Hi, my name is Emily, and this is my column. It’s nice to meet you!
The first thing you should know about me is that I like words.
In fact, when Ally and Darrell asked me to write this column, I sent them a 1,500-word email telling them why I didn’t think I could (or should) do it. Yep. 1500 words detailing my fears, and a few of my excuses. 1,500 words of insecurity, most of them about how I didn’t have enough to say.
I can’t help it. Fearful or not, words just come naturally to me.
Ally and Darrell are great friends, though. They responded patiently, giving me deeper insight into their vision to create a place of storytelling, and asked if God was speaking to me in any way. Whether or not I decided to join this Prodigal Party, they encouraged me to listen for God’s voice.
The second thing you need to know is that, yes, God is speaking to me.
He has and does and will. Sometimes through a book or a song or the Bible or a sermon, but often it’s in a gentle nudge, an insight from a trusted friend, a plate of gluten free waffles or a steady revelation of his love for me.
It hasn’t always been this way.
A little over two years ago, I put down all of my Christian-Good-Girl theology and asked God to start over, just me and Him.
I knew a billion things about him – we’d been friends since I was four – but I was still lost. There were a plenty of things I didn’t like about Him and assumed he didn’t like about me. I was stuck in this dysfunctional relationship with my view of God and was seeing the negative results in my life, relationships and health.
So I quit. I stopped trying to make God like me and just asked him to talk with me.
I started being honest with him, asked him to speak and committed to listening. Through this process, I am finding my voice.
That’s the third thing you should know.
As much as I’m here to speak up, I also want to listen. Not just to God, but to you. One thing that I’m sure of, and one reason I’m here, is that I believe God is speaking to you, too. This Prodigal community is valuable because you engage and invest and share.
The more you speak up about your story, the more in tune we all get to God’s vast frequency, speaking grace and truth and freedom across the world.
So Follow me on Twitter (@emelina) or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) because whatever God is doing in your heart and mind, I want to hear about it.
Speaking Up is about growing. It’s about what it looks like to be a thoughtful and faithful twenty-something. It’s about listening to God, yourself, and others, and sharing your discoveries.
So go ahead. Speak up!