On “In Search of Sunlight”

Greetings, loved ones.

I am home for the weekend to recover from the epidemic at the University of Arkansas that is the flu. Right now I am sitting in my room on my bed watching the Scott’s Tots episode of The Office (hey Mr. Scott, watchu gon do?), and I am so content in this moment. While I have time, I thought I would sit down and finally talk to you guys about why I changed the name of my blog.

It’s hard to put yourself out there on the internet.

I’ve been wanting to post consistently on my blog for a very long time, but something has always stopped me from doing it. A lot of it is fear that no one will read it, or I’ll say something stupid… a lot of it is fear of judgment. I say this because I want to be as vulnerable and honest as I can be now, because in my experience, the people who are the most honest with me are the ones that I’ve been able to be the most honest with. If I know about their struggles, I’m a lot more willing to take their advice or be open with them to share my own. So, in an effort to be transparent, I’ll tell you guys that I have struggled a lot with being transparent. It’s hard to put yourself out there on the internet.

When I created Perpetual Happy three years ago, I wanted it to be a place where I could be honest. I wanted to be able to say what I wanted to say and maybe help people along the way. I think at it’s core I created it to help others, but in the end it turned out being less honest and more of a front than I’d intended. Because like I said, it’s really hard to be vulnerable on the internet. No one wants other people to see their flaws, especially online. I mean, look at instagram. We photoshop our pictures and come up with witty captions so that people will see us as the version of ourselves we want them to see. We don’t post pictures of the moldy cheese in our refrigerator or our splotchy face after fighting with our mom. We post pictures of the pretty latte we ordered and our face after we’ve painted it ever so carefully. I’m not hating on social media at all, I love instagram just as much as the next girl, but my point is, no one wants to show their ugly to just anyone. You have to work for that. So, I think Perpetual Happy ended up being me presenting to the world a version of myself I desperately wanted to be, but I was very carefully avoiding the ugly parts.

I mean, even the title. Perpetual Happy. No one is perpetually happy! No one is happy all the time. That title in and of itself makes me cringe now, because there is no honesty in it. Granted, I wanted to name it Perpetual Joy but it was taken… even still, the title of the old blog represents perfectly the reason for the change. So when I decided this new year that I wanted to start writing on my blog again, but really writing in an effort to let God work through my broken, ugly bits to point others to Him, I knew I couldn’t do it under the same umbrella as Perpetual Happy.

So, I changed the name.

 

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetI knew it had to be something to do with the sun, because what the sun means to me is something I can hardly even put into words. If you know me, you know I’ve been drawing a sun on my right hand every day since I was thirteen years old. I started drawing it to remind me of the joy I should have in Christ. I drew over it everyday, reminding myself that I wanted to be someone who loved people like Jesus. Soon, it took on a lot of other meanings. I had a lot of hard moments, but in those moments, the sun on my hand always reminded me that the sun always rises in the morning. The verse “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5b) always came to mind. Later on, I connected the verse, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” to remind me that I should be kind to others and love them in the same way I have been loved.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

I still draw the sun on my hand everyday, and right now I’m working up the courage to get it permanently tattooed on my body. Now, though, when I look at the sun, I think about all the things that me and the sun on my hand have been through. I think about all it’s meant to me, and John 1:5 comes to mind. It says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” And that’s it. That’s what it’s all about. In the darkness, because I have Jesus, I will not be overcome. It doesn’t mean that i’ll be perpetually happy. It doesn’t mean that the light will always be bright, but it does mean that if I am chasing after the light, no matter how small the light or how far away it seems to me, I will never be overcome by darkness.

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this day was magical. My lovely friend Courtney and I! Also shoutout to the incredible Aubrey Vassburg for the beautiful photo.

So, that it. The blog’s name is In Search of Sunlight because that’s what I want my life to be about. I want to constantly be looking towards Jesus, the Father of Lights, and let him shine through my broken places in order to reach others. I hope you all know that this blog is not just a blog to me. I want this place to be a solace for you. I want you to feel like you are understood and loved and wanted. I don’t want you to feel like I am being fake with you. I want you to know that I am laying it all out and I desperately want to connect with you. I hope by sharing pieces of my story, you can be spurred on to action and share pieces of yours too. I believe the point in my existence is to be chasing after the light and sharing it with others along the way. That’s the point of this blog, that’s the point of this life, that’s the point of it all.

So, I hope you’ll join me in my search for sunlight. I love you all, I really do. And I am over the moon that you are willing to join me in the beginning stages of this project of mine.

 

With love,

Claire

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4 Comments

  1. Lacreacia Buff
    February 14, 2017 / 1:14 am

    Hi Claire! First I want to let you know that I enjoy reading your blog’s. Your insight and your personal relationship with God is so inspiring, especially for someone your age. I know what you mean about only putting out your best online. I think we all do that whether online or in person. We don’t want people to see the real us. We don’t let people see us when we are sad or struggling with life. We put try on a happy face and say everything is fine. But no matter what, we cannot his from God. He knows all about us, the good, the bad, and the ugly. We have to trust in him to guide us through this life. Thanks for your honesty and your sincerety.

  2. March 1, 2017 / 5:39 pm

    hi, one of my friends is going to be a freshman at uark this next year, and I was wondering if you knew if they had a Christian camp for freshmen! Thanks so much! also I love all of your posts so much

    • claire.prather
      March 1, 2017 / 7:28 pm

      Hello! that’s so great she’s coming to Fay! I don’t know of any Christian camps for freshman, but I know a lot of my friends are going to be camp counselors this coming summer if that’s what you’re talking about! Pine Cove, Sky Ranch, and Camp War Eagle are all big ones here!!