I stood in church, up the front holding our three year old. Little arms wrapped around me, holding my attention with her words. We were standing before an artwork at the altar.
A garden full of rocks and weeds and in the middle, two poppies in good soil. Seed scattered by their stems. Waiting for growth.
I looked at the garden, clutching my girl in arms. And in less than a moment, I was broken open.
I have been writing words on my screen for over a year. From the beginning with my old blog THE YEAR OF THE DAFFODIL to the new – LIFE HONEY, a more focused beginning I thought. A new start. A clear purpose. I would be more professional. I would practise and become.
Really though, I have just become lost.
Nothing has gone the way that I thought it would. It hasn’t felt as I thought it would. Doors have closed before I could move my foot to hold them open. At every step something has distracted, and deterred me. Made me doubtful.
I have tried to be authentic, and while reading blogging books, listening to podcasts and taking in wisdom from others online in their success, wrestled with what sharing words and being authentic truly means.
I have wrestled with success itself.
I’ve read about the importance of page stats, likes and follows. And I’ve let myself believe it. It is easier to believe in the world of likes than in the truth – that to become more real, you need to become less.
A world that is measurable gives you something to hide behind.
I truly thought that I could be both.
I figured I could still be me, behind the titles and page stats, hashtags, clickable links and tweetable quotes. I could still be me with a Pinterest page, Instagram and Stumble upon.
But then I began to lose something.
And what I lost is the very reason I began.
I lost words on the page that healed me. Words that came from what I have known of God in my life and his words from my heart to fingertips. Placing fingers on keys and praying as I let them go.
I was worried about coming across too strong, too RELIGIOUS – which is a word I struggle with greatly. So I tried to speak carefully, write cautiously and that cautiousness forced me to hide. It became my boundary. It locked me in.
I wasn’t meaning to break open today.
I wasn’t meaning to let tears fall as I reflected on seeds being scattered on soil.
As I thought about the parts of ourselves we share in the hope that someone else would feel less alone. That they would feel a little relief, encouraged by words that heal like HONEY. Not my words but the words of the one who creates and breathes life into everything.
Our little one spoke to me today as she looked at the poppies growing in dirt.‘Mum, Mum, the bees go to the flower to get the honey, don’t they Mummy? Blue eyes shining, curls circling down her back.
And I understood.
God uses little ones and little things. The unexpected. He uses things that make no sense in the world of success and followers. Flowers and bees, seeds and stories. He uses us in our weakness.
I have broken open. I have been crying at the mention of his words, any words, and I can’t stop.
And I hope that my heart never heals from this.
I tried for so long to work out my niche. What it is I would write about? What kind of blogger would I be? Is there anything I could really share that was of value? I have no expertise in anything other than life. The only thing I know is how God has used things in my life to shape me. He has held me together, when all was crumbling. And still does.
He holds me altogether and that is what I know.
I struggle daily, I have doubts and failings. I have real days. Days full of moments that switch from beautiful to painful and back again.
Moments that scratch scars and moments that grow gardens.
I am ready now to share, the gritty, the realness of life and the beauty he brings to it daily. The LIFE HONEY we notice as we journey along this road.
I know now that there is no risk it playing it safe. No deep JOY in walking an easy road.
Ernest Hemmingway said ‘There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed’.
So this is me, saying that I will listen, pray and write from my heart. I will learn to stay broken open and write what I know.
And if there is no one reading, then that is okay. I will be here, sharing with words, moments and things that I am still learning. And if there is just one of you reading through your screen. Please know that you are not alone. I am here. Always.
Loving the journey,
*Beautiful photo by Danielle Macinnes