There are times I stumble across a blog and immediately know I’ve come across a remarkable person. This is how I found my guest today. I welcome Jennie Allen as she joins ~ thoughts that move ~ today with these powerful thoughts…
The Call to Bleed
Cut open. Spread out. Picked through. That's how I feel.
It sounds painful? You're right. It is.
I've always been transparent in my friendships and in my marriage....and then I started a blog, and then I wrote a book. It felt different... it felt out of my control.
I didn't know how else to be. So I did what I always did, I bled out in front of everyone... I cut myself apart and laid myself out, and then I pushed "Publish". But that little blue button did something to me, like the girl who did something stupid at a party and everyone took pictures of her and posted her on Youtube. I kept taking down posts feeling regret, but mostly I didn't want to live so exposed.
At the time of this inner war, I was reading Henri Nouwen. Nouwen was ahead of his time in the way of authenticity, a priest who wrote in the mid 90's. He wrote about his soul and sin and struggles, as if he were writing about what he ate for breakfast. I clung to this quote, not as encouragement, but as my calling,
“it is my growing conviction that my life belongs to others just as much as it belongs to myself, and that what is experienced as most unique often proves to be most solidly embedded in the common condition of being human.”
I had never considered that my life was not mine to own and to hide and wall up and protect. I am not my own. God bought me, and He is the one wanting to cut me up and spread me out and allow others to take what they need for their lives.
It is our call as writers.
We are to be the well. The place where readers come and find a piece of their own soul. The place where they come and see our sin and want to run from their own sin. The place where they come and find comfort in a friend that is worse off than they are. The place they see how to wrestle with the God of the universe. We expose our humanity so that they can see their humanity. As writers we are called to be the ones bleeding out for all to see.... no matter the cost... no matter the pain.
Our lives are not our own, so we write to give them away.
Write on. Bleed on.
You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Jennie Allen’s passion is to make God known through writing and teaching. She graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a Masters in Biblical Studies and serves in ministry beside her husband Zac, senior pastor at Austin Bible Church in Austin, Texas. They have three children—Conner 11, Kate 9, and Caroline 5—and are in the process of adopting their youngest son from Rwanda. Thomas Nelson will publish Jennie's first women’s Bible study titled Stuck: The Places We Get Stuck and the God Who Sets Us Free in the fall of 2011 and her first trade book in the spring of 2012.