Dick, and Harry’s version. I was distracted by “starting it all perfectly so that I can learn from their mistakes”, which is noble in thought...but in reality meant that I never actually took the risk of just starting.
I felt boxed in by having to find a “niche” to write in and stay there, all the while knowing that I would never be able to write about something if I didn’t have at least a slight passion for it. Narrowing down a niche was a lot harder for me than those other bloggers made it sound.
I told Jesus, “I just want to help broken people, but I don’t know exactly what that looks like.”
And I’d wished I could just find a computer program where I could enter in all the things that I wanted to write about, all those things I wanted to be- midwife, advocate, believer, and even a lil’ bit of a feminist- and then said program would take all of those words and spit out a niche that would give me direction on what to write.
As I played around with that nerdy-sounding idea in my head, the Holy Spirit gently whispered…”All of those things are your life. That’s who you are. There’s your niche. Life.”
*insert perfection-driven Ashley here* “Okay, great. Niche down...I think? *panic sets in* But wait, Jesus...that’s actually a lot scarier than some of those other topics we brainstormed about!”
But God, in his goodness, is so incredibly patient with me.
Life is messy and undone.
And He showed me that I needed to quit worrying that my story doesn’t look like [insert unrealistic expectation here]. And to quit stalling simply because “I’m not where I want to be yet physically/spiritually/emotionally/creatively.”
Those things will never be perfect anyway...so instead of waiting to offer up this finished story of inspiration and a testimony of “how great life is now” with a big pretty bow on it, wouldn’t it be of greater benefit to just share the journey along the way?
To share the road to healing as it happens.
Healing instead of just, healed.
Because healed comes with the misconception that it’s final.
But what I’ve so rudely discovered is that this type of heart healing comes in layers...and that’s okay. So if we’re telling people that it’s okay, why aren’t we transparent with the process of uncovering those layers?
I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend this week. What would happen if I wrote from a place of being the heroine in my own story? If my life were the setting, and the lessons I learned along the way were the storyline, and I quit trying to write as if there were an ending. And chose to soak up the journey I was on instead. A journey that undoubtedly came with some really dark valleys, and some breathtaking highs- but was laced with God writing hope from the ashes of those messy and wounded places.
Because after all, He is taking some very broken pieces and making something beautifully new out of them.
So here I am.
Healing along the way.
Choosing to live - and write- in the moment.
And just like the rest of this blog, still very much under construction.