I realize that many of you have gotten to know me over the last year or so through my writing. Some of you are strangers. Some were once strangers, but are now good friends. Many of you know me in real life in one way or another.
Aside from my sister and possibly a few of my sorority sisters from college, most of you don’t know the flesh and blood me, though. I’m incredibly introverted, which probably seems strange for as much as I share here. It takes a long time to really get to know me. I’m polite and kind and I smile a lot, but it takes a lot to get to the center of me.
One thing I wanted to try to explain to you was that I was blessed (or cursed, the jury’s still out) with an achingly tender heart. I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. When someone is hurting, I ache so deeply for them that I also hurt (not in the way they are hurting, of course, but in my own deeply personal way). When someone is suffering, I weep for them from the depths of my soul.
In fact, my family often dances around reality with me. They’d rather me only know half the truth than to have me fall into deep despair over the whole.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve truly learned to embrace this aspect of my personality. It really is a gift from God, though sometimes it feels like a burden. I’m acutely aware of the suffering around me, which makes me sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. But it’s a uniquely heavy cross to bear, one that probably doesn’t make much sense if you don’t carry it.
Though my last few posts have been on the heavy side, I assure you that I’m happy and healthy and well. In fact, after I got yesterday’s post off my chest, I went on to have a really wonderful day. I smiled and laughed a lot. I felt a great sense of peace.
I’m just incredibly heartbroken for many people close to me. There is such sadness in the world and sometimes it’s more than I can take.
Thank you for continuing to come back and read what I have to say. It really is an honor to share my soul with you. I’m so glad you are here!
But all that aside, there are some items of business I’ve wanted to address for some time.
First, if you are a fan of Life Happens When on Facebook, thank you! I really appreciate all the ways you show support for me and this blog. But Facebook is really wearing me out. They’ve made all kinds of changes that I can’t seem to wrap my brain around. When I share my posts on there, it often only “shows” it to about one-third of my fans (typically the people who “like” things I post or comment on things I post). Are you one of them? Awesome! I’m glad.
If you aren’t getting updates on Facebook, though, I don’t really know what to do about it. The only thing I’d ask is that you try to hop over to my page and “like” or comment on a few things.
I’m really frustrated because I think Facebook is a great tool. It just doesn’t seem to be working for me. However, I would LOVE it if you became a fan, if you aren’t already! Can you help me get to 200 “likes?” I’m at 147 right now! Click here: Life Happens When Facebook page.
Also, are you subscribed to Life Happens When? That means you can receive updates by e-mail. You’ll never miss a post that way! There are a handful of you who subscribed while I used WordPress to keep track of subscriptions. For some reason, WordPress is against me, too. It doesn’t always send out my posts by e-mail. Once I realized it wasn’t working for me, I switched back to Feedburner. If you are signed up to receive e-mails, but don’t always get them, would you do me a BIG favor? Would you re-subscribe? If you aren’t subscribed, would you sign up?
Finally, this is just something I wonder sometimes. I would suspect I have a few dozen people who read my blog regularly. I’m no Maya Angelou, but I’m so grateful for each and every one of you here with me.
Some of you found me on your own. Some of you are my friends from one part of my life or another. But the rest of you can likely be traced to my sister. It’s like she’s Kevin Bacon, but for promoting my blog. (I LOVE YOU, M! I’m VERY grateful for your intense love and support for me.)
Anyway, I know that I have a decent number of people who read my blog. Let’s overlook the fact that I know most of you in real life (most likely through my sister). I know that comments aren’t the end all be all of blogging, but I often wonder why I don’t really get that many, especially because I know you are out there reading. And liking what I have to say enough to come back.
Sometimes it’s frustrating to work so hard and give so much of myself and to only hear crickets chirping in the background. I struggle a great deal with envy and pride when I see that other blogs easily get a dozen comments, often more. What am I doing wrong?
My sister says (she ALWAYS has something to say, by the way) that it’s because what I write makes you think, but doesn’t always lend itself to leaving a comment.
Is that true? If so, then I’m perfectly content with that. I wholeheartedly believe that God has placed Life Happens When before me. I believe I am writing for Him. I believe I am using my gift of writing (that He gave me) to encourage, inspire, and uplift you on your journey through life and faith.
It really shouldn’t be about validation. I know that. I really do. But I can’t help it, I still want validation every now and then. And not just from my sister. If I wasn’t trying to help other people, I’d just talk to her on the phone every day and bare my soul to her.
Oh wait. I already do that.
I found myself discouraged recently. I often feel raw and exposed and incredibly vulnerable after I write. When I don’t get any feedback, I think, “Man. Am I just talking to myself?”
I prayed to God about it. I asked Him to help me know that I am doing this because He wants me to. Because if I’m doing it for me, I’ll just crawl back on over to the cave also known as my “secret blog” and I’ll bare my soul there. Much safer! Less risk. I can babble until I’m blue in the face over there and I’ll literally be talking to myself.
I’m not saying I need you to comment every single day or anything. And of course, there are some of you that tell me in person how much my writing means to you. THANK YOU! But the minute this blog becomes more about ME and less about what God wants me to say, I know it’s time to zip my lips.
So could you just do me a favor and tell me if I’m still encouraging you, inspiring you, and uplifting you? If not, I know I have my answer from God.
And finally, before this officially becomes the longest post of the year (too late), would you please, pretty please share my blog with anyone you think might be encouraged by it (that is, if we’ve all established that it is still encouraging).
Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Happy Friday! I hope you make the most of the rest of your day now that you’re finished reading the longest post of the year! I’ll resume regular blogging again next week.
Life happens when we take care of business.
P.S. If you haven’t figured out by now, my sister rocks. It may seem like I’m giving her a hard time. Well, I kind of am. Lest you feel sorry for her, I assure you I’m only paying her back for the lifetime of grief and teasing I’ve endured from her. All that aside, I know a lot of you wouldn’t be here without her telling you about my blog, so I really am grateful for her, even if she has a big mouth! Oops, there I go again.
And now I’m really going to get it…