Hello, hello, hello!
It’s that time of the year in my student life when I get to say momentarily:
I AM FREEEEEEEE!!!! 🙂 🙂
Sembreak is here once again to prepare me for the deadlines, projects, quizzes, exams, presentations, and commuting hurdles that I shall face after 16 days. HAHAHA 😀
After more than a month-long absence, I am back! However, I won’t be back for long. Actually, I won’t be back here. Ever. 😦
Before #Selfless, there was Gracing Jenny. My original blog had been dear to my heart for over three years. It chronicled my journey with my First Love, my growth both as a person and as a writer, and both painful and wonderful memories. I also “met” people online whom I have exchanged views and emails with, and though we haven’t met personally, I was privileged to be able to experience their online presence. People commented or told me personally that they were blessed by God’s hand in my life as seen on the blog. I also had a foretaste of what it was like to be a sort of
popular blogger with the popularity of my Hair Click post (even if I’m not a beauty blogger! Who knows, maybe I’ll try my hand at it one time). Gracing Jenny has blessed me, has blessed others, and ultimately, glorified my gracious Savior.
If only I counted the blessings God gave me through the blog, which was a already blessing in itself. If only I did not feed my longing to be popular netizen and choose to remain humble in my small sphere of influence. Perhaps, I wouldn’t have to do this. Perhaps I would have continued blogging the way I used to. Perhaps there wouldn’t be #Selfless to begin with. Perhaps I wouldn’t have to do this–baring my deepest, darkest secret as far as my blogging experience is concerned (which is actually a reflection of what’s been happening in my life).
You see, around the months of June-August, I was thinking selfishly. I grew discontent with the way the blog was because it did not attract the number of views I wanted it to attract. Insecurity welled up inside me as I read Christian personal blogs such as mine who started only last year or even early this year and already had more than a thousand daily viewers, while mine are still a hundred. I wanted numbers. I wanted change. So I thought: “Perhaps it has something to do with the message of my blog. It’s not as compelling as the Harris brothers’ ‘Do Hard Things.’ Yeah, that’s what I need–a revolutionary-like message that was culturally relevant so that my fellow young adults will get the message. People don’t need another personal blog that tells the journey of some uninteresting person or write about how their day went and how no boy admitted his feelings for her since 1994.”
The day the focus shifted from Jesus to Jenny was the day I started going downhill and had crazy ideas, the craziest of which: Start a new blog.
And so, one of 2013’s greatest paradoxes, #Selfless, was born. A blog about denying one’s self and living the Galatians 2:20 life was founded on proud and me-centered thoughts. This is the real story, ladies and gentlemen.
At this point I want to apologize to those who read my first post here (and who will read it after reading this) because what I told you was a lie. It’s a lie because it wasn’t entirely truth. The truth was, I really, really wanted, in the bottom of my heart, to inspire people to be selfless, to live above themselves. I wanted to live unselfishly the way Mother Teresa and Jesus did. The tricycle quandary and my experiences with my Mom were all sincere, genuine, and legit. The lie wasn’t really in what I told, but what I did not tell. The lie was nothing new; in fact, it was the very lie our first mother fell for in the Garden.
What?! You’re still sticking to your old ideas and values, to what He said? He just told you that because He doesn’t want you to experience what you want. Think of new ideas and make them come alive, and you’ll be just like God Himself–a creator and a genius!
And so I bit the fruit. I fell from grace.
The story–the sin–would have been less tragic if it just revolved around my blog. The saddest part was, it impacted my life. Gracing Jenny wasn’t just a WordPress account I made to publish my ideas. I carried and embodied Gracing Jenny. I was Gracing Jenny.
The problem wasn’t my blog, the content, or whatever “theme” or message I espoused. I wasn’t able to update my blog regularly when my workload in school became heavy (which is also why I can’t be a full-time blogger while studying, unless I let my grades take a back seat). The problem was internal, not external. The change that ought to have taken should have been in my character, not my behavior. The real issue, more than the workload and the time, was my selfish heart. It did not need a new place to find its security; it just had to go back to where it was once before–back where it found its essence and purpose.
In the heart of its loving Creator.
#Selfless has been a blessed avenue for my spiritual growth, but it’s not where my writer’s and blogger’s heart belongs. The so-called “God-given idea” wasn’t from God to begin with. Another lesson I learned (and still learning) is that I do have to love and be comfortable with myself. One reason why I resorted to starting a new blog was that I thought if I was “me” and not “revolutionary” and unique, I was ineffective. I won’t expound on this now, but suffice to say, I hated myself. Once again, God showed me who I really was. He made me to love Him and love others and love myself with the faculties, abilities, talents, intelligence, and will He endowed me. There was nothing selfish about that. Besides, as Stephen Covey put it, “In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.” (Covey, 1989)
I praise God for how He’s opened my eyes to selfishness and its ugliness. I thank Him for disciplining me in love (there was a whole lot of tough love in the past few months) and comforting me with gentleness (the big, fat hug that always succeeds a spanking). He alone deserves all the praise for placing my heart in the right place and sprinkling me with renewed hope so that I can get back up and start all over again.
So with that, I am closing my doors on #Selfless, and will go back to Gracing Jenny. This is my choice not based on feelings (although they influenced me), but on the truths that I can’t handle two blogs at the same time and that I don’t need a new talent or medium to be effective; I need to grow deeper. Although it had a noble purpose, #Selfless was a distraction from the real blog. Some of you may think, “What’s the big deal? I mean, just get on like you used to.” I got attached to this endeavour so much that I value it the way I would value a human friend. 🙂 Most importantly, God gave me this gift and ministry; surely that’s something worth taking seriously.
Don’t worry, I have fun, too. In fact sometimes, I have too much fun. Starting today, I’ll create greater, deeper, and more grace-filled memories in Gracing Jenny. I won’t let go of #Selfless totally, as a reminder of my short-lived “infidelity” and God’s amazing grace (and perhaps, still be a blessing to those who encounter it).
So…for the last time, goodbye. 😐
Well, not really.
By God’s grace, I’ll be here. 🙂
Reference Covey, Stephen R. (1989). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. New York: Fireside, Simon & Schuster.