Lately I’ve been thinking about the nature of our calling and how we practically walk that out.
I’ve known since first grade that I loved writing and wanted to be a writer. It’s been a bumpy road to actually start though. For so long I wanted to write, and not just write but fulfill the calling I felt. I would feel like the Holy Spirit illuminated things to me in my time with him and I wanted to share with others.
What I was lacking was technical skills. During my years in high school I was not a great student and went to an alternative school where we mostly just got credit for showing up. I have zero college.
I just started though. I had no idea how to set up a blog so I started writing little notes on Facebook. Starting this blog was a big step as well. Still, I’ve really struggled with wanting to just delete everything because of personal insecurity. While I want my platform to grow, I’ll admit that I’m happy that I write in relative obscurity. I really like to be real and authentic and I write from my heart…which is what I want but it also leaves me vulnerable to criticism.
I read a blog from a fellow INFJ recently that addressed our need to be validated https://ispeakpeople.com/validation/ Do I relate? uh…yeah! I feel you, Sally. The struggle is real!
About a year and half ago I joined a question and answer website (ah heck, it was quora)…. I was looking for answers on my then little pup and his biting. I got sucked in. I can offer advice online to strangers? People care what I have to say? People asking me for HELP! Yes, please!
I went from having a few people read my stuff to thousands. I was getting all kinds of recognition that I hadn’t gotten before. It was dizzying and exciting and wonderful.
The approval went to my head and the entire thing became an idol to me. I knew without a doubt it was coming between God and myself. But it was so hard for me to give it up. After months of tug and war, and becoming increasingly miserable, I did.
Now I’m back to writing for a very small audience. I know that God has a call on my life. I hope for more. But I realized that all along I was seeking the dreams God had put on my heart more than God himself. The dreams were all good. I genuinely want to help people. I genuinely want to write in a way that glorifies God. But… do I want that actualization of my dreams more than God himself?
I got a mental picture today in church. I’ve been feeling pretty isolated lately. I feel like I’ve gone through a long season of giving things up but I’m still waiting for doors to open, you know? It’s that tough place in between. But God put in my mind a mental image during worship today at church- that it’s better to be alone in the desert with God than virtually anywhere else without him.
The desert is his training ground. It’s sacred ground. It’s the secret place where he can nurture the character until you can operate in your gift with grace and humility. Your gift isn’t the be all, end all. Your character is far more important.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well….” Matthew 6:33
Not going to lie, I know I still need more time. I still have lessons to learn. I realize I need to seek God first, and everything else (including opportunities for ministry work) will be like a cherry on the top of the sundae that is knowing God and walking with him intimately.
I also know I have a very (looonnngggg) way to go where I don’t need approval so badly. It’s just a process. There’s no way to rush it. In the mean time I know there are treasures to be found right where I’m at. Treasures I may not have noticed if I had more “going on” in my life.