(*originally written in 2020*)
I’m sitting in my living room, my thoughts spinning in uniformed chaos like a tilt-a-whirl.
Will I EVER get to write for a living?
This particular thought haunts me like a classic Charles Dickens novel. Except this isn’t the Ghost of Christmas past, it’s the Ghost of dreams never to come.
Don’t get me wrong. I write all the time now. I just don’t get paid for it. I put my heart and soul into blog posts that only my mom and therapist read (Sheila and Stacey. I love you both. You two have always been my champions.)
The problem isn’t that I don’t get a check to validate my talents. The problem is I spend so much of my free time creating art that no one sees. And sometimes it feels like no one cares.
It drives me crazy because I see cat videos or meme’s with Kermit the Frog “serving tea” go viral. I mean literally thousands of people share, like and talk about this stuff. And I’ve heard over and over that “good content gets noticed”…. so naturally I ask the question, if Kermit the Frog gets thousands of likes why can’t I? Why can’t my art, my work, my emotional essence transformed into literary prose be something that captures the hearts of millions?
How is it that a felt frog outweighs the value of a real heart broken down, crushed and laid bare for all to see. That’s what this is all about anyways.
I don’t write for money.
I don’t write for fame.
But I want to write for a living. I do want writing to be the main way I contribute hope and truth to the world.
I do want to wake up every single day, graze my fingers across the key board and breath in hopeful expectation about what The Lord can do through the talents He chose to impart me with.
There in lies the problem. I have an expectation. I expect that because God gave me a talent, one day I will be able to do it professionally. I expect that one day this calling will turn into something more than another blog post, from another writer who has feelings she transcribes on paper (or a keyboard. But you get the point)
Lately, I’ve noticed that expectations can be killers of contentment. Because the truth is God did give me a gift. God has told me to write.
But He never said I will have a career in writing. He never said I will be a New York Times best selling author. He never said I would do anything more than obediently put words to paper that He asked me write.
But yet, I expect those things to happen. I expect my hard work to pay off. I expect lives to be changed and hearts to be touched because God called me to something and He will see it to fruition.
And He has. And He will. But oftentimes I think we create unnecessary disappointment in our lives when we super impose our expectations over the top of Gods plan.
The Bible says God has given us talents, but does that mean He is required to use those gifts in the way WE deem fit?
If He called me to write and my book never hits The NY Times Best Sellers list, does that mean God wasn’t faithful? Did He lie?
When He puts a dream in your heart to have children but you can’t get pregnant and are forced to consider adoption, was God wrong to birth that dream in your heart, or maybe, just maybe, did you hear what He promised you incorrectly?
Maybe He promised you kids, but more than likely He didn’t promise you kids your way, in your time.
Recently, I heard the Christian rapper N.F. say he was the most depressed he’d ever been at the time when he had everything he ever wanted.
See, for him, he thought getting a record deal would validate him. He thought selling albums might make him feel whole. But God never told him to sell him to sell records so he would feel better about himself. Gods main goal always has been and always will be drawing people to Himself.
For NF, he had to find out the hard way that no achievement can satisfy a weary soul that’s desperate for the affections of Christ.
His expectation was that when he achieved his dreams, he’d be happy and content. Yet He wasn’t. Emotionally he’d never been worse.
That’s what expectations do. We set a goal based on our interpretations of what is best for our lives. Then that expectation isn’t met and we are left crumbled up in a puddle on the floor due to not receiving something God never promised us we would have.
I guarantee you God never promised NF that a multi platinum album would make him happy. Because it can’t.
God never promised me that writing books for a career instead of a hobby would be any more valuable to the kingdom. Because it isn’t.
Our obedience is what matters. Putting pen to paper and leaving our heart on line, no matter who sees it is what matters.
Sometimes our Father (and maybe our therapist) might be the ONLY person to notice our work. But we have to get to a place where that is enough. We have to chuck our expectations to the curb and stop expecting God to fulfill our dreams, our way, on our time. That is not His job.
His job, and desire, is to use redeemed people to draw broken people to His heart. No matter what we do, that is goal.
So if my posts only reach 5 people for the rest of my life, so be it. For those 5 people it might mean a change in their eternity. It might mean an entirely new way of looking at Christ.
I have no idea what the Lord has in store for me.. or for you… but whatever it is, I’m sure His purposes exceed our wildest expectations.