Guess What!!! Today is Faith2Shine’s 7 month anniversary!!! In honor of such a milestone I want to join in on a little blog hopping. A new writing friend, Abby, whom I had the distinct honor of meeting last week, has invited me in on the fun and today I’ll share it with you!! This one is a little longer than usual – good parties always run late, right?!!
This whole writing thing started last October when I joined an on-line training group called Compel. Little did I know what was coming; God has done so much with just one simple act of obedience. Writing has become such a tool for healing in my own life and this place, this blog, has aided the revelation of a dream long-buried in my heart: a dream to see others find healing along this faith journey.
Why do I write what I write?
I write because it is my dance of worship before the Lord. He has recently asked me to make it public… here on this blog. And while that totally scared me to pieces it has also revealed how faithful He is to redeem those pieces.
I have journeyed through church. Having been raised in church by a very devote mother I know the lingo and can “play church” with the best of them. I write because I so desperately want to be real, to breathe. I want authentic faith, faith that is messy– not patronized – not disingenuous. I want the kind of faith that rises above pretentiousness and stands out beyond mediocrity. I write, I worship, because I want a faith that is alive.
What am I working on?
I have found blogging to be both really fun and really hard. I set out to blog once a week and that quickly grew to twice a week. Now… well at least right this moment, I will be blogging three times a week.
I would be absolutely honored to write the story of my testimony into a book. It is just below the surface in my soul but God has not yet released the words… and so it simmers. And very recently (as in yesterday) I was presented with an opportunity to write (in book format) the testimony of a beautiful family. I am earnestly praying about it!
How does my writing process work?
I kind of want to chuckle at this question, it sounds so professional and I don’t quite consider myself a professional – ha! Right this very second I am writing on my lap top in my bed – next to my snoring man. Tomorrow I’ll write in between the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the backyard water fight. And if I am lucky I’ll sneak away during nap time to Starbucks with my iPad sometime next week.
Writing for me happens when I can ignore the raging to-do list and settle the environment around me. From there it is sometimes research with my Bible, Commentaries, Concordance and Google or it is a blinking cursor, a cup of coffee and a steady dance of clicking fingers.
But it isn’t just the pixellated letters on a blank white page that God has used to pull me out of hiding. He has connected me with some amazing women along the way. I used to think that on-line communities were just for the techies and younger generations (I know – don’t judge me). I kept my social networking to simply tweeting and status-updating amongst friends and family that I could also touch. (insert an innocent giggle) I have been absolutely blown away by the genuineness and real-life hearts of my “on-line” friends. Would you allow me to introduce you to just a few of them? And please, don’t just take my word for it, grab another cup of coffee and visit a bit with them. (they are simply amazing!)
I met Michelle through Compel. She and I started trading conversation over some of the trainings and the upcoming conference. When I arrived at this conference I found myself standing in a long hallway filled with people. I felt so lost in a sea of beautiful faces when Michelle walked up to me with a huge smile; “You’re Brandi, right?!” Instantly, I felt at home. Michelle offers you encouragement in everything she says and does – her smile will feel like a “welcome home”. She blogs over at JourneyPink.com, where she will inspire you to live life freely and lightly within the extravagant love of King Jesus.
Have you ever had a chance encounter with someone who left you slack-jawed and God-struck? Me too! I was gathering my things about to make my exit, when I overheard this tall, tender, Canadian talking about her book proposal. It drew me in, hook-line-and sinker, and without being rude I totally eavesdropped. Her story was like mine… her words echoed the sentiments in my heart. It was a divine moment. As she shared, I found validation and then as she listened, I found hope. Melissa has linked her arms with mine and thus has encouraged me not just in my calling, but in my healing. She is a self-described “way-ward child” who has been redeemed. She shares her life experiences through speaking and writing. An encourager and an inspiration, Melissa founded Elizabeth’s House and helps others to own their faith and live whole-heartedly.
Did I mention I am not an on-line community person? When I trace back the steps of my connection to Beth it leaves me utterly speechless. Only God would take the simple things, like a tweet, and turn it into a whole new friendship. Beth has come along side of me and truly become a friend. She has allowed me the distinct honor of guest blogging on her ministry’s web site (and will soon be a guest here!!) and has pointed me back to Jesus when I couldn’t get the blinking cursor to sing. I have not yet met Beth in person but chatting with her over the phone is like sitting on her porch swing sipping tea with your bare feet up and your hair down. She is real. She is true. She is full of faith and passion for Jesus. She is the founder of Remade Ministries where she equips and unites women with the truth of God’s word and the freedom of knowing Christ.
Thanks for celebrating with me today friends! May this party bring you joy in your journey!!