On September 1, 2008 I started writing this blog. It was just a stupid way for me to express myself without anyone really knowing who I was. That original blog was called “the Catch 22” and it was just going to be stories that I made up and it was never meant to be anything more than me wasting time. I got my first visitor / reader to my blog two days later and I cannot tell you how excited I was to know that someone had visited and may have even read something that I wrote. I was hooked.
I liked being anonymous. It gave me an avenue to talk about anything. I could be anyone I wanted to be. I did not have to be who I really was in real life. I could be 22 again one day and the next I could be 48. I did not have to address and talk about the failures in my life. I did not have to be the man who lost everything, his career, his ministry and his friends because of a failed marriage. I did not have to be an inadequate father with two sons that was bitter towards everything and everyone. It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to write about anything that I wanted to say. It was a nice freedom that I had not experienced in a long time. I would post stories and for a while I could disappear and the weight of this world would not feel so heavy on my shoulders.
It started out real slow, but as I starting writing more stories and “wasting” time, I realized that I had found an avenue to write something and put it somewhere where I could have my kids read someday. I have always been so disappointed that I did not write down the stories that my grandfather would tell. My grandfather was a story-teller and I did not take the opportunity to make a record of them. The only chance of those stories ever being told are today jumbled thoughts mixed up in the confines of my mind. I really have no hope of ever really being able to write them down correctly. I did not want that to happen to my children and it may sound self-serving, but I did not want my grandchildren to not know who I was or at least what I once was.
So, “the catch 22” blog became “Maybe it’s Just Me”.
For most of my life, even as a child, I knew that there were parts of me that others liked or did not care for. I’ve always seen the pattern that people either liked me a lot or didn’t care for me at all…no middle of the road to speak of. My mother used to say that people never had to wonder where I stood on a subject, because I was not shy in telling people my perspective. I never really understood why that was a problem, it seemed honest to me. It took some maturing on my part to understand that not all people care for the transparency and revelation that I would offer. I had to learn to play the game I detested so much. I would hold my tongue and really hold in what I was really thinking so that I would not offend others.
When I changed the theme and the blog name to “Maybe it’s Just Me”, it was the beginning of a real healing period in my life. I found that I was able to share real stories about what happened to me in my life. I could be true to who I was and I found another level of freedom that I needed desperately in my life. I could talk politics, sports or whatever and I would do it as me. I no longer wanted to be anonymous. It was wonderful to share my failures and frustrations to some people who would read and comment from time to time. It did come with some liabilities. There were some people who knew me. They knew or in some cases were even part of some of the stories I would tell. I would always change the names or reference them in “third-party” terms so that no one would really know exactly who I was talking about. I have had wonderful and encouraging comments, but I have also endured some really hateful and judgmental comments directed towards me as a result. Probably because I was actually writing as the man who I truly was.
254, 575 visitors / readers later… I have made another change.
I have recently changed the name of my blog to simply, “It’s Just Me” . The reason? For a little over a year most of my posts were started with a statement like, “Maybe it’s just me but…” that would be followed up with some point I would make and would spend the next few lines trying to convince the reader that my perspective was right. I have had hundreds of comments on my perspectives and posts. Most of which I never approved to be read on the site itself. I figured that they were comments directed to me, either agreeing or disagreeing with me. Of course, I approved some, especially those from my friends. I figured that I owed them that. I appreciated each and every comment. But one thing that has really stood out in the past year…I realized that I am simply me. I cannot change who I am, nor can I change the events in my life.
I am so delighted to realize God wants me to be who I really was all along. He loves me just as I am. Any half-baked facades are tossed aside and here I stand before the Lord, unashamed, naked with my failures and imperfections….and yet He still loves me.
No matter what blog user name or email address I use, it will always be the same old me. The many ‘faces’ and personalities that I have used over the past few years still point to the same old person.
All of us tend to put our best foot – or face – forward when we want to impress and try to insure a certain facade but the person behind the facade is simply the same old you. Rather like the “man behind the curtain” in “The Wizard of Oz”. You can blow smoke and flash mirrors but you are who you are and everywhere you go…there you are!
We can fool some of the people some of the time but we can not fool all of the people all of the time. And we certainly can not fool God any of the time! As people in our lives come to know us more and more, they are exposed to bits and pieces of the real us; eventually putting together a picture of who we really are as if we were a jigsaw puzzle. God, however, sees who we really are before we are ever born! He knows our victories and failures, our highs and lows and the very number of hairs on our heads. We can change our names, faces and move about the earth as we choose but we are who we are when God looks at us. The awesome part of this story is He loves us regardless of how we try to mask and disguise the real person we are to those around us. Scripture tells us we are to be transparent with one another, meaning showing our true selves weaknesses and all.
I still entertain myself with thoughts of changing my blog name and I certainly can be anyone I want to be in my email addresses and user names, but I am who God created me to be and none of the other stuff matters.
Yes, there are still people who either like me a lot or do not like me at all and that’s ok. I can live with that. I know I am being true to God and true to the person He created me to be. My God account far exceeds the importance of my email or user accounts!
The bottom line is that this is the real me wishing you a Jesus-filled day. My prayer is that you will be the real you in the one and only real God.