Earlier this year, I fell in love with Hannah Brencher’s heart. I fell in love with her desire to spread love into the dark corners of the world because, in my own heart of hearts, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do. But the thing that amazes me most is that Hannah’s ministry stemmed from a very selfish desire. In her own words:
“Anyone who knows me–knows the heart of me, and the bone of me, and the bends of my smile–knows why I really started writing love letters. It was not some strange aficionado for stationery. Never a day in my life have I ached to bring the art form of letter writing back to her fullness. It wasn’t a racing heart for cursive & curves on a page. It was a fear that I was very much alone in this world. It was a fear that I might never feel whole again. It was fear that not a single soul needed my footprints, my input, my laughter. It was a crippling belief that I would live and die and I would never have made noise in this world.”
And so the girl who was rather desperately in need of a love letter started leaving the kinds of words she yearned to hear for strangers to read. She lit up New York City one heart at a time and, in the process, healed her own. That’s what happens when you take your eyes off of yourself and start writing for other people.
I started writing for me. Because I had words bottled up in my heart that needed somewhere to go. Sometimes I still write for myself. Sometimes there’s a message God is pounding into my heart so fervently that it is all I can write. And the beautiful thing about those blog posts is that I get comments from all of you saying how badly you needed to hear those words, too.
When I set out to love letter the world, it started writing letters back to me. Letters that said, “I needed your words. You’ve given me permission to dream.” Letters that said, “Thank you for the reminder. It set my heart back on the right track again.” Letters that said, “Your voice, your words, your heart—they matter. They matter.”
Maybe I was more like Hannah Brencher than I thought—maybe I wrote out of my own fear that I would live and die having never made noise in this world—because your words mean the world to me.
Today I am ever so thankful for you, my readers, who believe that the words that flow from my heart through my fingertips are worth your time. I’m grateful that you make me feel as though my efforts matter. You’ve helped me realize that the world isn’t as big as it once appeared, and that I am changing it…