To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven Ecclesiastes 3:1
The timing just seems right.
Many of you found my blog after the Aurora Theater Shooting in 2012.
Three years later, the trial for the gunman in that horrific shooting comes to a close as the jury began deliberations yesterday. It seems like a good time to close out my blog as well. It hasn’t been without much forethought and prayer.
It was almost funny; having my own words boomeranged back to speak a truth to me.
My girlfriend was enjoying a vacation on the beach, but sweet friend that she is, she still found time to encourage me, knowing that I was going through a tough season. I read her brief e-mail:
You got me started on Lori Stanley Roeleveld’s blog – and I bought her book. I was just reading it and found an encouraging verse she cited: Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the LORD delivers him out of them all Psalm 34:19
Just a few minutes later she messaged me again.
Ha ha. Joke’s on me. I’m reading about YOU in Lori’s book.
Lori Roeleveld is a blog writer that I have never met, but greatly admired and had recommended to my friend back in late 2011 or early 2012. She had later published a book called Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus) My friend was reading the book when she messaged me. I had no clue what she was talking about. I, too, had purchased the book for my Kindle some time ago, but it was somewhere on my list of want-to-read-one-day books. My friend told me to check out chapter 5. I did. And sure enough, it was obvious Lori was talking about me. Apparently (totally forgotten by me) on July 19, 2012 I was whittling away the time reading blogs before heading out to see The Dark Knight Rises with my daughters, and I commented on something she had written. I told her that writers like her – such masterful wordsmiths – sometimes made me want to give up on writing because they said everything I ever wanted to say so much more eloquently. As most of you know, a few hours later James Holmes walked into the theater, straight down the aisle from where my daughters and I sat, and began shooting. 12 people died, including the woman seated next to us, 70 were physically injured and the rest of us were left with invisible wounds. The next day I hastily wrote a blog post and it went viral.
At that time – and even today – I had no idea how to blog. It was something I was doing for a small band of family and friends. I’ve never advertised, marketed, or publicized my blog apart from my small group of facebook friends. I still don’t know much about how the technical aspect of blogging works. I DO know that I often get e-mails stating that “so and so is now following your blog” and sometimes the names of the blog followers’ blogs kind of make me uneasy. I’ve never known how to block certain people or control ads or even how to set it up to my liking. (Maybe I should take a web design class…)
Anyway – Lori said she commented on the post that went viral that that is exactly why we never give up – because we never know exactly when God wants to write or tell our story. Other voices (our own or others) may tell us we aren’t good enough but we need to listen only to His voice. I never read her comment, because I decided to not wade through the 5,000+ comments. (Sorry)
Anyway, I feel I am in an opposite place now – I have many of you telling me that blogging is my gifting and calling, but I’m really not sensing that is where I am supposed to be in this moment. Yes, I’m a writer. But not necessarily a blog writer. Maybe that one post was the purpose for this blog. After reading the thoughts in Lori’s chapter, I did a little sleuthing and discovered that you can see how many direct hits a particular blog post has received – that is, how many visits are linked directly to a post and not just visits to the blog itself. The post I wrote after the shooting has been visited 1,279, 328 times. Again, I think perhaps that has been the purpose for this simple little blog and I believe its (the blog) time has come to an end. I will keep that particular post and some others that folks seem to have visited frequently (not MY favorites but the ones most visited) open, but have closed out the rest.
When I was getting ready to speak at the ladies retreat in May, I was battling migraines. At the last minute, even though I had spent quite a bit of time preparing and was excited to share, I grabbed a children’s story I had written for fun more than a decade ago, as a back-up plan to all my careful preparations. I’m glad I did. I spent the morning I was to speak throwing up – and then spent part of my teaching time reading a children’s story to a room full of grown-ups. The response was wonderful and I was reminded how much I used to love writing children’s stories “just for fun.” Maybe that’s a direction I’ll take. Or fiction writing. There is always Dispelling the Darkness to finish. Or that memoir I said I’d never write <grin>
As soon as the current bible study I’m hosting is over, I’ve committed to 10 weekly “appointments” with a friend as we work through a project on clarifying our “purpose” and how to get from point A to point B. In other words, how to figure out the WHAT and put it into action. I’m excited about that.
The timing just seems right.
The trial has come to an end.
And for me…I’m nearing the end of a decade.
In 2016 I will be FIFTY!
I have found my forties to be the BEST decade yet – I think as we mature we realize how little we really need to be joy filled people, we discover that there is great freedom in being who we are created to be. For me that is a simple creature living life quietly. Yes, I’ve loved my forties but this last year has been a difficult one – the trial has been far more emotionally draining than I ever anticipated, there have been kid issues and marriage issues and friends and co-workers going through extremely painful times. But I know that this is just a season. And it too shall pass.
But it feels time for something new.
If, and when I come back, it will NOT be as a WordPress blogger – I will have to learn how to create and run my own website.
There’s a whole lot of you I’m gonna miss. I hope you’ll still keep in touch.
Love and hugs,
Marie with a 🙂