When You Want to be a Huge Success

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When my book first came out, I had lots of questions and ambitions swirling around in my head. Would it be successful? Would my blog readership skyrocket? Would I become a speaker?

Honestly, I struggled along with bouts of both insecurity and of pride, because my writing had never been published and I wasn’t sure how that would change my life. On the one hand, I wanted to become famous. But, on the other hand, I didn’t. Suddenly, I felt pressure to build a platform and to do great things. Meanwhile I was embarrassed if anyone took notice of my work, and I mostly just wanted it to go out quietly into the world and do the thing God had intended it to do, while I stirred mac-n-cheese over the stove and rocked my babes.

The thing is, it did go out quietly into the world and my life really hasn’t changed that much at all. The only thing that seems drastically different is the way that I see. Publishing a book did give me confidence to keep writing, but looking back, I realize no one really needs their work to be published before they can acknowledge that they are, indeed a writer and that their work is useful and helpful to the world.

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Since last August, when the book launched, my passion for writing has clearly grown. But, my outlook on how to get my work out into the world has changed. I do plan to keep writing, and if God would have it, to keep publishing books, but I’m no longer buying into the notion that I have to cleverly build a massive blog or construct a big platform.

I’ve decided to go a different route. I’ve come to learn that all the striving it takes to reach a grand audience is just simply not for me. Now, the world paints a certain picture of success for me, that looks like a lot of glory from a whole lot of people and achievement is measured in numbers. That bigger is better. Always. And that my significance is the sum total of steps on my platform.

But, God has called me into His own Kingdom and glory and in His economy, success is tallied up a different way. In God’s Kingdom, success is measured by the amount of genuine love shown. In the Kingdom of Christ, impact can’t be determined by how many twitter followers you have or how many comments you receive on a post. Instead, it’s gauged by the depth of the lives reached.

Success in the world’s eyes looks big and grand. It’s an awful lot of glitter and glitz. But in the Kingdom, God alone is responsible for outcomes. He takes the small and seemingly insignificant and does outlandishly generous things. He makes tiny mustard seeds grow in the obscure dark of earth’s soil and they become magnificent trees. And the thing about God’s economy is, we may never be fully aware of our true success until this earthly life is folded up and done.

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This morning as I got up to read and spend time with Jesus, God gave me a couple of word pictures from 1 Thessalonians 2 that applied to my desire to reach people with words.

Within the heart of God, a successful writer is a lot like a nurturing momma who feels love, care and affection for her readers and gives them her very heart, just as she would her own babes.

And in our Maker’s eyes, a prosperous writer is a lot like a daddy who is earnest in his advice and counsel to his own children. Who encourages them day in and day out to remember who they are and where they’re going, and to live their life in a manner that’s worthy of their Maker.

So, from here on out, as best as I know how, I’m laying down all ambition to go big and grand. I’m going to follow the Spirit and quietly scribble words down in my own little corner. Then I’ll pray over those words and trust God to use them to nurture souls, however He sees fit. And I won’t forget the intrinsic worth of each person in the little tribe that God has given me.

For His glory. And for His fame. Because I believe His quiet love can change the world. And because He’s so worth it.

“…so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.” (1 Thessalonians 4b)

1 Comment

  1. by Amanda Cleary Eastep on March 31, 2015  6:41 pm Reply

    This is exactly the conclusion I have come to with my writing. I have to write, whether or not anyone reads it, but some people do, and sometimes those people find hope or inspiration. And as you said, God is responsible for the outcomes. The comments I read as much as the effects I may never realize. Good to meet you and read your work. I'll check out your book!

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