A student gave me the wonderful gift pictured below many years ago, after she had proven that she could overcome insurmountable odds to pass my class. I saw her greatness, and I just had to help her see it, too.
Last week, she sent me a message through LinkedIn, asking for a recommendation, as she prepares to seek a doctorate in Social Work! I am so proud of her eminent goal, for I always knew that she could change the world.
Through all of our various housing moves, I have kept this memento to remind me that we all want to feel that we make a difference in the world, or, at least, I do. It’s the reason that I started writing the blog after I retired from full-time college teaching.
I wanted my knowledge and experiences to make a difference in the lives of people who read the blog. Last week, I learned that I had reached a milestone: 1000 blog posts! Never would I have thought to have accomplished such a thing.
I was in a very tenebrous state when I started the blog, feeling useless after leaving what I considered my calling in life. I didn’t want to just chill out and do nothing, so I thought of writing a blog.
However, I truly thought that to blog, you needed a real life, one in which you do something significant and exciting every day and write about it. Or, you have a talent like poetry writing, cooking, or do a lot of traveling, something that imparts knowledge to the masses of followers who plan their lives by your information.
But, over the last two years, I have learned that we all have something to share with others about living and surviving on this planet. As a Christian, I planned the blog to be strictly a form of ministry to demonstrate the goodness and mercy of God, meaning mostly Bible studies. But, God had different ideas.
Proverbs 16:9 states, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” The most successful posts have been those in which I have been vulnerable, allowing people into the hurts and trials of my life, especially the ways that I was able through my faith in Christ Jesus to survive and thrive, despite the suffering of the past.
The Daily Prompt was one of the best aspects of WordPress that I stumbled across. The challenge of using the words in ways that brought hope, laughter, inspiration, and encouragement helped me to build a small following that utterly surprised me.
I had to learn not to worry about other bloggers who started at the same time or before me having thousands more followers, and simply each day write what was placed on my heart to share with the world, whether flowers, travel photos, fiction, or non-fiction. I had to put to rest the belief that unless I received hundreds of likes a day I was of no value as a blogger.
Zechariah 4:10 states, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” So, I am thankful for my 789 followers and for the views and likes I get each day.
But my greatest joy derives from the bloggers I follow and new readers who make me feel like a dear friend. Their comments touch my soul and make me feel like, for one moment in time, I am a part of their world, as they read my poetry or fiction or everyday life stories and laugh with me, commiserate with me, cry with me, and appreciate our similarities and respect our differences.
So, I will keep writing my blogs and reading your blogs, which bring me so much joy and laughter and teach me to appreciate the world and the people who inhabit it. You are all valuable, priceless, and one of a kind, as no two blogs are alike. That why I know that while you may seem like one person to some, to others, you can be the world.