When an author writes a book she typically has a story to tell, but also has already journeyed down a certain path, turned the proverbial corner, and she is writing her story in the past tense. The author then is able to insert insight, humorous antidotes, and wisdom gleaned from her bumps and bruises. The book, if well-written, is polished, clean, and read-able. It gives the page-turner a distinct joy having been a part of a shared experience.
Blogs are messy. The author does not have the luxury of knowing the “end” of the story. He or she typically writes as the story as it is unraveling…and as in life…there is no guarantee the story will end well. The author does not have weeks, months, or years to reflect on the story. Uniquely blogs are happening in real time and so the reader is actually given the opportunity to process along with the writer…forming his or her own conclusions. Celebrating and grieving with the author.
Books and blogs both have their unique advantages and disadvantages for the story-teller. I am more comfortable with the edited version of my world. The one where lessons were learned with crisp clarity. The scars may be visible but the wounds have now healed. Possibly, the deep, dark gore of the story can be conveniently omitted–or certainly muted.
When our Epic Adventure began we went all in. Week after week we updated our world…sharing triumphs and tumbles…but we shared. Some parts were saved for our intimate circle. Others were shared with the world. Deep down I knew it was not really “our” story but God’s and so it felt best when truth was told–no matter how full of joy or pain or personal it may have seemed. Incredibly, we invited our friends and family on a wild ride that not only appeared to de-rail but practically implode.
Recently there have been continued difficult developments in our case. Still without legal resolution and because it is truly too complicated to clearly explain each player and simply follow the story; I will just say the conditions under which the children are currently living are far from ideal. Their current status is not the happy ending it appeared it was going to be…it is closer to my nightmare.
I have struggled to figure out how to share the next phase of our story without my friends freaking out a bit. It was painful but better to have there be a beautiful reunification and all parties smiling and appearing to live happily ever after. I have wondered how to keep my friends from being angry at God…questioning WHY…or having their faith being shaken a bit. I also recognize God does not need me to cover his PR. He simply asks me to tell the story.
Had Joseph written a blog shortly after he was thrown in to a pit by his brothers and left for dead…wonder what it would have said? Would he have dropped a few four letter words and asked God where he WAS at the moment?!? He must have felt so alone and confused and betrayed.
Joshua was asked to walk with his followers around a huge wall…7x for 7 days. Do you know how ridiculous this sounds? Insane even. Sometimes the things we experience are simply non-sensical. Wonder if Joshua’s blog would have certainly outlined his fear, doubt and curiosity if God was REALLY going to show up despite the crazy things they were being asked to do?!?
Wonder what Abraham’s blog would have looked like when we was asked to sacrifice his ONLY son. The son who was the promised heir for a great future nation. The son he had waited for and adored. In the few days leading up to the event you would wonder what his blog would have said???? “Seriously God? Seriously?”
I am in good company…the Bible is littered with story after story of ordinary people who were sent on strange and bizarre journeys…with twists and turns that at times were disheartening or even devastating. Unlike my own adventure–I do have “the rest” of the story on those folks. I find that God brings Joseph from the pit to a palace–and in the end he was able to look his brothers in the eye and say, “you intended it for evil–but God intended it for good.” Joshua’s insane walk around the wall miraculously through faith tumbled the wall and led to a defeat of a fierce foe. Abraham’s son not only lived but went on to advance the Hebrew nation…and bring about another Son that would lay down his life for His friends.
So despite my desire to put a neat and tidy bow on my story–it is not a book but a blog. Blogs are messy. They, by very nature give you permission to be real, and struggle. That said, I am thankful it is not my job to clean up or explain away the mess that I am currently seeing play out in our story. I am thankful that He is the Father and sees and hears and comforts when I cannot. I am thankful that this is not the end of God’s story. I am thankful that I am in good company and I can read the chapters of well-written adventures embedded with legit suffering and pain. I am thankful to recognize that their blogs mid journey would have been messy and ugly and confusing. I am thankful to read that despite the heartache in the lives of these ordinary people…God was present and faithful…and was not done with His story. And that to me takes a bit of the sting out of the str-UGH-le.
May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Blessed,