sunrise in Charlottesville, VA; November 2012
When I get together with other bloggers, we inevitably end up talking about blog trends that fly over our heads. We cover everything under the sun – the need for a “Love Story” tab, the emergence of those huge cash giveaways, and the logistics of outfit posts that include twelve different pictures of the same skirt. (I’d like to stress, before people get offended, that these are things I don’t understand; they’re not things I actively dislike or disrespect.) And one of the topics that we almost always discuss is religious blogging. I know that that’s an ambiguous phrase, but I picked it on purpose. Let me try to explain…
I was surprised, when I started dipping my toes into the ocean of lifestyle bloggers, that so many broadcasted their religion on their blogs. From bloggers who include an “I Believe” link to Mormon.org to bloggers who share evangelizing stories about being saved to bloggers who include “daughter of the King” or “Jesus-lover” in their biographies, fervent proclamations of faith are all over the blogosphere. (And yes, from what I’ve seen they’re almost always written by self-professed Christians.)
I’m going to be really honest with you, dear readers: when I first noticed this, it made me uncomfortable. Then it made me upset. Finally, it made me feel insecure. These bloggers seem to have a built-in community just waiting for them. They have something to reach for when they want an explanation for both the trivial and the metaphysical questions of life. And they have a confidence of conviction that can (and often does) infuse everything they do and say.
Now I’m going to be honest again: I want all of that too. And you know what? As soon as I enunciated this to myself, instead of just feeling uncomfortable or upset or insecure I realized that I do have all of it. I may not have a church of any one denomination whose beliefs I completely ascribe to, but I have faith. Just because there isn’t an easy label for my faith doesn’t mean that I can’t broadcast it to the world if I want to!
So on Thursday, March 28, I’m going to publish an “I Believe” post. It won’t be the kind that’s been going round the blogosphere for the past few months – you know, the kind that talks about appreciating sunrises and baking cookies for your neighbors, even though I do love all that stuff too and those posts are totally necessary sometimes. It’ll be the kind that talks about faith – real faith, the faith that doesn’t necessarily have a definition but that makes me who I am and directs my hopes and fears.
And it’s going to be a little scary to share that with you because, like I said, I feel sometimes like I’m alone in not having a distinct community of people who believe the same things I do. But I’m going to publish it anyway and I hope that it encourages you to talk about your faith too if you haven’t before, no matter if you belong to an organized religion or not. So come back on Thursday to hear what I believe – I know that each one of us gets to a place where we are comfortable sharing these things in our own time, but I’d love to read if you are!