Less than twenty four hours ago I pulled into our driveway after a day of traveling from Michigan where I had attended Calvin College’s Festival of Faith and Writing (and picked up a copious number of books). During my three days there I had the privilege of soaking in the wisdom of writers of blogs and books, memoirs and stories, teachers and sages. I was able to fellowship around tables of fried food and hot coffee with others who love words and who also love Jesus.
We went deep fast into conversations about our lives and the work of our hands. We shared our struggles over building a platform when all we really want to do is share our stories. How do you maintain who you really are when online? What do you do when marketing goes hand in hand with recording the heartbeat of your life? How do you stay focused on Jesus while the online world is so loud?
What about when you feel like you are not enough?
The truth is, we all are coping with the same problems, but we do not necessarily share these things with one another unless we can gather together in one place, look each other in the eye and say, “Me too.”
This vulnerability I experience in writing is shared with those in many other walks of life. Those who are raising children, creating art, building businesses, attending college or grad school, whatever we are striving at and feel we are struggling in, we all need to be able to gather together with others doing the same thing, look one another in the eye and say, “I know what you feel. I know what you are experiencing. The doubts. The fears. The passions. The desires. Me too. I am here with you right now. Let me listen. Let me be with you. Let me share what I know. Let’s be in this together.”
That’s what last week was for me. Coming together in our vulnerabilities and desires in order to spur one another on to Goodness. Goodness in art and craft.
I bared my soul to editors I had never met. I received blank stares and encouraging nods. I was told to keep working by one editor and was grabbed aside for more information from another. I may have a new project on hand out of this whole thing and I will continue to press on with the work of my heart. The work I believe God has called me to.
I am a writer and that statement has not always been easy for me to say. But as Sarah Bessey so graciously reminded us on Saturday, “Everyone gets to play.” In God’s plans, we all have voices, we all have words that matter, and none will go wasted.
So as I come away from a time of encouragement, let me pass this one nugget on to you. Keep playing at the work you love. Whether that’s gardening or theologizing, making music or spreadsheets, painting houses or cutting hair. And when you feel you are getting nowhere or that it is too hard, find someone else who is walking the same road, look into their eyes and tell them, “Me too.” You might not be so far gone as you think.
What are your dreams? Desires? Plans? What do you love to do? Who has told you, “Me too”?