Why do we do things? Why do we go places? Why do we think about certain things? Why do we want the things we want?
Those are all questions we ask ourselves from time to time, but how often do we revisit and reevaluate them? They change, you know. As we progress. As we grow. As we experience. Our why shifts and alters and sometimes twists and mutates. Sometimes that can be a good thing and propel us toward progress; sometimes that can be a bad thing and spiral us to selfishness. If we don’t take time to step back and reevaluate why we do what we do and get honest with ourselves about the motives behind what we are reaching for, then what we thought we always wanted can turn into what we hoped we would never have.
I know this first hand in the current journey that I am on, as I have fallen prey to the ‘numbers game’. Writing is my passion; it always has been. I do it because it feeds my soul. I do it because I want to speak to others through my experiences. I do it because it is the gift God gave me to be used to share His love and goodness. But make no mistake that Satan is just as keen on how desperately I love to write and the depth of my dreams in motion. I just relaunched my website and have A LOT in the works over the next 18 months that will be coming to fruition. While I am over the moon excited about it, I am also scared to death. I think this is typical with any larger-than-life dream and how we see ourselves in our how-will-I-ever-make-this-happen attitudes. With God. That’s how. Only through God can you reach the impossible dream that you dare to race after. But none of us are immune to forgetting that and trying to forge our own way.
I started focusing on numbers: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like. Why did I just gain 40 followers, but then lose 10 of them? Wait, how come this morning I am back down to where I was before and it still keeps dropping? Why are my posts and Facebook page not getting any likes, even with ads and sponsors? Why are people not supporting me who I thought believed in me and used to show that? Why, why, why? I will tell you … because I became my own why. I want to skyrocket and get myself out there and known. Not to be famous, but for my words to reach people and make an impact. But when trying to do it in my own power, I become selfish and self-motivated, instead of selfless and service seeking. So I go back to basics. Why did I start this venture? Because I fell in love with Jesus and want to live by doing things that give back to others. I used to say all of the time, ‘If I can just get through to one person, it is worth it.’ So why so obsessed with the numbers and trying to explode all of the sudden? Fear. Fear of not bringing in an income to provide and not being able to show my worth to others. Secretly scared that maybe I really don’t have what it takes and that nothing will ever come from all I put into my dream. Tidbit of reality for ya here … becoming an author includes a lot of time, effort, struggle, no paychecks, and plenty of tears on the pillow. The path isn’t easy, but it is who I am and what God has called me to do.
Newsflash, our worth is not tied up in how much money we make, what we have, or what others think of us. Our worth is tied up in our Heavenly Father who gives us ALL things. My followers, those who believe in me, the opportunities I am receiving … God has given me all of those, I didn’t do that myself. Likewise, with those who don’t follow me, don’t believe in me, and the opportunities I am not receiving … God has orchestrated all of that as well. Maybe they are people that would be poisonous to my life or my path. Maybe it is to show those who truly believe in me and my talents no matter what versus who just says ‘You go girl’ and disappears. Maybe it is to keep me from things that will grow my pride instead of my purpose. God has a reason for ‘no’ and ‘why’, just as He does for ‘yes’ and ‘now’. But if we are not tuned into Him, we will not be able to see or know that these things are all for our future good. And we can’t see God working and hear Him or know Him unless we are investing in our relationship with Him. This means reading His Word, searching our hearts, and getting real with ourselves and others.
Conviction is not always fun, but it is necessary for us to check our hearts and redirect our paths. We need to get over ourselves and get back on track. Write it down and look at it often. Post it on your wall. Put it as the background on your phone. Don’t lose your true why, or you will run the risk of losing the blessings God has in store for you through the things He is (and isn’t) putting into your life. With God as my why, I will achieve immensely more than I ever could when I become my own why. The Lord knows the entire story and how it ends; we do not. So whose hands are the better choice to be in and to hold our why’s? I want my purpose to flourish. I want my passion to bloom. I want my words to reach the world not for notoriety or dollar signs, but because I absolutely love God. I love the gift He has given me and the path He walks alongside me on. I want to achieve an impact, not a number. This is me getting honest. This is me being transparent. This is me revisiting and reevaluating my why and allowing God to tell me truths about my journey ahead and release me of my fear of not succeeding, instead of choosing to listen to the world’s voice and letting it determine my success and self.
Now that things are aligned the right way again I am content to allow the Lord to take this in any direction He so chooses, no matter what that looks like. If that looks like reaching only that one person that I spoke about in the beginning of this post, then that is the impact I was designed to make … and that will be enough. When our faith, failures, and future success are based around the impact we want to make instead of the recognition we want to receive and our desire is driven by sharing our life and story instead of paying the bills … it is then that we will see how God will do a thousand times more with it than we ever could with all the hustle and worry and drive in the world! So, what are your dreams and goals and what is your WHY? Take some time to make sure they line up with the motives, heart, and person that you truly want to be and want others to see.
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
a father’s delight is behind all this.
(Proverbs 3:6-12 MSG)