if you knew me, would you still like me?

transparency in blogging toes on the sand feet in the sand barefoot sand beach water lake ocean

Blogging is weird. A keyboard at your fingertips, an outlet to share a glimpse of your life to anyone who clicks a link.

I’m at a crossroads on my blog. I’ve committed to posting consistently, and lately I’ve been wondering if these words really do have meaning. Am I spending my time wisely? Is anyone connecting with what I’m saying?

I wrestle with these tensions. Jonny encouraged me to show you guys a glimpse into who I really am. To share my real opinions and real stories and real views on the world. Yeah, but I want my blog to be encouraging, I replied.

I really desire to get minds moving and hearts churning, and ultimately point to Jesus on this little corner of the Internet.

And I want to be transparent.

But here’s the thing: If you really knew me, would you still like me?

Somewhere in my twenties, I’ve lost my footing. I used to be an incredibly confident (probably over confident) person. As I have gotten more weaved into church culture and Jonny has entered the ministry, that confidence has dissipated. Part of that is good — the Holy Spirit is working on my heart to be humble, to be gentle, to have peace and patience and self control.

But part of that is not so good. Part of that is fear of embracing who God has uniquely created me to be, because I’m afraid. I’m afraid that it will shatter other’s expectations. I’m worried that if the Church (at large) doesn’t take a stance of respecting women, why in the world would they respect little old me? I’m afraid that if I use my voice, even if it’s the voice that the Creator of all things has given me, I’ll be too outspoken. Too opinionated. Too different.

When you’re married to someone in ministry, your life already becomes a fishbowl. To commit to voluntarily being more vulernable, on the internet? That’s a scary thought. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but folks aren’t always so nice on the internet. What about if something I say doesn’t go over well?

But despite the fears, it’s something I keep coming back to. Writing is in my bones. I’m paying a lot of student loans right now because I believe so deeply in the power of wordsthe power of story. If we don’t stand for truth, if we don’t live lives passionately pursing the one who is pursuing us, what’s it for? Is comfort really worth complacency?

I’m committed to loving and serving a God that is bigger than my fears. But I’m afraid.

If you knew me, would you still like me?

13 thoughts on “if you knew me, would you still like me?

  1. I think about that a lot, actually. I do share some vulnerable things on my blog, but I’m always thinking in the back of my mind how it comes across, self-editing, putting together and crafting a type of vulnerability that is real, yes, but also packaged neatly so that people feel good after reading it. Sometimes I want to write about something, but I worry that it’s too polarizing (for example, I’m fearful about sharing much about my political convictions or my thoughts about the importance of women working, etc.) Sometimes, I agree, it’s a good thing because I can be too opinionated and sometimes I think God would rather have me do a little more listening and a little less speaking authoritatively. Anyway, I’m rambling. I think that even if you shared things about yourself that I personally disagreed about, I would still like you. I would probably tell you I had different opinions, but I think that is how we all grow.

    1. Thanks, Madison. I’ve thought about that, too — the nicely packaged vulnerability that makes people feel good but maybe isn’t so authentic after all. I think I’m guilty of that, especially coming from a journalism background where you’re not supposed to show your cards, so a lot of times I end up tying things together in a nice bow. I agree with you, I’m a little too opinionated sometimes, too, and there’s a line between just “outrage blogging” for pageviews i.e. Matt Walsh and actually thoughtfully writing with Jesus at the center. I like rambling, so please continue to do so. 😉 I agree, we grow and we’re better for sharing perspectives and being willing to learn from each other. I minored in sociology and part of what that taught me is that we all have experiences and upbringings and social positions that shape and form who we are and what we believe. When I remember that there are stories behind every person, I feel like God gives me compassion and heaps of grace. However, I have been hurt by many, specifically in the Church, who get filled with vitriol when they sense they disagree with someone. It’s messy.

  2. If I knew the real you, I expect I would like you even more than I do now! Keep struggling. You are beautiful to God and others.

  3. I’m pretty sure we’d like each other… and wear the same clothes. (I got my jeans and they fit perfectly!) For real though, ministry is hard, and it sometimes makes things harder than people not in the ministry lifestyle. We ended up leaving it because we saw some things in us that we didn’t like, and knew we needed to take a break and get back to who we really were. But the thing I learned, and still fight hard to remember, is that you HAVE to be real. When you stop being real is when you start losing yourself. That probably makes no sense.

    1. Oh, yay! I love that the jeans work! Move to the Midwest and we can have fun coffee dates and share closets? 🙂 Haha! I love coming alongside my husband as he shepherds others. He is definitely wear God is using him and it’s incredible to see. Sometimes I’m not sure how I fit in because I feel like a terrible pastor’s wife. Jonny put it this way after reading this post: If you’re not embracing who God has made you to be, and you’re not using the gifts and talents he has given you, then you are actively going against God. Kind of convicting but also encouraging. “When you stop being real is when you start losing yourself.” So true! ❤ Do you think you will go back into ministry at some time? I'm sorry it wasn't a good fit — ministry definitely ebbs and flows. And the Church is at a very interesting time right now. We need to get real and change some stuff or we are going to keep dying.

  4. The more vulnerable you are the more risk you take. The risk you take is proportional to the odds that the encouragement someone reading your blog will impact them positively. No risk, no reward, for either the writer or the reader. Don’t stop Kayla.

  5. Love you Kayla. Being real is hard. Being vulnerable is scary. God has given you abilities and wants you to use them for Him which you are great at! Keep going. Someone needs to hear what God wants you to say.

  6. I completely relate to so much of this, especially the idea of feeling like you’re in a fishbowl because of expectations related to your faith and the idea of loosing my footing. I was discussing the latter with a friend recently who felt similarly, and she said, “You’ve just done too much before 30.” She was kind of joking, but I really think there’s something to the fact that I don’t really have a roadmap at this point in my life. I’m not looking forward to graduation, or curious if my current relationship will progress toward marriage. We’re not currently trying to have kids, and my career doesn’t feel as fast-tracked as it once did. When things are sort of par for the course, overachievers like us tend to feel a little lost, I think. I’m trying to embrace it as a lesson in being more content and humble, as you said, but it’s not always easy!

    1. Yes! I think you’ve nailed it. Things were constantly changing and now it’s like, what now? It’s a weird feeling. Thank you, Justine!

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