Alright, y'all. I'm gonna get real right now. I've been writing, deleting, and rewriting this post for way too long. Granted, I ate dinner, put two babies to bed, and watched about four full episodes of Friday Night Lights (a miracle in itself) at the same time, but it seems my writer's block is fitting for this post. Here's why.
If you've followed Yankee Belle for any amount of time, you know my posts are sporadic. Part of that is because I've given myself permission to let go of this dream for a while in order to direct my energy toward being a wife, mom, and teacher. That you likely know. You may also know that I don't occupy any set niche in the blogging world. Today, almost everyone is a blogger. Heck, I've even forced my high school students to blog about their research. While I love that bloggers are ubiquitous, because I love stories, it makes it easy for me to fall into the comparison trap. The inconsistency of my blog posts directly reflect the ups and downs of my confidence. (Can I just digress for a quick minute to say let's just collectively kick comparison in the teeth right now, ladies.)
Y'all know I'm neither a creative or fashion stylist. I mess up brownies from a box and I can't even keep a cactus alive when my father is legitimately a world famous horticulturist. I haven't written a book or spoken at a conference. I didn't live the perfect Christian childhood. I've messed up, massively messed up, over and over again. To this day I still carry grief and regret around wth me from decisions I've made in high school.
Here's the thing. There is nothing, hear me loud and clear, nothing inherently wrong with me as a result of any of that. My problem lies in the fact that I gave into the lie that all of those things - and other "I can'ts" with which I identify on a daily basis - somehow made me lesser than. I believed that until I was a creative or more fashionable, a successful baker or kept cute plants alive long enough to post on Instagram, until I made it to the "other side" of my mistakes, regret, pain, and grief then I didn't have a platform on which to blog. That my words - my story - wasn't worthy of this space.
And then Ashlee Proffitt spoke at the one-day Influence Network Conference in Charlotte and the Lord rocked my world. As Ashlee shared her story of weakness, she read part of Psalm 23. In verses 4-5, David writes,
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows. [ESV]
Ashlee drew our attention to the fact that even when we are walking in the valley of the shadow of death, when we are still in the mess - the fear, hurt, lies, comparison, pain - He prepares a table before us. The Lord settles down with us in the very thick of it all. He doesn't wait until we're running through fields of green grass and fluttering butterflies just over the heath to fellowship with us. He meets us in the scary times in life and it is there where He causes our cup to overflow.
Weakness is a blessing. Y'all hear that? Moments of true, fall-to-your-knees weakness are blessings because it is when we have no where to turn, when that valley feels like it is closing in on us, that are forced to turn to Jesus. It is when we are still long enough to look to Him, we will see His grace. And when we bring that weakness into the light as we are called to do, others are able to see how great our God is. In doing so, our shared stories can bring glory to God.
If renewing your blog vows was a thing, I'd be doing that right now. I'd say, "Here I am, internet. Here's my story. I pray that my pride falls, comparison runs, and my story is told for the glory of God."