Public Faith

For a long time on here, I didn’t mention anything about being a Christian. I was too afraid to come off as a “crazy” and no one would want to read me. My biggest fear…

::sigh::

was coming off as trying to be Beth Moore.

WHO IS A LOVELY PERSON.

But to me, she represented that side of Christianity I didn’t like, the perfect, “y’all, I just love the Lord so much”, bow your perfectly done head of hair and fold those lovely nails and thank the baby Jesus that our new Cadillac got those tires at half price.

I’ve found out in the past year Beth Moore is much, much more than a beautiful woman – she’s amazing. And that is my judgmental side taking a beating right there.

Anyway, before I lost the boys I’d started to feel this tug to write more about my faith, but wasn’t sure how to even do that. I wanted to know God more, to really have a relationship with him – but I felt like I was just posing. Going through the Christian motions.

After the twins, I just had a complete change of heart. I wanted to share my faith, to talk about Jesus the same way I talk about Sam and Bella. Not 24-7, but when I do, in a way that people believe I love Him. I trust Him, and He’s my world. Something inside me snapped after they died, I was done pretending on here that God and I were close – but not THAT close. Distant cousins.

I didn’t want that faith anymore. I wanted it to be real, deep, soul searching, and raw.

So I share it on here, my struggles and my faith, the deepest parts of me. It’s not easy for a couple of reasons. One is that many people read my blog who are angry at me, who think I’m angry at them (some I am), and who have seen a nasty side of me. I understand that, and there are choices I have made in each to rectify or simply move on. Right or wrong. However it’s still hard to write on loving Jesus knowing someone is reading this and thinking, “Hypocrite.”

The other side is one I struggle with on a daily basis. It’s the publicity of my faith. I am involved in She Reads Truth, an online Bible study started by some dear friends of mine, and it’s literally changed my life, my grieving process, the way I view myself as a wife and mother. It’s a wonderful thing to have for busy women.

It’s also online – and to participate and find others means being public with my faith. And I’m ok with that – it’s the part of trying to figure out what is something I need to post or want to for connecting, and which part is simply the  “LOOK AT WHAT AN AMAZING CHRISTIAN I AM. BEST EVAH.”

I go back and forth about what brings glory to God and what simply brings glory to me. Taking pictures of doing a Bible study at home? Instagraming a journal writing? Screenshots of daily verses? Where is the boundary – is there one? When is faith meant to be private and with God alone, and when is it meant to connect us with others?

I have no problem with any of the things above – it’s all my own doings that I ponder on. I know that Instagram pics give me inspiration, are gentle reminders of when to take time. Blog posts inspire me. But I’ll admit, there are times I wonder if everyone does it out of bringing joy and attention to God only. I think people have a different line – so let’s not bash someone who publicizes their faith in a different way. I’m just trying to find where the focus stops on Jesus and starts rolling back to me so I can end it. In my life – not someone else’s.

In this day and age, how do you connect publicly without losing the point of faith?


Comments

  1. Wow – I so get and understand this post. I mean i GET IT. And thank you for the laughs while reading a deep post about an important topic. Oh, and thanks for the Bible Study resource! I plan on checking that out!

  2. Thank you for writing this. I’ve been wanting to bring my faith into my blog more, but was afraid it would come off as fake. You’ve given me the courage to go for it.

  3. I couldn’t agree more. This is also something i struggle with! Throw politics in there just for fun ;-) I’m NO Beth Moore, (i do love her though – her book, “Get out of that pit” was insanely life changing for me) but i also am not the potty mouth crazy blogger…i’m just me, and i love Jesus, but i’m a mess. Anyway, thought provoking post, mama!

  4. This hits a nerve with me. I’m a “new” believer. That’s my title, I guess. I’ve believed in God for most of my life, but I’m just now starting to BELIEVE in God, if that makes sense? I know it doesn’t, because it doesn’t really even make sense to me.

    Anyway, my point is, I’m struggling too. I want to have that relationship with God that you are talking about, and there is that weird line of looking fake. I WANT to share and publicize my faith in Him, but I know the feeling of being in this beginning phase where it might come across as hypocritical because it’s a new side of you.

    No real point to this, but encouragement I guess, and I know what you mean.

  5. Its so hard, its like an inner struggle. You feel like you want to write more about your faith but you don’t want to write about it just to write about it you know. You want it to be as natural as anything else. But to some people you won’t write about it enough…to others you will write about it too much. Its hard. Just listen to yourself and do what is Natural. Because a natural faith is a real faith. its as much a part of you as loving your kids, your husbands, shopping for groceries, or picking out clothes in the morning :)

  6. I’d say that you’re balancing well for my tastes, as a quietly religious person. My faith comes up periodically on my blog but I try to keep it very personal (and non-specific, as it’s an anonymous blog and which faith I practice is my business alone, I think, so far at least) rather than generalizing – my faith teaches me something, so I see this thing that happened through the lens of those lessons sorts of things. I also really appreciate hearing about the struggle with it, because I think that’s valuable to show. Some of the very publicly religious figures don’t ever mention a struggle and it’s hard to know if that’s true to the experience of faith for them or not.

  7. Diana, I feel like I am in much the same place as you. SheReadsTruth has absolutely changed my life. I have an instagram journal that I share each day, but my actual prayers and conversations are not for public display. I don’t write those, I just whisper those in my heart. That is between me and Jesus.

    I also haven’t really written about my faith on my blog. I am not really sure why. I guess if it came up, I would. It’s sort of like other things that are private, yet public: my miscarriages, my depression and anxiety, my marriage, even my sons. These things are private, yet I make them public on my blog. I guess I do the same with my faith.

    I choose what I feel might connect with someone else, but I don’t share it all.

    I will say that reading what is on your heart touches my heart too. I connect to what you write.

    And let’s be honest, we are all giant hypocrites in some way or another. Just because we love Jesus doesn’t mean we aren’t going to mess up.

    • Now see, as I wrote this I thought of how I see your pics and it’s such a beautiful reminder to me to take that time, to really ponder and think it over. I love how you share, and it never seems to be a “Holy Me!” type thing. But then I do it and tend to think of it that way – that others who see my posts might think that. I don’t know why.

      SRT has been such a wonderful thing, I’m so glad you’re in it as well. It’s been inspirational to see the women I admire become a part of this.

  8. I love that you share all of your struggles with us. I actually take comfort in knowing that I’m not the only person who struggles with things. I hope that doesn’t sound bad… but it is encouraging when people are honest with their imperfections and challenges. It allows me to be more honest with myself about my imperfections and failings, as well.
    We’re asked to “encourage one another and build each other up” within our faith communities. So thank you for struggling openly with this new topic. Through it you truly are encouraging me, and likely others.
    Keep up the good work!

  9. Okay, I’m late commenting because I took a break from reading blogs. This post comes at a major turning point for me. I have been blogging for six years and if six years ago you would have told me that I would write the word Jesus on my blog I would have laughed in your face. I used to judge people harshly for writing about faith on their blog. But four years ago, I started following a few people who shared their faith. Slowly but surely I realized that I was envious of their ability to be so open about their faith journey.

    I am not an expert on theology. In fact, I know very little about scripture. But a year ago I began a new journey to come to Christ and I have been writing about it more on my blog. I am honestly shocked that I’m doing it. The thing is, it still makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. I just wrote a post about testimony last week and it barely got any comments. I think some of my readers are turned off. But my writing has changed because my LIFE has changed. I am truly a believer now and it is a huge part of who I am. How can I not write about that, ya know?

    It’s so confusing to me. Should I just not write about it because it makes others feel uncomfortable? Or should I follow my heart?

    • I think that you should keep going. But here’s why: it’s a hard road, and it is uncomfortable to everyone (including yourself) when you suddenly break from the norm and start talking about faith, loss, grief, depression – being real in general. It’s not easy to read and although people want to see you be real, some also want real to be censored in a way that makes them feel better.

      But in writing this, you’ll get that much closer to finding readers who want to read about who you are. You’ll start to have people come back and follow who stay because of you – not because you make them feel better or your posts are shiny and bright all the time. You’ll lose people who stuck around forever (I did) and gain ones that you wanted to be friends with all along. It’s not that they’re “bad” because they leave, it’s simply not their kind of story anymore. And that’s ok, I’ve stopped reading really great blogs for the same reason. I simply can’t relate. I find others that tug at me in different ways and I stay and read and comment.

      The more you stick to it, the more haters you’ll see and nasty comments you’ll get (I do) – but those will die down and in return you’ll have a beautiful group waiting for you to share your life with them.

      • This response was one of the wisest I have ever read! Beautiful! I have written to you before about how brightly your light shines for Christ. Your faith is NOT hypocritical. We are a fallen bunch working our way back. Thank you for honestly sharing that journey with us.

    • Molly, congrats on your new life in Christ! Can’t wait to meet you in Heaven, sister. My opinion is that you should follow your heart. I think you will find that you will lose those readers who don’t get it, but that’s ok. You will plant seeds- just like those bloggers did for you 4 years ago. You will also gain new readers who connect with you and are excited to talk about the same things that excite you. God is amazing and seeing Him work is one of the gifts He has given us.

  10. While I allude to faith and religion and beliefs (and what I do or don’t celebrate) on my blog, I don’t talk in specifics – not because I don’t want to share, or I feel that I will lose readers – but because it’s an anonymous blog and I don’t want to risk my anonymity by giving too many details that will unravel that.
    I believe in God – and Jesus – and my faith and beliefs influence my day to day life. I try to always live in a way that pleases God – but I know I fall short often. We all do. The Bible says we will. The important this is doing our best and praying for forgiveness when we fall short.

  11. I am new to Pioneer Woman and this is actually the first post I’ve read…tells me I’m on the right site! Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and expressing your love of Jesus Christ.

  12. That’s an excellent point. You shouldn’t be afraid to hide your faith or your beliefs, but we often are. But the conflict with that (and speaking as a Catholic) is we are told not to shout it from the rooftops because that’s bragging and it’s not for the ultimate end user: God. So…do you share and bring light to someone who may need it, or do you just stay silent? I think it can be both.

  13. thank you for your transparency. i’ve been a part of SRT also, but only as a quiet follower. i’ve done the devos and i’ve posted a few things on instagram or twitter. but i sometimes worry too that someone will think, i’m a hypocrite. that on my “bad days” and i completely fall short, i’ll be judged/mocked like i’m not allowed to mess up or cry or complain. but part of what i have to remember is while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, that He welcomes us at our brokenness and our messiest of days. i have to rest in His promises rather than focusing on the outside or what people might or might not think, or i’ll drive myself crazy doing that. its a constant battle or consistent dying to self so that the focus is always upward, not outward or inward. but definitely never be afraid to share your faith- you just have to ask yourself, am i sharing this for God’s glory, to further His kingdom? or am i doing this for me and for self satisfying glory? then you’ll know when or what to post..

  14. One thing I’ve been reminding myself of daily is that other people’s opinions of me don’t matter. Pleaseing HIM is all that matters and what HE thinks.

  15. You are an inspiration to me!I am a believer, and I have a personal relationship with God. My faith is something I question on a daily basis. Not necessarily my belief in Him, but my belief in myself as a believer. Reaching out is something that is extremely hard to do, but you’ve don’t it well. I don’t want to hide anymore, I just want to share how I truly feel, regardless of the outcome. My biggest fear is my lack of knowledge, but in truth, you don’t have to be all-knowing to have a deep relationship with God.

    Thank you for the inspiration! Keep on writing, and I will keep reading!