My heart was heavy yesterday, hurting for three beautiful women I "know" only through blogging. Each of these women are dealing with difficult--albeit different--circumstances, but grief and heartbreak feel the same no matter who you are. I've been thinking of each of these women throughout the day, praying for peace and healing and hoping they know of the incredible support system they have in so many of us---many whom they've never met in real life---simply because we have each chosen to share bits and pieces of our lives with one another through our blogs.
Moments like these are where I find blogging to be such a blessing. For me, personally, blogging has been a vessel where friendships are born, built and nurtured. I have observed, experienced, given and received an outpouring of love and a deep sense of sisterhood in my short tenure as a blogger and it is a gift and a privilege I hope every blogger comes to know.
There are some days where I question the purpose and motivation of my blog, wondering if my intentions are pure and if I am really using it for good. Am I encouraging to others? Am I using this space for His glory? It is a hard question to ask---even harder to answer---and I know I make mistakes, but I believe my heart is in the right place. And I know that He knows this.
Regardless of what we choose to write about, whether it be food, fashion, faith or even politics, I really believe that each and every one of our blogs are platforms that can be used for good; our blogs give us a voice of influence that extends far beyond our everyday, physical existence. They are precious vehicles that provide opportunities for us to reach out and connect with one another on a deep and meaningful level.
I recently learned of a website where the members' sole purpose is to read, judge, dissect and discuss various blogs and their authors. I made the mistake of exploring the site and spending far too much time reading posts once I recognized the names of some of my favorite bloggers; the whole thing just left me feeling gross and so sad. I don't understand how a seemingly innocent blog can spark so much animosity and hate, to the extent where hundreds of pages of rude and unfair speculation and commentary are exchanged (sidebar: I am overly sensitive, so I have the tendency to let things affect me more than they should. I own that.). It just seems so pointless and cruel, so much that it made me paranoid enough to question whether or not I wanted to continue blogging or risk the wrath of making myself available to this level of judgement and scrutiny.
But here's the thing: I know that having a public blog means that I'm setting myself up to be judged. I can be judged with every entry I choose to publish and every comment I choose to post; I can blog with the best and purest of intentions, but I'm realistic enough to know that I can't please everyone, all of the time. There will always be someone out there who doesn't like what I have to say. However, I can also choose to get past that; I can choose to focus on the positive experience of putting myself "out there" for all the world to see. I can choose to continue writing in the hopes that my words can and will encourage, inspire and uplift someone else. I can only be responsible for my own actions and behavior, so it seems counterproductive to try and address that in someone else.
All that to say...if you are reading this post, chances are, you are a blogger, too. Maybe, like me, you share similar thoughts and feelings of vulnerability when it comes to writing to an audience you may know nothing about. Either way, WRITE ON.
The good always outweighs the bad. We can't write with the intention of pleasing everyone, so don't. Write what you are passionate about. Write what you believe in. Write what is in your heart.
In my heart of hearts, I believe that we blog not just because we want to share, but because we have an inherent need to be accepted. If we are all coming from the same place, what purpose does it serve to tear one another down with hurtful judgement? We are imperfect beings, all striving to be heard and understood. We all have stories to tell---stories that can encourage, inspire and uplift one another; why not grant one another the same freedom and acceptance we wish from others?
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To the three women whose trials inspired this post, I pray for their strength to ignore unsolicited opinions and advice and that they might find peace and healing in the darkness; there may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning.
God is good. All the time.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
- Isaiah 41:10