Maybe it’s just vocabulary, and maybe I’ve always been “a blogger” (I did have my own AOL member page when I was sixteen, and purchased my first domain where I journaled in 1998). I officially resigned from blogging in 2010 (but kept a website for essays and poetry). Then, when I needed to work on healing the wounds from my divorce, I went dark everywhere – no Facebook, Twitter, website. All the words I wrote were in journals and scraps of paper in my car when the right word or a picture would capture me. I started writing online again this year, but not with any consistency or purpose.
This weekend, I went to the blogging conference Allume. Not because I wanted to learn about blogging, but because I had the chance to represent one of my favorite organizations, Blood:Water Mission, and in the process, catch up with a lot of friends I haven’t seen in a long, long time. The speakers were phenomenal and didn’t talk much about blogging; instead, they carved out the space around our blogs in which we find the reason and meaning: worship. Writing as a form of art and gratefulness (and therapy)…not how many stats, shares, or likes.
I was reminded over and over again that is why I started blogging.
Not because I had a book deal, or wanted one.
Not because I wanted to build a platform or find people to affirm me or debate me.
Because I love to write about what God has done and is doing in my life.
Have any of the opportunities that emerged from writing online helped me find my purpose in life or quench the red fires that burn inside my soul?
And at times, I gave blogging too much weight, allowing it to define me or brand me or market me. I’ve let those numbers determine how good I feel about myself or why I do what I do.
Blogging was the god I prayed to: What should I write? What do I say to please you?
Instead, it should have been the overflow of my prayers to the One True God: Open my eyes, show me truth. May my words only voice edification, wonder, mystery, love, hope, healing, joy.
“Remember what it was like in the old days?” an old blogging friend asked. “When we wrote about the things that gave us pain and joy. When we were raw because nobody else was, and nobody else cared?”
I do remember those days and how being raw is a norm and I am so proud of and grateful for those who speak from vulnerable places and illuminate into dark corners. I ask myself why…why now? Why speak when everyone else speaks and it feels like nobody will hear?
Because it doesn’t matter who will hear. It only matters that I listen. That I obey. And that I write.
So, here is to another new season. A season where it is not “Anne Marie Miller” (or “Anne Jackson” or “FlowerDust” or whatever moniker you may have known me by at some point in the last ten years).
This is a season to write, to create, and to process here…regardless. To trust that God will move His mighty hand in whatever way He likes, as He always has, and He always will.