This blog is not off to a good start. It still looks hideous, and I’m not regularly posting. I have written about four full posts and have the scattered workings of a few more. Chris looked at two of them and suggested edits, which will require some more thinking and work on my part. So I’ve been sitting on them. The rest I haven’t posted because I’m more self-conscious about my writing than I was a month ago. I realize I am horrible with grammar. Sometimes my thoughts are scattered and my writing isn’t fluid. My writing is like my life, a little messy. So, I either need an editor who has time to work with me or I have to do the hard work of figuring this out on my own. I probably need both of those and that’s overwhelming to me. But, I feel like I have so many things welling up inside of me that I need to say. Is this messy writing helping me live well in this messy life? And does God work his restoration in my writing as well as me partly by the simple act of doing, even if it isn’t perfect?

I’m also realizing that I’m a little bit of a Debbie Downer. I’m trying to find joy in the little things in life, but what I find most compelled to write or instagram about is struggles or tension. Can one be too real? Too below the surface? Don’t people cringe at that? We want vulnerable but not too raw. I mean most of us don’t mind a scratch that bleeds a little on the surface, but please don’t show me raw flesh and bone or I get queasy. This isn’t just me judging or feeling the judgment of others, I feel uncomfortable with flesh and bone, too. So sometimes I reflect on the rawness of my life and the honestly I have been trying to live in, and I get uncomfortable with myself. What am I thinking living this struggle out loud? But on the other hand, living my fear in the light is how I truly learned to live again. If there is no light, I suffocate in the darkness of my fear.

Some day I think the puzzle pieces of my life will fit together. I will look at each memory, story, post, picture, and I will see that in the raw and exposed as well as the fun and neat and simple, there were glimpses of beauty and grace that were leading me to the next piece to connect with. Eventually what is created is a big picture, the story of my life. A story, a picture, a life marked by grace.

So, until the time my puzzle makes sense, which may not be in this life, I think I’m just going to go about the business of creating more pieces and to stop trying to make sure all those pieces are perfect by my own and others’ standards. But rather I want to live in the moment, so to speak, even if it’s grammatically incorrect, a bad picture, or raw, exposed, and messy. And I know God, who is the creator of my puzzle and the author of my story, will mark his stamp of redemption in all of it. And I pray that at the end of my life there is a picture that is formed that others can’t help but say: to God be all the glory.