I made the following which was my first ever blog post on Saturday 26th January 2008 at 8:04pm, where I asked the question, “Who can pray?” I started a 2nd blog in February 2008 which I called Praying in Relationship and soon after found Word Press instead of Blogger and started a 3rd blog which I called Trinitarian Dance.
The reason I started blogging was due to becoming homebound through a debilitating illness, which caused my hospitalisation in late 2007 for two months. I was diagnosed with viral encephalitis which had initially caused right sided paralysis, severe fatigue and partial amnesia. The world of blogging is a great equaliser. For it does not discriminate against ones health, fitness, societal position, nationality, age or work. Though of course it does require some access to a computer and the ability to use it. While I was struggling with severe tiredness, low self esteem, mobility and family issues which I will come to later; from the confines of my study I had a voice in which I could engage with the world.
Previously the only framework I had in engaging with the world was through direct contact with others: Friends, family, church, work mates etc. Any global involvement was more passive then active, relegated to the watching of TV and reading a newspaper. And of course their were the many books (fiction, historical, biographical) I read which gave me some global knowledge.
However, blogging opened up a whole new way of engaging with the world. It no longer became a passive involvement. I became an active participant within a global context. Within a few clicks I could be reading about or talking with someone over sea’s. I could personally engage with others thoughts, their beliefs, their struggles and their victories from within the confinement of my house and my disability. And not only was I able to engage with others; others were also able to engage my thoughts, beliefs, struggles and victories.
However I also held a deep dark secret. A secret that was so painful that I couldn’t share it with anyone. In fact in many ways it was so painful, I couldn’t at first acknowledge it to myself. And that secret was that behind closed doors I was a victim of Domestic Abuse.. or what is now known as “Intimate Partner Abuse.” And following my separation in early 2009, I started another blog called Through Hell and Back on the 18th of May 2010.
My first post was a poem that I wrote called “Cutting Words,” and in and through it I was able to disclose some of my deep pain the followed from that experience. Through this blog I was able to give “voice” to what had been previously silenced. I became in contact with many other men who likewise had been subjected to abuse by their partners. And through these contacts I was able to receive counsel and make others aware of the hidden plight that men also can suffer. On the 6th of September 2011 I made a conscious decision to stop actively blogging on this blog. I needed to take a step back for my own mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. I was constantly caught up in the memories of the past and needed to move on. Though of course one cannot completely leave the experience of the past, one learns through the healing power of God to forgive and live despite what had happened in the past. However, my access to my other previous blogs had been dismantled through my inability to remember the passwords and the disconnecting of my previous email addresses due to a sudden turn of nastiness where my internet account was disconnected.
And so on the 15th of May 2010 I started this current blog and my first blog post was called The Power of Love. Since then I have published 688 posts which were viewed 24,049 times and resulted in 1322 comments. While I am sure there is a way to find out, I cannot say how many other bloggers I have engaged with, read and their posts I have commented on. My blogging is also linked to other social media – which is primarily Facebook, in which I have made contact with many others through out the world.
For me blogging is deeply personal. No one blog is the same. While indeed some blogs can have a similarity of genre, they all have a personal aspect to them, in which the blogging platform allows some of the character, nature and personality of the blogger to shine through. The global platform of blogging has given me a global voice. A voice in which I can share the Gospel of Jesus with others. My own faith has been shaped, challenged, encouraged and expanded through this global platform, a platform where I have been able to engage with other fellow travellers made up of non believers, new believers, mature believers, the intellectual and non intellectual, students, academics and scholars and those in-between.
For now, I will leave this post here and continue in a future post about why I blog and the benefits of blogging.