I’ve heard that authors love their readers, and I always get a little thrill when I read the acknowledgments in a book and see a thank you to the readers there. I know I am probably one of thousands, but it is still exciting to be part of this author’s work. I’m only weeks into writing, I’m discovering it is true for me as well. My blog is about a month and half old, and already I’m crazy about my readers. When I don’t know what to write, I think about what I would tell a friend about what I’m learning and suddenly I have something to say after all. I’m reading a lot these days. Sometimes I pause from my chapter and think about how much I want to give away the amazing book I’m reading to the dear people who read my blog and are cheering me on. And then I realize the book I’m holding is a library book and I don’t even own it. Ha.
In her blog post, “When you feel a bit selfish for pursuing your calling” Sarah Bessey says, “we need to do the work we were meant to do in order to be who we were meant to be. And what’s more, I believe that honours God.”
I need this reminder desperately. That’s why I’m doing this. That’s why I’m showing up and writing every day. It’s the work I’m meant to do in order to be who I’m meant to be, at least in this season. It’s not so I can write a book for a book’s sake. It’s not so I can feel good about myself online. It is because it the work I’m meant to do because this is who Jesus has made me to be. And it means more than I can say when I get a text or a comment or an email telling me that the work I’m doing is helping not only just me, but you as well, in your journey to be who you’re meant to be. I don’t take it for granted.
Without God, none of the work we do would really matter. Maybe it could still get pretty big and somewhat successful. But the power to change people’s lives and see new truth, hope and peace infiltrate their entire families would be extremely limited. God brings meaning and reason to all things, and without Him our efforts would be just a drop in the bucket.
I truly believe this. Without Jesus behind my writing, it would mean nothing. Without Jesus behind the scenes, bringing a sentence to life or highlighting what you need to hear, my writing wouldn’t be anything more than empty words. He brings meaning and reason and life to all my efforts.
Today I read Proverbs 29:25, and loved how the Message puts it: “The fear of human opinion disables, trusting in God protects you from that.” This is truly my prayer as I write. I ask the Lord often that he would help my heart to trust and not be distracted by what people think. This is a daily battle that I assume most share, especially with this day of social media. I truly want what I am writing and thinking and doing and posting to be for him, for his pleasure and not for some fleeting fancy of mine.
I got my first fan mail last week. Friend, you know who you are. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your own vulnerable bravery with me. Thank you for calling me brave and cheering me on. The package came right before I had started writing for the day. I had been sneezing all morning (I’m starting to suspect I may have allergies that I didn’t know about until this move) and felt very uninspired. The morning nap for L had just started and that’s when the package came. It came to the “wrong” door and could have easily been missed for hours. But instead, I felt like Jesus had me look out the window and see the delivery man walk up to the house and set it outside for me. I sat in my cocoon chair, savoring the letter and gift. It felt like through your bravery and generosity, Jesus whispered to my heart, keep showing up. Keep writing. I’m with you. And I’m giving you other people to be with you too.
If you’ve written a comment, thank you.
If you’ve prayed for me on this journey, thank you.
If you’ve sent me mail, thank you.
If you’ve texted me, thank you.
If you’ve followed my blog, thank you.
If you’ve cheered me on, thank you.
If you’ve called me brave, thank you.
If you’ve shared a post or anything I’ve written, thank you.
If you’re READING anything I’ve written, thank you.
People from my first home say I’m brave. They tell me I’m strong. They pat me on the back and say, “Way to go. Good job.” But the truth is, I am not really very brave; I am not really very strong; and I am not doing anything spectacular. I am simply doing what God has called me to do as a person who follows him. (95)
Dear reader, thank you. Thank you for cheering me on while I simply do what God has called me to do as person who follows him. Whether we’re friends or you’re my mom or someone I’ve never met, I am so grateful for you. Thank you for reading. It is an honor, a true, blowing-my-mind-kind of honor, to be writing words that get to help anyone be a little braver and follow Jesus a little bit better.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.