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Sometimes I just need to write, to feel the ink flow across the paper or the keys hitting beneath my fingertips. It’s a strange thing really, taking my thoughts and placing them on a blank sheet, filling the paper/screen with my musings. I often become struck by inspiration, whether it is something that I have read and mulled over, an emotional response to that around me, or something I have learned and want to share my take on it.

I am often selfish with my writing. I write my story, write what is happening to me and around me. It’s what I can relate to best.

Often times other’s stories leave me wordless. I can’t describe what they have gone through, can’t imagine the heartbreak of loss or the joy of their revelation or success. These are such private moments. Moments that need room to breathe, to be felt and to allow to encompass the soul. I have had the unfortunate opportunity to witness individuals dealing with a great amount of loss lately. Where do I step into that? Who am I to dare to write that story, of the grief one encounters from friends and family close and far lost? Young and old and somewhere in between? How dare I even attempt to write it?

The people across the world that suffer at the hands of terror, hunger, sickness, -hopelessness- where do I begin to write for them? How will it make any difference, my detached but moving phrases I type safe and well-fed and full of hope of life before me?

This has been my dilemma recently, the reason my blog has remained blank.

Inadequate.

That is the word I keep coming back to when I attempt to write. Exasperated and despairingly I toss the paper to the side, delete the whole mess of a thing and say forget it.

Pretty audacious of me.

How can I assume that if I am not happy with it then it is not good enough? How can I just sit silently by and not speak up, not encourage with the hope of Christ to those half-way across the world and those half-way across the country, the street?

It’s an age-old fear, the fear of inadequacy. It has stayed with me all my life, reminding me of its presence, engulfing me when need be, and left me by the wayside to wallow in self-pity and selfishness as I attempt to lick my wounds of pride and refuse to allow it to happen again.

Wasting the gift. Wasting the opportunity.

And I have been working on a book for months now, over a year, one that I thought would be fun to write, safe to write.

And God flipped the script on me and one day I took out an old, empty composition notebook and began writing. I spilled my soul all over those pages, realized this was the beginning of something completely unsafe. I saw the direction it was going: I was to use my story to give hope to others, to offer them something more. More than myself, more than my words, more than just a “you can do it.”

Three weeks later and I have not picked up that composition notebook again. It’s too raw, it scares me.

Vulnerability is the core of authenticity and something I yearn for in my relationships.

So time off from school means an opportunity to finish that story, to finishing writing with my heart and purge my soul and stitch up old wounds and remember: this is okay. In fact, it’s more than ok, we are to share our stories and our pain and our joy because we are not alone and no one wants to feel that way.

Is my story earth-shattering? Probably not. But it is my story, it is my thoughts and emotions and experiences. My only hope is to be able to offer it up with open hands as a living sacrifice to the One Who has known me before it all started.

The biggest challenge will be to be honest with myself, to allow the words to ring true, even if I sound crazy or overdramatic or silly or -maybe even?- just like you.

It is so good not to be alone. It is so good to share stories of our lives. It is good. And beautiful.

It is time to be brave. My no fear mantra for this year, nine months into the year it is finally time to step into it.

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