So, I’m talking with my brother just now…telling him about this blog and what I want it to be.
My intentions started out simply enough; my friend Kim asked if I journaled about my experience with “infertility” (I only put it in quotes because it’s an ugly thing to name for real). She suggested that I need an outlet. I don’t know that it ever really occurred to me that I should—journal, that is. All my rage and confusion and hurt exists whether or not I let it outside of me, and the way that I bleed isn’t something most are comfortable with hearing about. Never mind the fact that I tend to hide the extent of my suffering (I hate defining it as such) from my husband because I know he hurts, too. I don’t want to add to his burden.
It occurs to me that we’re honest to varying degrees with the various people we encounter. I tell the ladies in my group things about my struggles that I may not tell my husband or other close friends. I abstain from sharing certain preferences or aspects of my personality with members of my church family because I fear their judgement where I am completely open with non-believers or believers I know to be more accepting. Does that make me a hypocrite? Two-faced?
I don’t really know.
I’ve never seen it as dishonesty; the fact of the matter is that some people’s ability to love a person is based on what they are willing or unwilling to accept, and if you want to have a relationship with some individuals, you must (to some extent) be what they expect you to be. Some souls, braver than I, are unwilling to compromise. Is that truly possible, though, when you want to live at peace with all people? I’m not talking about major sin here—I’m talking about dyeing your hair or saying “shit” instead of “shoot” or having a tattoo.
I love tattoos. This is a subject at the center of a great deal of controversy in the church and most believers in generations older than mine insist emphatically that it’s a sin to mark your skin in such a permanent way. I won’t go into why I disagree with this belief because it’s an age old debate, and theologians more brilliant than myself have defended my preference in ways better than I ever could.
Artists in all cultures on all continents for millennia have used their God given talent to give expression to faith, identity, and fidelity to one’s people. Those who wear this art on their skin are brave enough to say, “This is who I am. My identity will never be (can never be) hidden.” The assurance that requires! The absolute commitment to truth and honesty regarding the self is astounding and admirable, particularly if you’re religious and belong to a religious congregation of some kind, where not all your peers are of like mind.
…which brings me back to Blackfield.
The truth is that there are things I believe or have to say that members or my church family won’t agree with or appreciate, opinions that will be unpopular. I’m a group leader, and to be honest—I’m afraid of looking like the kid who doesn’t have it all together. What if they don’t want me to lead any more? Sometimes I use profanity; sometimes I’m too afraid to trust God; sometimes I indulge in things I know aren’t right. Those are things many believers do.
Most of us hide that, though.
So, here’s what I want Blackfield to be. I don’t know if I’m brave to wear my inside on the outside, but a blog won’t do anyone any good if it isn’t real—least of all me. I’m going to post my bible study snippets, I’m gonna wrestle with my life experience, and I’m just going to write my life.
It isn’t going to be pretty…but I’d like to think it’ll be real.