I started my journey into writing by complete accident a little over four years ago. I had a dream, felt the leading of the Lord and followed. Now with three published books, one movie in development and a growing speaking ministry, I look around and wonder: “Who am I and what am I about?”
One reason I’m asking that question is because a very wise person asked me the question first. She asked me what as a author and speaker makes me different than every other author and speaker out there. I didn’t know. I mean, how can I possibly know what every other author and speaker has to offer and what I do differently from them? How can I look at myself objectively and say: “Ah-ha! That’s it. That’s where I’m different!”
My tag line has been: “Reaching People Through Real, Relevant and Relational Ministry”, and truly, that’s what I try to do. It doesn’t sound catchy and it probably doesn’t set me apart from other people, but it’s what I’m trying to do.
I want to drop the show of “Christian perfection” and be authentic and transparent to women of all ages. I want to tell them that life can really suck at times but that if they’ll walk through that dark valley, good will come on the other side and they’ll realize that the Lord was with them every single step of the way. And I want to be able to use the word “suck” without having to remove my “Christian” label because it doesn’t follow guidelines or might offend sensitive ears. [I'm convinced that the Church is having the PR nightmare it's having because it's had no problem pointing the finger at others and offending them, but isn't willing to point that finger back at itself and offend it's own sensitivities.]
I want to tell stories where the characters are far from perfect and God uses them anyway. I want to talk to girls and tell them that they aren’t perfect and never will be – and that’s okay. That they’ll never have a perfect love on this earth – but that they are loved perfectly by the creator of the universe and that His love is never ending and will fill them with a well of living water that will never run dry. I want to tell them that if they’re holding out for a hero, there’s no need to hold out any longer – they already have one!
I want people to know who they are in Christ and that THAT identity is their true identity and anything else they believe about themselves just isn’t true. That if what the voices in their heads are telling them does not line up with scripture, then it should be revealed as lies.
I want to be broken, vulnerable and honest. I believe it’s in that place that lives are truly changed.
But how do you say all of that in a “tag line” that will make people say: “Wow, she’s different”?
So many experts tell me (and other writers/speakers) what we need to be doing and just how we need to be doing it. It’s great advice. It’s also overwhelming. It feels like a grown-up version of High School, really. People telling you that what you’re doing isn’t quite good enough and that if you’d only do this other thing, you’d be popular. You don’t have the looks, but you have personality – so use that. Or, you have looks, but no personality so just look pretty but don’t talk much. Or… well, you get the point and some of that might just sound familiar. Now, like then, it’s searching for that perfect combination so that enough people will like you. Enough people will see you as valuable. As worthy of their time – and sometimes their hard earned money.
It’s been three years of trying this way and that way. Spending money on this campaign or that one. It’s a necessary evil of having to beg people to like me and prove it by liking my Facebook page, buying my books, following me on Twitter and subscribing to my newsletter, all so that I can prove to someone more important than me in the publishing and speaking world that I am, in fact, enough and in return they might give me a chance to prove it.
All of this focus on “Someone please like me!” has shaken my confidence and dwindled my bank account while doing it. I’ve been left reeling – and wondering who I am and what on earth I’m trying to do and why on this earth am I still trying to do it against all odds.
Over the summer, during a time of deep reflection and pouring into the scriptures the Lord gave me a word. ENOUGH
I’d been asking: Lord, am I good enough? Am I a good enough writer? Am I a good enough speaker? Am I a good enough wife and mother, especially when I’m so focused on being a good enough writer and speaker? On and on…
I had all my focus on ‘was I enough’ – and in return the Lord stepped in and said: “ENOUGH”.
“Enough of these, ‘am I enough’ questions.”
“Enough of trying to fit into everyone else’s box.”
“Enough of this.”
“I am enough.”
“You are enough, through me.”
“You’re just enough to accomplish exactly what I want you to accomplish in just the way I will have you accomplish it.”
And while what I really wanted to do was go right back at him with a bunch of “But’s”, I closed my mouth and let the word soak in.
Do I actually believe all the things I so desperately want others to learn through me? In reality, all of those things come right down to people realizing that they are ENOUGH, just as they are.
As am I.
I’ll never be Francine Rivers. I’ll never be Beth Moore. I’ll never be anyone other than myself and what I’m realizing is that that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
What makes me different from everyone else? The very fact that I’m me.
I don’t know where you are on your own personal journey with the Lord. Each of our paths are different. We’ll have experiences that may be similar to others, but the lessons we glean from them are very different all together. I share my struggles, through authenticity and transparency because through my own journey, I learned that I was judging my true self against other people’s masks and the show they were putting on so that their own questions of “Am I enough” wouldn’t show through. In other words, I was judging my own truth against someone else’s false.
I learn more through my brokenness and wandering than through moments of being on the peak. Maybe that’s why I reach the peak so rarely. Or, just when I think the peak has been reached, a new peak appears in the distance and I’m off on a new adventure.
How am I different? I’m me. And I want you to be you. The real you. The broken, scared, doubting person you are. There is freedom and victory in living in the light.
There is also freedom in accepting that you are ENOUGH.
So, I’m relaunching my blog. When I was trying to fit everyone’s box, I stopped blogging because I was scared that I would “offend” one side or the other of my possible audience. But recently I realized: if I stop being who I am because I fear the rejection of others, then I am falling right back into trying to be enough rather than realizing that I already am.
And the only one who has to agree with that, is the very One who makes it so.
So, a few times a week I’ll be blogging. I can’t guarantee how many days because I can’t guarantee anything and trying to do so puts me back into the category of trying to do enough.
I can’t promise you anything other than that I will be authentic and transparent. I will take you on this journey of life as a wife, mom, author, speaker and now, movie something-or-other. I share my ups and downs in hopes that you’ll comment and share the same with me – not so that I can get “enough” comments, but because we’re all in this together.
I will re-release some of my earlier blog posts from over the last three years and I will add new ones. Sometimes I’ll be controversial. Sometimes I’ll be spiritual. Sometimes I’ll be funny… or at least try to be. But all the time, I’ll be me.
And now I realize, that’s just enough.