It’s hard to believe, but this is my 1,000th post. I started this journey four years ago not knowing what to expect, but having grand ideas in my head. I wanted to learn how to improve my writing, and to have a better understanding of direction, and how to promote my writing so I went to the Re:Write Conference soon after I started. One of the speakers there was Mary DeMuth, who has written over 30 books and has blogged for many years. She said a couple of things that really stood out to me, and I still reflect on them to this day.
The first thing that stuck out to me was that she said she wrote in obscurity for seven years before anyone noticed her. She talked about the struggles of continuing to write when very few are reading. I remember thinking, “That’s not going to be me!” In my mind, I had a message to share and the world wanted to hear it. All I had to do was write, and people would flock to my site. Four years later, I’m still writing in obscurity. I’ve struggled with that because my results haven’t met my expectations.
That leads me to the other thing she said that stood out to me. She said, “Writing is not so we can fill a hole in our heart; it’s so we can give away what God has given us.” That phrase (along with my wife) has kept me grounded throughout these years of writing in obscurity. They both remind me that anything I do for God is not about me. It’s about God. If what I’m doing is about Him, then I need to learn to be ok with obscurity. As my wife tells me, “If what you wrote was for one person and God sent them to read it, you are successful.”
In our world, I’ve learned that God defines success differently than we do. We think of book deals, thousands of followers, and fame as being successful. But God defines it as our obedience to Him. In this journey of writing, I’ve learned that it’s not the quantity of lives that I touch that makes me successful or gives me worth: it’s the quality with which I touch lives. If I’m doing what God has called me to whether it is for one person or one thousand, then I am successful in His eyes and those are the only ones that matter.
For those of you who have been on this journey with me, I’d like to say, “Thank you.” For those of you who have let me know that a particular post has touched your life and been exactly what you needed at that moment, you will never know what that has done for me. Your words have encouraged me as I’ve struggled in obscurity and reminded me that I’m being successful in God’s eyes even when I don’t feel like I’m being successful.
I hope that with this post, you can look at your life and see where you’ve defined success differently than God has. I hope that you can see that your success doesn’t depend on how many people you reach. It simply depends on your obedience to what God has called you to do. If you’re struggling with not feeling successful in what God has called you to, take heart. If you’re being obedient, you are successful in God’s eyes, and He’s the one who ultimately matters.
Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.
Proverbs 16:3 AMP