sometimes I get just the most wonderful responses.
sometimes these emails appear in my inbox (or the messages pop in my facebook page), and I just cry as I read your stories of how you get it.
how you needed to hear this, needed to find that place of belonging, needed to know someone else understood, needed to see those feelings in writing, needed that push to be brave, needed to hear a different perspective, needed to hear someone to call out your chains for what they were.
this is what I live for, you guys. it’s why I keep writing, even on the days when I feel like it’s to an empty void.
I treasure your encouragement- I save those emails and print off those messages, and I clutch them close when the liar says my voice is irrelevant and my efforts are useless and my story is a disqualifier. yep- your voice is how Divine Love speaks and how Jesus pours out grace over me. and it’s THE. FRIGGIN. BEST.
you are my community. you are my crazy, wild tribe, and I LOVE you for it because you embrace the messiness that is our humanity and reconcile it with grace upon grace without feeling the need to measure it or compare it or cast it off.
it’s honestly just so beautiful. keep on with that, peeps. ❤
…and then I get just the worst responses.
because of this blog, I’ve found community and encouragement and life-giving freedom that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
I’ve also found angry people, those who don’t care about actually discussing differences, but are more interested in tearing down me and the beautiful souls who have found a home in this blog.
I’ve been called a hypocrite for changing my mind, a bad pastor’s daughter for speaking out against some of the Church’s toxic habits, a terrible wife for being transparent about my marriage, a fake Christian for using language and for extending love to the LGBTQ community.
I’ve been lashed out at violently in private messages, gossiped about by women in church, and talked down to sarcastically and condescendingly on social media.
my character, integrity, salvation, and wisdom have been called into question.
I’ve had to delete comments that started to break down this space of grace and belonging and replace it with judgement.
my mental illness has been mocked, my battles belittled, and my grief nearly silenced by well-meaning people who tell me to perk up a bit because they are uncomfortable by the raw ache sometimes found on my blog.
not everyone knows (or admits they know) crushing defeat or loneliness or what it means to be an outcast. not everyone is okay with doubt. not everyone is comfortable with vulnerability, or telling their story until they know the ending. not everyone is willing to challenge the things they thought they believed or question why things are the way they are.
and if that’s you, I love you oh so dearly, but this blog probably isn’t for you. (and I’m okay with that.)
I do not say these things because my “feelings have been hurt” or because I can’t take the force of it. I say it for the ones coming here with bruised hearts and stories so brutal they’d take your breath away (I’ve had the ache and privilege of hearing a few of them).
this is their space. their home. their tribe.
please do not attempt to take it away from them or to water it down because it makes you uncomfortable. please don’t snatch a lifeline away from a floundering pair of arms when you’re in your safe and dry boat.
this blog doesn’t belong to me; it belongs to them. it’s okay if this space isn’t for you; go find your own wonderful tribe, and let them have theirs. ❤