For several months now God has been speaking to me about something that seems so simple but it isn't.
In fact, it isn't only "not-so-simple", it feels almost impossible. But thankfully God knew I would feel that way and he wrote a simple little sticky note just for me.
Luke 1:37 "For nothing is impossible with God."
Thank you God! So what, you are asking, is the problem ...
How do I live my life for an audience of One? How do I write for an audience of One?
This idea has been floating in my mind for quite some time. But the interesting part is the phrase "audience of One" has been popping up in so many forms.
- It was the theme of a book I read many months ago, A Lasting Impression, by Tamera Alexander.
- A word from a friend asking me why I had to be published.
- A devotion calling me to love many, but only please One, by Holley Gerth.
- An ache deep in my spirit that i had fallen off the original path God had placed me on.
Maybe "audience of One" is the popular phrase of the day - it doesn't matter to me. What matters to me is that God has been whispering it to me to teach me something.
I received another round of results from my contest entries the other day. It has me thinking again about why am I doing what I am doing. Do you ever question that? Ever wonder what you should be doing or if you are already doing it?
I know God asked me clearly to write stories down. I cannot even pretend I didn't hear that message. However He never said 'get published'. His words never mentioned anything about that. I find the more I seek it out and travel that road - the more doors are closed. Not physical doors, really. But 'peace' doors. As I push forward I lose sight of what I am doing. I lose peace. I lose confidence. I lose ... everything that feels good about writing.
I turned to a young writer I have met over the Internet. She is an inspiration to me to watch her focused approach to loving life. (I haven't met her in person yet, but I am sure I will discover my prediction is true.)
Her name is Casey and she has grappled with this idea of only writing for God already. In fact, her blog is titled Writing for Christ ~ The audience of One. I asked Casey a few questions. Thanks Casey for opening your heart to me.
1. How did you catch onto the idea of an audience of One?
I truly grabbed hold of the “Audience of One” title when I read a novel writing book by Jeff Gerke. He made mention to the fact that it doesn’t matter what the rest of the world thinks. It only matters what God thinks of what we are doing/writing. And I realized I was way too worried with what everyone else thought. I was much too concerned with the fact that I had to attain a certain level to be “published”.
2. Does that change the way you approach your writing or affect your goal of publication?
People are so subjective. One loves it, the second to their elbow, hates it. But God? God won’t, because He created us the way we are. He cares, not so much on how we put the words on the page, but the fact that we are being active in our faith and trust Him and His plans for our future. Of course, He wants our very best, which is why I continue to study and grow and learn and enter contests. But I have come to the realization that even if I do all of this and don’t attain publication, it isn’t wasted. It’s not worthless. Because I am giving my all to God. And that’s all He asks.
Thank you Casey. Your honesty has helped me to sort through some of my own confusion. And you are right ... it is a struggle. The world says write well ... sell well ... become famous. God whispers seek Me ... find Me ... rest with Me. This whole concept is just a new spin on the lesson I learned when my kids were babies. After looking back on a day of dirty diapers, dirty dishes, dirty faces I would struggle with if I was doing anything that really made a difference.
"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve." Colossians 3:23-24
When I encouraged myself back then (and other young moms) I'd say 'even if I am just cleaning the toilet today I am doing it with joy, for my Lord.'
So, today if you were sitting here with me and we were sharing a nice cup of tea, I would say 'even if no one but my family and friends read these stories, I am doing it with joy, for my Lord.'
I write for an audience of One.
What are YOU doing only for the Master?