I have been blogging for over a year now. It has been scary and challenging and a lot of fun. And after sixty entries, I have learned a thing or two.
First of all, I have learned that is good to try something new. Stepping out of my comfort zone has stretched me and caused me to rely on Jesus in new ways. Because I can’t really live out my God-given destiny and not take risks, however unnatural that is for my personality. The parable of the talents (Matthew chapter 25) teaches me that the treasure I am given is not supposed to be buried for safekeeping. Only investments, even risky ones, yield the returns that will please my Creator. It just isn’t possible to be full of faith and overly cautious as well.
When I was a little girl, I tried a lot of after-school activities. My poor mom would buy me all the required gear – ice skates and cute skating dresses, colourful gymnastic leotards, horse riding boots, etc. And every time, after a few weeks, I would quit. And it was always for the same reason. I quit because there were girls much better than I was and so I lost interest in trying. If I couldn’t be the best, really quickly, I didn’t want to bother at all.
But the problem is, there is always someone better. There are writers I love whose command of the English language makes me want to cry. There are books I have read that are written so beautifully they are like works of art. It would be easy to compare myself and give up. But what I have realized over the last year is that there is great satisfaction in trying, learning and growing. It is okay, even enjoyable, to be a beginner at something that you love. And, it is a whole lot better than not trying at all.
And I have also discovered that the aspects of God’s character that I can learn about, think about and write about are endless. When I first started this project I had a backlog of writing that had filled journal pages for years. I was worried that once I had used those ideas I might run out of things to write about. How silly! Every time I open the Bible there is something new to see. Every time I take the time to really think about a passage of scripture I am rewarded with a fresh revelation of God’s beauty.
I have been a Christian for a long time. As a Sunday school teacher, I have taught most Bible stories several times. I have a pretty good grasp on basic Christian doctrine and theology. And yet I am only just scratching the surface of who God is. He is so above-all, so multi-faceted that I could study His character for my whole life and there still be more to know and experience and love.
Any time we are tempted to think we have heard it all, we are in danger of missing out. Being a careful follower of Jesus means being a life-long learner. It means having the humility to know that I don’t know it all and the spiritual hunger to keep digging.
Finally, I have learned that I have something to say. And so do you. The Bible calls it the word of our testimony. It is the things that we know are true because we have experienced them. It is the lessons learned in dark places and the character formed in adversity. And our testimony is valuable. It is our personal, ever-evolving story of His goodness to us.
And, someone needs to hear it.
Our story can be shared with a hurting friend over coffee. It can be sung or painted or blogged. It can fill a book or a sermon or a conversation over the fence. But know this, it will be good news to someone who really needs good news.
Don’t be afraid.
It doesn’t need to be perfectly articulated, just sincere and true. Nobody else can tell your story, only you.
So, take a risk. Step out in what you know God is calling you to do. Don’t be afraid to be a beginner. Start. Learn. Develop. Grow.
Keep learning about who God is. Keep digging and seeking and getting to know Him. Read and listen. Pray and wait. Open your heart to His Spirit and open your life to His voice.
And don’t be afraid to tell your imperfect, unfinished story. Someone is waiting to hear it. It is beautiful and it is yours and it can change the world.