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A letter to my reader.


Hey you,

You are my reader. I value you as my reader in a way that is distinctly unique and I never want you to forget that. I talk about you wherever I go. I hold you in the highest regard. I feel like I can sit down on days like this and write you a letter you’ll actually read because we’ve been somewhere together. You and I, we’ve sat in heartbreak together. We’ve sought after God together. We’ve gone through transitions together. We’ve tried out tinder dates together and graduated from college together.

You have seen the real me. Not the “internet” version of me. I honestly don’t believe we should be enabled to have “internet versions” of ourselves. Be who you say you are. Be exactly as you are on the screen as you are off of it. The world does not need another double standard. We don’t need to add to that pile, friend.

I want to tell you a little story. It’s short. I will never forget the day I bought the domain name “HannahBrencher.com.” It was such a small gesture following a phone conversation with a woman named Lindsey Pollak. My blog was called “Hannah Katy” at the time and she told me I needed to change my blog name.

“Go online and get the domain,” she recommended. “Own your name.”

Before “Hannah Katy” was “As Simple as That.” I thought I would forever live under the banner of “As Simple as That” until I realized that life really isn’t that simple. People are hurt unnecessarily. Heartbreak happens and it doesn’t make sense. People leave us. They don’t leave notes. We give our hearts out in tiny gulps and we endure the choking that comes from a love that doesn’t reciprocate. This is life. It is not simple.

It never felt so freeing— in my then three years of blogging— than the chance to no longer have to hide behind a blog name or an identity I’d grown out of. Something miraculous happened on the day I started writing from HannahBrencher.com. You and I became closer. We started to evolve together. We grew trust. You started emailing me about your first dates and your last goodbyes. I pocketed your stories. We both grew thicker skin.

I realized in those formative years of writing that a blog space is just as a home as it is a church. People crave to be invited in. We are all just wandering around, sipping coffee, hoping someone will remember our names and walk us home when the street lights come on.

There is a reason why I love a man named Lane Sheats so much. We got engaged two weeks ago. He filled the yard of my best friend with twinkle lights and familiar faces as he got on one knee and asked me about forever. I love him for so many reasons but I love him an extra layer deeper because he remembers you. Yes, you. He remembers to remind me daily that I exist for people. I exist for this blog space. I exist to demonstrate love, no matter how hard or tiresome that gets on some days.

Today he emailed me these exact words, “Think about all the responses you receive from your readers, friends, loved ones, event attendees, etc.. Follow your Monday morning emails

advice. Dig in, do the work, and see the results afterwards. You could imagine you’re writing your book to yourself, as if you asked yourself a question. I know you said yesterday it’s easier when someone emails you a question and you can unpack it and delve straight in.”

So that’s why I am writing to you so personally today. I sat at my computer, beside a stale cup of coffee, and I asked myself the question, “What would you need to know today?”

The answer was obvious: I need to know that I belong somewhere.

You belong somewhere. You do, you do, you do. You belong in places that know your name and places that don’t yet know you’re coming for them. 

I want you to know that you get prayed for daily. You are thought of daily. You are a priority in my life that people might not ever understand because the internet is scary to some people. All that separates you and I is a screen. And still, I’ve attended your weddings. I’ve visited your cities. I’ve played games at your bridal showers. I’ve attended your high school graduations. To me, the internet is where we fall in love, find God, pack suitcases and move to new cities. You are not a speck or a fleck in my story. You are pivotal. You are the game-changers that make my daily work worth it. I want you to know that even if you don’t know God, even if you question His nature, there is someone in this world who is thinking of you today. She is hoping you feel seen and loved by random people on the street, in the aisles of Target, and through your inbox. She is wanting you to know that you deserve goodness and hope. You deserve a love that is inexhaustible. You deserve rest for your tired bones and people for your journey.

I always, always want this corner of the internet to be a safe place for you. I want you to know that you are always welcomed in my corner. You are sought after here. We think about you in these parts of town.

tying you closer than most,

hb.

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20 thoughts on “A letter to my reader.

  1. Now that I’m crying at work, lol. My mom asks me why I blog. She asks me who reads it and why anyone cares. When I set out to blog I didn’t think anyone would care about the ramblings of a twenty-something, but that’s where the beauty is. People do care. We exist in this online community of people trying to figure it out, except our girl time and wine nights exist outside of the usual confines of time and space. We cheer strangers on and feel their heartbreaks. This online community is just that, a community.

  2. christinechung says:

    Thank you so much for this. It means more than you know.

    Also, congratulations !!!!!!’ 🎉🎊🎉 so, so happy for you. What a dream to love and be loved through such a deep, meaningful relationship centered around God.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  3. Brandi says:

    Thank you Hannah! ❤️

    You are deeply precious to Me. Others will be drawn to Me because of you.

    Isaiah 43:4

  4. thank you for caring for this space & your readers [like me] so tenderly. I feel so loved, truly. I feel held and known. Thanks for being brave enough [as a writer, I know how terrifying it feels] to be the messenger and press through. Even on the days you don’t feel up for it. Even when, at least for me, there are days I really don’t want to be vulnerable because it’s so exhausting and raw. Your words matter.

    I think that’s one of the most amazing things about this space and words. A person can feel so incredibly nourished even when they’ve never sat down face to face.

    Thank you dear Hannah B!

    xoxo

    On Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 11:36 AM, hannah brencher wrote:

    > hannahkaty posted: “Hey you, You are my reader. I value you as my reader > in a way that is distinctly unique and I never want you to forget that. I > talk about you wherever I go. I hold you in the highest regard. I feel like > I can sit down on days like this and write you a le” >

  5. exactly what i needed to hear right now. thank you.

    love,

    Jacqueline

    On Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 8:36 AM, hannah brencher wrote:

    > hannahkaty posted: “Hey you, You are my reader. I value you as my reader > in a way that is distinctly unique and I never want you to forget that. I > talk about you wherever I go. I hold you in the highest regard. I feel like > I can sit down on days like this and write you a le” >

  6. Congratulations on your engagement and thanks for the letter. I am a middle school teacher and I see so many young kids who just want to know that they are noticed and cared about. I don’t think it stops after middle school, people are just better at looking like they have it all put together. Thank you for always being an encouraging influence.

  7. barbara says:

    After a day, a week, a month…of feeling more kindness from a stranger in that aisle of Target than I have from the family I am related to, I really needed these words of yours. Your words touch me always, but today…Well, Thank you dear Hannah. You are amazing.

    Congratulations on your engagement. Two lovely people found each other, what can be more perfect than that!

  8. Eva says:

    I fight so often with the desire to be seen. Is it prideful to want to be seen? I know God sees me-that should be enough for me, shouldn’t it? Please write about this.

  9. Pingback: Blogging and the Online Community – Here's to Twenty something

  10. Thank you for such a beautiful outpouring of yourself. You’ve reminded my why I started to blog. You’ve inspired me to own my name. No more hiding behind a catchy blog name. Thank you.

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