In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been doing something I don’t usually do… blogging everyday! Well, at I least for the past week, thanks to the brilliant 7 Day challenge idea put forth by Jen over at conversiondiary.com.

The 7 days ended yesterday, but guess what? Something interesting and amazing has happened… I’ve had this crazy new desire to write, and to do it regularly! I say “crazy” because that’s not normal for me. Anyone who knows me knows that I have used this blog very sporadically over the last few years. Blogging was never a habit. I was always busy and preoccupied with other things, especially during the times I was serving full-time with YWAM.

It wasn’t just that 7 Day challenge that spurred me into this newfound desire to write. I’ll back up a bit and explain something that has been going on with me, something that has become more clear this past week.

During my last week at YWAM Mazatlan, the entire staff was invited to sit in on the W.I.S.E school, to hear a teaching that the leaders felt everyone would benefit from. The visiting speaker was Jim Anderson, and he spoke about sexuality, the cultural assault, our true design and the heart of a daughter or son of God. Two amazing things happened that week. God used Jim to bring further healing and freedom to me, which I am so thankful for. In the past 8 years, I have been receiving healing and restoration for inner wounds from my past, but it has been an ongoing process. And like the peeling of an onion, one more layer was gently peeled away, bringing me closer to the full restoration that is God’s heart for me.

The second amazing thing was that God began impressing upon me His desire for me to have courage and take off the “everything has to be perfect” mask, and to be more open about my journey so He can use me to reach others, especially young women. I have known for a long time now that God wanted to use the bad in my life for something good. That is what the title of this site is all about – God giving us beauty instead of ashes, joy for mourning, praise for heaviness! (Isaiah 61:3) So I knew God wanted to redeem my past through my willingness to share my life experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly – but the process has taken some time, so I haven’t fully stepped into that plan God has for me.

That week, the message started to become clear, and it has just gotten more and more clear. The message, over and over, especially in the last few days, has been “Be real, take off the perfection mask, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Let me use you – for what the enemy wanted to use for evil, to keep you quiet, let me use for GOOD, to help so many others who can learn from your mistakes! Wow. I hear you, God.

How does all of this tie in with blogging? Well, remember when I said I have found a new desire for writing? I’ve begun to wonder if it’s God who has given me this desire to write, so I can start sharing the parts of my story I haven’t talked about. I was so clueless about the “blogging community” that I didn’t even know who the top Christian bloggers were, and I rarely had time to read blogs regularly, other than the blogs of a few YWAM friends, who are also sporadic in their writing. But (good or bad) I’ve become a lot more interested in blogging.

So to sum this all up, God is taking me in a new direction, and asking me to be willing to trust Him enough to be take risks. And I don’t want to say no to God. I know that saying no to God means we don’t go anywhere, we stay the same. So is this a new adventure? Yep! And it should be interesting!