Today is my anniversary: it’s a whole year since this blog went public with Writer Unblocked! – well, ‘public’ to those who know where to look… ‘search engines’ are still disabled: I haven’t thrown all caution to the winds as I open up my wounded heart and deepest convictions to public view. I always hope my readers are my friends, on-side – which is naive perhaps, too trusting of a cynical world – I can’t imagine who would want to hurt a mother in my place, who would not feel pity for our family on this path, believers in Divine Love or not! I choose to hope the best, believe the best, endure the rest – I have heard it’s what love does.
So 12 months on I’m marking today with my 150th post (that’s an average of 2.884 a week!) and making the most of all the 5’s (I have 5 pages too) am allowing myself a 15th category – the process. The blog is all part of the process and the progress – a procession and progression as I step out this journey… and it is no longer simply Sam’s journey, but all that has expanded from that point – the opening paths, the voyage of discovery and creativity: it’s something working out in me and all of us who have been affected by our story.
Looking back it’s hard to believe that it took weeks of uncertainty and dithering before I even dared to start the on-line journey; it’s equally hard to believe I’ve come so far with it… Would I have even got this far in such a state of grace and wholeness if I hadn’t launched out to tackle life like this? Last summer I was so depressed, tormented by my thoughts and questions, unable to connect with people as before – to write has been a tool and a mirror, a crutch and deep catharsis. I have made new friends and found new purpose… so grateful for that outlet and so strangely aware that none of it would have happened without the path we have been forced to walk with Sam’s cancer. Perhaps this is partly what God’s promise to ‘work everything for good’ looks like for me… I am totally amazed the stats tell me today the blog’s had over 15,000 hits (15,328… 29…30…) 😉 I know I have some faithful followers out there and to be an influence and encouragement to others is nothing but a privilege.
So here we’ve come full circle through the year: last bank holiday weekend I was ‘gee-ing’ myself along to take the “inky plunge” as my friend Victory called it, with such posts as Countdown 3-2-1 and Something to Say. Last year I was full to bursting with frustrations and ideas… in many ways I’m not that different now. It’s strange to see the feature photo that I placed at the top, with late-summer sunlight coming through the window, reflecting my writing space, when this year the 8th month has been so grey and cold. Why is it called August anyway? What does a Roman emperor have to do with us? It should be called the month of Festival or Red Geranium 🙂
But as always I’m stimulated by a new month starting now – the ninth, the Autumn Leaf or Chilly Air – and this morning the sun is shining once again. A bee is visiting the yellowing laburnam as the season changes once again: autumn is not so much on the threshold as elbowing it’s way through the front door! So the process continues, in the same way that the inspiration ebbs and flows – but hasn’t dried up yet. It’s true the tide goes out when life is pressurised and I am lacking peace and time – but more and more I find as soon as I return to keyboard and screen, my familiar place of comfort and joy, they’re there again – the precious words.
These days too many seem to come pouring out – the posts are so much longer than at first! Perhaps I’m less afraid, more confident – I know I am a writer and it’s part of me: I know my subject matter is never going to appeal to everyone – whether death and suffering or theology and prophetic language – but I have decided to just be myself and if some things I say put people off or seem quite odd… that’s just who I am! 😉 It may seem self-centred – and it is – but hopefully not irrelevant as it both hurts and heals… if I can bless one person that’s enough. I very often feel a fool, exposing myself like this to God knows who… but still believe this is the path the Lord has led me on. And believe me, I’ve been through all the stages through this year – of paranoia, embarrassment, counting the hits 10 times a day, worrying that no-one will read it, feeling puffed up when they do, trying too hard (thanks, Rosie!) But I know it is quite simply a God-given and essential tool for me, it gets me through, and if anyone else wants to join the journey or is helped in any way that can only be a bonus.
Precious words. I love the numbers, but words can carry balm. The numbers often point the way, like signposts, but the words hold comfort for the road, way-bread to be eaten, promises entering the soul. ‘Bring words with you’ the Scripture says (Hosea 14v2) – confession and admission, the expression of the heart – and ‘a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver’ Proverbs 25v11 – I learned that one at infant school! A word that brings a rise in spirit, new courage and new hope… that’s what we need, the beauty of that touch, the language of the depths.
So here I am, another year lies ahead… I’ll set my face and watch for signs, I’ll gird my loins and walk in the procession of God’s saints, I’ll carry precious, soothing words – and others that cut sharply through the masks! I’m all about communication of reality, uncovering of truth, declaration of faith in the face of tears and pain. May words I speak and write be handles in the rock face and morsels for the tongue to taste… belovèd – that’s a precious word.
And here’s my prayer and dedication from Isaiah 50v4-5 – it undoubtedly speaks of Jesus, but may it be true of me, as I listen to Him…
‘The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back…’