Breaking Up is Hard to Do

It’s not you, it’s me.

That’s what I keep telling my blog. I don’t want it to feel bad.

But the truth is, we need to break up. It’s time for me to move out.

Writing here has felt complicated to me the last couple of years. I don’t have good words to explain that, and maybe you don’t need me to.

I started blogging here in 2008 after 20 years of not writing. I had walked away from pen and paper in order to pursue a big ministry thing I thought was my destiny, and I wanted to be my destiny, which turned out not to be my destiny at all. It’s taken me a good while to sort it, but it seems that when I started again, I put this spiritual cape over my writing shoulders, believing the only way I could be allowed to do so was under the auspices of a “call” of sorts. That the only way to legitimize a writing habit was to dress it in obedient clothes.

The truth is that writing my spiritual process has been good for me, has pushed me to areas I’d not otherwise explored, brought me to new depths in my faith that I’d been unable yet to fathom. It gave me a place to have conversations I wasn’t finding elsewhere, and I needed that. I’m exceedingly grateful for the way many of you have walked that way with me.

But it has also been bad for me, and some of you will understand that without me explaining it. It has kept me in a shallow place, has fooled me into believing something existed within me that may not have, simply because I could write about a difficult biblical text with depth and intensity or see something powerful in a passage others may have missed. It is too easy to measure a writer by the depth of a blog post, thrive on the most raw, trade in the currency of vulnerability without the protections of intimacy.

I set up an internal conflict every time I wrote in any way off the path of explicit spiritual edification. Sometimes, particular external feedback reinforced that. And I’ve found myself in the midst of a dynamic in which the end of spiritual practice was not greater joy in the presence of God, but what might make a compelling piece of writing.

And so it is my writing here has waned. I’ve taken it off-site, which has revitalized me in many, many ways, but has made it difficult to come home at night to A Different Story and its expectations, real or imagined.

I’d love it if you crossed the street with me to my new place, I can’t tell you what my writing is going to look like there, or even if I’ll write any more often. I only know that I need a new space to try. One where I can write about God if I feel like it, or about anything else if I feel like it, and in any way that seems to work at the time. Maybe I’ll even use a bad word if it’s called for.

If you’re wondering, I still love Jesus. But in my non-writing life, I talk about other things. I’d like to write about them, too.

Some of you will prefer me the way I am right here. I’m good with that. I have some work in the archives that I’m pretty proud of (and some that, honestly, really sucks). Maybe one day I’ll delete it altogether, but for now I’ll leave it sit and we can grow old here together like Miss Havisham and her wedding cake.

Thanks for your love and encouragement while, like a petulant teenager, I’ve tried to find myself. Join me?

(Note: I am not moving my RSS and email subscriptions, so you will need to resubscribe at the new place if you wish to receive updates. While that might sound like an inconvenience, it’s really for your own good.)

16 responses

  1. TUC

    OMG, it’s an epidemic… My toad and I are going to forget this ever happened.

    No seriously, I understand. Good wishes to you. Write yourself a new future.

    2012/11/10 at 9:55 PM

    • You make me laugh, TUC.

      Hold onto your toad. I’m just moving. Moving.

      And leaving a lot of baggage in the closets back here.


      2012/11/10 at 9:58 PM

  2. pastordt

    Well, you have to know that I’m following you – anywhere you go. And I think I get this. Actually, I am delighted that you will feel ‘freer’ to write about anything and everything (and even use an occasional bad word). I’m getting there… Good that you can do your own website design. Me? not so much.

    2012/11/10 at 10:21 PM

  3. I’m excited about this new thing, Lyla. Of course, I’ll be following. (The “bad word” part makes me smile.)

    2012/11/11 at 1:41 AM

  4. Follow? Are you kidding? I’m already across the street holding the door open for you 😉

    Your writing grows every single day. It’s the rare writer I’ve worked with who has covered so much ground in so little time. You teach me.

    2012/11/11 at 9:28 AM

  5. I am really sad. You know how i feel about your writing. I dont react the same way to poetry as i do narrative and nobody told it like you.

    With your coming work and i will watch, wait and pray you on.
    Jilted, but understanding

    2012/11/11 at 12:59 PM

  6. Paul Willingham


    Wasn’t sure how you were going to do it but I’ve been anticipating some sort of change these last few months. This makes it official and as usual, you have done it with your signature style. Your mom and I will keep the internet soap ready in the event a bad word makes into one of your posts.


    2012/11/11 at 1:30 PM

  7. Sharon O

    I will follow, and love to read, but it seems odd I have been reading alot of bloggers out there doing the same, slowing down and changing. A sign?

    2012/11/11 at 2:43 PM

  8. I’ve also seen a change coming, and I welcome it. God is much bigger than we lke to make Him. Blessings.

    2012/11/11 at 6:28 PM

  9. Thanks all, for your kind wishes. And really, I’m not moving that far away. Just across the street where the light is a little better.


    2012/11/11 at 7:07 PM

  10. Oh cool, getting some new digs! I hope you’re gonna get some funky furniture too….and one of those round paper hanging lamps and maybe a blue or purple lava lamp with sparkles.

    2012/11/11 at 10:01 PM

  11. Monica K

    Of course I’ll come across the street with you. Your explanation about the change makes a lot of sense.

    I find it interesting that you’re announcing this at the same time as I’ve been thinking about returning to some religiously oriented blogging that I did for a few years a few years ago. I want to become more articulate on some religious and spiritual topics and suspect practice may be the way to get there.

    2012/11/11 at 11:33 PM

  12. Oh shit.

    (priming the proverbial pump… so to speak = )

    But I get this, probably more than you know.
    It isn’t quitting, it’s growing.
    And last time I checked, growing is a God thing. You’re not pulling up your roots in Christ… you’ve been pruned and now you’re reseeding, branching.

    You grow girl.

    p.s. remember that guy at Laity who said something to the effect of “it’s all spiritual?”
    He’s right… all of it.

    2012/11/12 at 10:24 AM

  13. I’m so there. But you knew that. You’ve been a good steward of God’s gifts within you, Lyla.

    2012/11/12 at 12:19 PM

  14. To everything there is a season, dear friend. We go where we are led, write the words in us to write. See you across the street.

    2012/11/12 at 1:58 PM

  15. The comments above say it all so well. Life changes and grows. God teaches to embrace change. Headed across the street.

    2012/11/16 at 11:07 AM

But that's just me. What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s