The writings I’ve posted since returning home have been focused on change. Change, of course, comes in many forms, and the two changes I have written of are the geographical move from exile, prison, to my land Beulah and about the emotional change within myself as I began living the new life God has given me. I know I posted an opinion piece too, “an-them,” but at its core it’s about growing into universal love; a change so desperately needed.
There’s a third change in my heart I haven’t written of yet, but that I have felt growing over the last month, and it centers on this blog and its purpose.
If you’ve read, “A Journey Begun,” you know that this blog was named MY-040 due to the alignment of three themes: 1) my incarceration (Exile), 2) God’s punishment of the Israelites and His sending them into captivity (Exile), and, 3) the Federal District from which I come and in which I was convicted for my crime: 040. Being home negates the first theme and I believe the second theme as well, and frankly, I don’t want to have my Federal District and conviction as a focal point of my presence, so the third theme has died as well.
Back then, it all made so much sense to me to name the site MY-040 because all three of the themes crashed together and pointed to punishment and exile. But I’m in a new reality now and I feel it only makes sense to convey that reality through this site, its appearance and my writings. This begs a question:
Does it make sense to think of this site as MY-040 and keep the same mission or does it make sense to give this blog a renewed life just as I have been?
Answering this question has taken a lot of time and consideration. I feel that part of the original mission is still valid: to talk about new perspectives on life’s tribulations. I know that I am still on the journey of becoming the man, the human, God wants me to be; in this life that journey never ends and so continuing to write about that trek and the change that comes with it is essential as well. Additionally, as I spoke with my wise and wonderful wife about what comes next, she talked about how she has always appreciated the comforting aspect of the blog’s identity as evidenced in the motto: “Joy In The Tribulation.” She pointed out that the world is currently experiencing a tribulation unknown in recorded time and that maybe there are people who are drawn to the blog because it is intended to be a place of quiet and tranquility. I can’t very well abandon that now, can I?
You are probably asking yourself, “then what is it this guy wants to change?”
I want this blog to reflect how I see myself now and I want to instill in my readers a similar sense of themselves. How do I see myself?
As being like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who were tested in fire. [see Dan 3:1-30]
Just as these three faithful men were delivered by one of God’s angels from the flames unharmed, I feel I too have been delivered through God’s mercy. There is one difference though:
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in no need of change.
Conversely, I am in need of change; reshaping, reforming, new dimensions and new purpose. I must be made malleable, but malleability often comes through the heat of a forge while change comes through the strike of a hammer. Had Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego needed the kinds of changes I need, perhaps their story would have been one of being delivered from the “blast of a forge” instead of a “burning fiery furnace.”
Sprouting from my feelings of being made malleable in the heat of a forge and hammered into a new me, were ideas and hopes and visions for a change in direction, just a small change, for this blog. With it, you will see a different kind of opening image, a new logo in the upper left corner and a new icon on the tab of the page when you open it. These have all been selected and created to communicate the amazingly wonderful feelings I have after surviving my own version of a burning fiery furnace: prison. They also represent my belief that I am now on the only road any of us can travel:
Another change: I hope to grow the ASCSA section into something people who have survived the ugliness of childhood sexual abuse, and are now in their adult years, can find encouraging and supportive. It has remained essentially empty because I just wasn’t sure what to put into this blog that would be of value to others like me. I hope those of you who walk in the shadows of pain will find something for healing and I hope those that have healed and dance in the light will share how they arrived at a better place.
One thing that will remain untouched though is the motto, “Joy In The Tribulation,” because I have learned that there is good in every trial if you will only take the time to be open in mind and heart to seeing what’s often hidden from your eyes. Also, I will always work to provide a place of quiet and comfort though it might sometimes appear to be challenging, for after all,
Change is hard.
One other thing that won’t change is the URL, MY-040.com. It will be the only link to where I started and this blog’s origin. Can’t forget where we came from, can we?
Before closing I must write about my sister and all she has done for me in this venture. She saw something in my letters to her from prison that she felt might be worth sharing with others. She and my wife thought maybe it would be therapeutic for me to write for others about what I was experiencing. When it came time to actually set up the blog, my sister did all the research needed to find a place for the site, created the site’s identity, found photos that reflected my writings, edited and posted the writings when she received them. I’ve taken all of that on now and I find that I owe her a lot more credit and a much bigger thank you than I realized as I had no comprehension as to what it took, in time and energy, to publish even a single post. She is, and has always been, one of my biggest supporters and fans. Like my wife, she see things in me that I cannot. If everyone had someone like her in their life the world would be a much better place. In making the changes I am, I am in NO WAY minimizing her contributions nor am I forgetting the slice of the world she created for me. Thank you, dear sister. Love you!
The winds of change are blowing…
A few words about the logo:
There are four main elements to the logo. Each chosen and designed to convey very specific ideas.
- 40RGE – this is a combination of the number 40 and the word “forge.” For me, 40 represents being on a journey that never really ends. It’s not a bad thing because it’s meant to be a journey of learning and growth. The numbers are gold to represent gold being tested in fire because I feel we are ALL golden. The “R” is white to represent the extreme heat we will have to get through while being made malleable. The “G” is red because that is the color of iron when it’s being hammered into a new shape and finally, the “E” is gray because that is the color of iron when it’s cooled and ready for its new purpose. The word “forge” represents the idea that we must be made malleable in order to change, and sometimes being made malleable can be painful, just as such intense heat is, BUT when you persevere, you come out the other side an improved person, human; with a new purpose.
- Delta symbol – this has many meanings. First, it is the universal sign for change and that is the new main message of this blog. It also represents the Holy Trinity which I believe is the basis for all life, physical and eternal. Finally, it represents for me the three men of faith: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. If God will deliver them then I believe He will deliver all. It is orange because orange is considered the universal color of change. It has three sides, or facets, to remind us that there are always differing perspectives and paths to follow when we work at change.
- Flames – there is of course the obvious connection to a true forge however, I want it to represent passion. My hope is that everyone reading this blog will develop a passion for change; change that moves us forward into a better life; change that creates in us new perspectives and a more positive outlook when faced with tribulation, and passion for love of others.
- A black background – this is to represent an acknowledgement that change often leads us into the unknown and it’s not until we step into that unknown that a light will shine. It also represents taking risk and change can be and feel risky. Yet, we cannot let the blackness of the unknown stop us from risking even all sometimes.