Today, three fans took the time to unlike me on Facebook. Three.
I stare at the number in disbelief and wonder what I’ve done to cause three people to unlike me all in one day. The heavy weight of fear and inadequacy presses down on me. There are dishes in the sink and an unfinished post and a houseful of children who have waited while their mommy writes and for what? For three less fans than yesterday.
My gut hurts.
I hide for a while, but God finds me. I am a bit ashamed to see Him here because I have failed. I have failed to make a return on my talent. I have failed to live up to my calling.
God bends to whisper a prayer in my ear. May you fail.
May I fail?
May you fail to make this gift your identity. May you lose a few readers now and again to remind you that you are already adequate, already loved, already enough. I have formed you, and I know you. I knit you together and wove this gift of writing into you so that it is almost inseparable from you. Almost.
But you are more than the sum of your followers, you are more than the success or failure of your last post. You are more than a writer.
You are my beloved child.
And I have chosen you for this. But I love you in spite of this.
When you fumble with the words, I do not love you less. When you pen something powerful, I do not love you more. Separate yourself from the gift enough to know that I am the only thing that defines you.
May you fail at penning words that have no power. It is tempting, isn’t it, to fill a page with beautiful, soulless words? It is tempting to write for men rather than Me.
But you—you have the words of life. You have the gospel, the very words that shape eternity. Write them even if they earn you no earthly fame. Write them boldly. Write them well. But do not fail to write them.
Some will hear and turn to me. But others will hear and turn away. Leave it up to me, Child, to change the hearts of your hearers.
May you fail at growing numbers without growing your heart. Let the words rumble around and refine you first. Tell your story from the cracks because that’s where my light shines the brightest.
Can you see me glorified in your brokenness? Press your pen into it. Strive to be transparent, a little broken, and a lot redeemed. Let people in to your story—all of it. Leave out the parts that leave out grace. Trust me to work in and through and in spite of your weaknesses.
You may be surprised to see how I can make something beautiful of it after all.
May you fail at doing something great for me. Let me do something great through you. I do not need your offering, Child. I do not need your sacrifice. All I want from you is your humble availability.
Be willing. Be moldable, and do not worry about what I have given to someone else. Be more interested in my vision for you than in your dreams for yourself. It may not look the way you think it should, and you might stumble and trip along this path. You may fail in the eyes of men, but not in mine. I will accomplish my purposes in you.
There is no failing in that.
Kristen, Five in Tow