four years ago today i started this blog.
it was a chilly day in february.
i remember that winter the Lord had continually spoke to my heart. i kept hearing that i should start to write everything down.
never in my wildest dreams did i imagine how much i would fall in love with writing beyond what i already knew. i have always been a journaler. (my brothers girlfriend and i are trying to figure out if that is a word -- yes? no?) anyways. i had always journaled. and i had always loved to write. i blame dad for that. but this was different. this was introducing the world to my journal.
people had always known my stories. but they had known them from the outside looking in. they had been prayer warriors. they had brought meals. they came for visits + cards and balloons always poured in. they sat with mom and dad through everything. from the day i was born and it seemed like i was only going to be on this earth for a few hours people were praying for my life. they had seen the raw emotions in the days where we lived in utter shock + complete defeat. and they had been the ones to bring laughter + make days brighter on many occasions. they sat with mom and dad in every waiting room + the lucky ones got to sit with me in every hospital room or our family room which was so often converted into "the princess's throneroom." haha. some of them understood what it was like + some of them had never experienced anything like it. + very few knew exactly how my heart felt or what i was going through in my own mind. so i thought blogging would be the perfect opportunity. give people a glimpse as i often say.
and thus the journey began. i called it "the beauty in the battle."
but through the years the blog got a new name. and a new layout. and i began to boldly tell the stories of a life that the Lord had so evidently been working in. the stories of a little girl who was searching for who she was in this crazy world + the stories of a young lady who began to realize who she was supposed to be. it was good and it was bad. there were days when i would sit with tears streaming down my face as i typed words that i never wanted to but that i felt everyone needed to hear. and there were sleepless nights when i would write about the wonderful JOY that the Holy Spirit had given me. sometimes these two extremes were within days of eachother. and everyone was okay with that.
there were early mornings spent tucked under a blanket with coffee in my hand typing away and begging for prayers. followed by middle of the night tales of this crazy adventure i'm living. some posts took me an hour to type. others forced me to sit for weeks as i tried to figure out how to convey what i was feeling in a pure and honest way. but i knew it had to be said. and in the end. except for a few times. i always said it.
but most importantly there were beautiful people behind their own computers. reading my words. forgiving me for never using a capital letter or comma. never getting upset when i had a million and two periods in a post or a hundred run on sentences. they just read. and encouraged. and so i continued to write.
but then something changed. and Jesus - the One who has never failed me began to speak again. this past summer.
and i started to understand what He had meant that blustery day in 2011. He didn't really mean a blog. He meant a book. what He had asked of me was much bigger than this blog. what He had asked of me was to bind my words together between a front and back cover + trust that He had a perfect plan. He would - as He has always done so well - bring beauty out of the battle.
it took me about six months to listen. i was full of fear. but then He began to work on my heart. and i began to realize that bravery didn't have to mean i wasn't fearful. it could mean that i was filled with fear but i did it anyway. because it was what the Lord had asked of me.
taylor swift once said:: “to me fearless is not the absense of fear. it's not being completely unafraid. to me, fearless is having fears. fearless is having doubts. lots of them. to me fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.”
[ i think t-swift and i would be really good friends. because:: taylor is my last name. we both write. and sing. and we both have a love for james taylor that stems beyond obsession. one day. one day i tell you. ]
so i gathered up journals. sifted through the pages and stories. i began to process what has gone on the past 23 years. and spent days trying to figure out where to begin. it has been anything but easy.
i have begun to write out the story that the Lord has so beautifully written. the whole thing. holding nothing back. [and can i just say this. it is hard to be vulnerable.] i have tried my best to be extremely honest with all of you the past few years. but my book is so very real. tears flood my eyes somedays as i write. and sometimes i sit and laugh at myself. because you guys. lets face it. I AM FUNNY. and some days i simply lay in bed at night in total awe at the fact that this is my life. and it is beautiful. and the God who created this wonderful world i'm living in wrote a story like this for me. it blows my mind. and i am forever grateful.
as of right now my title is:: shelby brave
(kinda like she'll be brave.)
[ also this will be no ordinary book my people. it will have pictures and letters and beautiful things intertwined with the words. it will be a scrapbook of my life. because lets be real. my story doesn't belong on white pages with black ink. this life i have lived has been truly precious + magical + far from ordinary. so prepare yourself for shelby elyse splattered onto pages. ]
i have around 100 pages typed. and still have so much more to write.
my story isn't over yet
i'm just simply writing what has been already read.
please be in prayer for me as i continue to write. the process is long and exhausting. but i continue to do as i have been commanded
because...when the Guy who made you tells you to do something - you do it.
i can't wait for all of you to read it one day.
if anyone knows a literary agent hit me up.
heres to a new adventure.
BLESSED by a Heavenly Daddy