I Had to Quit Blogging

quit-blogging

I was thirty years old when I gave my life to Jesus. After three decades of living only for myself, there was a lot to unlearn.

I knew I had been given a new heart; I was a new creation.  Not just because the Bible told me so, but because I felt it in my spirit.  It was a moment that happened that could never un-happen.

But living from this new creation heart? I had no clue how to do that.

The answer came six months later.

I walked away from the one thing I thought gave me my identity: my blog.

I started out blogging about single motherhood and my adventures in dating and parenting.  I created my blog out of boredom and loneliness one night and soon I wasn’t lonely anymore. I began to tweet and fellow tweeters became my best friends. They were people I had never actually met of course, but people with the ability to validate me unlike anything I had ever experienced.

I got used to the validation. It felt good to be seen, for the mess of my life as a single mother to be accepted, for the unsung  beauty of my life to be celebrated.

Every retweet, comment, and spike in my stats felt like a meal I could feast on. For all the feelings of rejection I had packed on, for all the uncertainty I felt about my worth, finally a deep need to be wanted and to belong was being filled.

But the more I feasted, the hungrier I got. And the meals started feeling like mere morsels. I couldn’t write enough, or tweet enough, to keep the craving  pangs at bay.

My blog became my life.

Even as I fell in love with my new husband, and my whole world began to change, expand, brighten, I still wouldn’t loosen my grip to my online life. My cherished identity as “mom” wasn’t enough for me either. The only identity that mattered was being a personality in cyberspace.

And then I met Jesus and heard all about how he loved me, and how loved me so much he wanted my identity to rest firmly in Him.

But at home when I sat down at my laptop and opened WordPress to write, I lost who I was in Him. Or maybe I didn’t lose Him in the writing, but I surely lost Him in the obsessive follow-up to that writing.

The rush of being wanted, the comfort of belonging, the thrill of being liked for my words and thoughts — I was dependent on it. And on the days I wrote something that fell flat to my audience, I was crushed by it. If ever I heard crickets after a post went live my whole day would be ruined.

Even at church I  couldn’t praise or worship unless I was celebrating my own glory.

This was big problem.

I knew it. But I didn’t not know what to do about it.

“Why don’t you quit blogging?” My husband asked me one evening.

It was my birthday, and I was in tears yet again about my good-for-notin blog. Ever since I pronounced my new love for Jesus my readers began dropping like flies. This broke my heart. I wanted both loves.

But Jesus makes it clear you can’t serve two masters. In Matthew 6:24 he was talking about money, but he could have just as equally been talking about fame on the internet.

And I knew my blog had to go.

I surrendered my hopes and plans as a writer and laid my blog down at the foot of the cross. I turned it off. Shut it down.

And I didn’t expect to go back.

What I didn’t know then, is that God asked me to lay it down, not because it was bad for me, or because it couldn’t be used by Him. He asked me to lay it down because He was jealous for me. He wanted me to find, and know, and live freely from my identity in him, not in anything else — even the very things he has given me as gifts.

Our stories are gifts from God. And I call myself a “writer” because God has blessed me with a love for, and an ability with, words. Writing is a blessed gift.

But even good gifts don’t make great identities.

Ironically, God has invited me back to this public space of sharing my writing online. And with fear and trembling I have returned, holding tight to what I have learned about what it means to live from my “new creation” heart. For me it means I stand firm in my identity in Christ and I use the gifts God has given me, not as fishing lines for validation, but as instruments for his glory.

I am His. And if I am His, my stories and words are His as well.

Photo Credit: Marisa Vasquez , Creative Commons

  • http://canigetanotherbottleofwhine.com/ Kate Hall

    This is exactly what I’m going through right now. I’m recognizing that my identity is in my blog and my tweets and that I’m seeking my glory above His. At the same time, I feel called to write for/to others. I haven’t felt led to stop blogging, but I know there are areas in the blogging realm that I need to stop or cut back on significantly. I’m praying for wisdom and discernment. I recently developed tendonitis in my hands/arms from so much social media/blogging. There’s nothing like physical pain to force you to slow down. I’m seeing it as a blessing and an answer to my recent prayers because it’s forced me to do the minimum with my blog. It’s forced me to sit back and think and realize that the world hasn’t ended because I haven’t sent out enough tweets. Thanks for writing this.

  • Margo

    I relate to you on this Morgan. I started my blog, Legacy of a Single Girl about 3 ago because I wanted to make friends, connect, feel all that gushy love that I read in other blogs. First I got involved in decorating but it felt pointless. Then I started painting, and that was helpful to ME because it showed me another side to myself, an artistic creative side I didn’t know was there. I had about 30 followers from blogging about my art. But, that really didn’t fill the space in my soul either. As I’ve grown in His grace these last couple of years I’ve begun to blog mostly about Him, and His grace and redemption. And, I stopped getting comments and kuddos. And you know what. I’m good with that! Because this blogging fills my soul, and I think it’s what the Lord is asking of me at this time. I have made a few soul Sister friends, and I’m content with the blogsphere now. Because what I really want to share with the world is how this Prodigal Daughter was saved, redeemed, carried, and redeemed again, and there is hope out there for the lonely, lost girls. Thee is always Hope.

    Love your honesty here!!

    Margo

    • http://www.simplewithsyd.com/ simplewithsyd

      Awesome Margo! I am with you!

  • http://paulanderson13.wordpress.com/ Paul Anderson

    Good Stuff Morgan. I started my blog, Meat n’ Potatoes about 1 year ago. It’s taught me so much about myself, my insecurities, my desires and my current balance in life. I also felt called to write. It’s easy to follow Jesus’s calling when we see results, isn’t it? When we don’t hear feedback, when we don’t receive validation, when it seems as though our words are falling on deaf ears….that’s when our faith is tested….that’s when we see what we’re made of…..that’s when we’re called to persevere as James states. I appreciate your honesty and transparency. Your journey is shared by many. Thanks again and God Bless you on your journey with Him and your family!

  • Amy Hunt

    To “lay it down” . . . To be willing. This is our deepest worship, to sacrifice self and wants and to lean in, to trust that He really can be our every thing.

  • Katie Den Ouden

    Audience of One. :) I heart you voice, your love for Jesus, and the purpose you are living out – struggling but beautifully authentic. This is something I struggle with on a daily basis and you’ve put into words what I struggled to say. Thank you for letting me be able to say “me too!!” xo

  • julie

    As always, so good Morgan. Love, someone who was with ya before you started talking about Jesus;)

  • Vanessa

    Love this and you Morgan!!! =) SO MUCH!

  • Mandy

    Beautiful, Morgan!

  • Jenny

    Ah I love this! The post that is, not that you went through that situation =P I have never had a blog but I definitely know what it is like to serve two masters and how ridiculously hard it is to say no to that thing that (unfortunately) holds half your heart…I am so thankful He brought you through this =))

  • http://www.sonyamacdesigns.com/ Sonya McCllough

    Yep, even with comments turned off, all the time … I became obsessed with the stats and Face Book.

  • Lindsey Whitney

    I would love to hear more about the curriculum you’re writing! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.simplewithsyd.com/ simplewithsyd

    Fantastic! Thank you for your transparency! I absolutely love, love your last line that you use God gifts, not for fishing lines of validation NOT but as INSTRUMENTS FOR HIS GLORY.

    I felt troubled in my sleep last night, thinking on the why or why nots for people not responding to things I write. This morning, I decided I would not go to my computer, but to His word. Is so washes my thoughts and makes me see what is important again. It is ALL for HIS glory. Not mine. If I receive the praises of people, that is just what I get.

    I love HIm, and I want to glorify Him – I want people to see HIm in me and look to HIM!

    Thank you again for your post and I’m going to re-read and think on! :)

  • Maria B

    Oh my gosh – “good gifts don’t make great identities.” THANK YOU, Morgan. I needed this so, so, so so so much today.