I’ve been frustrated. Beyond frustrated at times. In the middle of the summer I decided to start taking my blog more seriously and switch to self-hosted WordPress. At the time I was using Squarespace for design and hosting; I had even purchased a custom domain name. I put a lot of time and energy into my decision of when and how to switch to WordPress. When I was finally ready to go live with my new website, I discovered that there was a waiting period before I could officially transfer my domain name. While www.realisticallyoptimistic.com would get a visitor to my blog, the URL would change to something funky was they navigated away from the landing page.
I (not so) patiently waited 23 more days until I could transfer the domain name, only to find out that I had to reassign administrative rights. Which took another 7 days. Only to find out that they “give me” another 7 days to “change my mind” before processing my request for a change. I was frustrated. Beyond frustrated at times.
I was pretty discouraged and wasn’t going to post to any of my usual blog hops that week. One day I decided to check in on one of my favorite blog hops and discovered that I was a featured blogger. The next day I saw my post featured on another blog hop and the next week posts were featured on 2 more parties. I was elated.
First of all, I never expected these posts to reach so many people. Even though I hope my writing will touch at least one person, I never expect it to make an impact within a community. I always considered that hope to be on nearly the same level of my childhood dream to be president.
Second of all, I suddenly realized that there was a purpose to my frustration. Had I been able to transfer my domain name in a timely fashion, all of the links to my featured posts would be broken. No additional people would be able to access my posts. The very thing that nearly caused me to pull out my hair had suddenly become a massive blessing.
I’ve realized that this is not an isolated situation. God has used frustrating or painful circumstances to bless me more than once. He strips away the things I cling to the most in order to draw me closer to Him. This usually involves Him causing me to look at myself in the mirror; to see the positive and negative aspects of myself and allow Him to heal the broken pieces and make something beautiful out of my mess. People call it “beauty for ashes”, but I’m coming to understand that life doesn’t always have to turn to ash before it can be turned over to the Lord and made beautiful.
The simplest things can cause us the most frustration, yet they can also be used to bring us a greater joy. It’s easy for me to see my blogging as frivolous at times. A waste of time, money, and that priceless thing called energy. But then I see the amazing ways God is using it to teach me lessons, bring richness to my life, and touch others in a broad way. To do something I could never do in isolation. Never do on my own.
I’d like to thank my friends, family, readers, and fellow bloggers for making this hobby a truly rewarding experience. For giving purpose to something I love. For being a part of God’s plan and the lessons He’s teaching me on a daily basis. We all have something to learn and we all have something to teach. Thank you for being faithful. Even those of you who don’t realize that’s what you’re doing.