So I assumed that I would be finished with the first draft of my book by this point in time and that’s not the case. I’m actually at about the same point in the book that I was when I posted my last book update. That’s because I’ve had to throw quite a bit of work out and while that’s been frustrating I’m glad that I did it.
I’m not just glad because I’m headed in a better direction either, I’m glad because God has been teaching me an important lesson through this frustrating month.
God has been trying to teach me that I should try to honor Him with my work and not to earn the approval of other people. That sounds like a pretty simple lesson, but I find it really difficult to learn. I desperately want to prove myself with my writing and that desire easily hijacks my work.
I want to glorify and honor God with my words and those are the good intentions that I start off with. Then my insecurities come in and tell me that I’m not good enough or that the people in my life don’t think I’m very valuable. Those insecurities make for a crushing weight around my neck and they easily drag me down.
Just reading over the start of this blog made me nervous because I don’t want anyone to know that I worked a month on the book and ended up in basically the same place. I really want to finish this thing so I can shout from the rooftops that I finally finished what I set out to do. The only problem is that, at times, I’m more interested in shouting from the rooftops than honoring God with my work. I feel that way because of my strong desire to make myself more valuable.
I feel like anything that could give me value would save me from my insecurities. That’s when I come to conclusion that publishing a book will give me that tangible value and deliver me from my insecurities. This is when things really start falling apart.
When I think that I need a published book to beat my insecurities, I become a slave to the success of my book. The possibility of publishing it sounds great, but the idea of failing to sell the book brings an incredible amount of fear. It brings a great deal of fear because I’ve placed my hope of finding freedom from my insecurities in publishing the book.
That means my hope takes a real hit when I don’t see any progress towards the goal of getting published.
The really important thing is that I already had some knowledge about this problem. I pushed this knowledge down though and did my best to ignore the problem; I thought that problem might just fade away when I got my book published. That was just wishful thinking though and that’s why I’m glad that God forced this problem into the spotlight with a pretty frustrating month of writing.
While I was initially frustrated that I didn’t make progress, that frustration has helped me take a step back and take an honest look at my heart. That’s even more important than any book I could ever write and I needed that reminder. It’s really easy for me to lose the forest for the trees and become obsessed with an outcome that I think will make all my dreams come true.
It would be tragic to publish a book about God and walk away from the experience with a weaker faith because my focus shifted from my relationship with God to publishing the book. So I am very grateful that God taught me this lesson, even if it cost a month of time. If it takes another month of frustration for this lesson to really take root, then I’d be happy to do it.
My focus must sit on God and not on my success, not matter what.
I still have some quotes from the book though.
-One of the hardest parts of going through hard times comes from the perception that our lives are out of control. That’s why exercising control over something feels so comforting.
-Those who serve and give with gladness carry with them a grandeur that no fortune could ever buy.
-Grasping that God gives a greater satisfaction is not enough. We must experience that greater satisfaction and taste it’s sweetness.
-God knows our selfish nature and gives us sex, and our sex drives, to draw us out of that selfish nature.
– Most of us have the false assumption that some sort of success will ensure people will value us. The real problem sits below that assumption though; the assumption that we don’t have value in the first place.
– God’s value of us does not fit on our business card, give us the corner office, or sit nicely into a ring on our finger.
Image Copyright: Antonio Litterioby