Changes are happening behind the scenes of this blog!
The NEW website moves along as my (small) team works on details. I feel incredibly proud of these next steps; it reflects so much of my heart.
To be clear, the new website does not focus on my life story, past or present. I’ll reference experiences and share more personally. But the focus is not me.
What keeps me plugging through an ever-growing to do list and writing page after page of content is: others.
I hope to support women in life-giving ways. It’s really not much different in vision than my church ministry work of many years, simply a shift in topics, platform and approach.
In order to move forward, I want to share parts of myself/my story carried into this next chapter. Some parts might feel light — like an aha moment. An oh, I didn’t know this about her insight.
Other parts friends, I imagine may feel heavy or difficult.
Writing online is tricky.
It reminds me of random connections with those in my community circles. For example — at the grocery store, a parking lot, at a park, a restaurant. Having heard some version of our family’s story, they asked:
So how are you really doing? I heard ____, is that true? Did you? Did they? Was there?
The conversation sometimes felt unfair.
Almost a sense of entitlement in a need to know details and expectation I provide them. I hold regrets around several of those short interactions, wishing I had simply offered:
‘Thanks for your care. Really, it’s important to me. But in the time we have together I couldn’t possibly unpack my story with you. I can tell you we are well.’
And then offered a big hug.
This happens online too.
We receive a little news or insight, a few facts, a new tidbit and form our OWN version of the story. We interpret words to mean this or that. A sentence taken out of context, unspoken parts imagined.
Maybe the actual story told feels overwhelming to us.
Oh goodness! Surely it wasn’t that bad? And it hurts us to think perhaps it may have been. And we did not know, did not see, did not understand.
So we sometimes soften, ignore, reject or change the story to soothe our emotional needs.
Friends, I am not pointing fingers. I’ve done this too.
I have close to 20 years experience holding other women’s stories. Stories of celebration and pain, of happiness and grief, of terrible wrongdoings or shocking confessions. So I understand…taking in another’s words, listening openly, holding still with this person in the toughest of places?
Well, it is hard work.
It is heart work. Most importantly, it requires I do not add or subtract from words entrusted to my care.
On the other hand…
Sometimes the most helpful path is to step away.
To realize we cannot engage a story openly or hold our inner selves still enough to listen. This is not a sign of weakness, maybe it is self-care.
Maybe we need separation for our own wellbeing or to honor the story of another (because we’re tempted to manipulate somehow). These steps take gut-level honesty. I invite you into this self-reflection as we move forward.
My heart focuses on reflecting as well.
I have wrestled with realities of blogging (or any personal writing), understanding the risky door opened in offering vulnerability and story sharing.
I have prayed, counseled with others and experience enough peace moving forward. This does not make me right. It only means I have taken my next steps seriously and done some heart work.
Hmmm…so much more rumbling in my thoughts around story. But really, this post feels long enough!
Instead I leave you with this:
‘Thank you for reading here today. Really, it’s important to me. In the time we shared together, I couldn’t possibly unpack all my thoughts with you. I can tell you I am well. I hope you are too.’