Five Minute Friday: Again

5-minute-friday-1 (1)

Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to know they have read the very inner workings of your madness, your depravity, your grief. Sometimes your joy isn’t yours alone but is shared with those who you’ve never even seen. And you wonder at it all. Where a click of a mouse can mean your life spread open. You want this, you’ve asked for it. Community, and being known, real and whole and true. And you wonder which feels worse, to feel no one is reading your words or to feel everyone is.

I am doing it again. Waffling back and forth, on the fence about the words out there. The ones I share, all too willingly. The ones that pin me like a stuck bug in a collection of specimens to inspect. Lined up, I feel compared, categorized, catalogued. And I have to shake off the lies. These ones that box me up terrified.

And we all gather in forums and blog conferences and twitter streams to talk about blogging dangerously. Writing it out in the places that scare us the most. Making our words matter. On being authentic, finding our voice, and sharing our story. But it’s hard.

Do the authors with their names emblazoned on covers in Barnes and Noble fear that they will be both heard and ignored? I would think they probably do.

Our identity has been damaged since Eden. When words warped with serpentine tongue flicking in our ears. And we hear that whisper so often, “Did God really say…” to write, to share, to find community and stick it out, to commit to those who make it hard to love exacting that price without reimbursement?

And you want to be that grace laden woman, worn down by the weight of glory and the immense awe of God. You want to be the woman who does the things of small wonder and grace, ministering big from the truth.

And it’s hard because I am here again. Again and again, I doubt. That hiss rattling my ear and my soul and my hands as I type.

Lord I doubt, help me believe.


I started writing this and was almost to five minutes when I pushed the wrong key and lost the whole post.  I almost called it quits right then but decided that maybe I really do need to post this. So here is my 2nd attempt at my 5 minute Friday. 

A flash mob of writers, a community of sisters, a glorious chorus of voices knit together in fellowship. Join us?

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..


  1. says

    Friend, you share quietly what my soul is screaming. It’s such an upside down Kingdom, isn’t it. When we’re called to expose our hearts, yet keep them guarded. I’m learning to guard my heart from this world, but not of His…one day i’ll get there willingly. {HUGS}

    You help me see….thank you.

    • Alia Joy says

      Yes, it is and yet we all want to live right side up and climbing higher. Yes, one day. Walking this wobbly road with you, friend.

  2. says

    That has been one of my prayers, many times, “Help my unbelief”. We can believe such horrible lies at times. Thank you for sharing your heart today!

    • Alia Joy says

      It is such a common theme. Glaring really, but it’s still a struggle not to doubt. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in my five minute rant this week. ;)

  3. says

    Oh friend…I would swear that you wrote this one especially for me tonight. As I question how brave am I with my words really. It is such a vulnerable place to be in. Even behind the screen. You so encourage me in this friend. Thank you . Love you. Much.

  4. says

    “Our identity has been damaged since Eden. When words warped with serpentine tongue flicking in our ears” What a great post. It brings me comfort to hear we have been this way since Eden…it puts us in good company of all God’s saints who have gone before us. I am sure they all had doubts as well. Thanks for sharing!

    • Alia Joy says

      A community of doubters, of seeing counterfeit reflections, and of falling short on belief but both saints and sinners are covered in grace together. So glad to be in fellowship with those who know this truth.

  5. says

    It is so very strange, is it not, to spill the contents of our hearts onto blank spaces, feeling at once that it is both prayer and gilded offering, all wrapped up in one. I honestly feel like I write “to” no one but myself. It is how I think best, how I work out my faith in fear and trembling, how I learn what makes me.
    So I understand why you keep coming back, again and again.
    I think it’s the same reason that I do.
    We need to.

    • Alia Joy says

      That is true. I understand my world and myself through writing. I process and heal and ponder with run on sentences and often surprise myself with what ends up on the page. I didn’t even know that was going to come out. The whole blog world has me spinning a bit right now. Just a lot on my mind in terms of it all. I need to write, it’s true. I just don’t always know what that means.

  6. says

    Wow. My pastor said, on Sunday, that we need to retrain our words – we’re not church, we’re family. You can leave church… family… not so much. I know that’s nothing to do with Blogging, however I feel similarly about the Christian circles I blog in. If one person is made more secure in Christ by a post I wrote, then it’s worth sticking it out.

  7. says

    Oh, Alia-Joy,
    We were created for community, but community has hurt us so much in the past. Yet, we have done the same to others and all we can ask of Him is for grace to go this road again and again!
    Much love

    • says

      Yes grace again and again. I think Mary DeMuth said something along the lines of, “The same community that hurt you is often the same community God uses to heal you.” I think that rings very true for me at times. Thanks, Mia.

  8. says

    I posted tonight in a different conversation on Twitter that the posts satan tries hardest to convince me to not to publish are always the ones that seem to bless someone else the most. Don’t listen to the lie, friend. Keep writing. Keep posting. Keep sharing. Your words are truth, healing & hope for someone else. So glad you didn’t give up on this one – I loved it so much :)

    • says

      Yes my most vulnerable post ever turned out to be the most commented on and I ended up with a whopping 34 private emails. I wasn’t going to publish it because I feared that with the season of depression I was in, every post was a major downer. But God. He is so faithful. I just need to remember sometimes.

  9. says

    Spiritual warfare on FMF because I had the same experience of losing my post. Never happened before. I love this sentence, “And you want to be that grace laden woman, worn down by the weight of glory and the immense awe of God. You want to be the woman who does the things of small wonder and grace, ministering big from the truth.” Yes, this is what I want. To be the grace laden woman, able to leave behind all the things the world says I should be and instead only see Him.

    • says

      You and me both, Laura. I’ve only lost a few posts ever and usually I don’t even write them in WordPress for that very reason but I figured I was really tired and feeling sick and it wasn’t like it needed to be saved for editing etc and then bam, it disappeared. That could have been a whole lesson in again right there. Thanks for joining in.

  10. says

    Thank you friend for pressing on with your second write, your second attempt. This ministered to my heart. There is so much good I am wrapping around that I don’t know where to begin. I have missed this place, this community, after a long BREAK from it. So so so thrilled to be reading your words, your voice this morning. It is cold, I am by the fire and you are warming my soul with honesty. Yes Lord, help my doubt and my waffling wavering spirit. Thank you for sharing your gift with me and with us.

    • says

      Glad to have you back, Elizabeth. I took a break some of November and then obviously in December and I really missed all the words we share each week. It’s cold here too tonight. I think my fever is breaking and I am wearing a snuggy my mother bought me. Not even a real one, but an imitation blanket with sleeves. I maybe shouldn’t reply to comments when I’ve had cold medicine because now I’m rambling. Anyhow, glad to connect this week, friend.

  11. says

    You’ve just spoken words my soul wrestles with daily… and the hiss it can be loud and drowning in the lies becomes so easy. So glad friend, so, so glad you tried again. So many women who doubt their dreams, their place and the fact that they are cherished by God needed to hear this… and the hearts, the readers, the souls laid bare in all of these comments? They are proof friend, proof that God uses and that Satan is vanquished! Love you!

  12. says

    “And you want to be that grace laden woman, worn down by the weight of glory and the immense awe of God. You want to be the woman who does the things of small wonder and grace, ministering big from the truth.”

    Dear, beautiful Alia… how did you hear the song of my heart? My friend, your writing always inspires, humbles and points me to the One who has put this song in all of our hearts. Thank you.

  13. says

    Aliya-Joy! My heart resonates so deeply with these words right here. I’m so grateful that you gave it another go and shared your heart with us. I always leave here feeling like I’m not alone. So encouraged!

    • says

      Such a weird combo of emotions the writer goes through, isn’t it? I swear I go back and forth all the time. I’m glad to connect again. I haven’t seen you in a bit. How’d the cake turn out?

  14. says

    Oh, Alia- your words continually resonate with women’s hearts- to God be the glory! So thankful that you were willing to write it again, because everyone needs to hear the truth that is here- to not listen to the lies of Satan, but to be faithful to what God is calling us to.
    So lovely! Thanking God for you this morning!

    • says

      To God be the glory. Yes, friend, it’s not me. God’s truth can be so flimsy in my faith, most (all) of the time, I’m preaching to myself. Thankful for you.

  15. says

    I, too, feel the fear, the hiss of why, the “did God really say,” the worry of both being heard and ignored. This life of the writers. This life of those who want community — to know and be known. To be hope bringers and truth tellers. You are all that and so much more. You cannot be stuck like a bug in a collection of specimens. Keep shaking off those pins and those lies, sister. And way to come back for more. Losing a post can make me want to crawl in a hole. I love who you are in this writing community and world.

    • says

      Ha, such a funny image as I was reading tonight but it’s the first thing that came to my mind last night. Thank you Ashley, for always telling the truth. I loved your post this week. It was my absolute favorite. I kept reading it. Just lovely! I’m so glad God brought you into my life.

    • says

      We writers are strange folk, aren’t we. We want something and then it scares us to death the next moment. Thanks for all your encouragement. You are amazing, friend.

  16. says

    I just went through this in the past few weeks…AGAIN. I write with heart on sleeve, but occasionally someone tries to cover that heart up with their criticism and their views on privacy and airing dirty laundry. It is hard to stay steady the course of airing dirty laundry for the sake of that one sister out there searching the internet for someone else who feels her pain. As much as I waffle back and forth about how “authentic” to be on my blog, it all comes back to calling. The blog wasn’t my idea and the words don’t even seem to be mine because I could never write this kind of stuff. I’ve never been a creative writer. And so I believe Someone else’s pen is at work, words flying out for some purpose beyond my own need to share my pain. I empathize, Alia.

    • says

      Yes, I’ve read that heart in your writing.It takes wisdom to know what to say and how and I won’t claim I always have it, but yes, I have such a heart for the outsider, the isolated, and the discouraged. If my words help, then heck yes, I want to write them. I agree, this blog isn’t mine, it never was. Thanks for being obedient to the call, Genevieve, because your work has touched me.

  17. says

    Alia, I always get excited when I see your picture in the link-up or on my Twitter feed. You have such a gift in your writing. You constantly say things that are stuck in my heart and my head that I can’t find the words to express. Your posts always leave me blown away. You lost your first post because the enemy knew there were women out there that needed to read it. But you overcame him, and because of that I and others were touched and challenged.

    You. are. AMAZING. Never doubt that.

    • says

      Oh Nancy, you don’t even know. That your words are what I needed to hear tonight. Thank you for reading and for your amazing support and encouragement. Very glad to be in this amazing community with you.

  18. says

    My courageous friend! You for the hard thing, say the hard thing, write out the pain and the ugly for it to be redeemed as beauty. It was no accident that your first attempt was lost. It is a victory that you rewrote and published. These words were for you and everyone else who reads them. Thank you for fighting the dark with truth and bravery. You truly inspire me!

    • says

      Thank you Amy. I’ve missed you at the party lately. Hope you’re feeling better. Yes, these words are for me, preaching to myself again and again because that’s what it takes for me to get it but I am so glad you are blessed by it as well. Love you, girl.

  19. says

    I want you to know that I’m trying not to find it funny that you had to type this post – again. Because if the cyber universe deletes even a sentence that I’ve written it makes me furious. So serious cheering to you that you wrote it again. I would have definitely given up.

    But this was beautiful, as always. I have absolutely no advice/encouragement for you. (You’re welcome.) This is actually the main draw back for me in blogging. I feel like there’s a great pressure to be authentic and vulnerable and I’m just not sure I can do that through a blog. I can do it (sometimes) in my face to face relationships, but not in a blog. Don’t know if it’s because of fear or timidity or if I’m just not called to this particular voice. But all that to say I hear your fears loud and clear and frankly I’m amazed at how beautifully and sweetly you always manage to share a deep part of yourself with all of us.

    • says

      I must have been too tired last night to even get the irony that I had to do the whole thing again. It is funny tonight. That’s ok, I don’t necessarily need advice, it’s the same old thing over and over AGAIN with me. Doubt. and then Faith. And then Doubt.
      I don’t know that everyone is called to share in the same way. Authenticity has more about being who you are than sharing every detail of your story. I think I do it better online in general because I hate small talk and it’s not usually socially appropriate to tell your life story in intricate detail when you first meet someone.
      I should just refer people to my blog when I meet them. “Read this. If you still wanna know me, give me a call and we’ll go from there.” It would save time.
      But yeah, I’m actually working on staying connecting in real life because I value depth but I know it takes time to get there.
      Either way, I’m glad to have this amazing community who knows me just as I am. Thank Janice, for being a very special part of that.

      • says

        Amen on the hating small talk. Can I tell you that’s a huge hurdle when you move somewhere new? Making new friends requires an extrovert’s amount of small talk. exhausting.

        And I think you should refer them to your blog. Then they’d love you and also be required to share all of their own hearts with you and it would be instant, lovely, deep relationship. :)

        • says

          …and rereading my original post, I HOPE it didn’t sound like I thought you shouldn’t blog the way you do or something awful like that. I LOVE your blog and I think you have a great gift of sharing your soul with us in such an honest way. Your blog is such a safe place to be real. In fact if you didn’t struggle with how to do it. then it would somehow seem less authentic. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s true. Comments can sound so snarky and conceited and I didn’t mean it to at all. I’m a bit envious that you can do this so well and wonder if I shouldn’t be trying harder myself.

          • Alia Joy says

            Janice, I always try to read any comments through a filter of grace and give people the benefit of the doubt but I didn’t even consider it with your post. It didn’t sound negative at all and you know I really appreciate all of your comments here and I’m glad you feel like you can be yourself. I hope that for all of my readers. So yeah, I didn’t think snarky or conceited at all. ;) No worries. And if you ever want to chit chat about where you feel you want your writing to go, you can email me. I won’t have answers but I’m a good sounding board. ;)

  20. says

    I like it. I like it.

    You know, I like what you said about established authors with their names on book covers…you know, I think when you write there is the constant worry you will be ignored. I don’t think it matters how many book titles you gather behind your name. I bet with each one you are like, yep, this is it.

    Good thoughts here, girly.

    • says

      Sometimes it seems like “big” writers have it all together and once you’re official published you can breathe a sigh of relief that you’ve made it but honestly, I know enough published authors to say, I highly doubt it.
      As Hailey Morgan said, “Even if you’re a famous blogger, you’re still just a famous blogger. “

  21. says

    Yes! I love this… I think this way and battle too… and it’s funny how on some days it feels brave and right and on others it can feel reckless and unwise! And this: “And I have to shake off the lies. These ones that box me up terrified. And we all gather in forums and blog conferences and twitter streams to talk about blogging dangerously. Writing it out in the places that scare us the most. Making our words matter. On being authentic, finding our voice, and sharing our story. But it’s hard. ” I so struggled with this last night… and skipped out on the FMFParty! I shouldn’t have! (Glad you pressed through and joined in!)

    • says

      Sorry you skipped out. You should always come, I always leave encouraged and I hope you do too. I’m glad to see you wrote and linked up anyway. It is a battle to have right thinking. God focused big faith kind of thinking. Thanks for stopping by, and if you ever feel out of sorts, email me. I’ll pep talk you out of it! ;) lol

  22. says

    So glad you didn’t listen to the lie, and you wrote and shared your words…I think sometimes it is a daily struggle, not just to write, but to listen for His words of truth and love over all the lies …but I also ask God for wisdom on what to share…I think there is an appropriate place and time for sharing our hearts, and it may not always be online…just my ramblings…blessings, Alia Joy :)

    • says

      Dolly, thank you. It is a struggle and having wisdom to know what needs to be shared and what needs to be savored does take time to decipher. I don’t know if I always do it well but I always want to err on the side of faith when I know that I’m holding back because I don’t want to look bad or I don’t want people to stop reading me. Sometimes lies sound like truth when you listen long enough. I’m learning to drown them with truth.

  23. says

    Intentional. That’s how I see you and read you. So thought out, writing for a purpose, for a reason. Pointing the way to Him and all that He does in and through you. That’s how I see you and your blog. Intentional. :-) Thank you for all you write and more importantly who you are.

    • says

      Thank you so much Fiona. If my writing points to Him, then my heart is full. I laughed when I first read the word intentional because it’s the last word anyone in my life would probably say about me, I’m very disorganized and emotional but I love that my intent on making this a place where it all points to him is evident. My cup runneth over.

  24. says

    Wow Alia! I love this post so much. I found myself reading intently and nodding throughout. You have tapped into something I believe every writer feels, wonders. I struggle with the same feelings every time I post something that declares my true heart. I wonder what people will think about me, wonder why I think I’m so special that anyone would even care to read or hear what I have to say, wonder if they really do care or if I’m just writing for myself and the Lord alone. But one thing I know…I MUST write for the Lord alone and not for the masses. The Lord will bring the people that need to hear the message I am sharing. So I try not to over think, I try not to overanalyze, but it is difficult. I hear you, big time!!

    • says

      I agree Amy. I think we all doubt our identity and worth and value whether we’re a writer or not but something about the writing brings out the deepest fears and insecurities in me.
      It feels like this blog is the alter on which I am being tried and tested.
      From having no readers and feeling like my words were just vanishing into thin air, to having more readers and feeling prideful-look what I’m doing for you God!- to feeling broken and humbled- to feeling scared- to feeling free and encouraged- to feeling envious of other writers- to feeling better than other writers.
      I’ve felt it all. The whole gamut of human emotion and flesh and I think I have to deal with that because I don’t want any of it if it only points to me. I’ve been down the road of me and it didn’t lead anywhere.
      So I obviously overanalyze (that’s just how I’m made) but I know that admitting my doubt is the first step to believing hard. Okay, that was it’s own mini-post. lol
      Anyway, thanks Amy, I appreciate you.

  25. says

    Oh boy. Lord, I doubt, too. Help me believe, too. This is SO exactly what ricochets through a writer’s mind and heart. Back and forth, back and forth. Thanks for putting this right out there. It matters. Thank you. This knocked away some of the doubt.

    • Alia Joy says

      I am so glad Karin. We all do, don’t we? Doubt. It helps me to wrestle with it on paper sometimes. To just write it out, admit it, and then knock it down. ;) Or at least try to.

    • Alia Joy says

      Thanks Tsh. See I knew published big time authors feel it too! I tell myself that, if I don’t believe it now, no amount of tweets, stats, or published words are going to mean anything. Thanks for the reminder.

  26. says

    You are a brilliant writer… You share so beautifully silent screams inside most of us. I should visit here more often. Actually, I am going to subscribe. :)

    And, by the way, how do you get to reply to all those comments! You are a comment ninja! :)

    • Alia Joy says

      Thank you so much, Michele-Lyn, you’re really sweet. I am a comment ninja tonight! I read super fast, like crazy speed reader fast and it helps that I was sick all weekend so I’ve been in bed with free time and a laptop and no desire to work on what I should be… writing for my blog deadlines. ;)

      I know everyone is different with comment policies but it’s really important to me to try to reply to any comments I get here even if it takes a bit( sometimes quite a bit) . I may end up posting less but that’s just how I like it. I want the interaction as much as the content up.
      So yeah, that’s how, speed reading, sickness, and posting less. ;)

  27. says

    Oh, Alia! Thank you so much for not giving up and posting this! I needed to read it. I didn’t want to, I needed to. I struggle so much with letting folks see the real me.

    Bless you!

  28. says

    I hope your prayer was answered. That you believe in the power of your words here and the way God speaks to you and so many others. That you never stop writing.
    I love this : Do the authors with their names emblazoned on covers in Barnes and Noble fear that they will be both heard and ignored? I would think they probably do.
    I think sometimes what I say may not matter to many, but if it matters to me and maybe to one other, I don’t care about anything else. It’s the readers that count, not the ignorers.
    Stay faithful Alia. XO

    • says

      Thank you Nicole, little by little, day by day, He is answering my prayers to believe in what I know He has called me to do. You’re right, it is the readers that count, even if they’re few or even none at all. Sometimes just showing up is a step in the right direction. And thank you so much for the article you sent. It was really great for where I’ve been lately in my writing struggles.

  29. says

    Your honesty is such an encouragement to me. I struggle so much with comparing myself, especially my writing. with others. Just to read that you, with your beautiful words, also struggle reminds me that Satan wants us all to give up but there is someone one that needs to hear our stories. Each story is different but in the hands of a loving God they all can touch a heart. Thanks for sharing.

    • Alia Joy says

      I am so glad you are encouraged. Isn’t that the absolute worst struggle as writer? Far worse than writers block and grammar and editing is the nonstop doubt that comes our way. Lisa-Jo has a post that says comparison will kick you in the teeth and hijack your dreams. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve almost called it quits on this blog about 5 times when I was ready to close down WordPress and throw in the towel and retreat to my private journal but I know God called me to share my story. And so many other women have that call too and in God’s hand they all matter! Keep writing. Keep listening to HIs voice. Faithfulness far surpasses fancy words and obedience is where we see God’s hand move. Thanks for sharing your struggle with me. I know it well.


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