I had a goal for this summer. Last summer, I decided I’d work the whole summer as a remedy for what I imagined would be boredom. Well, after long days of teaching hundreds of children in a YMCA camp, I began to yearn for rest and was sad that I hadn’t considered the preciousness of rest and recharge, before agreeing to summer work. So this summer, I decided, would be a summer dedicated to my personal hobbies – writing, blogging, and creating.
“I’ll finally have some time to grow my blog,” I thought. Not the occasional, twice a week kind of blogging of a recipe or motivational thought. But rather, daily posts filled with intention and inspiring words. In preparation, I signed up for some free webinar courses about “picking up traffic through using Pinterest as a platform” and “growing a social media following.” I figured that if I’m ever going to write another book, I need to reach more people, have a bigger audience and more sales to make it a worthwhile investment. A few years ago, I created all new, private social media accounts to decrease accumulated numbers and make my social media experience more intimate. But now, I figured, my few followers might be growing weary with my long, wordy posts and I might need some fresh-eyed followers, who are looking to be encouraged.
An audience can be a blessing and a burden. God has been speaking this bittersweet truth into my heart, by several means- one being my humble-hearted husband. As we stood on the dirt of our future home, he urged me, “Let’s keep this kind of a private thing for us and our close friends and family to enjoy.” I was taken aback, at first. I had gotten so excited as I vividly pictured us taking walks in this neighborhood and I wanted to capture the beginning of it all with a photo or video. Then, I realized that he knows my heart better than anyone on this earth (in close running with my mama). He knows that I sometimes get overly eager to announce big things to people who may or may not care. So there I stood with my camera- snapping some pictures to share privately with our family group chat. Since then, with new progress on the house and even a new job, I am learning how to enjoy “big” things in a more simple and unannounced way. How to move silently in excitement and be affirmed with the simple,quiet joy of how God is answering prayers and working things together for good.
The next way God lead me to self-reflection was through His Word – for me, a tool for growth and heart checks in any situation.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thought. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139: 23-24).
Lately, I have been thinking of the parable where Jesus speaks of the importance of reaching one, and how that might relate to my life.
“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish”(Matthew 18:12-14).
If Jesus, the most well-known man of his day expressed more concerned with reaching one in the midst of a multitude, then I should too. In a generation that often measures success by numbers, it is refreshing to be humbled by the remembrance that reaching just one person is something to celebrate.
Perhaps my message is meant for the multitudes, but maybe not. I’m trusting that whether my words get one like or one thousand likes, they will reach the person they were intended to touch. Instead of focusing on the multitudes, I am taking a closer look at who might be sitting in my immediate circle, waiting to be encouraged. “God, show me the one in my midst who needs my testimony. Show me the one who needs me to speak life into their situation. Show me the one whose spirits need to be lifted, whose load needs to be lightened.” This simple posture always leads me to a hurting person who needs to be met where they are. I’ll share a sweet text I received from a family friend, after a recent post on God’s timing:
“Your Facebook message was exactly the words I needed today. I have been praying for the right words to tell a friend of mine that is awaiting a transplant and hitting roadblocks. These words touched me and I copied them and sent them to her…”
Messages like this one make investing time into words worthwhile, when there is no other gain. So I will continue to enjoy my time for writing, blogging, sharing- because my words are for somebody. I will continue to try to share my messages with as many people as possible, but the expectation behind it will be different. If I write no more books, have no more readers for blog posts, or write no more scriptures or quotes in fancy script, my work will not be in vain- so long as I am always seeking the one I have been assigned to. For touching the heart of one still matters.
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things” (Matthew 25:21).
Remain hopeful. Stay anchored. Refuse to sink.