As you may or may not know, we traveled to Washington D.C. this summer on a mission trip with our church. The trip truly was a life changing experience for our entire family, and I immediately wanted to express that in writing.
But I struggled in doing so for reasons I didn’t quite understand and am still working through now.
Why was it so difficult to sit and write about something that could only be described as miraculous?
Well, the question itself is part of the answer. How can I justly express in words what can only manifest through the work of God?
I felt inadequate to speak about the miraculous in a public forum and still do. I understand the risk I take by making myself vulnerable this way, and it makes me very uncomfortable. Try putting into words what goes on in your head and allowing every possible person access to it.
Additionally, I realize my words will be judged by those who read them, as they should to some degree. It’s what holds me accountable and hopefully teaches me to measure my words carefully.
But at what cost?
When I sit down to write, I find that I edit myself. And I’m not just talking about editing grammar and punctuation. I inexplicably edit my words in a way I believe others may want to hear.
In other words, I strive to construct carefully crafted ideas that speak truth without provocation. There is something potentially deceitful with that. Because of this ideal, I continually stop myself from writing and “stay in my head”.
Eventually, I decided to explore some difficult questions such as – what is my deepest motivation in expressing my ideas, thoughts, and feelings through writing?
What qualifies my particular theological interpretations and opinions about the Bible and Christianity?
Here’s a good one; do I truly live out the ideology about which I write? Um, hardly! And that’s on a good day!
These questions, and many more, have forced me to ask more questions, search for answers, understand and evaluate my faith in God more than ever.
At which point I realized I had reached my tipping point.
I decided that my writing would no longer be about the writing but about understanding my purpose through the process. My desire is to be simultaneously truthful and authentic, and those are two separate things.
It feels raw and honest and potentially disastrous.
In the very least, I know I risk being wrong in my theological expression. And if I am wrong in any way you are welcome, by all means, to correct me. It is in that correction that I will learn and grow as a person, and that is something I desperately want.
I’ve falsely assumed that my words must be completely correct or I shouldn’t say them. No, my words must be exact. I desire to express through words my exact thoughts based on values and beliefs construed from Biblical truths.
My thinking might be incorrect, but how else will I know unless I express it and work through it. I certainly will be incorrect some of the time considering I am only human.
I suppose this means you’re invited to have a front row seat in my progressive sanctification through the Holy Spirit. And so it begins…