Hi! There you are! I wonder if you’re anything like me. You long for and reach for right-thinking in spite of your sometimes crazy brain, unpredictable relationships with people you long to love well, and demanding calendars and circumstances that breathe down your neck, masquerade as your boss, and try to shove you around day after day in an attempt to distract and exhaust you.
You feel drawn to people who seem to know something grand about your identity. You want to lean into the grandeur of that identity, but you sometimes wonder if you’re fooling yourself. You know you’re really just a slug and so you lower your face in shame for a moment or maybe a day or even longer until you lean in again to those truths that lift your head, help you stand and then walk forward at the right time.
You long to be a woman who loves well but sometimes, so many more times than you care to mention, you miss the mark and love less than poorly.
I am a hope*writer and I blog for women like me. As you flutter throughout your day doing all the things that really must be done, I pray you’ll find a place to stop here for a short read pointing you to Truth that will enable you to fly back into all that is set before you today and finish it out well in love and rightness. If you’re anything like me, you could use all the help you can get!
My Start as a Blogger
I’ve been writing privately for years.
I have a dream of being a legitimate author, the kind someone else wants to publish and read.
I have a few books rolling around in my brain and I think about them near constantly.
I talk to the Lord about them.
I talk to my family about them.
I kept this dream hidden for a very long time because, well, for one reason, I have a Math degree. Plenty of people can say cool stuff a lot better than me, you know, like those folks with English degrees.
A litany of other reasons prohibited me from writing publicly until one day I let a little light shine on my dream.
I sat in a room with three other godly women for the INTENT purpose of seeking the Lord on MY behalf.
If you can imagine reaching out to hear God Most High with the magnified power and intercession of 8 ears instead of just your 2, well, yeah, really cool stuff happens in settings like that. (By “really cool stuff,” I mean stuff like confessing and renouncing sins, exposing lies we have believed and replacing them with Truth, handing over our burdens to Jesus Christ, walking out purposeful steps to grant real forgiveness, and other sorts of things that bring freedom, joy, peace, comfort and excitement in a gentle and honoring manner.)
I meekly shared my dream, surrounded by a gob of embarrassment and insecurity, the kind that lowers your head, contorts your face and silences your voice.
When I forced this dream out of my mouth, my friend Sara immediately said my name in a way that commanded my eyes connect to hers.
She spoke a truth I might never forget.
She spoke it with sincere passion as if the dream was legit and as if the truth she spoke was of utmost international importance,
“Amy, there is no shame in writing a book.” Shame! Yes, I didn’t name it, but I was terribly ashamed, embarrassed! Why? What IS shameful about writing a book?
We entered into time listening to God and I was given a picture, in my mind’s eye, of a flashlight shining on a book with blank pages.
As we prayed, the flashlight turned into a lamp, the blank book was placed on a small desk with the Bible as a resource sitting open above it. A fancy pen I didn’t recognize, yet obviously full of my favorite black gel ink, laid across the empty pages.
This looked like a place my Father prepared and invited me to.
I really want to sit there and write some stuff down.
In an attempt to sit at this desk, I went home and researched Emily P. Freeman, an author I had just heard about. I stumbled across one of her videos on Facebook titled 5 Statements Keeping You From Your Best Work. Reason #1? Shame. I was shocked. The other 4 reasons nailed my paralysis as well. The truth she spoke cast down each argument against me, empowering me even further.
I immediately joined hope*writers, a group of legitimate authors, including Emily, who work to encourage and guide those who want to write. I watched their training videos. “If you really want to be an author,” they say (and I’m paraphrasing), “then you should have a blog, call it your first and last name (WHAT?!?) and start writing to serve people. Unfortunately, a publisher won’t consider you unless you do.” To me, it seems totally backward, BUT I’m really good at blindly obeying trusted authorities in life, so here’s my blog. I’m even following those instructions that seem so very strange and calling it amyburgin.com (YIKES!!!).
I’m still finding my voice and I believe the best way to do that is to just CREATE and we’ll see what exactly comes out. For now, I know the foundation: this blog is about seeking God and knowing Christ more. It’s about truth-speaking and right-thinking. It’s about being loved and loving. If you’re into in any of that stuff, you might want to stick around.
As a child, teenager and young adult, I knew Jesus as a trusted friend. We weren’t consistent church-goers, but my parents taught me to pray to Jesus as a friend and I was told the Bible was true. I brought him my problems and looked to him to solve them. I poured out my heart’s longings and looked to him to bring me comfort. I was told Jesus died on the cross for my sins and if I believed in him I would go to heaven. That did not make a lot of sense to me, but I wanted to go to heaven, so accepted it as truth and enjoyed a relationship with Jesus nonetheless.
As a teenager and young adult, I did not walk with a fellowship of believers but loved reading the Bible. I trusted in God’s commands to keep me safe rather than trusting in myself. I kept them the best I could out of fear of unfavorable consequences and considered myself a good person.
About 6 years into my marriage (and pregnant with my second child), I learned to ask myself a powerful question:
“Why did I say the things I said?”
“Why did I do the things I did?”
As I began to ask myself those questions, the quiet answers inside me revealed to me my ugly sinful state.
“Why did I just say that?” Oh, it’s because I am jealous.
“Why did I just do that?” Oh, it’s because I am selfish and impatient.
I discovered I was a selfish, impatient, jealous, competitive, hateful, proud, and fearful woman, a sinful woman who lived for the praise of people. I didn’t really love anyone. I was judgmental and hateful and there was no excuse for it – it was just the core of who I was. For the first time, I began to really understand I was a sinner, even though I never did anything “really wrong” according to our culture’s standards.
It was during this time, I was also crying out and asking God, “Where are your people? Where are the people who actually live as if they believe this book is true?”
Fast forward 3 years. We bought our first house, which turned out to be just two doors down from a godly family. This woman, Laurie, started a Bible Study in her home shortly after I quit my career to be a full-time wife and mother. I was excited to participate.
I had learned 1 John 1:9 which says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I rejoiced in seeing there was a way out of this sinful state I was in. Jesus was offering MORE than forgiveness, He was offering PURIFICATION!
I made a decision to walk out 1 John 1:9 with Laurie. I thought for sure a woman who believed this book was true would stand on 1 John 1:9 with me matter-of-factly. I purposefully invited her over to my house for the first time. I will never forget standing in the kitchen when I shared that first confession with her. She stood in front of my refrigerator. I didn’t even invite her to sit down. I told her I only needed 5 minutes of her time. I flat-out told her I felt jealous and was actually competing to look smarter and more spiritual than another woman in the Bible Study. It was embarrassing and ugly and I hated it, but it was true. I let her know the only reason I was telling her was that I was simply hoping for freedom according to 1 John 1:9. I will never forget her response. She did NOT respond with an admonition, “Oh honey, quit feeling jealous and stop competing. That other lady is really nice and she’s not competing with you! There’s no reason to compete here!” No, she didn’t tell me that silly stuff. She was smart. She knew I already knew that. She was just overjoyed by my confession and with fire and tears in her eyes she simply hugged me up and said, “Oh, I totally get it!”
Shortly after that, our entire family began to attend her church (now mine too!) regularly and that was a season of many tears each Sunday morning. I was now a woman aware of my sin and each Sunday, during worship, I would mourn my sinful state and ache for righteousness.
One Sunday morning, the pastor shared the gospel message in a familiar way I had heard many times before. We were to consider a courtroom scene in which we were on trial for our sins and God was the judge. We were found guilty and the punishment was death, but Jesus stood up in court and offered to take our place. The Judge accepted and we were set free. Even though I had heard this analogy several times before, for the first time, I was able to truly put myself in the shoes of the person who was on trial. This time, I knew, deep in my knower, I was guilty.
Even so, I wrestled with the scenario because it made no sense for the innocent to pay the price just so the guilty can be set free to keep on wreaking havoc.
But, I heard a quiet answer to my wrestling thought, “But Amy, what if the guilty recognize the love of Jesus and are so thankful to be set free that they no longer go out and wreak havoc but live a new life compelled by the one who loved them and took their place?”
Oh, that makes sense! Understanding what He had done for me personally for the first time compelled me to give my life to him out of love. I owed him everything. I no longer tried to obey him just because I trusted His ways were better than mine or because I feared the consequences of disobedience; I obeyed him because I owed him my life – because I loved him – because I was deeply thankful for what he had done for me.
I became compelled by his love and began to love others.
For the first time, I personally knew and loved Jesus as my Savior from my sin.
My Family and Stuff
I‘m a Texan, born and raised.
I met my awesome husband at Texas Tech University where I earned a Master’s Degree in Mathematics with an Emphasis in Computer Science.
I’ve been told I laugh really loud. It’s true.
I worked at Southwest Research Institute and Onboard Software Inc. writing cool software for the Air Force until my third baby was six months old and the Lord called me to quit that beloved career and become a homemaker. Thank you God and Jon!
One of my favorite things to do is take a nap on the couch with my dog, Blondie. I wish everybody could take a nap every time they needed one.
I’ve been married to Jon, God’s gift to me, for 23 years. I see a lot of posts attempting to empower women by reminding them they don’t need a man. I suppose it’s true, BUT having a man of my own is REALLY nice and extremely empowering. I highly recommend praying for and getting a good one if you don’t have one of your own. (If you already are praying and waiting for what seems like forever, please know I just prayed for you too. My heart aches with you for such a gift.)
I was just hired as an Adjunct Faculty Math Instructor at our local colleges. Woohoo!
We have been given three beautiful children with three beautiful names, Joy, Glory and Freedom. They are the most awesome people we know despite our shortcomings and we give God all the glory!
My headshot photo by Glory Burgin. Thanks Glo!
Photo with Jon by Jordan Ogier. Thanks Jordan!