I had a friend who was deeply in love with her boyfriend. In fact, they were engaged to be married. They’d been together since high school and were inseparable. It was no surprise to anyone that a wedding was in the future. Then, things changed.
He wasn’t sure he was in love anymore. He needed some time to think about things. There was too much pressure. He left her house that night, saying goodbye as he walked past the unopened box of wedding invitations. He was confused and she was devastated.
The good news? His feelings lied to him and he knew the truth. They reconciled and are now married. There’s a lesson in this story. Sometimes we have to separate from the things we love in order to make sure what we want is really what we want.
As I write this blog post, it’s been over a week since I’ve written anything. I needed some time. I found myself asking: Do I love to write or do others love for me to write? Is this what I want to do? Am I happy? Is this God’s plan for me or did I make this up myself?
I wasn’t sure if I loved writing anymore. I needed some time to think about things. There was too much pressure. I stared at the blank Evernote canvas in the middle of my snot-bubble meltdown and decided I needed a break. A break from what? I’m still trying to figure that out.
During my “break” I thought about it everyday. I saw something on television that inspired me and my first thought was, I could write about that. I found myself driving down the road thinking of blog topics. Book ideas were coming to mind as I lie in bed at night attempting to let go of the world and doze off. Writing wouldn’t leave my mind.
But what if I’m not supposed to be writing? Is this my dream? What will people think about me if I quit? Am I that good at it anyway?
Then God’s gentle whisper came through the crack of the wall that my confusion was starting to build around my heart. It was time for a talk. It went something like this:
God: Are you writing for me or for you?
Me: I thought I was doing it for you.
God: It started out that way, but I think things have changed.
Me: But I want it to be for you.
God: Then stop thinking about what everybody else thinks. If you’re doing it for me, nothing else will matter. If you trust me and do it for me, others will be impacted. You let me worry about that.
Me: I’m sorry. It’s not worth doing if I’m not doing it for you. Is that why I don’t feel connected?
God: You may be onto something.
He was indeed correct. Writing was becoming an obligation, not a ministry for God. I had to write five posts a week like Michael Hyatt. I had to teach people everything I knew as fast as I could. There were expectations I needed to live up and I was failing to do so. I had to give into the pressure of doing it just right.
The reality is I’ve put those expectations on myself. The pressure isn’t from anyone but me and my insecurities of trying to be perfect and please everyone. Most wouldn’t look at me from the outside and think I’m a perfectionist, especially since the majority of my wardrobe doesn’t make it out of the clothes basket. But my mind says differently when it comes to other things. I want people to be happy. I don’t want to screw up.
God is once again gracefully showing me the truth versus the lies I’ve believed. I’m so grateful to know His mercies are new every morning. Emails have shown up in my inbox thanking me for touching lives with the truth I write about. A friend I hadn’t seen in a while gave me encouraging words about speaking and writing and didn’t have a clue I was struggling. He has shown up through people and their words for me in abundance.
So here I am today, realizing I may not always “be in love” with writing, but I know without a doubt God has called me to do so. Perhaps I’ll blog five times next week, maybe just once. I don’t know yet. But I do know that my routine is changing. It’s changing from my routine to God’s. If I’m not doing it for Him, then I don’t want to do it at all.
Sometimes we have to leave the things we love to realize how much we love them.
*Photo credit: Carbon NYC