I remember it with astounding clarity. The confusion swirling as I tried to find my place among all the cliques, clubs and activities that fill a high school campus to bursting was sending me into my own personal tailspin. I didn’t know if I wanted to be defined by choir or swim team, my role at the student newspaper or my meager attempts to be coordinated and hit my mark on the dance floor. I just wanted to try them all on, like new clothes or a big crinoline gown. I wanted to twirl and spin for a while to see how they each one felt when I walked and sashayed. I wanted to know if they felt true not only in front of my bedroom mirror, but when I had to show my face to the world.
Some days I thought the kids in flannel shirts and mellow expressions had it figured out best: they didn’t choose, they just quit the game and stood in the corner smirking as the rest of us scrambled. I wanted to quit too. I even spent a year or two in mostly flannel trying to act like a didn’t care. But deep down I really did. I really cared about finding a place. Not the fitting in really, not the acceptance, but just the knowing that there was a spot where I fit, a place where my personality and gifts would collide with like minded hearts and we’d all be a part of something.
I think many of us approach blogging like that too. We start out with jitters, excitement, a longing to connect or a calling to share, and we want to be a part of something that extends far beyond ourselves. We want to dive deep and live wild, but then we start to look around and wonder if our small offerings fit the landscape of the web….we start to wonder if we fit, and where. And so we try on a few flannel shirts and a few sets of choral robes and some cletes, wondering if they are going to fit just right and feel like us. We camp out on Facebook, then switch to Instagram, then hop on to twitter, wondering which place to connect fits best. We hang with the justice bloggers and chat design with the home decor crowd and we might even (for the love!) give cross fit a little whirl with our fitness blogger peeps. We take classes and head to conferences and try to learn how to grow and figure this whole thing out. All the while, we long to find our people and our place.
But at the end of the day, we feel the push to find the perfect niche. We fear the freedom that coincides with choosing and wonder if we might choose wrong and be stuck in a groove that isn’t a fit at all. We cling to rules and social media schedules and our desire to get it all “right.” I think at some point we all wonder why we ever had to be just one thing and how its even possible to fit our whole selves into a perfectly square blog sized box.
When we begin to find our blogging groove, we learn that our longing for place and people and a sure fit is never going to come through activities or association.The only thing that is ever going to fill up your soul isn’t actually a place at all, but a person.
He is home and he is in you and he is waiting to let his light shine forth in your online space with all the glory and creativity that he has poured into you, uniquely and beautifully, for such a time as this. You can’t really know where you fit and who you are until he’s the one filling up every inch of your heart space and your computer screen.
You can’t really realize the wonder of your call and of this blogging life until he shows you all the lovely things he poured into your personality. All your gifts, all your affections, all the things that make your heart beat fast and make your mind buzz when you think of sharing them? He put those there! And they are vast and varied and as full of possibility and multiple angles as the breadth of creation.
And if you still aren’t sure about all the grace and loveliness he’s poured into you? Well, the very heart of beauty at the center of being God’s child is that he loves it when you ask questions. He loves to pour out the answers, and loves to equip you for every good work he has prepared in advance for you to do.
So sit with him awhile?
Pour out your ideas, your dreams, your passions and wild hopes. Share with him your fears, your insecurities, your blind spots. And then…listen. Don’t be afraid to spend time in stillness, in rest. Create white space that begs for his voice alone to fill it. Then run into what he reveals. Lean in to the gifts as well as limitations of how he has knit you together and enjoy the journey of finding your voice and your place where he leads you.
I’m so thankful we are waiting on him together,