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, www.LylaWillinghamLindquist.com. 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.)
Even if you’re cutting back on sweets, here’s a little midweek treat for you. (Or any other day of the week.)
Delicious images, exquisite quotes.
Too good not to share on Facebook, Twitter, your blog or via email.
(You can even link up at Seedlings in Stone and pop this sweet button on your post.)
Day 4 – 12 Days of Community
My dad does not officially blog. Every now and again we like to cut him loose from the comment box and give him a guest spot. Though he has no blog of his own (I like to think of him as sort of a Blogger Emeritus), I’m featuring him for Day 4 of the 12 Days of Community we’re celebrating at High Calling Blogs. Dad previously posted for us on keeping performance in perspective and stepping out from behind the mask. He writes for us again today.
:: :: :: :: ::
by Paul Willingham
As I drove home from church on a recent Sunday, I noted that one of the billboards along Highway 7 had been updated with a new message. In true billboard fashion it only contained eight words so that we could read, process and absorb the message before we blew past it at highway speed. The sponsor is a huge nationally known shopping center here in the Twin Cities. The eight words “FALL IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF ALL OVER AGAIN”.
Not on parchment, anyway.
In fact, as a girl in her middle teens living in Nazareth in days before we began to mark time in increments of “the year of our Lord,” it’s likely she didn’t even read or write.
But she did soak herself in some of those same practices that many of us who journal do: She pondered. She treasured. She observed and absorbed and processed.
Mary’d traveled quite the winding road since her engagement to Joseph.
As though angel-meetings and world-flippings were commonplace, these words slipped from Mary’s mouth after Gabriel revealed God’s plan to pass Immanuel through her womb on His way to walk among us.
May it be to me as you have said.
Seems she could as easily have said May my reputation be destroyed as you have said.
May my fiancé abandon me and my family reject me as you have said.
May I be a single mother in a male-only world as you have said.
May I be responsible to safeguard the Savior of the world until He’s old enough to take care of Himself as you have said.
May I be ruined as you have said.
But she didn’t say all that. What she really said was this: While whispers behind me rustle through my shame, I’ll hear the shouts of joy in the streets. All generations will call me blessed. Blessed!
She looked through swirling dust down the bumpy road of her future, imagined likely outcomes and still replied, May it be to me as you have said.
I have no other explanation. I conclude that it had to be the hunger.