I have been pondering this question for a while: What are you FOR?
It’s easy to define ourselves by what we are against, but it’s harder (yet infinitely better) to understand our lives by that which we are for.
Over the years, conventional blogging wisdom has advanced the idea that, in order to distinguish yourself from other writers, you must be known for something, preferably something big or dramatic. A writer friend of mine recently shared some thoughts about this, and I appreciated what she had to say. In essence, she pushed back against the conventional wisdom that led her to believe she should be known as “the depression and anxiety girl.” She didn’t want to be that girl.
Her husband suggested, “Maybe you’re not the depression and anxiety girl. Maybe you’re the hope and light girl.”
“Yes!” she said. That’s a vision she could get behind while being true to the reality that she sometimes struggles with depression and anxiety.
Like my friend, I have resisted this subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) pressure for writers to define themselves by something big or dramatic, taboo or tragic. I understand the reasoning; after all, people love drama. Why else would there be so many TV shows depicting hospital emergency rooms, 9-1-1 calls, crime shows, and the like? We all love a good drama! But when the drama isn’t behind a screen but part of your everyday life, it’s not so glamorous. It’s actually really hard.
So, as I’ve contemplated the journey God and I have walked together over many years, my answer to the question is this.
What am I for?
I am for telling the hard stories, not for personal glory, but to point to the glorious One who delivers us from the darkness we have lived through.
I am also for refraining from telling every single detail, to assure that my motives are (hopefully and prayerfully) in the right place.
I am for inviting women to gather around God’s Word as the only authoritative Source we can trust in this fallen world.
I am for delighting in the beauty of God’s creation, whether it’s through long walks outside or sharing pictures online that capture the tiniest glimpse of God’s greatness.
I am for learning from the many writers and teachers and pastors who have gone before us, and then sharing their insights with friends.
I am for growing a Christ-centered family — the one God has entrusted to my husband and I — knowing that anything good in me or my family is a gift of God’s grace.
I am for cultivating a quiet life, the kind that prefers simplicity and kindness, humility and smallness, integrity and quietness.
I am for sharing the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, because it is only through his gift of salvation that we are set free from the bondage to sin that enslaves us.
I am for reaching the lost, the poor, the neglected, the abused, the marginalized, and the disempowered with the light of Christ that dispels the darkness.
And I am for you.
I want you to know the God I know. I want you to know that you are not alone, no matter what you may be going through, because there is a God who has already conquered sin and darkness. I want you to know the new identity that is yours in Christ, and I want you to know the freedom that comes from his grace.
This is my prayer. For every word I speak and write.
This is what I am for.