One year ago, July 1, 2016, I made a commitment to “Blog 365” – write a blog post every day for a year.
Did that happen? Not exactly. Things such as life and teaching and directing stole time away from daily blogging. But I did write 118 blog posts last year – more than I ever have in a year before – and I think I accomplished my original goal more than anything.
From my original “Blog 365” post:
“And on those 365 days I hope to discover my voice even more as a writer. I hope to define it even more, define what I’m passionate about writing about, and define my future goals as a writer. I want to be able to share pieces of my story – past and present – and what God is teaching me through my story to inspire, encourage, and challenge those around me.”
I feel like in the past year I have been challenged as a writer more than I ever have before. I’ve challenged myself to be more honest, more vulnerable, and bolder than before. I challenged myself to stay committed to writing, even when I felt like no one was reading, no one cared, and my writing was lackluster.
Because sometimes it was. But sometimes God opened the door to new realizations for myself and for others that came about in astounding ways. And in those moments, I felt affirmed time and again that I was doing what I was created to do – write.
On September 19th, I posted the most vulnerable blog post I’ve ever written, Not Being Chosen. Five days later, I was blown away when it got shared on the Boundless web magazine’s Facebook page, and the post views rose astronomically. Even today, my eyes sting with tears at the humbling thought that that little post of mine – filled with all the hurt and longing of singleness – has 10,600 views.
It was eye-opening to me that all the things I’ve felt and experienced over the years are not unique to just me. There were so many others who reached out to me and expressed that they also felt like I did, and they thanked me for articulating it. It was not an easy choice. It was about to stay in my journal forever. But through the promptings of the Holy Spirit, I let my words go – and realized that they could be a gift to someone else.
The other top posts from last year – Learning to Rest, Not Quit; The Way He Pursued Her; Chosen for a Beautiful Task; How to Win the Heart of a Man; and The Messiah Who Calms All Our Fears – also helped me to find what topics I’m passionate about and what readers want to read about. I experimented with different formats and writing techniques and wrote on every topic from the deepest to the most mundane.
Not a post was wasted. Some only got a few views, while others were viewed again and again. But overall, the writing process was necessary for me to develop my discipline, my ideas, and my passion for writing.
And through it all, I became more and more convicted that I needed to write a book and actually follow through with it. So with the faithful encouragement and support of those closest to me, I made that commitment to pen the book on singleness that has been within my heart for so long – and now, by the grace of God, I’m accomplishing it, one chapter at a time. It’s a learning process for sure, but it’s one that I am incredibly excited about, and I can’t wait to see where it will go.
Once again, thank you for reading my blog so faithfully over the past year. I fully believe writing is meant to be shared, and if you’ve ever read my blog and identified with what I wrote, I’d love to hear about it. I love connecting with people over words and ideas, and blog posts are just the jumping off points for the greatest conversations.
I look forward to many more writing adventures down the road, God be willing. His strength is the only thing that allows me to write, and I am grateful for the words He provides to share with others.
His name be praised.