One of the things that had been suggested to me is not to blog. Or at the very least, to be extremely careful about it.
I’ve tried to do so. It’s resulted in not writing very much, or occasionally writing a post and then being told that maybe it wasn’t the best idea to post it, so I didn’t.
Thing is, I’m having a little trouble with it.
I mean, I get it. Things can get a little dicey when you are being transparent – especially when, like on the internet, you are being transparent without being very careful who you are being transparent to.
Thing is, I WANT to be transparent online. Yeah, it’s sometimes weird that ANYONE could read your private thoughts, and yeah, some people can take them the wrong way… but I actually feel like part of my “ministry” is meant to be online.
There has been more than one occasion when I have found out from someone that something I posted online has helped/encouraged them a lot. More than one occasion in which I’ve learned that sharing my growth and struggles in a public forum has spoken to someone that I would never have been that blatantly open with in person – partly because I would normally just assume that they wouldn’t care.
Then there is all that I have learned or been touched by random things that other people have decided to share online. Yeah, sometimes it’s intimate details that lots of people would think a person shouldn’t share online – but I am serious, they have made a BIG difference for me in the past.
I like reading things online from people who are really intelligent, who have answers that I never would have thought of, or have been places I haven’t been yet, and can share their wisdom. But I also love reading posts from people who DON’T have the answers, and are struggling with the same questions I am.
I want to be able to be seen as an intelligent young woman who is respectable young pastor… some have suggested that if I blog, especially if I blog my thoughts and feelings without enough of a filter, that won’t happen. My career will suffer – that other people could possibly suffer.
It’s lately been making me think of how when I first entered ministry, I knew that it was suggested that you don’t get to close to the people that you are pastoring. I had decided I didn’t like that idea, and that I was going to be friends with the people I was pastoring.
It came back and bit me, it’s true. I was hurt incredibly by a friend because of it… there were many tears of frustration and pain shed in prayer, and I almost started to think I was wrong… that I should have listened… yet now, when I look back, I don’t have regrets. Did that pain suck to have to go through? Absolutely yes. I certainly don’t want other people to experience that… but I don’t look back on it and think I should have done anything different. People are imperfect. I wasn’t perfect, other people involved weren’t perfect – but I am very glad I invested as much of myself into that person.
It’s not really about hard and fast rules… I keep seeing this preview online for “House” in which House says “Rules are just helpful guidelines for stupid people.”
I don’t hate rules, if you knew me growing up you’ll know I’m not really the rebellious type.
I believe the rules have their place, that they can be helpful… but I don’t want the safety guidelines to keep me from doing what I SHOULD be doing, what God wants me to do.
Rules – or the advice of others – can’t be my standard for behavior. What God is asking me to do – THAT needs to be my standard for behavior. I have things (& people) that help me double check that it really is God I’m listening to… but in the end, I want to make sure that it is HIM I am following, and not just the DON’Ts that others suggest.
I’m a little scared to write that, but… that’s my goal. To follow God’s direction over everything else…. it’s just too easy for me to start following other things.