I have decided to blog only two days per week for a while—Tuesdays and Thursdays—as I will be investing heart and time in another writing project since returning from Alaska. If you haven’t already subscribed to my blog and would like to receive notifications of each new post in your email, simply scroll down to the bottom of any blog post and add your email address. If on occasion I write more than twice weekly, you will be automatically notified. You can also follow me on Facebook, Google, or Twitter where I indicate all new posts. Simply press on the icon at the bottom of any blog post and you will be directed to the site automatically.
I am grateful and honored that you follow my blog. I also value all your comments. Please feel free to share your insights and experiences at the bottom of blog posts or on Facebook, whatever your viewpoint, as I am interested in conversation and I believe readers are enriched when they read others’ comments.
When I began writing for people to read two years ago, I was reluctant, only beginning because two friends who know me well nudged me kindly but persistently. I don’t write fiction. Baring the soul in writing memoir is a risky endeavor. Some are drawn to vulnerability; others are scared by such, even repulsed that one would dare to reveal inner spaces where raw feelings are strong, perhaps pricking others’ consciences or their hearts buried deep, afraid to surface and be seen. In writing from my heart, I am aware of inviting both praise and criticism, embrace and rejection. Of course, encouragement feels good. But better than encouragement is the absolute awareness of God’s call to write. I am comforted in believing that if even one life is touched for good, the risk is worth the potential rejection.
In my past two years of blogging, one woman from Europe sent me a personal message telling of her heartbreaking struggle with serious depression and her thoughts of suicide. How she found my blog in the middle of the night when she was planning her death, neither of us know. After reading about my struggle with depression, my disappointment in finding support in the Christian community, and my eventual treatment with medication, this woman found hope, sought medical attention, and ended planning her escape route from life through suicide. Was God’s hand moving, connecting two souls halfway across the globe? I believe so. Was I scared stiff to reveal my underbelly? Absolutely. I don’t share my deepest parts, my strongest struggles easily.
Closer to home, a pastor found my blog and also contacted me privately, asking for advice about treatment of his severe depression. He spoke about his sense of isolation in the Christian community due to many not understanding clinical depression or knowing how to support Christians, especially pastors, who suffer from intense emotional pain. Thankfully, due to my training as a clinical psychologist, I was able to suggest he talk to his doctor about specific medication changes which his doctor agreed to try. Within two weeks he was feeling well again.
This is why I write. Two people who found relief from profound suffering and embraced renewed hope. My words, my style, my heart may not be everyone’s preference. That’s alright. I write to express. And I believe I’m not alone. Others experience and feel what I experience and feel. And we read in the Bible to encourage one another daily (Hebrews 3:13). I write to offer a sense of hope during dark times we all encounter when we all need a heart to hear, a hand to hold.
One of my favorite quotes is that of C.S. Lewis in his outstanding work The Problem with Pain where he writes, “when pain is to be borne, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all.”
I may be too much for some emotionally. I may not write as eloquently as the traditionally published. I may never be published. My voice may never reach the masses. No matter. I am at peace knowing that, already, God’s call to write has touched a few and helped just a few know how deeply they are loved, how much hope we have in God, and how none of our suffering is wasted. Ever. There is a purpose and plan in all for us and for others (Jeremiah 29:11).
Tomorrow, I will open again, become vulnerable again, and trust that God will use such opening for greater good which is my hope. Join me here in this small space of the world where hearts can be safe to open and reveal what we all feel at one time or another. We are not meant to walk through this life alone. We are meant for community. Come join me again tomorrow and join the community of humanity in all its splendor—its mountaintops and its valleys and all in between.
Thank you for being such a blessing!