Over the past year and a half of writing on this blog, I’ve done precious little commenting or in-depth reading or following of other blogs. I sometimes feel quite guilty about this, because there’s a lot of good stuff out there, and I truly do enjoy and appreciate what others have to say and share.
But I had a dilemma to face. I had been blogging actively for several years (anonymously) in a bid to understand myself, my past, my desires, my broken and then healing marriage, my motivations. It was also a bit of escapism from boredom. I was encountering a lot of interesting people who also were enjoying the anonymity of blogging, and with similar quests for answers. I voraciously read their blogs. Comments on mine were helpful, caring, informative, encouraging, and complimentary (things I was lacking in my marriage then). I rarely had any inappropriate or “weird” commenters; most were incredibly gracious and very helpful. Being able to open up fully about my questions was freeing, I learned a lot, and I don’t consider it a wasted time. It served to grow me and inform me.
Eventually though, God was convicting me that sourcing wisdom for living in the blog world was not His best plan for me. I longed to explore far more than just my needs and my desires for gratification in life; I wanted to include a God-view in my life, and this meant having to give up some thoughts and habits that were not helping me grow. Namely, giving up my selfish fantasies about how things “should be” or “could be” better. I needed to factor God’s will for me into my explorations. God has done some amazing work in my life, in my marriage. I was feeling like God was telling me it was time to explore how that might serve others.
In the blog world there are honest people, people who just tell it like it is and let it all hang out; who share wisdom from living, and mistakes; who don’t just write about themselves and how to have their needs met. They live for a purpose bigger than themselves.
There are also sensational bloggers, who clearly seek an audience of followers. Not to say they aren’t honest, but they like to write a riveting story; embellishments and fantasy are acceptable. There is a blur between reality and fantasy. The number of followers and commenters become a really important driving factor in their blogging. However we the reader rarely know what is truth or fiction. Some of these talented story weavers can really suck us in. Sex sells.
In just my first 3 years of blogging, I watched some bloggers crash and burn along the way of their sensationalist blogging (and concomitant lifestyles). One woman who decided it was hip and cool to explore (and blog) something with another woman, supposedly with hubby’s permission, is now alone and divorced. Another realizes that what seemed like a fun fantasy was really abuse. A young mom seeking more excitement in her marriage found out he was cheating. Another lady quit her job, packed up her life for her fantasy life with a blogger halfway across the country, only to repack and return “home” within four months, greatly disillusioned. I’ve seen some crazy, sad stuff go down. Along with crazy, sad, irresponsible comments like “You go girl!” Sadly, these stories played out like that horrendous crash you can’t tear your eyes away from.
By now, most of us can smoke out the difference between the authentic blogger, and the fantasy-reality blogger. And we can make our choices. I wasn’t always making good choices; I have a weakness for the sensational, the evocative, the erotic. But I appreciate real, honest, and messy.
When one is searching for a better way, for better love, a better marriage, it’s easy to get sucked into something that looks so amazingly good, and think “that’s the cure-all, that’s what will make me happy.” Especially when it’s titillating and/or sexy.
Being in God’s will can make me happy. I know this. It’s just easy to forget it, easy to get distracted, tempted. It’s easier to come up with some other ways that I think are “more fun.”
God is not a “sexy topic” these days (was He ever?) He doesn’t sell too many novels, but His Book is still the world’s best-selling, most read, and most widely distributed book in the world. Not Harry Potter. Not The Great Gatsby. Not Fifty Shades (which, incidentally is the fifth most best-selling books of all time according to the Guardian). It’s even reached a point in some circles that to express one’s faith views or speak of God is considered intolerant.
From a pure modern-day marketing point of view, I saw little popularity in writing authentically about God AND sex AND marriage. Imagine my surprise that some people actually want to read about this. Go God! God knows exactly how 55 followers (plus me) can be reached through my blogging, even if it transcends my own understanding.
So back to reading and commenting. It wasn’t always a healthy thing for me in the past. It informed me in some not-so-healthy ways. I found myself sucked into a vortex of wanting my life to resemble another’s. I enjoyed the sensation of being “listened to” and “approved of” when there were comments on my blog (and quite honestly, I still do–I appreciate those wonderful folks who take the time to leave their thoughts or approbation). And I felt I needed to take a little sabbatical from gaining wisdom and information solely from the blog world.
I do read your blogs (and you know who you are), especially when I know that they won’t take me down that rabbit hole of unrealistic fantasies or desires. I learn a lot from you. There are things bloggers say that inspire me to try harder, to become less self-centered and selfish.
So thank you to all who have followed, read, commented AND prayed. I appreciate you. Iron sharpens iron. And I promise to be a better reader.