for when life becomes loud {mk's guest post}

 

i have a confession to make.

i hate writing guest posts.

it's true. i do.

i have promised one to this soul-sister and two to my sweet friend from college, and actually only delivering once for this sweet thing. (you don't have to say it. i'm not sure how she got so lucky, either.)

(evidently i not only hate writing guest posts but there may or may not be an integrity issue at stake here. thanks for not pointing it out.)

i'm always afraid my voice won't come across the same way on others' blogs as the twelve folks (hi mom! hi sister!) who read mine are used to hearing. worse yet, i fear altering my voice without even realizing it, thus coming off awkward. (what else is new? hello, i'm Queen of Awkward. even so.) in an effort to sound like my most authentic self, i am writing this post on my own blog template because it's just what i'm used to doing.

(i also have a penchant for super-long introductions, justifications, explanations, and disclaimers.)

(any other middle children out there?)

but when beautiful elora (who, by the way, has delivered a guest post or two for me) asked me if i would write one for her in september, and she suggested thatfostering rest and nurturing creativity were the reason for her blog-sabbatical, and therefore might be the direction we'd opt to take as her guests, i told her i already knew what i wanted to say. call it serendipity, there was already a message brewing in my heart along the exact same lines.

and then i asked her if my post could go up today because, see, today is my birthday. i knew that the message that was in my heart for the topic of elora's conversation was one i needed to write for myself for today, day of all days, on this the beginning of my 34th year.

(not to mention, i've got this experiment going on on my own blog for the month of september and, in an effort to stick to that, hadn't planned to offer up any birthday tribute to myself over there today.)

and so, today, for you and for me i give thanks for beautiful elora for sharing with me her sacred space.

see, her request came at a time when i was finally being honest with myself about the thing that all of the residents of the blogosphere seem to recognize at some point or another, whether we talk about it or not. (and if you haven't gotten there yet and don't know what i'm talking about because, surely, it hasn't nor will ever happen to you, just give it time and it will.)

(or maybe you're just more secure than i am? oops.)

subtle at first, i noticed my slow decline into The Self-Despair of a Social Media Slump around the beginning of the summer but, if i'm really honest with myself (and i've had too much therapy not to be), i could probably trace it as far back as the beginning of the year.

i started feeling like the only slightly-popular girl that the popular girls kept around just to make their crowd look bigger. like i wasn't an invited guest to the party, just saw the pictures after the fact to remind me just how unimportant i am.

whenever i have been able to check in, it felt like i was crashing a party where i hadn't been invited and everybody's own words were better and more creative than mine and nobody liked me and everybody hated me and guess i'll go eat worms and nobody puts baby in a corner.

mind you, this isn't the truth -no one said any of this to me- it is just the power i was giving to my kind-hearted, good-loving neighbors in the twitterverse. (my mind is a really awesome place to be sometimes.)

fact is, i actually have a sweet family of friends across the internets and there is always room for more. i'm a community-builder. it's what i do. but because i had been out-of-the-loop, i felt a tiny bit like eeyore.

see, the truth is, it was also around this time that i left my office-job for a more active one and found i was no longer even able to keep up with everyone's finely-woven words and carefully-crafted prose like i had been accustomed to and looked forward to doing when i was sitting at a desk all day. even now, my rss-feed has been so sorely neglected for the last few months i'll be surprised if anyone recognizes me when i go by their houses for a visit. (it won't keep me from going, though. obv. just need to get it back into my routine/non-routine.)

honestly? the comparison and he said, she said and what is wrong with me that i feel excluded when I DON'T EVEN KNOW THESE PEOPLE (but want to) is...exhausting.

not to mention, ridiculous.

and...futile.

i started questioning the depth and width of my own voice and considering the impact i might have...and completely veered from my purpose and reason for writing, or anything i might do as unto the lord, for that matter.

all because i somehow managed to trust a virtual voice more than that of the one who created me and called me by name on this very day.

because, see, i don't write in order to be seen or known or even heard or to become a famous christian, in spite of myself. i don't have the energy for all of that. i know that i don't, yet i still measure myself to the effectiveness of others' shameless self-promotion. (because, let's face it. tweeps. i mean, really.)

the reason i write is because it's how i worship. just as it is when i sing and paint and draw and sculpt and dance and decorate and plan parties. writing, for me, is but one way this sometimes quirky, slightly neurotic creative taps into god's heart for her. it's where he shows and tells me things of his heart i can't hear in an otherwise busy life.

and a heart who worships her audience of one doesn't have a need for the approval, acceptance or appreciation from anyone else, no matter how good or how great. she is content to dance before her father, alone.

when i write, i feel his pleasure over me. i write because i'm a creative and, whether it's on a screen or a canvas or a page or a stage or on a boat or a moat, creating is what i was born to do.

in publishing what i write, my hope is that i might invite others into that space through what he's teaching me or what my own bad choices have taught me about the true condition of my heart and the ultimate, magnanimous, phenomenal gift of god's freely given, freely received grace on my life.

the true intention of my heart is to offer back to my maker the gifts he's given and placed inside of me. the treasure that is the pieces of a sordid, prodigal past put back together by such a love in order that he might receive the glory for a life changed by, in, through and for him.

and so i withdraw from being such an active member of social media not because i don't love my neighbors or to become an island. on the contrary, my community of friends there means as much to me as the ones in my town.

but i have to take a step back sometimes, and rest, because the voice there starts to sound louder than the still, small one that tells me

i am his beloved. (and so are you.) {song 6:3}

he delights in me. (and you.)

to him, i am more precious than rubies. (so are you.)

i am the apple of his eye. (you are, too.)

{anything else is contrary to who and what he says i am and you are.}

friends, we aren't meant to stand on the outside looking in on the party...as long as we're heading to the right party. we are invited guests to the feast set before us at the banqueting table, aren't we? (you do know that, don't you?)

(wait. you do, don't you?)

when i consider all he's allowed me to go through according to my own free will, all the lessons i've learned turned into stories i share to help make others free,there is nothing in this world more important to me than knowing that i am papa's child, scattered, smothered and covered in the blood of christ which washes white as snow and makes me new.

created to be born on this day.

for such a time as this.

happy birthday, y'all.

mary kathryn tyson is a still-single 33 34-year old who has learned the hard way she simply cannot live without the grace of god. she is passionate about saying "you're enough" to those who don't believe they are and helping those who need it find freedom from their past. she loves to love and builds community wherever she goes.

she is admittedly quirky, creative, socially awkward and a tiny bit neurotic.

but she is free.

and she is in love.

she makes her home in the blogosphere here, her little nook in the twitterverse here.

 

Posted on September 14, 2011 and filed under creativity & rest.