When I began talking to my close friends about this blog I was starting, most of them asked me a very pointed question.
“Are you going to continue to write about the deep topics on your heart?”
You see, before starting this “real” site, I had a free WordPress blog that was followed by only a handful of people. It was where I poured out my heart. I mean, really laid it all out there. If you’ve only discovered me through this new blog of mine (hello, new friends!), you probably don’t know yet that there is a deep fire inside me when it comes to justice. Justice for women, justice for all races, justice for refugees and sex slaves and foster children and those stuck in the tragic cycle of deep poverty. Nothing, and I mean nothing, gets me more passionate than these issues. Never do I write more easily or more eloquently than when I write about standing for justice, pursuing equality for all humanity, living with compassion towards ALL people, and understanding how our history has affected our present.
If you have a minute, click here to read some of the posts I have written on these topics. You’ll see what I mean.
So when I began the process of creating this new space to share my heart, I asked myself what it is I want to write about. What is my niche? What topics do I want to focus on in order to gain a following? How do I want to be impactful?
To be honest, I just wanted to be polite.
Sure, I wanted to encourage others and spread love and bring about change. But in sweet ways. So when my faithful friends who know my fiery heart started probing about whether I would use this new blog to write even more about the issues constantly pressing on me, I struggled to answer them. I struggled to answer my own conscience. My responses sounded weak, even to my own ears.
“Well, I don’t know. I don’t want to alienate people before I can even build trust with them. Maybe I’ll write about more neutral topics for a while, then start to weave the harder subjects in when I have an opportunity. But I’m not sure if this is even the space for that. I’m blogging about travel, adventure, and learning to live courageously. Am I going to lose followers if I suddenly start talking about social justice? And if I have no followers, how can I have any influence?”
During one such conversation over tacos with my incredible friend, Laura, she said, “I don’t see how you couldn’t write about those things. You have such a fire in your heart for them.”
She was right. She is a God-send.
In a journal entry from a few months ago, I wrote words that God was whispering to my heart.
“Charlotte. Don’t write tentatively. Don’t write from your tiptoes as you skirt around the difficult places and try to please all the people. That will cause weakness in your words. No one wants to read that. No one NEEDS to read that.
Don’t aim to offend, but don’t be afraid of it either, if the offense comes from truth spoken in love. How many times has your sensitivity been offended before you saw the need for change in yourself?
The art inside you comes from the fire inside you. I lit that fire Myself. Don’t try to smother the flames so their glow doesn’t bother anyone around you. Your goal this year was to stop living in fear. So now stop writing in fear. Write courageously, and trust me to guide the hearts of your readers. You be obedient to Me. Let Me handle the rest.
Y’all, I have such a strong natural tendency towards people-pleasing. But I am no good to anyone as a writer if I only put out comfortable words. If all I do is inspire, but never challenge, who do I help? Certainly not myself! I will wither away and stop writing if I don’t write what is burning in my heart.
This is all a journey for me, every bit of it. I used to be a racist, although I didn’t recognize it. I used to scoff at the idea of women’s rights, even though I am a woman. I used to view slavery in America through a carefully filtered lens that led me to believe it wasn’t “all that bad”. I used to know nothing about Jim Crow laws, the civil rights movement, or the battle for the right to vote for both women and black Americans.
A few years ago, I didn’t know how badly immigrants were treated, right here in my own “land of opportunity”. I had no idea that our criminal justice system is so badly twisted. I didn’t see that the “church” itself often oppresses women and children, and protects corrupt men in power. Until I became a foster parent, I never realized that the majority of politicians have little to no interest in reforming the system that affects nearly half a million of our country’s children.
I used to hold to one line of thought, and refused to open my eyes to the other side.
I was blind, but now, slowly, slowly, I am starting to see.
So, yes, I will still write about travel, adventure, and learning to live courageously. But don’t be surprised when I also write about issues much deeper. I will ALWAYS make sure that I write respectfully, without disparaging anyone, whether we agree or not. Loving all people means LOVING. ALL. PEOPLE. I pray I may always love well and humbly.
So, again, welcome friends, old and new. Let’s learn together.
If you would like to be notified when I post something new, don’t forget to subscribe by entering your email address in the subscribe box to the right! I promise to never send spam or useless nonsense!
More posts you might like:
Embracing the Ancestors of My Adopted Son
The Power of Celebrating My Husband
I Can’t Be Everything for You – A Letter to My Children