There are some scary things out there, and it’s not just for the conspiracy theorists. For adults out there, we’re in uncharted territory electronically. As I graphic designer, I understand how to use most devices and learn new software fast. You must to keep up, but we did not grow up with Facebook, Twitter, blogs and Pinterest. We were not begging our parents for a smart phone before we could even drive. There is a reason we should be cautious of what we do online. It is loose as soon as we put it out there. We cannot control it. We cannot control what people do with it, whether government, employer, friend, family or stranger! If you post a picture of yourself on Facebook in college, an employer can potentially find that years later when you are a professional. Was it appropriate for them to find? If you post a picture of your baby or toddler, how is it going to affect them as teens and adults? Is it something that a predator might take advantage of? Do we let our teens surf these new electronic media outlets, of which we are still fully learning the personal impacts it has on ourselves, much less our children? How will it affect them now in school, as well as when applying for scholarships, internships, and scoring job interviews? Many celebrities have shown us the power of words thrown out on Twitter. It follows them until they, or someone else, does something to land the spot light. For us it might have a larger impact on our small lives… or may have little impact as, if like me, most in my circles don’t use Twitter (I only set up my account recently, so I’d have it to connect to my blog, follow my senior pastor, and follow other Christian leaders such as John Piper and John MacArthur – I like the name John). It’s unknown, and that’s just one unknown. Unknowns can keep us from moving forward if we let them.
Starting this blog was challenging. No, not for material or words (I speak too often, and with a toddler I’m never at a loss for topics or lessons I’m learning), but for the challenges that come with putting myself out there. I am either over filtered or an open book sharing just about everything (usually the latter). There’s not much in between for me (and when I am filtered is when I go home and remember moments that make me feel like an ‘idiot’ – sorry Mom, I know that’s not a nice word). While feeling directed to start a blog, I imagined my mom, my husband, and maybe some friends and family reading this blog, not strangers. Of course, intellectually I knew that was a possibility (I’m not completely unintelligent usually), but of all the blogs out there, why would someone stumble across mine… AND STAY?! But I had, and continue to have, things laid on my heart that I want to share, and Facebook isn’t the outlet for this. I have to be careful not to over share, especially given that my followers are all unknowns to me right now (Aside from my mom, Hey Mommy!). Once I put this out there, it becomes its own animal. I do have a little bit of control over comments, but it’s out there forever for people to find, and even quote and copy. So, we should be mindful not to over share on the internet – even on a blog that seems like our own little space. I’ll commit to considering the lives of those of whom I speak, whether a daughter, a parent, a friend, or a stranger.
In fifteen years, I may cringe at the lack of spiritual maturity shown on these posts. I am sharing my heart and the scripture that has led it there. I don’t want to misrepresent the God I love, nor His Holy Word. I am not really a teacher, but I’m carefully reminded of James 3, nonetheless. On the other hand, with a blog I can carefully mull over my words before they are published (and humbly correct blunders). If I thought an unnamed seminary graduate family member had the time, I’d get him to read each post before publishing to make sure I haven’t made some terrible error – but who has that time. I want to be cautious and prayerful where God’s word is concerned, and as His ambassador, I represent more than just my silly self. I hope He shines through this mess that is me and my words. Some may say I am taking my self too serious. Others may say I’m not taking my self seriously enough. Who knows… maybe it is a bit of both, if that is possible.
I have been toying around with starting a blog for some time now and whether it would be personal or professional, or both. I even started writing posts that sat unpublished (some are still sitting there). And then several friends started actively posting on their blogs and I felt less ready to post. Then I thought about how it might make them feel like I was trying to copy them (I’m not, of course), but I thought about it regardless.
All my insecurities were holding me back.
As I, not as frantically as I should, try to settle on the Bible study to study through and facilitate this winter/spring, I’m reminded of one on my list towards the beginning of the consideration, Beth Moore’s “So Long, Insecurity”. Whether I read this book, choose this study in the spring, or do neither, I plan to not let my insecurities hold me back, or let Satan use them against me. I will lean on God’s Holy Word and take a stand in Him!
What challenges, insecurities and struggles have been holding you back? Maybe it is giving up something that will be difficult to do so. Perhaps it is starting a Bible study in your home or at your church regardless of the insecurities telling you there’s not a place for it, or that there are little to no people who would study if you’re the one leading. Possibly it’s heading back to church, kid(s) in tow, despite the spouse beside you (or at home instead of with you), or how you’ve been hurt in the past, or despite the cynical way you see others after the insincerity you’ve seen in so many along your path.
Trusting God to fill you with His Holy Spirit, leaning on prayer and His Word for guidance and strength, how are you going to stand, instead of letting those challenges, insecurities, struggles, and/or circumstances rule?
It may sound silly, but today I’m going to share my blog on Facebook.