I mentioned in my last blog you'd be hearing more from me in the days to come. Which you will. And yet, it's been a month since I last blogged. Let me explain.
My friend Wilma, piano extraordinaire and my favorite person to hang out with at a funeral, once told me about her personal journals. We were passing the time in a back hallway at a mortuary one day discussing the things we pray about. (I know there's a lot to unpack in those last two sentences, but now is not the time - more on that another day.) She shared how, over the years, she had filled dozens of journals with prayers about all the things she needed to talk to Jesus about. Wilma had recently moved from the farmhouse where she'd spent the last few decades of her life into a much smaller house in town. As is necessary with such a move, she had to sift through all the material possessions that had accumulated over the years in order to downsize.
When it came to her journals, I told her what a treasure I thought those had to be, and how cool it would be for her kids and grandkids to look through someday. She replied, "Oh, honey, I burned those things." I'm sure my chin hit the floor as I said, "You did what?" Wilma explained. "Sweetie, there were things on those pages no one ever needed to see. I wrote some horrible things in there. I told God exactly what I thought about some people. I cried tears of anger and grief on those pages. No, I could never let anyone see them." After hearing her share all the reasons why those journals had to be reduced to ashes, I understood. There are some things you just have to keep between you and Jesus.
I've been writing lately about a lot of things that will never see the light of day. The unbloggable things. I've always been very careful about the things I put out into the world. Sometimes, when I do put thoughts out for all to see, they are veiled in a way that makes them more palatable or generic. Sometimes I write in a way that protects people I care about. I haven't always done it perfectly, but I really do try. However, truth be told, I've probably been a little too careful. Finding the balance between writing honestly and still honoring the higher calling to love is tricky.
As I'm trying to figure out what to put out into the world, I've never been more thankful for Jesus. He gets me. He gets anger. He gets injustice. He gets pain. He gets feeling misunderstood. More importantly, He gets grace. He gets forgiveness. He gets loving people who've hurt you. He gets showing mercy. And God knows I need help with those things.
I am grateful for burnable journals. Of course it's a bit harder these days when burning has to come in the form of passwords and encryption and delete buttons. Maybe I need to go back to paper and pen. We'll see. For now, as I hit "post" on another blog, I ask for grace as I work all of this out for myself in a way which hopefully isn't just me clearing my head. If that was the point of this blog, you'd get to see it all - the good, the bad, and the very, very ugly. But because I believe in the power of words and the value of an honest writer, I am compelled to continue to give voice to a few things I hope will be of some use to you. And the rest will just have to remain in the vault of unbloggable things.