In the past six months, I have written thousands of words, just not here. But that’s a story for a little later. Over the years, I have written hundreds of posts here (over 700 posts, actually). For a few years, I faithfully wrote three posts per week, which shocked most of my writing friends. A few times, I wrote every day for a month, which is really hard! Writing for this blog made me so happy, for so long. Sort of.
When goals become distractions…
There was a period when I wanted to become a traditionally published writer. This meant going to conferences to learn how to land a book deal with a major (or minor) publishing company, and I came very close, twice. But this “good” goal was a soul-killer. Trying to gain acceptance in the publishing world was like one of those movies about the high-school girl who can never fit in, then finally decides she doesn’t want to.
I asked myself for years, Why am I writing? Who am I writing for? The answer for both was always the Lord. I thought I was writing to share what He was teaching me with other people, as a sort of ministry, but when the comments didn’t come, when the emails weren’t opened, when the posts weren’t shared on social media, I wondered, Am I supposed to stop? Who is reading?
Those of you who wake up in the morning, hoping to make a difference All of us want to know that what we are doing matters, that our efforts are not in vain. When I asked the Lord if I should stop writing for lack of readers, it was as if He replied:
“Am I not enough for you?”
- Do you serve dinner to a chorus of complaints?
- Have you put the vacuum away, just as a mouthful of crumbs tumbles to the floor?
- Do you wash, dry, and fold the same laundry weekly, but find more and more socks that don’t match?
- Is it your hope to sell dozens of pastries, but you end up tossing them in the trash bin?
- Does your heart break a little, making jewelry that no one orders on Etsy?
- Do you grow peaches for the farmers market and take most of them home at the end of the day?
The feeling of weariness and uselessness in our calling can be hard to shake. But faithfulness is a quiet discipline. When we get loud about what we are doing, maybe we are doing it for the wrong reasons?
So, I learned faithfulness by writing. I kept writing, even when it felt like I was writing under a rock. Even when a heartfelt post rubbed someone at church the wrong way. And I longed for writing to help me connect with others, even as I prayed to the Lord to release me from my gift.
And then I stopped. I didn’t write a blog post for 181 days.
In the 5 months and 28 days since my last post, I’ve written dozens of research papers and essays for school. Yes. I am in school. Sometimes, I wonder what even made me think it was a good idea, but I know the answer to that, too. The Lord.
I had prayed for almost 10 years about what to do with all these words, and He gave me an answer this past summer: Instructional Design and Development. There’s a really charming story about how He plunked this opportunity into my lap, but it is better told in person, so I will spare you the details. Bottom line: I am almost 40% of the way to my goal (graduation), and I can’t wait to see how the Lord combines this new direction for me, with the rest of my journey.
But lately, I have been missing the writing that I do here about God’s Word at work in my life. Writing down the milestones, the ebenezers, makes my heart sing. So, I don’t know how often I will get here to do it, but I have a new answer to the question, Who am I writing for? I think that person is me!
“Let us not grow weary of doing good,
for in due season we will reap,
if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 ESV).
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