A friend recently suggested I start a blog. I have always been open with my writing because during the darkest years of my struggles I often wished I knew others were having the same thoughts and feelings as me. For years I honestly thought that I was unique in my brokenness and I felt like I was drowning in a sea of all the emotions I did not know how to process.

I have shared my writing on Facebook because it felt like a way to share, but yet also granted me the freedom to keep my friend list small and maintain a measure of control over the accessibility of my often personal thoughts.

While I am open, I am also private. I prefer to be the observer rather than the observed. I often share because certain aspects of my past are public record and I found that I have more control of the narrative when I lead with the information rather than having it unleashed on me unexpectedly by someone who happens upon the realities of my past.

I have not started a blog because I have not wanted anyone to think I have an answer to give them, or think they should do something because it worked for me. One of the deepest areas of trauma in my life came at the hands of religious and recovery organizations that often pressured me to think and believe things that went against the core of my being and judged me harshly and painfully when their methods did not bring about the success they desired.

My life finally began to change when I was surrounded by a safe network of people who allowed me to step away from the structure of organized religions and programs and learn to begin to hear the spirit of God inside me for myself. Rather than relying on what the spirit was telling others, I needed the chance to hear God for myself, away from the clamoring noise of so many others thoughts and opinions.

I have learned that I know nothing about what will help someone else and I can only share my experience, strength and hope. I can walk alongside you, cheer you on, and sometimes even help carry the luggage, but I cannot actually navigate your road for you and I do not wish to give anyone the impression that I aim to try.

I have also hesitated because I have been helped along the way by wonderful people, who I love and cherish, and who very much value their privacy. While I share my story openly, it is not my place to pull others into a more public forum than they would wish to engage. Over time I have become more comfortable in writing about what I have learned from these people, while also allowing them their anonymity.

But the friend who suggested I start a blog made a very good point that has finally made me pull the trigger. She pointed out that it allows me to collect and own my writing in one place where I am better able to reflect as I continue in my journey to learn and to grow.

So, it is with some hesitancy, but faith in my God that he might use my experience to offer hope to another, that I invite you to the new blog that I have created. I have no idea what this means, and no idea if my mess of thoughts will make sense to another. But I am stepping out in faith and trusting my God who I love above all elseā€¦