The topic of honesty has been heavy on my heart ALL week so I want to take a moment and be completely honest with all of you.
I get your text messages and Instagram DM’s telling me how I’m “glowing”, “living my best life”, and “truly inspiring” people with my blog posts. I am so very appreciative of every single message that is sent to me and I love that you all feel comfortable enough to let me know how I’m impacting your lives in such a positive way. It means everything to me but I want to let you all in on a little secret:
This blog was not my idea. I’ve hated writing since the day I found out what an essay was. If you told me last year that I was going to be a blogger, I would’ve laughed in your face.
“So, how did you end up starting a blog?”
2016 was a rough year for me. There were several factors that contributed to this but the #1 contributor to this was my desire to convince everyone around me (& myself) that I was happy and unbothered. This caused me to go overboard with my involvement on campus because I figured if I stayed busy, I wouldn’t have time to think about my problems which meant that eventually, they’d disappear.
In reality, forcing myself to be busy only amplified all of the negative thoughts that were running through my mind 90% of the time because I never took the time to slow down and allow myself to heal.
I was hurting but I refused to accept it. I gave myself a timeframe to be “hurt” and when that time was up, I packed all of my feelings away and pretended they no longer existed. This is my definition of the Fake It ‘Til You Make It philosophy and most of the time it works but this time it didn’t. I was carrying way more than I could bear which caused me to be stressed, exhausted, and most importantly miserable. This went on for so long that I’d forgotten what true joy felt or even looked like. That’s when I realized that I had a choice to make.
Here were my options:
- Continue to walk down the path of misery OR
- I could stop living in a fantasy land and face my problems head on because OBVIOUSLY, they weren’t going anywhere.
I chose option #2.
Even though I knew this was the right decision, it was the most difficult one to make. It just felt so selfish because I’m so used to doing everything for everybody else BUT
This one decision actually sparked a series of choices that would be made purely out of self-love.
- So after I decluttered my life and started loving on myself, I could clearly see just how strained my relationship with Christ had become. I only spoke to Him when I needed something (spiritual, material…etc). His “hands made me and formed me” (Psalm 119:73 [NIV]). He loves me with an “everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3 [ESV]). He gave “his only begotten son” for my sin (John 3:16 [KJV]). How dare I kick Christ to the curb like a bad habit after everything He’s done for me!? I knew I had to make a change and stop living my life for me. I wanted to live my life for Christ and His purpose for me.
So I prayed,
“Lord, I miss you. I’m not coming to you to ask for anything. I’m coming to you to surrender my life to you. I’ve tried living this life without You at the center of it and I was absolutely miserable. I now know that if I want anything close to joy, peace, and favor that lasts, I need you in my life to supply it. What do you want me to do? What is my purpose? From this day forward I ask that you keep my path in line with yours.”
It was something along those lines but let’s circle back to the original question, “How did you end up starting a blog?”
Well, The JC Effect is an answered prayer and I knew that the very moment Christ showed it to me. Like I said before, I never saw myself as ‘the blogger type’. I have never written anything for fun except my signature. Starting a blog was so far fetched that I knew it was not something that I’d come up with on my own. I never would’ve thought that blogging would bring me so much joy and peace into my life but, luckily, there was someone in my life who did and that’s Christ.
Once I stopped faking it and started being honest with myself, it allowed me to see the world around me with 100% clarity and it also deepened my relationship with Christ. The main thing I want you all to take from this is that the joy overflowing from life can be yours, also.
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness”. (1 John 1:9 [NLT])
Completely surrender your life to Him.
“Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him. Do not be preoccupied with [an evildoer] who succeeds in his way when he carries out his schemes. Let go of anger, and leave rage behind. Do not be preoccupied. It only leads to evil. Evildoers will be cut off [from their inheritance], but those who wait with hope for the LORD will inherit the land.” (Psalm 37:7-9 [GW])
Immerse yourself in His love.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (Colossians 3:14-15 [NLT])
I promise you won’t regret it.
& ONE LAST THING: Please stop trying to fake it ’til you make it. It’s the same as putting a band-aid on a broken bone.
Peace & Love,