A Blogging Prayer...Upside Down Bloggers

I have been following the writings of Ann Voskamp for a while now on her blog A Holy Experience. The first time I ever read her words I broke down and wept, because this woman had somehow traveled to the depths of my soul...and exposed what she found there on the front page of her blog. Of course, she doesn't even know me. She was writing about herself. But there it was...and there were my tears all over the desk and my heart bleeding freely along with them.

I often deliberately avoid her posts. I see them come into my box and fuzz up my eyes a bit as I skim.  A majority of the time I simply don't want to go that deep. My wounds can only take so much reopening.

Then there are days, like today, when I am brave enough to look and I realize that I'm hiding those wounds again from the only One Who can heal them...and Ann is doing me a favor by exposing me.

"Every great victory begins on the knees.
Upside Down blogging, with Jesus increasing and us decreasing,
begins with us bowed in prayer over a keyboard...so we begin in prayer..."

I read Ann's "A Blogger's Prayer" a couple of days ago and immediately felt that discomfort that comes with the call to renewal. It was only mild discomfort though because I just skimmed. I returned today to face it and own it and my discomfort level increased significantly. If you blog, go pray this prayer now, and you will begin to be uncomfortable and discover the areas that you haven't completely given to Him.
I saw this badge above the prayer and was intrigued. "I don't know what it is but I think I want to be one." I followed the link and discovered three articles (actually, they are transcripts from a series of presentations)....

1. Why Blog? What does it mean to be an Upside Down Blogger?
2. What does it take to really have blogging Success?
3. Six things every Christian blogger needs to know

I admit that I only skimmed them. I started to really read but I felt that uncomfortable tug and tightness in my throat. I knew she was going to hammer me with the truth and I decided to "come back later" when I had more time to read prayerfully. It was clear from what I saw that this is an opportunity of grace...another call to conversion. 

Ann opens up her third talk by saying...
"...The stories of my intensely painful mothering failures, and how I have damaged my kids, stories of my selfishness that has wounded my husband. 
And I have lived bare on a screen and it has hurt and it has been terrifying and blogging the upside down kingdom is not about you and glory - but about sacrifice and come lay down and die.
How is your blog not about you, but taking you lower? How is your blog not about you, and making you humble? How is your blog not about you but about Christ?
Because the only platform we as Christians can mount is an altar where we lie down as a sacrifice."
I am not Ann Vaskomp. I do not write like her. But God has worked through her many times to tear the scales from my eyes.  He is asking me to go deeper but it will not look the same as her journey. 

I will go back and pray that prayer and read her words...carefully enough to feel it in my gut...and then I will begin (again) the journey of discernment. 

Like everything else in life, I have brought my weaknesses to blogging. I do not mean that I have exposed them or used them to help me to grow in humility; I mean that I have allowed them to reign in my heart. The reason for that is because I do not want to ask the difficult questions. I say it's all about Him but I really want to be the one running the show. 

Will my blog look any different as a result of this exercise? I don't expect it to. I don't really know. But I know that what matters is purity of heart and intention...and that is where the wounds must be opened.

Ann writes:

"The Word God wastes nothing and He heals two broken hearts with one story – the reader 

Us who are fighting for joy from behind the laundry heap and in the trenches with the crying kids and with the bruised marriages and the crushing debts and the battered , frayed dreams, and we. Don’t. want. To. Get. Out. Of. Bed — we need your messy, real, authentic, unmasked stories. And you who are fallen and broken and scraped–  you need your messy, real, ugly stories.  Because in the hands of the Spirit, story becomes a salve to the skinned souls.
The first person that any words ever heal — is the writer of those words."
Ah, yes. That is why she writes. Her words have many, many times been "salve" to my "skinned soul." I don't intend to open my wounds to the world as she does but why do I blog? If we give our writing over to Him completely, how will He use us? We may never know but we will be content to be working and resting in the heart of the Beloved. If it's not for Him first, then it isn't worth doing at all.

Posted on December 14, 2010 and filed under "a blogger's prayer", "a holy experience", "upside down blogging".