This is my 100th post on Draw Near.
In eight months, I’ve written more pieces than I thought I could release to the wilds of the internet. In spite of fear of failure and rejection, through self-imposed deadlines and a steep growing curve, I’ve written 100 posts. Some light. Some deep. Some that felt breezy and fun. Some that felt akin to birthing a human.
I’ve felt vulnerable. Afraid. I’ve made new friends. I’ve delighted in drawing closer to this life I’ve been given and to this God who’s given me all I have.
By and large, I’ve loved this, and I plan to keep loving this.
But at times it’s been difficult for me — a long time people-pleaser and a highly-sensitive one at that — to keep my eyes on the prize, so to speak.
Generally, I delight in the writing process. I feel protected, lead and loved when I write. And then? Then I release my little babies into the world, and though sometimes that can feel joyous (because I love you, readers), often it has felt like stripping off pieces of my clothes. Dancing cheek to cheek with skin-prickling anxiety and gut-filling fear.
Over my recent blogging break I prayed a lot and searched deep, asking myself and God, Why do I do this then?
On a mild night on a blanket in a tree-covered park, a dear friend and I talked about the why — why I write, why I blog. And I struggled to tell her. I said:
“I feel called.”
“Because God asks me to write.”
“I just need to.”
From my tired place of efforting and trying to receive, that was about the best I could do. It felt sort of gray and lifeless, to tell you the truth.
And then as we talked, I connected with a deep stirring that if this (any of this) is only about duty or even (the more noble-sounding) calling, I’m going to wear the heck out. Whether it’s mothering or friending, loving my husband or hosting people in our home, volunteering or working — if it is only duty that compels me, the steady drain of what I must do will inevitably empty me.
Maybe duty is enough for you. But for me, it’s just not. Because I believe in so much more.
I know, after long struggle, the life truth of Jesus’ words that for freedom he has set me free.
I know the God who loves perfectly and continually and gives full life and everlasting hope.
I know now that we are each created to bring glory to the One who made us — through the gifts, the love, the heart, the hands, the identity he’s knit into the very us of us.
That night in the park, my friend and I talked about Chariots of Fire and about Eric Liddell, who says famously that when he runs, he feels God’s pleasure.
Feels God’s pleasure.
So different from the pleasure of ease or choice to do whatever I desire in a moment. So different from the pleasures I can equate to freedom from effort. So different from seeking pleasure that is validated in the approval of others.
Seeking and knowing God’s pleasure requires effort, faithful showing up and a willing spirit to do the hard, good thing — yes,
but this pleasure holds hands with joy.
So these last few posts of the 100, I am learning how to not only write, but release what I write for the glory of God.
Not holding outcomes or responses. Not determining my beliefs about my success on the numbers who visit, what I hear or don’t.
I am learning how central it is that I live and write, seeking the joy.
Doing for the glory of God, allowing whatever I have to pour out, living what I live for God and the very nature of who he is.
As I purpose to hold and feel the facets of this life, appreciate color and struggle and movement, string life moments together with letters and release them…as I purpose to live fully awake and share that in this space, I seek to do so for the glory of God.
And I find the joy and pleasure when that is my focus.
So I’ll keep showing up and keep letting go.
For the glory. For the joy.