Linear Lives6:01 AM
I cringe when I look back at photos of my younger self. Was it only a couple years ago where the only thing I did with my hair was long, stick-straight and parted awkwardly down the middle? Did I honestly run around the backyard in a blue t-shirt and purple shorts? Why on earth did my mother let me keep those hideous flowered hippy pants?
To friends it may be remotely interesting to see the now well-put-together (ahem) Bailey in her wild years of shapeless dresses, loose headbands and white Keds. To me, it's borderline torture.
I feel the same way going through blog archives, old notebooks and diaries or my school writing portfolio. The conclusions I came to, the typos, the fusty adjectives and inane "jokes" -- ! Even the ones a few weeks back (or maybe the day before) I sometimes tend to shudder at. Pass the scissors and black, black pen, please.
It's depressing to think about. If yesterday's words, which seemed so full of power and insight and wit, are now flatter than squished pancakes (ignore my momentary corniness), what good will today's words be? Will they matter? Will they even last long enough to make it to the Semifinals of Importance?
I want them to matter. I want to write something true, something lasting, something beautiful. Apparently, I keep missing the memo: re-reading my blog archives, I realize how much I've changed. I had to eat my words when I said I'd never go to college. I hang my head at my former boasting of how great a sister and daughter and Christian I was. I've contradicted my younger wisdom; I've flat out betrayed yesterday's thoughts; I've struck out on an entirely different spiritual path than the one I tried to lay for others.
I thought about deleting the posts, the former life of mine, that I now vehemently disagree with or would word differently. I thought about the futility of blogging altogether -- if I keep changing and falling short, what's the point of pretending I know anything, let alone possess the audacity to spread that ignorance?
There are some really, really ugly episodes in my life that I wish never would have happened. I've read words and felt feelings that I want to stuff into permanent forgetfulness. I've written things on this blog that aren't true in the least bit. But through it all -- the blunders and sins and stupidity -- I see God.
I read an old essay of mine, and if I have enough guts to get through how snotty I came across and how wrong I was, I can smile at how God was working all along to bring me out of darkness into light. I remember the struggle of study and surrender -- the long heart-to-heart talks -- the pain spilling out in hesitant prayer. I wasn't perfect, but I was growing.
It embarrasses me that I say and believe stupid things at certain times. I love this blog community, and I feel responsible for what I write and how I live. But God's been showing me how this blog is not a place to display the Christian life all-figured-out. It's not a spot for me to parade my knowledge and experience. It's not a corner of the cyber world to direct others and solve their problems -- or even my problems.
It's a place where I can be real, where I can preach only to myself, where I can be transparent to others and open to God's leading. It's a place where we girls can swoon over Flynn Rider and squeal over college acceptance letters as well as argue about the Trinity and patriarchy. I just want to be me on my blog -- not the pretentious me, but the just me, holes, scrapes and everything. My whole blog -- starting from the first post to whenever I stop -- is an open book of God's grace in one girl's life. It's like a novel, with a flawed main character seeking redemption.
Even if there isn't much value in what I say in an individual post, I beg God there is value in the larger story He reveals. I don't want to sit behind my computer and tell others what to do. I love smart people who can lay out theology -- but I want this blog to be a place of heart theology, not lists of rules, not a second catechism, not a place where only people who are on the exact same word in the exact same sentence on the exact same page congregate.
Some people have expressed to me how they love a certain article or how they like it when I tackle concrete "real things" like guys and modesty. I know for myself sometimes I just want to gather head knowledge on what to believe and how to live. I enjoy the lively discussions on whether rock music is okay or the Calvinism vs. Arminianism debate. But Christianity is so much bigger. I want to reflect that -- the bigness of God, the imperative of knowing Him for ourselves. I want to reflect it not in a handful of blog posts but in a continuous life that can't help oozing into cyberspace.
Come along with me.