How blogging drew me closer to God

By Kari Patterson,
Oregon blogger

Today marks three years of investing time into this peculiar little sphere of space I call my blog.  I remember so vividly, one afternoon in July of 2007 when Jeff suggested starting a blog, so that I’d have the motivation to keep up the discipline of writing.  I was skeptical, to say the least. “A blog?” I’m sure I said it like a dirty word.  I  hardly even knew what one was (I know, I’m slow in the technology world).   “You mean, like a website? I’d never write on a website.  I want to write real things, things that matter, like Bible studies and devotional thoughts, and stories of what God does in our lives.”  You can see where this is going.  He insisted, and even though I protested that I’d never be able to figure out this process of “posting”, he created the whole thing, walked me through how to click the “publish” button, and voila! this funny little space was birthed.  I had no idea what to do.

Of course I soon realized that this little blog would save my life.  That was a very hard season of life, in seminary full-time, living with my parents, experiencing a time of spiritual pruning by the Lord that was like nothing I’d ever experienced.  I felt as though my entire identity was being ripped from me.  And, it was.  My false identity.  I was, in so many ways, Swallowed Up. Everything I held onto up to that point was stripped way during that 14-month season.  It felt so hard, but, what was so amazing, was that God used this little outlet, this blog, to pour out my heart, to process my thoughts, to vent, to share, to reflect.  I’m really not trying to be dramatic, but I really feel like this blog saved me during that time.  Though it felt like He was taking everything away, He gave me this gift in return.

That is why I hold this blog so dear. Yes, it is just a little sphere of space. A gazillion people have them, so I know I’m not unique.  But it is God’s gift and He knew it would help me grow.  So I just wanted to thank God today and reflect on how blogging has betters me.  Perhaps you can relate.

* It helps me process. The way that I process things is by writing them down. Some people talk things through, some people draw or just sit quietly. Some people run or work or take on some task to think. I have to write. In fact, 9 times out of 10 I don’t know what I think about something (or what on earth the post will be about), until I start writing it all out.  It’s therapeutic.
* It helps me take thoughts captive. I actually prefer blogging to journalling. Why?  Because journaling I can get a bit too raw. It’s appropriate at times, and I do prayer journal to God, because He can take it all. But venting is rarely helpful, and though at times I may get on a rant here, the public nature of it reminds me to word things in a way (hopefully) that is helpful rather than negative or cynical. Left to my own attitude, it could get ugly.  And, when I make the effort to write things in a positive light, I’m always amazed at how my inner thoughts and perspective quickly follow.
* It holds me responsible spiritually. I’ve always joked that the real reason I love always leading or teaching Bible study in some capacity is that it holds me spiritually responsible. For 5 years through college and then after, I taught a small group Bible study to girls at OSU. I simply shared with them, each week, whatever the Lord had been teaching me that week, and turned it into a Bible study.  That was accountability!  I had to stay current with God, listen, study, process, plan.  This blog is like that, in a different way.  Perhaps I’m making too much of this, but I take seriously that there are precious people out there who actually read these words. I want something to share! I want God to work in me in such a way that hopefully others can benefit too.  So, this blog is constant reminder: What’s God doing in your life?
* It forces me to articulate. For those of us who minister and teach, being able to articulate the lessons in our lives is vitally important. How can we share what God’s doing if we can’t sum it up in an interesting way? I so want to grow in this.  I still err on the side of wordiness 🙂 , so learning to be succinct and articulate is something I’m praying and striving for. The blog helps.
* It’s introduced me to you. I cannot even begin to express how amazing it has been to meet some of the remarkable people out there, who I’ve had the privilege of meeting through this little avenue.  So many people, in the throws of unbelievable challenges, struggles, trials.  Women and men alike who are walking this walk of faith, who inspire me and encourage me with notes and comments.  Who call me on the carpet when I’m wrong. Who cheer when God’s victorious in a situation.  Together I believe we form a cloud of witnesses, cheering each other, praising God, and hopefully showing a world a tiny glimpse of the glory of God.

So I know it is only a tiny spot of space that is this blog. But I believe that even what is small can matter, when it is authentic. My prayer is, therefore, As AW Tozer wrote,

“If my fire is not large it is yet real, and there may be those who can light their candle at its flame.”

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