Monday, May 9, 2016

Why I Write

Photo: Hilary CL (morgefile)

Sometimes I have a hard time expressing what I'm thinking. I'm such an introvert, almost to the point of it crippling me. Somehow, by God's grace, I still make it through each day. When I was growing up, I always wondered why I acted so differently from others. Everyone around me seemed to be complete extroverts, and although I can put on a good face and appear to be an extrovert if you met me, I'll probably spend the next day home alone trying to re-energize from all the over-stimulation. This doesn't mean I hate people - it's actually the opposite. I love meeting new people - hearing their stories, your stories, being able to understand why they are who they are. It's just that sometimes I would like that in return.

I write because it's the only real way that I can express my thoughts without interruption or judgment. When I was growing up, my brother was very advanced in his schooling - he's so smart, and I still look up to him today. It was hard for me because even though we share many of the same skills and abilities, our personalities are very different. Because I didn't talk as much in school, it was harder for me to prove to my teachers that I was capable to handle more advanced courses. It was hard for me to show my personality and interests because I thought that they were insignificant and not useful. I know that they didn't do this on purpose, but the feeling that I wasn't good enough still remained. If you're ever in the position where you can influence someone for the better, do it. You never know what that person is going through, and you'll never know how your actions, positive or negative, will influence them in the future. Because of this, I gradually began to not care for writing.

Fast forward to high school: I quit writing completely. As I mentioned briefly before in a previous post (see 4 Notes for Life's Bumpy Road), I just grew to hate writing, going almost eight years without writing anything besides what was required for me in school. I still don't quite know why, but I think, looking back on that time now, that I grew to hate it because I had gotten to a point where it was even hard to write out and express through writing what I was thinking and feeling. I didn't feel overwhelmed or underwhelmed. It was like I was emotionally bound and couldn't break free. In high school, I focused almost solely on academics. Everything seemed to revolve around classes, but I still made time to read. I graduated high school at the top of my class, but even on the stage of giving my speech, I still felt nothing.

Fall of 2011, I started my first semester at North Carolina State University, one of the best and worst times of my (limited) life. I met some pretty awesome friends that remain friends to this day (hey Keisha! - check out her site), but that also began a struggle I didn't know I would have to ever deal with. It started small, and I think that because I can be a little naive, I fell into its trap. First it was explicit images, then that escalated to explicit videos and websites. I've never felt more exposed in my life than at that moment. I finally got the courage to tell my friend Keisha about what I was dealing with in private, and she has been a constant rock for me, even if she may not know it. I still have moments of weakness when it comes to this, but I think with now that I'm finally sharing this, it will help further the healing process for me.

I began this blog in May 2013, making it three years this month. I've been through so much since then - short-term missions trip, college and graduation, the beginning and end of friendships, and spiritual growth, only to name a few. Through dealing with my personal struggles of sin, insecurity, and feeling like my value was minimal, God has allowed this gift of writing to become of comfort for me, and hopefully for you. I share these stories of life not to put myself on a pedestal, or to make myself look any better than anyone else. We all have issues that God is working in us. I believe that during this process of growth, conviction and being hard-pressed, God is producing in me, in us, better versions of ourselves to be used for His glory. It's like coming out with a new model of a car - the car had to be deconstructed in order to find out what flaws or issues were present, in order to build a better version that can be used for service. I know that is what God is doing in and through me each day, and as I seek Him through His Word, prayer, and engaging with other believers, my prayer is that I'll be made more like Him.

Writing for me has becoming a way to pour out my thoughts and emotions at God's feet and leave them there. God meets me in those quiet moments of reading His Word and writing, and in those moments and in each part of life, He continues to make something great in me. I write to encourage you, that through whatever storm, season of life, or silent hurt, you'll allow God to meet you where you are and change you from within.


*Linkup at Literary Musings

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