You Have No Idea

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know that I love sharing stories.  I have never been able to write stories of someone else so I usually write about myself. That isn’t as self-serving as that may come across. It is just that I share my thoughts and things that I know about.  I know about failure and I know about success. I have experienced both on extreme levels. So, this week is no different, I want to share another small piece of my own story.

As I write this, today is my anniversary. Exactly 9 years ago today, I sat down to my https://thelegacybuilder.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/1c09e-post2bwriting.jpg?w=1108computer to write my very first blog post.

Now, I realize I didn’t just say I performed my first brain surgery, or I decided to run for President. But for me, it was a pivotal day – one that I think will shape the rest of my life.

While I have always loved to write, I never let anyone know that aspect about me. But blogging? That was something different.  This was where people would be able to see what you wrote. I’d never blogged before. I really did not know what a “blog” really was. I had no following to speak of. I had no way to know if people would find this website, or if they’d even read it. I even wondered if I’d run out of things to say.

What I did know is that there was a stirring inside of me, something telling me that tomorrow wasn’t supposed to look like yesterday. I’d ignored it for years, pushing it aside to keep the pain and darkness that had overcome my life for the previous 15 years or so.

Something told me if I didn’t move right then, another wasted day would become another wasted month – and another wasted year of my life.

Facing that empty screen, I have to admit, I was scared. I was doubtful.

But I wrote anyway. 

And I wrote again the next day.

And the next. And the next.

Over the course of this blog’s life, there haven’t been many days where I did not write something.  Some of those stories and posts have made their way onto this blog site. However, many articles and stories will forever remain drafts, never to be published. Not because they are not good stories, but rather because I am not at peace about revealing them for people to read. I am sure that on some levels, they contain my “best” writing.  I have yet to fully understand why I choose to post some of the articles and some will be deleted when they close down this website after a long period of no activity or I pass away.

So I published and posted articles and stories, while I always say that, “I love to write, but I am not a writer.” I never say I am a good writer.  Some of my posts are not bad and a few of them I would have to admit are pretty good. Many of them are just “ok” and a portion of them are horrible.  I am always amazed that 9 years later, my articles have been read over 525,000 thousand times.

Blogging is not for the faint of heart.  Writing one is hard. Most blogs fail after just a few posts because it does take an emotional toll on your heart.  You pour yourself into it and sometimes people are not so kind while they stomp on your heart or your perspective.

I have had some great supporters of my writings and I have had some detractors. I https://i1.wp.com/omofastaction.africancampaigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/ink-stains.pnghave been called names and I have had my writings called, “A stain on the white shirt of society.”  I have come so close to quitting a number of times over the years but I still cannot walk away from it.

I’ve met some amazing people I’d never have had reason or opportunity to know otherwise. Many of them have grown to be genuine friends – some of them an ocean away. Some readers even credit my posts with giving them the nudge they needed to launch out into their own deeper waters, which is the highest compliment to me.

But most of all – best of all – writing this blog had allowed me to feel more like “me” than I had in years.

I was going through a really dark period of my spiritual life when I started this blog. I was truly far, far away from God compared to where I had been most of my life.  I was trying to find my way back and I just could not find a way to do that. I am sure that many of you know what I mean. You’ve felt it too. There’s a deep longing in each of us to discover our elusive “purpose” and to sit in the center of our life knowing that you are  at peace in your relationship with the Lord. Little else feels as good as when you’re actually doing what you know you should be doing.

Writing has allowed me to find my way “home” spiritually.  I made a choice that day when I started writing and filling that blank screen.  I chose faith over fear. I chose action over apathy. I chose to fill the page, to write the first story. And you know what? Each time I write, I gain a little more peace than the day before.

Yes, I know, there are countless blogs growing faster and are much better than mine. I encounter better and more successful “real” writers on a daily basis. And when I compare myself to my colleagues and friends, I’m keenly aware that there’s a lot of road up ahead of me.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0254/9599/t/2/assets/logo.png?11343127326311193056But today, when I compare myself to that guy facing that empty computer screen 9 years ago, it’s worth pausing and reflecting on how far he’s come. It’s something to celebrate. I wish I could reach back in time and whisper in his ear, “Go ahead. Do it boldly! You have no idea what a difference this will make in your life!!”.

Do you feel a stirring inside you – to become more, or simply different than you are? Have you ever thought about writing?

If you’ve tried to bury the feeling, but it only grows stronger. If you’re afraid of failing. If you think the sacrifice would be too great.  If it seems unattainable, unreachable, ‘ungettable’…at least for you.  If you wonder if it’s all just wishful thinking, like overgrown hope. And if it would be smarter to settle for what you already have.

Ask yourself this simple question. What if you’re wrong about writing your story?

Go ahead. Do it boldly.

My writings will never be read by millions.  I will probably never publish a book.

But I’ve still got a story to tell.

I’ll write mine… you write yours, because you have no idea what a difference it will make in your life.

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2 thoughts on “You Have No Idea

  1. I am glad you responded to that inner call to write. As explained in the letter below, I just “happened to find your blog in about November or December of 2013. You may remember me asking you on December 13, 2013, if I could print out some of your blogs and send them to Kyle. Located within the asterisk markers is what I said to you:

    **********
    Michael,

    I have a 38-year-old son, Kyle, who is sitting in jail today. He spent about 5 days with us at Thanksgiving and we took him home 60 miles away from where he lives with the half-sister of his second x-wife. That is painful to say. We tried to teach him in the ways of God, but he tasted alcohol and drugs. He has never been able to leave it alone for very long since he started. That is why I had to take him home, no license, no car, and no job.

    Monday, after we took him home on Sunday, he did some more stupid things and that is why he is in jail or is it. I think God truly has him as a “Captive Audience.” Kyle is saying all the right things, but after years of being around us and attending a Christian school, he knows the right things to say. I hope what he is saying is coming from a truly repentant heart. Time will tell.

    I was preparing a Sunday School lesson a couple of weeks ago and it was talking about the fact that all of us would like to have a “Reset” or “Do over” button we could use when needed. For me, that is quite often. I Googled those words and selected images because I wanted to post these buttons on the wall during my lesson. Almost at the top, I found one that said “Do Over” and “How to get a Second Chance at Life”. I intended only to add it to the couple of others I had already downloaded to print out. However, I “accidentally” double clicked it and was taken to your blog. That is where you come in.

    I saw Kyle all in your story. God had already spoken to my heart that I should use this time, where contacts with the outside world are only for very brief periods, to remind Kyle of some of the things he already knew. I have written some things and have sent him your “Second Chance” and “This is me” stories. Kyle tells me the prisoners put letters and pictures they receive on their walls with toothpaste. They read them over and over. The original 2 letters I sent Kyle were returned to me because I had put envelopes in them for him to send out letters. It seems some people laced the glue of the envelopes with drugs. Like all things, their return was for a reason, but I just don’t fully understand that reason yet. I re-mailed them and he has received them now.
    Last night when I talked with Kyle he said this to me, “Dad, if you are going to keep sending things like this, could you please make an extra copy. There are a lot of people in here who have no hope and need some encouragement.” So with your permission, I will continue to send him selected reflections from your blog (of course giving you credit) along with things I write and other things I find. I have to send them in their entirety because he can’t just look them up on the internet.

    I just wanted you to know that what you are writing is not only helping the prisons we create in our own lives, but also in the physical prisons, some may find themselves in.

    Thanks for using your gifts God has entrusted you with.

    ********
    I wish I could say that was when Kyle made a permanent turn around. He did get confronted again with the Gospel but he was not transformed.

    In about April of 2013 he was again in trouble with the law largely due to drugs and alcohol and began to talk about rehab. Through a series of events (There are no coincidences with God), he finally decided to go to a Christian rehab that God had made us aware of in Jamestown, NC, House of Prayer. The Holy Spirit confronted Kyle and what happened in his life beginning on May 7, 2015, is nothing short of a miracle. I compared it to Paul’s Damascus Road experience. Kyle stayed in the wilderness (at the House of Prayer) for 90 days, attending church service 3 times a day and working. He was truly TRANSFORMED.

    After he completed his time at the House of Prayer, turned himself into his parole officer. He was really violated prior to going for a variety of reasons. He had to go to jail for 3-4 months and got out just after Christmas of 2015. He has remained clean since May 7, 2015. He faithfully serves the Lord. He is playing drums in a church. God “gave” him 2-3 different GOOD part time jobs with some Christian influence. One of those employers became his mentor in AA. He is now a District Officer in AA representing his group. About 2 months ago an AA contact got him a permanent well paying job. Kyle did so well during his first week, he got a promotion and pay raise. He should get another at his 90 days mark.

    Last November the House of Prayer invited Kyle to be the speaker at their annual fundraising banquet. Part of what he said will never be forgotten by his mother and me. After naming some people in the audience that he would like to hug, he revised his statement and said, “Oh, I’d like to hug all of you because you gave a mother and father back their son, and a son back his Father.” (That last reference was to his son, our grandson who we had almost exclusively raised the first 12 years of his life)

    So, David Michael Lee, I say Thank You for finally listening to the persistent voice of God stirring you to write. I know 4 people for sure that are eternally grateful to your decision. I sincerely believe that your words have made a great difference in thousands of peoples lives. And yes, I have thought I have something to say at times. Maybe I should listen.

    Sincerely,

    Terry Sellers

  2. Wow, beautiful post. I am so glad you turned to writing to help get you through some hard times. It is definitely cathartic and blogging is a great way to help release that negative energy and meet others struggling with the same thing. I definitely relate to this post. Wish you all the best as you continue along your blogging journey – speak766

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