One year ago, I nervously pecked away on my laptop to start my little Facebook writing page.
I had no idea what I was doing.
Still don’t. Clearly. CLEARLY.
But this discomfort felt eerily familiar.
It was the same discomfort I felt eight years ago, when I was out power walking granny style and felt this bizarre nudge to start a blog to encourage others.
You want me to do what, Lord?
I was in my third year of law school with serious dreams. Serious, important legal ones. Too serious for a dinky blog, thank you very much.
What would all my cut-throat, sophisticated legal cohorts think? Big-time lawyers don’t write silly, vulnerable, emotional posts baring their souls on the world wide web.
Shakily, I set up my first little bloggy called overacuppacoffee, and I wrote my little heart out with pictures of whatever coffee I was drinking that day. In between finishing law school, taking the Bar exam, and learning to be a trial lawyer, I tried to write what Christ put on my heart.
It was dorky, but I’m dorky. And God seems to meet me in my dorkiness.
It was then that I felt like God had something bigger with writing, maybe years, maybe decades down the road.
Five years later, I felt nudged to make a bigger commitment to writing. So I set up paigepippin.com and started writing funny, quirky stories along with the spiritual encouragement I felt called to share.
Even that felt a little too vulnerable. What did I think I was–a writer or something? What if I was found out? No, I’m a very important attorney.
Eventually I took another tiny step forward and submitted articles to different publications, and recently started my social media writing accounts.
And the nudging continued.
Nearly a year ago today, I began working on a bigger project—a book manuscript.
Even speaking this aloud or putting this in writing makes me nauseated. It feels like commitment or accountability or an opportunity to fail.
Writing the manuscript was not the fun I envisioned. It was sometimes grueling. And when I near finished the first manuscript, I could tell it wasn’t the one. So I started over on the next one.
I wanted to be impressed by what I was writing. I wanted to say, “self, this is really good.” I wanted to feel proud. Instead, I was aghast at my gaping inadequacies.
I feel even more afraid to tell you that I sent my manuscript to an agent a couple weeks ago and haven’t heard back.
He’s big-time, and it’s a long-shot.
But God is big-time too, and He seems to honor opportunities that point to no one else but Him.
I have no reason that any agent or publisher would consider me. I have no contacts in the writing world. I am riding on the coattails of God’s providential favor.
I’m ashamed to say I’m embarrassed by it all. Because what if I fail? What if this goes nowhere? Isn’t this all quite silly? It feels ridiculous.
But God. But God.
—And maybe there’s something here for you today.
Maybe what’s on the other side of your bravery is more about the process and what God wants to do in your heart.
I may never hear a thing on my book. It may be a complete and utter flop—though I boldly ask God to use it.
The book may be more about what God is doing in my heart.
If there‘s been anything good that has come out of the past decade of my writing, it has been the process of dying to myself. Dying to my big, fat ego. Dying to my insatiable hunger for approval.
I don’t enjoy putting myself out here. It makes me nauseated before I post.
And this isn’t because I’m humble.
It’s quite the opposite.
It’s because I want to be a big deal so desperately.
I so badly want to be adored by people. I want to be admired and esteemed, popular and celebrated.
But so often—I’m not; I’m not received in the grand way I strain for. And even when I am, it’s never enough. It never will be.
The more I step out and fall flat on my face, the more I realize I have all I need in the One.
I only ever needed to be adored and esteemed by our loving God. That is enough.
God is emptying me of myself. And it is a long, gritty, white-knuckled process. Because oh my, there’s a lot of me to empty. It’s painful, but it‘s gracious. It’s not pretty–but in Jesus, I’m learning to want it more.
To step out and want what God wants more than I want what I want. That is freedom and bravery. That is the abundant life God has for every one of us.
I believe God has called me to write. I don’t know how it will end.
But if the only reason I write is for God, let that be enough.
Let that be enough.
Pray for my heart, dear friends. Love you fiercely.