Before I get too far into this, I want to take a moment and say a big thank you for taking time out of your day to read my blog! Lately I’ve been hearing from quite a few people that they read my blog and they’ve shared with me how much they love following it. It always means a lot to me when I hear that because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like no one reads my blog – like when I post something it just sits there collecting internet dust. But I’ve kept posting, mainly because I enjoy it and I told myself I really didn’t care if anyone read it. But I think deep down I was lying to myself because as I was doing some “soul searching” before 21 days of prayer & fasting started I realized that I did care about how many views I had, how many people “liked” my Instagram photos, and how many people I was “influencing.” To be completely transparent, I compared myself to a couple families I followed on social media that have that blue check-mark by their name and tried to copy them so that I could get the same result (just ask my husband – he’ll tell you he knows who these people are. Not because he follows them on social media, but because I’ve referenced them so many times lol). If you asked me what that result I was looking for was by copying people, I’m not even sure I could tell you, but there would be a result and I wanted whatever it was 😛
Anyway, within the first couple days of fasting social media, I found so much freedom in just doing “my own thing” and not worrying about how many “likes” I got, but just writing. Every day I prayed for God to show me how I / my family could be influential in our own way. 5 days later at the Freedom conference (which was at the end of week 1 of 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting), I was sitting in my seat between sessions and I felt God say to me, “your blog is enough. Leading a small group with your husband is enough. Be an influence where I have you. It’s not your job to grow your following. Your job is to just keep writing. Just keep hosting. Just keep doing what you’re doing.You don’t need to do more. You are enough!” I found so much rest and peace in hearing that. I wasn’t slacking or missing the mark – I was exactly where God wanted me doing precisely what he wanted!
The next 2 weeks were spent developing what God had told me. I kept blogging and I saw a new purpose with it. My thinking changed to “what are those families I’m following on social media doing” to “what is working for our family?” One of the books I read during the 3rd week of the fast was “Live, Love, Lead” by Brian Houston – the lead pastor of Hillsong Church – and it largely talked about how to live life, love and lead others within your “grace lane” (grace lane = your gifts, talents, skills, personality, life experiences, viewpoint, friends, family, sphere of influence, etc. that only you have! What God has called you to do.). That book is one of my favorites now because it helped me see that by trying to copy someone else’s success was not living in my “grace lane” – I was trying to duplicate something that God hadn’t created for me to do.
One evening during the final week of 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, I was having a heart to heart with a mentor of mine, and I shared with her I was confused what I was supposed to be doing in ministry. Nothing was screaming at me and I’m almost done with ministry school. Aaron just got an amazing opportunity and I’m over here waving my hand like, “what do you want me to do God? I’m available. I’m willing. I’m just chillin’ here. I know blogging isn’t the only thing you have for me so you just tell me what I’m supposed to be doing in ministry and I’ll do it. Okay, cool. Good talk!” Looking me in the eyes, my mentor said very confidently, “I will say that “working in ministry” or “doing ministry” doesn’t mean you have to work in a church. I think right now God is just asking you to support your husband and take care of your girls.” I received that as a confirmation from what God told me during the Freedom conference. Having that confirmation gave me even more peace to just keep doing what I’m doing.
I couldn’t tell you what my 5 year plan is because I don’t really have one. I have goals and dreams, but nothing concrete because I’ve learned that God likes to shake it up and his plan is so much better then mine! I mean, 5 years ago I never would have imagined that I’d be married, have two girls, live in Alabama and be attending ministry school. Oh, and sharing our life via a blog (and people actually read it). Now what I will tell you is that I’ve learned to embrace the “season” that God has me in – the “season” that he has my family in. For example, before 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, I really felt like our season was about to change. From the outside, it would have been easy to say, “well sure – you’re about to go from 1 kid to 2. That’s a big change right there!” But I knew it was more than that. Something big was going to happen and those 21 days were the precursor to whatever new season God was going to put us in.
Well sure enough, during 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, Aaron got asked to be the preschool coordinator at our church campus. This is a huge honor which he gladly accepted. But now our 2 day weekends as a family have gone to 1 because Aaron is serving at church literally all day on Sundays now. Boom – season change. There are other “smaller” things that happened that required a change in my / our families thinking, schedule, and forced us to be more intentional in certain areas. Boom – season change. Just this last weekend, I was asked how I felt about Aaron and I having to drive separately to church. I replied, “it’s not my favorite, but this is what God has asked of me right now and I’m happy to support Aaron.” I said it with such confidence and certainty that I knew it was the right season from God and I loved that.
So all that to say, let me get to the point –
What I’m doing is enough. I am in my grace lane when I am blogging, making people feel welcome in my home, caring for my daughters, & supporting my husband.
At the end of 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, Aaron and I sat at the dinner table asking each other questions about what we had learned over the past 21 days and what God had done for us personally and as a family. When I shared with Aaron what I just shared with you, he nodded and said, “it’s like what our teacher said in our 2nd semester at school – God will never have you sacrifice what is required of you.” Right now, God has required me to be a girl mom and a supporting wife. How did I ever see that as not enough? Another nugget of wisdom that we learned in school came flooding to my mind, which is “if you have a successful ministry, but your family is failing (not close with each other, not in love with God, etc.), then anything you accomplished in ministry means nothing.” Such a good reminder!
So now that I’ve just shared and very wordy, lengthy post with you, let me help you apply this your own life.
You don’t know how many people are watching you. You might think no one is, but you are either influencing others for the good and pointing them towards God, or you’re influencing them in a negative way and leading them away from God.
If you’re like I was and think you needed a big online follow to make any kind of difference in the world, I’d say don’t underestimate how God is using you. Just because you can’t always see it, doesn’t meant it isn’t happening.