Sometimes when opportunity knocks, you don’t recognize how big of an opportunity it is. In the summer of 2011, I got an email from a woman named Martha Krienke from Boundless, and she asked if she could reprint something I had written called “Man Enough to Love a Real Woman,” (for the record, men, when I look back at that piece I do think it was too harsh).
I was honored that Boundless wanted to run it. I hadn’t really published much beyond my blog, and I hoped the Boundless audience would like it. To my surprise, “Man Enough” ended up being the most read article of 2011. So I kept making pitches to Martha, she kept taking them, and they resonated with our readers, who read and shared articles like “Your Friendgirl Deserves Better,” “How to Win a Woman’s Heart,” “What I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Married” and “Where Have All the Beautiful Women Gone?”
Before it was all said and done, I got the opportunity to publish 19 articles and hundreds of blog posts, speak at a couple of Boundless conferences and appear on The Boundless Show several times. Working with this community built my confidence, taught me about caring for my audience and resulted in building relationships that will last a lifetime.
I’ll always be indebted to this ministry and grateful for the opportunities I had here and beyond as a result. That’s why I’m taking this time to say goodbye — because I want to acknowledge the importance of this experience and thank a few people in particular:
- Martha Krienke: Martha is the one who first sought me out, accepted my subsequent pitches and entertained the many, many suggestions I made. My best articles wouldn’t have happened without her unique understanding of our audience, and I’m grateful for the ways she trained me to listen to them as well. Thank you, Martha.
- Suzanne Gosselin: I didn’t know who Suzanne was in 2013, but when they were looking for a new male blogger that same year, she suggested me, and Martha agreed, opening the door for another opportunity. She also believed in me enough to include a lot of my advice in her excellent book Expectant Parents. And in one particularly unforgettable nine-month episode, she and I ended up being part-time interim editors for Boundless. We still pat each other on the back for surviving that. Thank you, Suzanne.
- Lisa Anderson: I remembering talking to Lisa for the first time in 2014. I was a little scared — she was the head honcho at Boundless and the confident voice on The Boundless Show. Eventually, we became friends, and she gave me a bigger platform at Boundless, letting me play host of The Boundless Show one time, giving me the chance to speak at my first conference and even putting my endorsement in her book The Dating Manifesto. Thank you, Lisa.
- Joy Beth Smith: Joy Beth, our new editor, has only worked with me for five months, but during a particularly difficult time in my life she has been patient, supportive and has pushed the quality of my writing a little higher. I couldn’t be more proud of the way she has already taken Boundless to the next level and as a result, brought in thousands more readers (not to mention our first quick mention in The Washington Post). Thank you, Joy Beth.
- Our readers: You’re the ones I’m getting choked up over when writing this. You’re so loyal and engaged, so passionate about working through your relationship with God. My respect for you has only grown as you’ve shared your stories on our Facebook page, in private emails and in the blog’s comments section (a special shout-out to Mary Kate Dick, Montana Moxie, Johnathan and Steve Caruna). It blows me away that some of you have taken my advice and encouraged me along the way (one of you even let me introduce you to your spouse — no joke). Thank you so much.