Yup, I've had them all. And many of the things I've wished for have happened in my life. I graduated from college, I got married, I had children, bought a home. I've achieved many big things, and accomplished many small things.
But…there are still some things I long for that haven't happened.
And one of the things that I have wanted more than anything is a ministry for the Lord – a chance to have a voice for Him, to influence others toward Him, to speak and write things that would make a difference…
It's been one of my biggest dreams.
And it was the main reason that I started blogging. I have always wanted to write – and writing about the Lord, to the Lord, for the Lord has been my heart's desire for as long as I can remember.
So, a year later – here I am still blogging.
It's been a year of good surprises, and what I might deem "success." It's also been a year of God working on some difficult corners in my heart. It's been a year of smiles, and a year of tears as I've toiled with this whole thing called blogging.
I've swung on the wild pendulum of wanting and getting followers and lots of comments. I've swung all the way back to needing and not getting the feedback that I so desire.
Is my blogging about me?
No, not really.
But boy oh boy, does it affect me! Because writing is personal – so very personal. It's like putting your *heart* out there – and hoping, praying that people understand you, and get you…and yes, like you.
And that's where the difficulty lies. My feelings, my self-esteem get in the way of what God wants to do.
A year ago on Good Friday, we had a service – a very meaningful service. And during the service, we were asked to write down something that was very near to our hearts, something we wanted to give to God. I wrote down the three things that have always been at the forefront of my thoughts, and feelings, and actions.
One of them was my need for approval.
And then, we were asked to nail these things to the cross – the cross of the One who gave away everything, gave up everything for us.
Do you know that pounding those nails into that cross actually hurt?
Down deep, where I don't want to bleed.
I have spent the last year struggling with this issue – wanting to let go of it once and for all – frustrated that I haven't been able to. There have been times when I've been more "successful" at letting go of how people respond (or don't respond) to what I write. There have been other times when I've wrestled like Jacob to let go of it at all.
So, a couple weeks ago, when I was high in the mountains, God spoke to me through a fiction book that I was reading. Listen to this quote:
"We are really only supposed to focus on the depth of our ministry. God is the one responsible for its width." (The Judas Project by Bill Myers)
So, I've been thinking hard about this.
Am I concentrating too much on the *big* impact? Am I looking for approval instead of writing what God has to say to me? Am I a victim of numbers (or lack of) – and forgetting why I'm really here in Blog Land?
Jesus didn't care about numbers.
He was here for a mission – and that was always, always about His message.
He only had 12 close disciples – and one of them betrayed Him. The Son of God, who created the entire universe, came to this planet and was content to start with 12 people.
Did Satan tempt Him?
Wow, you could have thousands of followers! Look how smooth Your words are, and how people respond to You. You know, if You just watered some of the tough stuff down a bit, You could be a superstar, a celebrity, an idol, a leader – a mover and a shaker. You could rule the world.
Or did Satan taunt Him?
Wow, look at You. You're the Son of God, and hardly anyone listens to You. People don't like You or what You have to say. They even tried to kill You in Your own hometown! Even your brothers think you're a crackpot. No one's listening to what You're saying. You're a failure, a loser, an ineffective person. You sorta influence 12 people, but even they don't really get it. Nobody really likes You.
I think Satan did both. Because he does the same thing to me.
But, Jesus did what He was called to do. And He did it faithfully.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, said that He would leave 99 sheep to go out and find the one that was lost – the ONE sheep.
Another quote from another book I read while in the mountains:
"A growing flock means success, right? No – God reaches the few, too. He cares about the individual – He is teaching me to reach hearts. Am I content to be small?" (Quest for the Nail Prints by Don Furr)
That's what I'm asking myself lately.
And I'm asking you, too.
Am I willing to be small…
…for God's sake?
(NOTE: Dear friends, the past week has been a very difficult one. There have been many issues that I have had to deal with. So, though I have continued to post on my blog – because I so need to be speaking with God right now – I have been rather absent from commenting on your blogs for awhile. In light of this post, I didn't want anyone to think that I was ignoring you – or being less diligent in supporting the work you do on your blogs. I know how important it is to hear from others. Please know that I am reading, and being blessed and encouraged – and I will comment when I am able. I love you all…keep up the Lord's good work!)
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"