Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others.
— Kathleen Norris in Amazing Grace

Well, I'm starting a blog. I've wanted to do this for a long time, but I've also been afraid of doing this for long time. I feel compelled to write about my experience living with physical suffering, but it's a subject that is hard to understand, somewhat taboo, and incredibly personal. Will you understand my words? Will you judge me as someone who has let "sickness become her identity"? Will I be making public that which should remain private? These have been the questions I've worried over, keeping me from sharing my story. But, even with all the questions, I still feel compelled to write--for you, women and men suffering with painful diseases and your friends and loved ones who hurt with you, and for me. Writing is where I feel closest to God and most myself. It's a process where acceptance and peace meet over the painful realities of life. In order for me to suffer well, I need to write. I need to wrestle and search hard after the truth in my pain.

But as an idealist (my overly positive way of not describing myself as a perfectionist!) I love this process but can get stuck hiding my words until they reach some ridiculous level of perfection. And in order to really keep up a blog (while in graduate school, while living with a disease...), this just won't be possible! I think blogging will be a good practice in true perfection and freedom. Kathleen Norris describes perfection as being "able to make a gift of oneself." So instead of only reaching for the perfect syntax, adjectives, and quotes to describe my experience, I hope to focus on making a gift of myself to others. So here are my words, however imperfect they may be on any given day--my words, my soul, my bad and good experiences--for you and for me. My words are my offering, my attempt to hold onto truth while the waves of sickness crash around me. So, hurting friends, welcome. Welcome to a place of honesty and remembrance of the truth that

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope...[that] if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
— Hebrews 6:19a & Romans 6:5, ESV