Dear Brittany... Keep Writing.
It's been over a year since you were writing regularly. Time passes by too quickly and too slowly all at once. You've been itching to write, you've felt a heavy burden of guilt in your time away from the words forming in you heart, and, as the time has passed, your doubt has only grown. You doubt whether it's worth it. You doubt that your words hold any meaning. You begin to believe the lie that each one is empty, and wrestle with Jesus's words in Matthew 12:36 – how many empty words will you have to give an account for? How much breath did you waste?
And yet, there's the stirring.
Think back. Remember, in 2014, when you'd only just begun hesitantly writing about your faith, how a stranger stopped you in the grocery store to tell you that she read your blog? A stranger. She recognized you from your photo in the sidebar and, in that moment, was brave enough to stop you and tell you, "I don't usually read blogs. But I love reading yours. Thank you for sharing your faith." Remember how your first thought was, "Those words aren't even mine... this moment isn't of me. All of this is God's doing. All I did was admit surrender to Him and give Him a very feeble, 'OK, I'll try.' Look at what He is doing."
Remember when you hit "publish" on that very personal blog post about fearing what others think of you... you were coming fresh off of a tough season with a close friend. You felt so vulnerable and exposed. You were questioning everything you were doing – everything that had been bringing you life. You questioned down to the core of your beliefs. You hadn't written in a few weeks (the longest you'd gone away from the keyboard, at that time) and you were so bruised and afraid. You didn't want to somehow hurt anyone else with your words. And yet, you hit publish that day. Remember how a college acquaintance sent you a Facebook message that same day and told you that the post had struck her so personally? That she was messaging you, with tears in her eyes, feeling in her heart a resounding "me too." Remember how she thanked you for sharing, for making her feel less alone and less afraid? Remember how she was reminded of how great her God is in that moment? This blog is so much bigger than you, Brittany.
Three other people contacted you about that blog post within 48 hours. One of them was a complete stranger on Instagram. These were the people who were bold enough to let you know it was healing to them... it's very possible there were others who never reached out to tell you. Trust that God is at work, whether you see it or not.
So much of God's work that is done in this world is happening under the surface... like a precious crop, we till the soil (usually an uncomfortable process), we plant the seeds, we water, place in the sunlight, maybe even sing to them, and pray, pray, pray. Some of those seeds may be much later blooming than others. God does this work. It is His great pleasure to make things grow. Trust that your time is never wasted, He prepared this work for you a long time ago, and He causes all these things to work for good, for His glory. Take hope in the glory you'll get to see on the other side of Heaven and how humbling it will be to see how God's hands were over yours, guiding you each step of the way (yes, even in your repetitive rebellion and your admittedly embarrassing mistakes).
God will keep reminding you – just four short weeks after you moved to Jackson, He sent along two sisters to tell you that your blog was not only read by them in it's entirety, but also that it was a healing balm to their souls. The words you wrote years ago are making an impact today, and it is purely by God's abounding grace.
Brittany, keep writing. Don't give up the good work.
Love you dearly,
Brittany, in 2016