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the difference between me and John Piper (or how I spent the year 2010)...

2010 was the year of silence for me. I'd like to say that it was the deep, meaningful kind of silence. You know...the kind that includes prayer and fasting. That's the kind of year I imagine John Piper had during his sabbatical. And now he's back...posting thought provoking poems and tweeting quotes about prayer that are evidence he's spent a lot of time in the presence of God over the past year.

But no...my silence was more of the "lacks any real purpose" kind...the kind that is avoided by filling it with noise. Instead of following in the footsteps of John Piper, I decided my year would be better spent watching all 7 seasons of House over the course of 2 months. And caring way too much about what clothes I decided to wear in the morning. And opening a twitter account. I haven't lived in any other time periods, but I'm pretty sure the society we live in today wins the award for most possible distractions. There is no such thing as unintentional silence today.

Now I find myself in 2011, not being able to say the typical, "Well, 2010 was a tough year. But I'm thankful for the lessons I learned." Because the lessons I learned were more along the lines of how to diagnose rare diseases (at least on television shows) and skinny jeans.

And the fact that I really, really like comfort. That's one of the most painful things I've learned about myself this year. I have spent more days feeling sorry for myself (and asking God to feel sorry for me) than I have in rejoicing in my trials and hardships.

Isn't it funny how words stick in your memory? I remember posting a blog about 2 years on...something. I can't even remember what it was about, but I remember what someone said to me after reading it the next day:

"You sound wounded."

Immediately, two thoughts came into my mind. First, was I? I didn't feel like I was. But writing has a way of bringing out feelings I didn't even know existed in me. And second, if I was wounded...I certainly didn't want to sound like I was. I've been blogging since high school, and when I go back and read all the dramatic stuff I posted, I get embarrassed for myself. In those moments, I always wish I would have been wise enough to not publish my inner-feelings on the internet.

So I deleted that post (though I don't know enough about how the internet works to know whether it still exists somewhere out there in digital space) and vowed never again to write in an emotional state that would expose any current pain I had. Only after healing had taken place and everything was resolved and wrapped in a nice package entitled "Amy's life, Volume VIII" and put on a shelf could I then write about it.

But here's the thing. I find my own writing incredibly uninspiring when I introduce something I've been wrestling with and, in 500 words or less, make sure the last paragraph reads something like "...and then Jesus showed me this, and life was all better." That may be true...but I hate when the middle of the story is missing. The parts where I really struggled to understand what God was doing, or asked difficult questions. Without those parts, the solutions and answers seem robotic.

I've always been attracted to writers that have the courage to exude a certain type of vulnerability. Not the "I'm going to verbally spew all over this page every detail of my horrible life" type of writing (though admittedly, it can be interesting to witness...but I think it's a good rule to not have the internet be your main source of community for processing everything). No, I'm talking about the type of writing that evokes emotion. The kind that makes people feel a little less alone for searching for answers to life's more difficult questions.

So...this is the middle of my story. It's not the beginning...and it's not the end. I don't know what I want to do with my life, what city or church I'll end up in, or why God is taking me through this season. I'm learning that I don't know myself as well as I thought apart from leadership, and that I have a habit of trading reconciliation for socialization. I get exhausted by my own pride, I'm trying to learn what repentance truly means, and I'm not as courageous as I'd like to be.

This really has nothing to do with comparing myself to John Piper (although John, if you ever do read this...know that I decided to become a Calvinist in 2010. I thought you would be proud). Or anyone, for that matter. I'm just a person refusing to spend another year avoiding what really matters.

Reader Comments (1)

Amy, I love this and I echo your sentiments. I just finished reading the book So You Don't Want To Go TO Church Anymore by Jake Colson. 2011 is going to be about loving Jesus... I mean really loving Jesus and taking each day to discover Him working in and around me. Thanks so much for sharing so poignantly.

Feb 8, 2011 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterKathie Davis

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