The Blog Post That Isn’t

Have you—yes, you, the person reading this—ever posted something on Facebook just to make others think of you in a certain way? Taken a picture of you looking good or doing something awesome just to impress someone? Said something borderline mean just to be funny, modified your real opinion just to fit in, refused to admit you were wrong just to show that person, that one particular person who is so self-important, that you are just as good as they are?

ME

Or, maybe a better question: has there been a day when you haven’t done one of these things?

It’s been a while for me, even here on this blog. I’d like to say that I always write on it for the right reasons, but most of the time (all of the time?) our motivations are mixed. On my good days, I write on this blog because I want to start good conversations, because I love it, and because I know God has given me the gift of communicating, and I want to use that to his glory.

On my bad days, my fear of a life that goes unwitnessed means that I turn to the Internet with my thoughts and stories and feelings in order to feel validated and secure. I let my good desire to be loved turn into an endless cycle that feeds on the affirmation of others and yet is never quite satisfied. I want you to like what I say, and to like me, and to like me so much that….

That what? That I matter, I guess. That I am doing something great for God. That I can finally feel like I’ve earned your approval, and maybe his too.

Sometimes I write to take my identity from Christ and put it back in my own control. And that looks so ugly, there, written out in actual words, but it’s true.

And I need to pause and remember. I need to stop writing, stop congratulating myself, stop trying to always be right, stop worrying about what other people think and be still and know that he is God.

That he is God and I am not.

That I am living a life, not a Facebook news feed.

That the things I learn and the choices I make are part of becoming more like Christ, not becoming a blog post content generator.

That other people are people, not checkmarks on my to-do list, pawns in my debates, or props in the artfully designed and choreographed production that is my life, starring me.

And, after I get that reality check, I need to remember that I am still loved, no matter what, and it’s not something I have to earn after all.

Today, I’m not writing a blog post (although the explanation of why this isn’t a blog post took longer than I thought). I’m not telling stories about myself or sharing my thoughts on Scripture or being witty or deep or anything other than achingly flawed and human. None of those things are necessarily bad, and I’ll probably be back to my usual schedule next week. I just need a break. I need time to think about what it means to stop kinda-sorta-maybe want to change and actually do something about it. I need to be more content in some areas of my life and less content in others.

I need a little less chaos of my own creation and a little more silence.

9 comments

  1. I hear that. I think we all need times like that. I feel like I had one of “those days” myself. Lots of introspection. This blog post couldn’t have come at a better time. 🙂

    It’s likely a battle we fight every day as long as we are here on this planet, to be cured only when we whoosh off to what comes next. The hope is every day gets a little easier, and by easier I mean more us letting go and Him taking over.

  2. This blog post describes me with frightening accuracy. I want to be liked by people. I strive for affirmation, validation, and some assurance that I matter.

    On some level, I think that’s natural: a “good desire to be loved,” as you put it, Amy. In my own life, however, I worry far too much about what people think of me, and far too little about them. I’m ashamed to say it, but people’s opinions of me sometimes matter more to me than they themselves do.

    On my desk, beside the laptop on which I do my writing, I have several quotes written out and framed. The first quote reads, “It is not about you. It is about everyone else.” Despite reading these words nearly every day, I still struggle not to be a self-centered git.

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only one with that struggle. Thanks for sharing, Amy.

  3. Are you reading my neurosis?–I don’t know if that question makes sense–and I’m not going to fret about your opinion of that–oops–I just did.

    I think you’ve articulated feelings and habits that many writers and creatives struggle with. You matter. This message matters a lot to me. I struggle with being known while not being known.

    I am with you heart and soul. Thanks for sharing.

  4. You hit the nail on the head, Amy! Egotismo puro! An (almost) octogenarian has be constantly on guard in this area, even in the more limited sphere of one’s activity.

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