The temptation to self edit. To smooth the corners and rouge the rough. We all do it. It’s called pretending.

But we’re all messed up. To some degree. All groping in the dark for a future unknown. Every one has their struggles, and the online personas we concoct only show part of the truth. Under the shiny-happy-people-personas lies a world of questions and a beating human heart seeking purpose and significance.

And that’s ok…

Not the pretending – the questioning, the wrestling, the seeking and searching.

Mountains of Value

Your life’s experiences, layer upon layer, build a mountain of value upon which you stand. From that viewpoint you have a unique perspective. You see things in a way that can bring lightbulb moments to others.

Your story is meant to be told in bold relief, not shimmering smooth.

Your epic journey is over Tolkienesque mountain ranges, not skipping through cotton candy pathways.

Your mess is so much part of your message it should be celebrated. How else could you honestly reach out and empathise? Deep calls to deep at the sound of your heart gushing forth hard-lived Truths.

Your tests shape your testimony. They give hope to other weary travellers that the goal is in sight.

And in the midst of it all – God!

I prefer to call Him Papa.

Dad

My dad.

Died.

Last year.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the day we scattered his ashes.

Burnt reminders of a life lived for others.

I was one of them.

I miss him.

But my Heavenly Papa is always here to comfort and cajole, even in my darkest moments. To make sense of the senseless, and bring redemption from the pain of life. To bring unexpected resurrections from the pain-filled ashes of disappointment. To make something beautiful from the swamp of overgrown ambitions.

The Great Pretender

One of my struggles is the creeping feeling that I am playing a role.

Filling my days with a person I have made up. I am my own imagination. I guess that comes with the territory of being a writer.

We craft emotions with the motions of our pen, and sometimes get swept up into a perfect vision.

The entrepreneurial war cry, “Fake it till’ ya make it”, is all good and well if you’ve finally somehow ‘made’ it. But what of the messy middle?

What of the fear that our pursuits are chasing tails?

Why is it that I read some other’s work and lament my own shallowness? Or hear the success story of some friend or foe and wonder pointlessly but painfully why my own breakthrough eludes me?

What if we feel like a fake most of the time?

Welcome to the edge. It is not safe. You are not in the warm enclaves of the shire any more.

Anyone conquering their creative journey is inevitably going to feel dwarfed by the odds. Out of place.

But you are right where God’s wants you. In the place where you have to trust He made you just the way He needs you. Your voice is unique because uniquely turned ears are waiting for your words and works of art. The person you envied for their talent is broadcasting on a frequency that those folks won’t attune to. They need you to step up and step out for the message to translate.

No. We are not faking it.

In all our making we are becoming.

And just as it is always wise to have another eye look over your work and do the fine editing surgery, so it is always best to allow the Holy Spirit to take that role. No more editing my self to be someone I am not!

So here I am again, willingly on the editing floor. The spinning Potter’s wheel.

Yes, today I am an edited version of the man I was, but not of my own making.

In partnership with Papa we have slashed some chapters of insecurity. Replaced the text with confident acceptance that I am accepted warts and all. He has taken His red pen to the lines in my heart that were fearful to put myself out there, to say without shame, “this is who I am!”

At least, who I am for now, for the divine Editor is still at work – making me more original every single day!

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