It’s been a while since I’ve posted on this site. The reasons for that are varied, not the least of which are I have a demanding job, a wife, three small children, and a burden to complete my next novel. I may delve into those in a subsequent post, but in this one I’m going to focus on one other big reason that keeps resurfacing and preventing me from doing what I want to do—what God called me to do—in writing blog posts for this site.
It wasn’t a case of “writer’s block”—an affliction I hear exists, but have never experienced myself. Words, stories, and articles flow through my mind faster than I can type them. I feel like I’m perpetually behind. Yet, I entered a phase in which I struggled to know what to write for WE. The primary reason for that was no more apparent to me than it was several weeks when I attended a creativity conference in Nashville, TN with some fellow contributors to WE.
Many of the attendees were millennials—the primary target audience of this site. And while I loved the conference, enjoyed being with my younger brothers and sisters, and was inspired by the creativity of everyone there in telling their stories, it was painfully obvious how different I am (at the ancient age of 39) from those I want to connect with through WE. I’d never felt so close to collecting Social Security.
I raised this concern to the others I was with, admitting I’m just not sure I can write in a way millennials will connect with or on the topics they care about. But my friends reaffirmed what should have been obvious, that if I just simply write what God has put on my heart, he’s going to speak to the people he needs to. It’s not my job to write for everyone; it’s my job to write and tell stories from the experiences God has given me in hopes that it will connect with young people—or anyone else who reads.
One of the fundamental principles of WE is to be authentic. I’ve never struggled with this—I’ve always been transparent about who I am, for better or worse (often, for worse). So I should have known better than to think I needed to somehow manufacture posts that match my idea of what would interest a millennial; I should have instead just continued to be myself and trust that God would reach whomever he wanted to with those posts.
This truth became obvious by the end of the conference, as most of its speakers were not millennials either. In fact, some were much older than I. Yet their stories resonated with everyone in attendance, often bringing the entire auditorium to tears.
That’s what Truth does. When presented straightforwardly and authentically, Truth is universal and knows no boundaries. It does not care how old you are, what color you are, or if you have a beard. And while the details of each of our struggles may look different, we all face the same fundamental challenges, fears, and joys.
It was also pointed out to me that because of my own journey to faith, which didn’t happen until I was an adult, I now have the incredible opportunity to reach people where I was in my early twenties and offer what I struggled to find: a source I could trust who had already wrestled with all the same questions I was wrestling with, as a natural skeptic.
Other obstacles may prevent me from posting as much as I would like on this site, but my fear of not connecting with potential readers no longer will. I’m simply going to write what God has laid on my heart, and you can read it – or not.
But I, of course, hope you will.