Alright, folks—can we be real, here?
Somewhere, along the line, things have gotten off track. I’ve been feeling it for a few months now, but haven’t been able to put my finger on it. At least not until I attended the Killer Tribes inaugural conference in Nashville a few weekends ago. And that was when I realized why this blog had started to feel like work, and why readership was becoming a bit flat.
I had lost my voice.
You would think, for someone who has built her whole writing career up until this point on finding my voice, I would have known better.
And, to my credit, I was simply trying to put into practice what I thought I had been taught to do.
But it wasn’t in the right key for me.
I began the Becoming a (Biblically) Better Me series because it was good content. I had gotten good response to it in the past. It fit well with the whole New Year’s Resolution theme, and it was content I have taught on before, so half of the work was already completed. It was a nice, complete package, and would have filled about seven to eight weeks worth of content had life not interrupted (as life is want to do.) It made sense. And it accomplished what they taught me at the platform-building workshops I’ve attended: set myself up as an expert.
And that is exactly where I went wrong.
Because the reality is I am NOT an expert. And that is what many people tend to like most about me.
My true voice—the one with which most people connect—is not the voice of an expert. It is the “I am just as messed up as you are—I just have the benefit a couple more degrees and a lot of life experience and a willingness to be real ” voice that resonates most with friends and clients and readers alike.
And that is the voice to which I need to return.
I will say it again: I. Am. Not. An. Expert. And truthfully, I am suspicious of those who claim to be. Because I know what goes on beneath the surface in my own heart, and in the hearts of those I counsel. And I know that it often is not pretty.
But I’m supposed to be the expert—and that is what makes this whole writing and counseling thing HARD.
Because the life thing is HARD. And the God thing can be hard. And the wife thing. And the parenting thing. And the working mother thing. And the raising a teenager thing. And the being like Jesus thing.
And truthfully, I struggle. Despite my knowledge, despite my experience, despite my position and upbringing—I struggle. Depression and anxiety are always somewhere in the room at any given point in time. Fear and pride and self-pity and resentment and even despair weave tangled webs within my thought life, fogging up my brain with their sticky, clinging strands. Chronic pain and fatigue strike frequently and inconveniently and are obnoxiously resistant to treatment, be it medical or spiritual. And don’t even get me started on my tendency to self-medicate with fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies…
How can one be an expert, when one struggles with so many of the same issues?
Nor does one wish to.
So, friends, this is what it boils down to:
When I revamped this blog, I chose this title as my tag line not because I am already an expert at experiencing the love of God, but because I want to be.
And this is the place from which I will continue to write—not from the voice of an expert, but with the voice of a fellow traveler.
I will go back and fill in the remaining two weeks worth of content for Better Me, because I still believe it’s good content. And, truthfully, the content may not have even been the problem—it was probably the voice with which much of it was written. But from here on out, I will remain true to my voice—and we will resume an honest and open dialogue about what it’s like to walk out this whole messy, mysterious Christian life thing… the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all.
And hopefully, we will all learn more of what it’s like to Live Like We’re Loved in the process.