Getting started.

I don’t want to sit here and write this.

Well, I mean, I do. But I don’t.

The truth is, I’m terrified.

I’ve loved telling stories and writing them down since I was a little girl.

I would write short stories (in magic marker, obviously) on notecards and then staple them together. I would then do a dramatic reading in front of my parents in the living room. They were, and have always been, my best and most faithful audience. They believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself. They loved me through all the drama and all the terrible choices and all the things. All of them. They just plain loved me.

But I’m getting off track. We were talking about my anxiety. Check.

I’ve been wanting, no yearning to write for the last several years. Write something that actually means something to people. Write about life. Like, real life. Down to the nitty gritty, where it’s painful to see it in words, but if it can help just one person not feel alone and maybe even get a few laughs, then it was worth the pain.

But I haven’t done it. I kept making up excuses, like, “I don’t know what I’d say” or “I have nothing new to add to the table”, stuff like that. And maybe those things were true. At least I had convinced myself that they were true. But there’s this guy in my life that calls me out on all the bull crap. His name is God. He’s been prodding me and telling me time and time again to Just. Flipping. Write. He’s showed me in countless ways that he’s given me things to say through the experiences he’s allowed me to go through. He’s given me not only a passion for words, but on a much larger and more important scale, a passion for the people. All of them. The ones He created. The ones He spoke into being. The ones He died for. He wants to use me as a vessel to speak into others. And I’m done running.

Why am I so anxious? I kept asking myself that as I was lying in bed last night having the most minor of anxiety attacks. About this. About writing the things. I think there are a couple reasons.

1: The Enemy. He hates, and I mean LOATHES when we live out our God-given passion. Even more, he hates when us Jesus-lovers seek to love those in our lives. He hates it when people find freedom and healing. He hates when people are redeemed and brought back to life. He hates God. He hates Jesus. He hates you. And he hates me. And he wants to see us burn.

He loves that I was lying in bed after years of ignoring God’s prompting and taking the faith step. He loved watching me shake and think of all the reasons that I am not enough. These are some of the things he said/says to me. Maybe he gets you this way too.

No one wants to read anything you have to say. You’re a bad writer. No one really even likes you. You’re a bad mom. A disappointing wife. You aren’t an intentional friend. You are bad at your job and also? You’re fat. Like, really gross and no matter how many Weight Watchers points you count, you will never be enough. You’ll never be skinny enough. You’ll never be sexy enough. You know you’re only getting older, right? More washed up? More unattractive?

No one will read this. No one cares. And no one certainly will ever gain anything from it. Don’t waste your time.

Exhale.

I’m a weeper, so allowing myself to write all those things down and not erase them is totally making me cry. Mainly because they’re not true. They’re lies. Satan is the Enemy. He is the Accuser. And he wants us to feel like crap all the time.

But I’m not giving him that space. And I’m certainly not giving him any more air time in this entry. So, Bye Felicia. No one wants you here.

2: One of my biggest fears in life stems from a Middle School memory. (shocker, right?) When I was in one of those years of sheer torture, we were each supposed to sign up to host a week of the MS Bible Study in our homes. I signed up, and the night finally approached. I was super anxious about it, seeing as how I was not the most popular of gals. Not even close. I was not only not cool, I was bullied. By guys, girls, even a few teachers. It was the worst.

My mom and I cleaned the house, made the food and waited.

And waited.

……..and waited.

One girl came. She was special needs. The youth leader brought her. This is nothing against people with special needs. Looking back, she is really the only person that I should have wanted there. She was kind and uplifting and so awkward. She was me. But she had no power over the choice to attend or not. She merely needed a ride, her parents couldn’t bring her, and the youth leader volunteered.

No one chose to show up. I was humiliated. Devastated. And as I write these words, I realize how much this night affected me for the past 2 decades. Since I was a kid, I have wanted SO BADLY to be accepted by my peers. My parents were incredible and had my back and I had a couple good friends, but for the most part people just didn’t like me.

So yeah, I’m terrified to write a blog, because what if NO ONE shows up to read it?? What then?

I’m the kind of person who doesn’t need all the answers. I don’t know if this will ever be read by anyone other than my parents, my husband and someday my sons. But dangit, I’m going to do it. Because I can’t ignore the God nudging anymore.

Let the journey begin. Cheers!

45 thoughts on “Getting started.”

  1. Powerful, compelling, sincere, insightful, and so genuine…… Thanks for your down-to-earth frankness and vulnerability. We went through this stuff with you and loved and cherished you all the way. Can’t wait to read each and every entry and we’ll continue to thank God for the way He continues to work in and through you😘

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  2. Stephanie!! It’s so crazy to find out you feel that way because to me you’ve always stood out as a super vibrant human with a caring soul and qualities that draw people to you. I know how you feel though and I definitely relate to the struggle and fear of trying to putting yourself out there hoping to be received positively! 🙂 Congrats on your first post!

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  3. Love it. You are beautiful on the inside and out! God has used you and will continue to use you! Thank you for already touching our lives with God’s love. Excited to see how God is going to reach even more people through your wonderful words.

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  4. DO.NOT.STOP. I love you. You are inspiring. You are kind. You are talented. And your voice MUST be and NEEDS to be heard by so many. So glad to know you have such a strength in God and you are placing your faith in him as you take this step. He is smiling so hard and laughing with joy. You shod be proud; very proud.

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  5. Absolutely loved it! I’ve always loved your Facebook post and our texts that always make me feel inspired, for all sorts of things. So a longer version of that? Yes please. Blog often! You’re rocking this.

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  6. Roll Call! Here 🙋🏼‍♀️, present and engaged!!! Pretty proud of you friend. Loved your vulnerability, authenticity and your ability to point people to truth…. even from a first writing post! Thanks so much for following the prompting and inviting me into your world! 😘

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  7. You are one of the most beautiful people I know. Not because you have a gorgeous smile, not because you have glorious red hair, not because you are kind, warm, loving and friendly, not because you are fiercely loyal to your family, not because you have a loving heart for animals and people, but because you are you. You are God’s finest creation and you are a living example of his love for all of us. You exude love and tolerance, you exude beauty, and I am so thankful and blessed to call you a friend and neighbor. I will follow you theoughout this new journey and I look forward to reading every word. Your pain and strength inspire me to be a better me. I am blessed to know you and I can’t wait to know you better through your words. Much love sweetheart, I am with you on your journey…xoxoxoxo. Victoria

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    1. Oh my gosh, Victoria! I may print and frame this. You are so kind to encourage me like this. We hit the neighbor jackpot with you. You’re amazing! I look forward to continuing getting to know y’all more and more!!

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  8. You are amazing, genuine, and beautiful— inside and out! I’m here for you… and will be watching for your next post. Love you bunches! ❤️

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    1. Thank you Peter!! Way to pave the way for all the dudes 🙂 your amazing wife is such a big inspiration to me.. She’s one of the main reasons I stopped dreaming and actually did it! Thanks for reading and for the encouragement!!

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  9. You are amazing. I have always looked up to you, your radiant smile, enthusiasm for life, and physical and mental beauty have stunned me. In middle school, I did not see you as unpopular but as an inspiration. I still brag on you, your strength and the friend you were to me. I am so sorry that I missed what was right in front of me but I am so glad you found your person and your tribe who has supported you and the path that has uplifted you. Keep on being you, Stephanie, because you will change the world for the better.

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  10. I will always show up. I will always see you. I will always believe in the power of redemption because of you. I will always remember you’re one of God’s favorites. I will always see nothing but Jesus when I look at your face and read your words. You will always be one my people and I will always cheer you on. Can’t wait for more chapters in your perfect, messy, glorious story!

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  11. Stephanie, I am HERE for this. I am so encouraged by your vulnerability and dedication to what you know the Lord is calling you to. I am so looking forward to future blog posts.

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  12. Hi Stephanie!

    My name is Jordan and I go to Chase Oaks, too! I found your blog through Instagram and have been meaning to read it for a long time.

    Today turned out to be the day… I have read every, single blog post! I started at the most recent and worked my way down, all the way to this one. I’ve laughed and cried (and cried and cried.)

    I LOVE that you began this blog with your fear. I LOVE that you were unsure. I LOVE that you could have NOT done it. I LOVE that you had all those feelings and doubts and worries and did it anyway. I am SO glad you started this blog. You DO have valuable things to say. I am SO glad you didn’t let the enemy discourage you from sharing your stories.

    It’s my prayer that the Lord will allow you to reach so many more people who, like me, are in search of His hope, discouraged and afraid. I pray that He will bless you by allowing you to cross paths with people who have been encouraged by your struggle and His triumph.

    It’s awesome to see what it looks like when a child of God stops listening to fear and tunes in to what Truth says!

    Thanks again for your vulnerability. What a beautiful success story.

    Praise God.

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    1. Oh my goodness, I screenshot this so I can have it forever. Thank you so much for taking the time not only to READ my posts, but to write such heartfelt, encouraging words. Today of all days I needed it. It’s been ROUGH. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. The Holy Spirit spoke through you to my hurting heart today!! 💗💗💗💗

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