Well, here we are. I’m starting a blog. “Start a blog, Hannah. You have so much content. Start a blog, Hannah. Share what’s on your mind. Start a blog, Hannah. The world wants to hear what you have to say. Start a blog, start a blog, start a blog.”
‘Blog’ is beginning to turn into one of the words that sounds like nonsense after repeating it one too many times. The word keeps popping up in unexpected avenues of my mind and my heart, and though I’ve been hesitant to put my words and writing in front of a public audience, I can’t seem to chase off the idea. I guess I really do have a lot I could say. I am a more quiet and reserved person, and I do a lot of thinking (and sometimes overthinking). I fill up my journals in just a couple months with thoughts, prayers, notes, and sometimes long and colorful rants, but I’ll try to reserve my better literary moments for this blog. Underneath my slightly cynical tone, I really do have a more poetic soul. Writing is the way I create. It’s the way I talk and think. More often than not, it’s the way I pray. Sometimes it’s deeply cultivated, and sometimes it’s undeniably raw. And after getting over the idea that this gift of writing is reserved for only myself, I’m finally understanding my desire to help and inspire others with this gift that God has given to me. My prayer is that my words are not simply my own, but instead, syntax, poetry, and prose, with an ebb and flow that resembles a divine nature. I would rather speak words that come from the Heavenly Father, rather than fumble over my limited rhetoric.
So, at the end of a wearisome day, I sat down with a pen and piece of paper, and God gave me my first post. It’s not so much my list of reasons for why I’m starting this blog, but rather, it’s more of God awakening my heart to why I should be writing and using my voice for good. With that, here’s my simple explanation. Sometimes God lights a fire under my dragging feet, and this is the conversation He had with me when I finally made the jump into this world.
“You have to do it. You have words inside of you that weren’t made for your heart and your benefit alone. Believe it or not, scores of the words put on your heart are not your own. I, God, put them there. I gave you a poetic, musical, lyrical soul so that you can speak in a way that moves people. You, through My strength, can move and motivate people to stand for justice, fight for the oppressed, seek righteousness, and pursue growth in themselves and with Me. You can relate, build, and encourage with speech, yet you also bring an artistic element to the truth and wisdom of My words in your heart.
Please give your tongue access to these words. Unleash your gift for My purposes. You may have to give up your control a little for you to truly convey the message I’ve placed inside of you. Do not let your voice be hindered by fear (Joshua 1:9). For too long, you’ve only spoken up when you couldn’t stay silent any longer. You neglected to add words to circumstances that needed their creative power, simply because you preferred the safety of your own mind more than the satisfaction of knowing that I, God, spoke through you. Sure, it’s easier for your words to undergo the missiles of human opinion when they are out in the open. And you won’t always say the right thing. But, my dear child, that is not something I’m concerned with. I am more given to the potential that you hold in the spaces between your fingertips where the ballpoint rests. I am more taken with the deep crevasses of your heart where my wisdom has been hibernating. I am more intrigued by what could change when you finally decide to open your mouth.
Have thoughts like these ever crossed your mind before? You have the power to build My Kingdom with the words on your tongue and the pen in your hand. Has a notebook of yours stayed empty? Have you ever wasted that canvas? Then cultivate this gift. Develop it. And finally, in my good timing, share it. Let others know that I am for them. Write. Speak. Shout! Sing! You were not made to be silent (Jeremiah 20:9)!
And fear not what you will say. I will develop you to master this gift. You don’t have to draw from your own efforts. Let my Spirit be your muse. Do not let those who will attack your words dissuade you from trusting in the promises I made to you. Remember that when speaking up for me, I will give you the words to say (Matthew 10:19 NLT). You will not find this spring of rhetoric in yourself. You will discover it when you let me in, and let me start fires in the places where your passion has grown cold. Take down your walls, and allow me to show you how to live—truly live. May I have your permission, dear child? Will you allow Me to knock over the dusty, old shelves of your mind? Will you let me wreck your expectations of the “way it should be?” Will you let me work dangerously, scandalously, and passionately in your heart? Please, stop hiding in the safety of silence. You were made for boldness. You were made for love. You were made for this. SPEAK UP, Hannah. SPEAK. UP.”