Beginning again.

I once considered myself a writer. This was in part due to my calling to worship (the act, the words, the life), and in larger part, due to a former blog.

I wrote posts on topics ranging from bringing food to a laundromat, to crying my eyes out after dad left, to coping with invisible illness, to cross-trekking America. I had the time of my life with it.

Still, after several years of growing an audience through misadventures and terrible wordsmithing, I decided it was time to close that chapter. Why? Because I wasn’t the girl who began that blog any longer.

I was a new woman in a new spiritual place, and I was so very afraid to share the words that tumbled through my mind.

The transformation into this new woman came when God took me off the field and placed me securely on the bench.

I must confess: I knew that God wasn’t finished with my work, and that writing was not just a piece, but a critical part of my calling. I knew that He never told me to quit writing or to stop publicly musing. I knew I had something more to say…

But it’s hard to find the courage to write from the bench, a place the world views as disgrace.

In May of 2019, I wrote a final piece called “Goodbye, girl.” In that post, I shared with my readers a glimpse of the changes that had taken place in me.

I’m sure that to many, the post read like a ridiculous and dramatic cry for help. However, I felt nothing more than a sigh of relief when I hit publish for what I intended to be the last time.

I had confessed the change and I could cease feigning that I was invincible. Still, while the confession was brave, it was surrender to fear that had me refusing to share this new woman with the world.

There is something embarrassing about maturing.

The confrontation of my new knowledge with my old behaviors makes me shrivel.

Worse, understanding just how naive I was as that girl, and knowing that others were fully aware of that naivete, makes me want to pull the covers over my head and pretend the world outside my gray-painted walls does not exist.

But it does exist.

And I was created to exist in it.

And called to write about it, to challenge it, and maybe even change it.

So, nine months of fear and frustration and guilt and shame later, I choose to unveil the woman inside.

This is who she is:

This is who I am:

a woman

scarred by the assaults of life

trying desperately to remain soft

sitting on the world-shamed bench

waiting for the call to return to the battlefield

holding a quivering pen over public paper

putting the ending behind me

and beginning again.

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