The thought of jumping from an airplane while strapped to a parachute terrifies me.
The idea of entering a dark, small cave and meandering deep into the earth’s core just about takes my breath away.
Actually, I fear most anything that involves heights or closed-in spaces.
I tend to stay away from experiences in which the control of my surroundings feels compromised by either a lack of boundaries or boundaries that squeeze me in too tightly.
So, I sit here tonight puzzled at how a person like me can blog.
For nearly seven years of my life I have openly shared what’s going on inside my head.
That truth alone is scary, but when I really think about it, a blog has the very same characteristics as the kinds of things I try to avoid in life.
In some ways, my blog has no boundaries.
I can jump from any height and parachute down for as long as I want before ending a post.
I can climb the highest mountain or go down into the lowest valley with my emotions.
No one is telling me, “Don’t write that,” or “You’d better stop there.”
Like a wide angle lens, I catch life from one end to the other and spill it out as I type.
I have freedom as a blog.
In other ways, though, my blog is constricting.
The “squeezing in” comes from wanting to protect the world from parts of me and from trying to avoid conversations that will lead down roads that won’t be so pretty.
Parts of my life become fences that trap my words.
My faith creates boundaries.
My job creates boundaries..
My family creates boundaries.
My friends create boundaries.
I fear stepping out of line and saying too much, so every time I jump I’m looking down……………
making sure to avoid every branch, every house, every person who might get hit along the way.
Lately, I haven’t been able to write, because the branches and the people and the houses have been too close.
I’ve started to write several times over the past few weeks and I’ve been struck with a dilemma most every single time:
Either write an artificial post or pour out ugly right on my screen.
I’ve managed to write a few simple posts.
Enough to get a few words out of my head.
But most of the time, I’ve felt like a horse being held back from running to the barn on a cold, windy night.
And to be honest, I need to go to the barn.
I need to lay down in the warm hay and know everything is going to be okay.
I need to release myself from myself.
I need to say what I need to say.
So brace yourself, please, because tonight I’m fully aware of just how dangerous blogging can be.
I’m standing in the open door of the airplane.
I’ve checked my parachute to make sure it’s fitting just right, and I’m jumping.
I’ll keep an eye on what’s below; but if I graze a branch, forgive me. If I land on a house, I’ll move quickly.
I’m tired of smiling when I feel like crying –
even though I know I’ll smile tomorrow if I pass you on a sidewalk or in a hall.
I’m tired of finding the good in things when so much in life can seem so bad –
even though I know I’ll keep trying to look for the bright side.
I’m tired of hearing about girls who call themselves Christians treating other kids unkindly –
as if being mean and exclusive creates an allusion of popularity.
I’m tired of acting like I care about test data,
because my heart keeps screaming that no matter how distinguished Nick was on his standardized exams they don’t matter a bit now. No one is analyzing his scores in Heaven.
I’m tired of social media and how it plays into so many facets of my life
and yet I turn to it in some way every single day.
What do I do with all this fatigue, piling up on me like layers of heavy blankets?
How do I find rest when my soul is so weary?
Where do I turn when I’ve turned every single direction and only found walls?
I know the answer.
I really do.
I can’t take grief away.
I can’t make something good out of something that is bad.
I can’t change mean girls.
I can’t take testing out of schools.
I can’t remove Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter from this world.
But I can do this:
I can trust God with my sadness. He sees my every tear.
I can give God time to make everything good. He promises He will.
I can pray for mean girls. They need His love.
I can help students see that tests only measure a fraction of what they know while how they live their lives measures everything else about who they are.
I can use social media as an extra outlet for sharing God’s love but not choose it as the best way to interact with flesh and blood friends.
I think I’ve landed.
I avoided some big trees along the way, but I’m thankful for the branches that caught me for a minute or two.
Fences are good for marking property lines, but it feels so good to open the gate and walk out onto the sidewalk every once in a while.
Thanks for letting me blog dangerously tonight.
I think I’ll be able to sleep.