Welcome to a new blog.
I started journaling before there were blogs – in 1989, scribbling thoughts in a red leather notebook my Aunt bought me with one of those pens that would change colors if you just clicked down on the top. When the internet arrived I became aware that there was a name for a writer like me: a blogger. That was back in the live-journal days – pre-Jesus – dark pages covered with typed angst, encrypted posts to pseudo boyfriends who didn’t care to do the decoding.
I didn’t set out to have a blog as a teaching platform. I didn’t start writing to offer theological insight or answers at all. Writing is and always has been for me a way to process, a way to wrestle.
I write now for the same reason I’ve always written. Because I’m a writer. I’m an image bearer and just like the One whose image I bear, I’m obsessed with words and stories. I’ll write what is true, as I have always tried to do – whether in that red leather notebook or in that cryptic live journal – telling what is true. Lowercase t; not ancient truths: just the truth of the story that is me.
There are two ways God shares Himself with us in the Word – one is through sermons and prescriptive texts. The other is through stories. They’re not always pretty and they’re not always polished. And sometimes (actually, mostly) – in God’s stories – you can’t tell if someone is a hero or a villain, and none of the characters you love are safe from doing something utterly outside of who you want them to be.
But there is such beauty in them – all of our stories – if they’ll be told without fuzzy rose-colored glasses; if they’ll be told in all their rotten glory. That guy who got sober to the glory of God sometimes relapses and trades his ten year chip for a ten minute chip – and nothing about him changed. The story didn’t change. It’s not less glorious. And we don’t have to wait another ten years before we can raise him up as the example of redemption. Sometimes redemption is delivery from and some times redemption is delivery through. And sometimes I think He might – just might – be as tired as me of people only wanting to tell the stories that end with ribbons and bows. Because He sure as Hell didn’t write many of those when He wrote our lives.
So that’s what this blog will be for awhile: just me where I am today. Some days will end in faith and some won’t, but don’t panic: all will end in glory. All will end with the same God on His throne. Cause my faith filled writings don’t make Him any more faithful. And my doubts and fears don’t make Him any less trustworthy. I don’t get to create your God with my words. And if you give me that power – you are a fool.
And I won’t panic either: because my worth and value and standing – my ability to display the glorious of Gospel of grace – those things don’t change either. No matter how many days sober I have. No matter how many blog posts I write or don’t write. No matter what you think of me.
I changed the way this blog looks because it felt too weird to just come back and just pick up where I left off. And because I wanted a visible reminder that this blog isn’t about numbers or stats or followers or weird christian sub-culture.
I changed the way this blog looks because I want you to see it differently: I can’t be a picture of who you need me to be or a picture of who I want me to be. I can only be who I am and trust that who I am today is the story God is writing and that He will make sense of it in the madness.
But I’ll warn you: I won’t hold the Word of God up through an Instagram filter or embroider it on a pillow and I won’t lift the Gospel up like it’s a candle to warm yourself at. It is not that. It can’t be contained that easily. It won’t fit in sweetness and light. The Way is hard. It is bloody and brutal. And that is not news to me.
If you are willing to surrender your need to need from me. If you are wiling to read without expectation, without the kind of admiration that can only exist because we don’t really know each other – then come on.
Come if you want. Read if you want. You will have what I have of Him.