Thank you for being a part of A Voice in the Noise in 2015. It has been a year of finding my voice and God opening doors I never expected to walk through when this year began. I am so grateful for each and every person who has prayed for me, given me space to write, read my words, and encouraged me when it felt too hard. I am forever in your debt! I can’t wait to see what 2016 holds! Here’s a little peek into the most read posts of this year and the ones I loved writing, a glimpse into why I wrote them and what they meant to me…
THE MOST READ POSTS OF 2015 ON A VOICE IN THE NOISE
“Maybe my daring moves seem small to you but to me, they mean obedience in the face of great fear, and that feels pretty dangerous.”
I wrote this piece when I was getting up the courage to submit a story to SheLoves Magazine, a community I loved to be a part of but wasn’t sure I had a place in as a writer. God has allowed me to write for SheLoves four times in 2015.
“God is bringing the nations to us, and I believe so many of our local congregations are missing it.”
I wrote this as an entry to a writing contest and later posted it on my blog before the refugee crisis of 2015 became news. I pray that someone somewhere reads it and is challenged to let their fences down. I am so blessed to have a window into the vibrant, beautiful refugee community of America that has so much to teach us, if we will just listen.
“My attitude is brimming with harshness, bitterness. I spew hideous words directed at someone God loves dearly, tearing her down. I can be downright hateful…To myself.”
My first full series, The F-Word resonated with more people than I expected. The funny thing about our feelings of failure and shame are that they isolate us, making us think we are the only ones who feel this way. It was a beautiful experience writing about this for a month and allowing God to teach and heal me so much in 2015, to also see others come alongside me and say, “Me, too!”
“In the time I was an explorer I saw God in places I never dreamed to find Him.”
I was fortunate to be on the launch team for Sarah Bessey’s 2015 book Out of Sorts. I wrote this in response to the themes of wandering and evolving faith in the book, specifically about the time in my life when I walked away from the church and God only to find God in so many places, people, and denominations where I never expected to find Him. I have come to embrace that time in my life, not as something to be ashamed of and run from, but as a time that shaped my faith in deeper ways than ever before.
“I’ve seen it so many times before and it frightens me for the state of my heart. I can sit glued to the news when a disaster strikes, pray fervently for dire circumstances, and feel moved by someone’s plight. Then, I can turn away and forget just as easily, wrapped up in my own daily worries.”
One of the things I set out to do in 2015 putting my words on A Voice in the Noise was to highlight needs around the world and help people to pray for what God is doing outside of the American church. This short piece I wrote as a blogger for Gospel for Asia was shared over 500 times as people were inspired to pray for those suffering after the earthquakes in Nepal. This story hit home as one of my best friends lived in Nepal at the time and my heart broke for her family, but it was so easy to get caught up in daily life and forget their needs. I guess others really identified with that tension as well.
MY PICKS – THE PIECES I MOST LOVED WRITING IN 2015
This was the hardest piece for me to write this year, interspersing the history of a rich faith tradition with current events in the land that I love so much, as well as my own experiences in the Coptic Church. It felt like a rending of my spirit as I wrote it, but I was so pleased when it was done and that Her.meneutics ran it. I had a couple radio interviews come out of this piece and got to share even more about a place and people that is so dear to me. This was one of those “that is why I do this” moments, being able to share a piece of my life that I feel so fortunate for having experienced.
This story holds a special place in my heart. It is another that I began writing seven years ago and that I just had a deep need to share. It is about a change in my heart that was so hard won, a time in my life I am so grateful for. It is about my best friend and all she has taught me, continues to teach me. I was so happy that this was my first piece published outside of my own blog and my first experience struggling through edits, seeing a story transformed into something so much more beautiful for having worked with an incredible editor, Heather Caliri. The Mudroom has become a place that I love dearly online, read every single post and am proud to be on the support staff for as 2015 comes to a close!