I Am Looking for Attention
A few years ago I wrote a book going through a personally challenging time. God so tenderly carried me through that season, that the writing for me was the easy part. I needed to get it out. I needed to tell others about this great-big, amazing, life-changing God that loved me, and loved them too.
If I did not tell it, I simply might explode. I was the newlywed couple publicly gushing, just overwhelmingly, annoyingly in love. I was talking about God, writing about God, singing about God.
I fell so in love with Jesus in that season. Just lying my head down on His shoulder finding peace when otherwise I would be in torment made me love Him. Those moments changed me. Who wouldn't eat that up and want everyone around them to know the miracle, that there is hope after trauma shatters your life?
It felt mean to hold that in, to hold back from telling others. Fraudulent, even. I can not take credit for my happy life when I have done nothing to deserve it. Every good thing was a reward undeserved by an ultra-generous God.
I did not know what to do after I wrote the book. I had never before looked into publishing anything. That was not even in my mind when I was writing it. I only knew I needed to gush on Jesus and this second chance He was giving me.
It’s a long, incredible story that I will go into detail later, but fast forward a few years to present and I am getting ready to sign a deal with a major publisher. The ONE thing they have repeatedly asked me to do is build a platform, or in other words, build an audience. Who will read my book if no one knows who I am? Fair enough.
But they said, “platform”.
The P word. This part has had me absolutely paralyzed. That means putting yourself out there, making yourself and your story known to complete strangers, and lots of them. The more people I add to my circle, the more thoughts about me I can’t control. The more criticism, judgements, and more fear I had and the less I wanted to move forward with the project.
I have been given an incredible opportunity to reach more people for Jesus by partnering with this company (who I can’t release all the info just yet-hang in there with me!) than I would be able to on my own. But they want me to put myself out there. That’s scary. I have had many a quiet tantrum about this request with God. I want to tell people my story. But on my terms, and only to people whom I know love me and will receive my words gently.
The fear of not having that control has put me in complete rebellion.
I have had so many dreams, so many times a crazy idea has jumped into my heart to tell someone my story, or multitudes the story, or put myself out there and I haven’t. Because I don’t want to come across as someone who is trying to get attention. I don't want to seem too wild. I don’t want to come across as Tom Cruise-jumping-on-Oprah’s-couch-crazy.
But it’s honestly how I feel most of the time. If you see me around, I want to tell you about Jesus. As I work, as I go about my day, I secretly marvel at all He’s done and I just want to talk about it. I dream up ways to get people to believe me, to “try Him and see that He is good.”
I’ve written blogs that have gone un-posted because they are just too personal. I have walked by you and stayed quiet. I’ve missed out on huge opportunities. We are conditioned to think that following Jesus is a quiet, respectful life that doesn’t seek attention. We should be humble. And I agree. But I think our idea of humility is off.
I don’t want to seek fame for myself. But if I fear being loud, or raising up and putting myself out there because I might not come off to you as “humble” that’s counter-intuitive to what Jesus called us to do in spreading His fame.
At the new year, I was praying over my year ahead and asked for my five words. (From a blog my friend Alana writes about asking God to speak specific direction and purpose over the next year in 5 clear words she can focus on). They were “W” words for me this year. Some were exciting like “Wonder” and “Worship”. I was happy with my neat and tidy little list until a few days later God whispered another one. I was minding my own business and He leaned in and said, “Weird.”
I knew He was asking me to turn in my normal badge and asking me to accept the challenge of being different, not fearing what people think and put myself out there, no matter what the cost to my quiet life.
Tonight I was reading the book Anything by Jennie Allen. She talks about being normal, and her disdain for the whole idea. She addresses the very issue I’ve been facing. She writes, “When I would....write I was on display- and being on display at times made me physically ill....I dreaded it more than facing God and telling Him that I had sat on every gift He had given me.”
And there it was. The whole idea of not putting myself out there because I don’t want you to think I’m trying to get attention?
That’s a really terrible reason for not sharing Christ with you. I’m sorry. The truth is, even as I write this post, I’m welling up with tears. Not with regret or guilt at what I haven’t done. But with hope. That I can put Jesus out there in a way that might make sense to one person. After all, I am only one person, and it’s the whole world to me.
I am giving up the idea of being normal. (I wasn’t exactly winning at that anyways, right friends?) I’m giving up the idea that God forbid someone thinks I am posting another blog trying to attract attention. Because guess what? I really am.
But not for myself. I’m an interesting person at best. I can clean your living room, help with dishes, give you some advice, but that’s my limit. But I have a secret that is really not so secret. Someone came to me when I was at my worst, and changed everything. He fixed everything. I know someone who can help you.
I am so thankful for God who loved me so much He sent a Savior to come and rescue me.
So I am finally ready to do what was asked of me months ago. I am ready to go for it. I’ll be posting those un-posted blogs, letting you (the scary public) in on what a beautiful Savior I have. I can’t say I’ll never be worried what people will think if I share too much. But I can’t shake the notion that I was put on this earth for more than not making any waves.
I need to make waves.
So do you. My primary purpose, before even being a wife or mother, roles I cherish, is to be a disciple of Jesus, spreading His truth and bringing Him fame.
Some of you are holding back too. Beware of false humility that says you should hide. Do not fear someone’s opinion. Matthew 5:16 clearly says, “Don’t go public, that wouldn't be the humble Christian thing to do. Instead you should hide.”
WRONG. It actually says, “Let your light so shine before men, (in front of people- publicly), that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
I’ll be sharing more of my story soon. Like and Share and let it shine!