Measuring Sticks, Insecurity, and Some Conference Advice

Size Platform Measure Worth 2

I begin in the west and fly halfway across the country before I finally arrive for the conference. The driver picks me up at the airport and I’m reunited with my online friend who started her journey this morning in the east.

We chat a mile a minute and look forward to seeing our “smaller” blogger friends and many of our “bigger” blogger friends too.

During the conference I meander through sessions with my “smaller” blogger friends, all the while casually noticing who’s interacting with whom. I watch the “bigger” bloggers interact with their own circles of friends, while I engage with mine—looking them in the eye, listening, and relating.

But I deceive myself, because while I think I’m fully present in each conversation, in reality I’m partly absent. And as the conference presses on, I realize I’m disappointed when my “bigger” blogger friends have not initiated a fuller connection with me.

And it’s the last day of the conference when God convicts me of a cold hard truth.

My disappointment is a symptom of my illness—the virus of insecurity—hovering like a flu.

It has infected me. And I ache with its uncertainty while questions linger…

Do I matter?

Do I fit in?

Do “they” notice me or even want to be my real friend?

That last afternoon I leave the lunch table with my friend Alia, and make my way across the room toward our other roommate Amy—my in-real-life friend and newbie blogger—who has come with me to the conference.

And as we approach, she immediately turns to us, as if our timing is perfect.

“Hey guys! There’s someone I want you to meet.
This is Jennifer, another newbie.
And at lunch I asked her which of the “bigger” bloggers she most wanted to meet here.
And you know who she said?
Jacque Watkins and Alia Joy.
So I told her I could probably hook her up, since you guys are my roommates.”

I startle, like a deer caught in headlights.

Did she actually just say my name with the phrase “bigger” blogger?

Shocked on the inside, I greet Jennifer with a smile, flattered and completely stunned anyone would consider me a “bigger” blogger. She is sweet and gracious—a tea-drinking mama of four. And after our delightful interaction, I’m better for having met her.

As I fly home, reflecting on the conference, the Holy Spirit woos and convicts me again.

During the conference I wasted so much mental time, and internal dialogue, wondering if I’d get to build deeper relationships with  “bigger” bloggers.

While probably there were others there, who would’ve loved to build a deeper relationship with me.

And the recognition of this truth is like medicine for my ill and insecure heart.

Could it be possible everyone thinks of themselves as a “smaller blogger” and is waiting for that “bigger blogger” to initiate a connection?

Could it be that no matter who we are, there will always be someone “bigger”  to look to? That the one we see as a “bigger” blogger has an even “bigger-blogger” person they’d love to be pursued by too?

And could it be, that to someone, somewhere in the world, YOU are the “bigger blogger”?

That there is one someone scanning the room–looking for you—wishing they could meet YOU?

Hoping YOU’D go out of your way to pursue a connection with THEM?

No matter the size of our platform, we are all asking the same questions at our core:

Do I matter?

Do I fit in?

Would they really want to be my friend?

And the real truth is, our worth and purpose and significance is not dependent on whether a “bigger” blogger knows our name or pursues a friendship with us.

And we need the real truth to sink deep into the crevices of our hearts:

We all matter and fit in because we are His.

He chose us.

And He has great things planned for each of us to do.

So what if, instead of finding our validation from the “bigger bloggers” in our lives, we find our soul’s validation in our time spent with Jesus?

Allowing His Word to inform our starving souls of who He is,

And the truth of who we are because of Him…

Chosen.

Beloved.

Redeemed.

The child of God.

We are eternally valuable regardless of the size of our platform. 

And the size of our platform does not measure the worth of our soul. 

[Tweet that]

So when we set foot inside the walls of the Allume conference this October…

What if we become the initiators of connection because our security in Christ compels us to do so with whomever God places in our path?

What if we say hi first? Flash a smile first? Begin the conversation first, as a people who love in His name?

What if we stay fully present with whomever we’re with—refusing to allow our minds to be “noticing” the room?

And what if we make an effort, to not only hang out with our “people,” but to branch out to new circles of beautiful people? So that no one leaves feeling small and alone.

May we remember we are in this together…

Cheering for each other,

Fighting to believe who He says we are,

And really knowing we ARE already enough because of Him.

I can’t wait to see you at Allume!

Will you be there?

 

Jacque Watkins

Lover of heartfelt chats and chai tea lattes, Jacque can’t wait to connect with you. Over a decade ago, in the aftermath of an affair, Jacque was found by God’s mercy and changed by His grace. As a Labor & Delivery RN and mama to five, she's a mercy-lover, podcaster of Mud Stories, champion of second chances, and longs for you to know God loves you for you, and will leave nothing unredeemed in His time. You can connect with Jacque at her blog, or on TwitterFacebook, Pinterest, or Instagram.

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  • http://www.marybonner.net/ MARY BONNER

    Jacque, this SO hits home with me!! Last year, I felt so lost, so alone…so worthless. I really had to examine my heart. Your wise words go deep within me friend…can’t wait to see you in October!

    • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ JACQUE WATKINS

      We are not alone in this, and God really IS enough…may our hearts really know it down deep…And I can not wait to see YOU too!

  • http://livingingraceland.me DEBBY HUDSON

    Yes, I’ll be there but I’m a dip my toe in the water kind of person. Not one to jump in. While I’m looking forward to the experience, I’m more likely to smile and find the quieter ones. But who, knows, really? Thanks for the reminders you give in this post. Seems some days that measuring stick is bigger than life and other days, the comfort of whose I am centers me again. It’s words like yours that bring me back to His center.

    • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ JACQUE WATKINS

      Centering myself right with you Debby, and praying as your toe dips into the Allume water you will find it warm and inviting and will long to get all the way in! I look forward to meeting you at Allume…and track me down if I don’t recognize you first!!! xo

      • http://www.wendyspeake.com/ WENDY SPEAKE

        So glad I read this comment thread. It is the prettiest picture of genuine kindness. I’d love to be standing close by when y’all run into one another. And I’ll look for you too, Debbie, as I’m a newbie to Allume this year.

        Sincere love to one and all regardless of platform size!

        • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ JACQUE WATKINS

          Yes Wendy, sincere love to one and all…and I can’t wait to meet you too…welcome to the Allume water!! xo

  • http://kriscamealy.com/ KRIS CAMEALY

    Jacque, your heart for the things of God is lovely, and inspiring. I am so grateful to know you. XXOO

    • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ JACQUE WATKINS

      Thank you, my friend. YOU are a gift to me too…so much. xo

  • KATHY SCHWANKE

    I will so miss being there this year. It was such a joy to connect with your and your “bigger blogger” friends. :)
    Your sweet gracious heart expressed here is an oft-needed reminder that we blog in the upside down kingdom, where the way up is down. Jesus stooped down to lift us up and we are like him when we see people through His eyes. He gives grace to the humble, and we honor him when we do too.

    Love you Jacque, no doubt God goes before you to Allume to bless all who He brings into your path.
    <3

    • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ JACQUE WATKINS

      And I will miss you so, my friend. Thank you for your words of wisdom in my life–in our lives…always words of grace. And yes…going lower… May it be so.

  • KIMI

    Saw your post on Facebook…two words~ Thank You!

    • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ JACQUE WATKINS

      Yes! With you Kimi!!

      • KIMI

        :)

  • http://lauriewallin.com/ LAURIE WALLIN

    Yes yes yes!! This is the only way I go to conferences, and it has never ever disappointed. Can’t wait to meet and love I whoever God puts in my path. Gonna be a fab weekend!!

    • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ JACQUE WATKINS

      Fabulous indeed…and I can’t wait to meet you Laurie Wallin!! #CAfriends

      • http://lauriewallin.com/ LAURIE WALLIN

        Bummer that we didn’t get a chance to meet up at Allume. I saw you on the lobby once tho, so that was a start anyway :-). You enjoy the conference?

        • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ JACQUE WATKINS

          Yes but SO wanted to meet YOU! A California meet-up will have to do…xo :))

  • AMANDA @ BURLAP AND BABIES

    Man I love this!! I’ve never been to a blogging conference but I know how I feel when others are there or when the “big” bloggers are at a company headquarters or something. Thanks for putting it in perspective!

    • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ JACQUE WATKINS

      Yes Amanda…and it can’t be an easy responsibility being that person with a larger platform. In fact, it could be, that those who we see as “big” actually feel smaller and smaller and more alone as their platform increases. And that’s why it is so important to remember we are ALL in this together!

  • ALIA_JOY

    You know I love this. It’s the thing I hate the absolute most about conferences and I wonder if there’s any way around it. SO many people consumed by insecurity and wondering if they’re enough. SO much judging and comparing and envy and fear. We all have it as part of human nature and flesh but I do wonder if conferences and Christian celebrity aren’t heightened by the whole scene. It’s yucky to me. You know how much I talk about this because, really, is there any way we can just make a big deal out of God and not so much about ourselves? Is there any way we can just sit down at the table we’re at and talk to the person on our right and left instead of eyeing the one with the cook kids? God I hope so but honestly I’m a bit tired of going to conferences and watching everyone hurt. Maybe it’s a tool God uses to refine just like everything else. I don’t know. Also, can you tell I’ve had a rough week and I’m babbling in your comments? This feels like a 4 am conversation. ;) Love you friend, and I’ll gladly sit at any table any time with you. And Amy. And Jennifer and anyone else. Also if there’s Queso, you’ll get bonus points.

    • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ JACQUE WATKINS

      OHHHH YES! The Pappasito’s queso…ahhh yes!!

      But seriously, I hate it too, and yet I’m guilty as charged. It reminds me of how Paul says He does what he doesn’t want to do and doesn’t do what he wants to do…and it’s so hard. As people with a smaller platforms we long for those with bigger ones to “pick us” or initiate relationship–but that is the sickness. And there would be a bigger problem if they actually did, because then we’d get our validation satisfied by the wrong source.

      So the answer isn’t necessarily for the people with the larger platforms to get more outgoing or inclusive, necessarily. Because also, I’m guessing that a person with a bigger platform finds it awkward or presumptuous to assume anyone thinks of them as a “celebrity”. I’m sure the whole situation of having a larger reach is stressful and difficult, which is possibly why they tend to congregate together–we all like our people (the ones we have a shared history with).

      I will say it would be nice to hear from some of them regarding their perspective on this…because it may be very possible that at the end of the day, we are all feeling the very same way. But either way, I think we know the answer–which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy–but let’s press into Jesus and let His Word continually, daily, hourly remind us who we are. And let’s become the initiators we long for, yes??

      And now I’m the one rambling! And as a side note, it was 5:30am, not 4am-just sayin’…and I’d stay up again with you in a heartbeat! Love you so…xoxo

  • http://www.happygostuckey.com/ CYNTHIA STUCKEY

    Oh, so much beauty in this post. Thank you for being transparent and sharing the struggle that many of us (totally myself included) have at times.
    Such a difficult topic, but you spoke words of grace and truth. Thank you for this. And thanks for always being REAL! See you at Allume!!!

    • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ JACQUE WATKINS

      Thank you so much Cynthia…we are in this together, and I can’t wait to say hi and see you at Allume!

  • GODLYINDIANMOM

    Jacque I have a 50/50 thought on this.

    I m making this statement in honesty and not to hurt anybody.

    honestly speaking all the BIGGER bloggers have closed of their blogs to the newer blogs.You see the same repetitive bloggers from their circle posting on their site or their series’s.why not give a chance for new bloggers.so you can meet new people make new friends.would also be a christian thing to do.That way you help a fellow blogger.I struggle with insecurity a lot.But most days I remember,I write for god,I sow my seed,it may cater to one or it may cater to thousands,but I have to keep sowing faithfully.Its a hard phase,somedays I feel like Jeremiah.But I put my faith in god and walk forward.

    Thank you Jacque for writing this post :)

    http://www.godlyindianmom.com/

    https://www.facebook.com/godlyindianmom

    • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ JACQUE WATKINS

      Oh friend, it cannot be easy to manage all the intricacies of a broader platform, and there really are many who balance one who are doing so with grace, generosity, and inclusivity. Not all, but many indeed. And in this struggle of insecurity, may you know and remember you are not alone! Yes! to remembering who we are…remembering who HE says we are, and choosing for our hearts to really believe it. Thank you for your words…xo

      • GODLYINDIANMOM

        Thank you sweet friend for your encouragement.You are a blessing :)