Thomas asked Jesus where on earth they were going and how can we get there if I don’t know the way and Jesus answered saying stay with me, go with me, I’ll show you.
I am the way, the truth,
the life. John 14: 6
Last week one gentleman told me he was proud of me for “stepping out” and that our paths may cross again. He’s a retired magazine publicist.
Another who was formerly my boss; but, always my friend listened as I shared my current “leaps of faith” and later ended his kind note with “I admire your faith.”
Both of them I sat with and shared my coming changes, my uncertainty of what will be and my peace that I am choosing rightly, to move into a new season and allow God to develop the rest of my story.
Be patient til your wings are grown. St. Francis de Sauls
Kate Motaung and Shannon Popkin have responded to the question agonized over by me and other writers hoping to gain an audience, hoping for eventual publication.
Their new book is an important one for naive and introverted women like me, ones who are known to be quiet.
Influence, Building a Platform that Elevates Jesus, Not Me
How to navigate the work of making yourself known so that others will know what you know of Jesus.
Some time ago I was on the launch team for Kate’s Book, A Place to Land, a Story of Longing and Belonging.
I knew of Kate because I participated in her 5 minute Friday link-ups as a way to conjure up words for writing and deep down inside, hope somebody, just anybody might notice me, my words.
Occasionally they did and occasionally they still do.
I’m not really the “community” type one, I keep to myself. I’m known for saying I am so tired of “peopling”.
I am believing this will be different in my new season people.
I have continued to read Kate’s work, posts and the helpful encouragement in my mailbox. She responds to my questions about writing. She responds so promptly! (Something I personally love)
I’ve gone from yearning to have a writing life similar to hers (sorry, Kate, for a little bit, I was jealous) to believing her advice and seeing I can have a writing life of my own.
Kate Motaung has influenced me.
But, back to the question over putting myself out there or just cowering in my corner hoping somehow some reader might stumble upon me, my words and pronounce me worthy of reading…
This is the imprint of my childhood. Do not ask for anything, pretend you can do life without attention or recognition, don’t seek to be noticed or noteworthy.
In a time when we are inundated with attention seekers, social media places becoming outlets and a grasping for just one other person to know, there’s new pressure of deciding to stay quiet, to stay in “our own lanes”, at least I feel it is so.
I am learning slowly, the best way, not everyone cares about what I say.
And that is okay.
Some do and tell you so, adding comments like “please don’t stop, you’re the first thing I read everyday!”.
But, the curious, voyeur-type readers of my instagram or my blog who scope me out and quietly slink away…
These are the ones that hinder me.
That cause me to question my goals.
These are the ones that read and I imagine are saying, “Why does she think she is supposed to write this way or who is she to think she has something important for others to know?”
I’m afraid these are people by whom I am personally known.
Is it this way for others? I wonder.
They’re probably just busy; but my little girl unnoticed feels insignificant so often, the imprint of insignificance trying to hold on.
Less often and increasingly so, I have readers leave comments or people who say “I needed that.” or “How did you know?”
They thank me for being brave, honest, for saying and writing about a pain they may have known or know.
These readers encourage me to continue, to grow.
To grow in ways like joining Hope*Writers, being brave enough to be with others.
To believe the words God gives me from my experiences and my perspective are mine and mine alone; but, they are words someone else may need.
That someone might have a similar heartache, a breakthrough type epiphany on grace or even may find a new way to connect with Jesus through my interpretation of a parable or passage something to which we both relate.
Kate wrote of her mother’s death.
She and I have a similar story although vastly different.
My mother passed away nine years ago yesterday. I was in a fairly new position and living two hours away. Kate was in another country, airline flights away. We both set other things aside to be with our mamas.
Gut wrenching and emergent interrupted days, we held onto the time we had left even though our hearts longed for more. For me, at least, I always longed for and thought there would be more.
I treasure our bonding through her words, her description of the drawing of her heart to be beside her mother, the angst over not being able to be constantly near and the utter helplessness and surrender to our lack of control.
The realization of this lack when I had returned home too early and I got “the call”.
Others may have read Kate’s story and gained so much more or been impacted in a different way.
That’s the power of our stories.
Today, I am trying to lean in to where God wants my writing to go.
The balance between letting go and continuing are much like my battle of being known and staying in my place.
Much like stepping out to wait.
I know that if I continue I won’t even look the same because my heart will be open to where God takes me, the story He is developing no longer hidden.
I’ll be different, I’ll be the me that God has always seen, has kept purposely through so much trauma and self-destructive “dis” grace.
My note to self of late?
Continue and Believe. me
A good starting place for a newsletter or a book title, I perceive.
For now it’s for stepping forward to see what God has for me to share and to increase my believing so that others will believe.
This, I believe, is what God means by influence.
I’m linking my thoughts up with others on this topic of thoughts and childhood labels and hindrances to pursuing platforms so that our writing voice might grow.
join in here: Thoughts on Platform Building
Thanks so much, Kate!