Life, Spiritual Walk, Writing

Stuck in the Circle

It’s taken me two months to write this post, and I’ll tell you why: I have been stuck in the lies and circle of self-doubt and comparison. If you’re being honest with yourself, you may know exactly what I’m talking about.

I started this blog with a clear message from God–words like “safe space,” counseling, young women, and love all came at a moment of complete clarity where I knew this was a project He wanted me to invest in. It’s been almost one year since I heard that message while chatting with one of the special guests at a media conference I attended for work. The conference was supposed to be a learning experience for my social media position, but ended up speaking specifically to me about my place as a writer.

But once I started, fear set in. Who am I to say I am a writer when everything I’ve submitted this past year has been rejected? Who am I to say I’m a writer when I let so much time pass between blog posts? Who am I to say I’m a writer when the only steady gig I’ve had has been the Young Salvationist magazine, which still has connotations of being a “lame” teen magazine that The Salvation Army is “required” to publish.

On a side note: I love the Young Salvationist. The guest writers are fantastic, and the editor is loving and encouraging. Many people I respect have written articles for publication. I’m simply saying that others don’t see it the same way I do.

Over the past three years, God has told me through the Spirit and through the words of others that he desires me to be a writer for Him. Which falls in line with what my dream since High School has always been: to write a successful book and have writing be my full-time job. When I first wrote that, I teared up: it just seems so impossible.

It feels impossible when I haven’t liked anything I’ve written in months. It feels impossible when I’m so drained from sitting in front of a computer all day that I come home and have no energy for anything else. It feels impossible when everyone else can do it, but I can’t. It’s felt impossible for a long time, and created a pattern in me of pulling away from what I love so I won’t be disappointed when it doesn’t work out.

That’s all part of the cycle of comparison. Imagine what it would be like if I saw friends or collegues doing the things I dream of and I was simply happy for them? I can honestly imagine how freeing and lovely it would feel to be truly excited and delighted to be able to support someone else when they are also following the writing dreams laid on their hearts. But instead I feel down, heavy-trodden, like they are fulfilling themselves in ways I will never be able to. It’s heartbreaking.

So I go through this circle: feeling renewed, feeling fearful, feeling sorry for myself when I see others succeed.

Along with the “Read through the Bible in a Year” plan, I’ve been reading “Draw the Circle” by Mark Batterson. On top of that, my pastor at church did a three part sermon series on Luke, which ended this past Sunday with the section on prayer. I started the Draw the Circle prayer challenge not only because of my problem with conifidence and comparison, but because of new opportunities in my family that have presented themselves and we’ve been praying about.

Instead of circling in self-doubt, what if I was constantly circling with the Lord through prayer? Not circling back around to the same challenges over and over, but circling in new learning of my prayer life, of myself, and of my relationship with Him.

There have been two points I’ve been dwelling consistently on: “Faith ends where worry begins,” and prayer either changes our circumstances, or it changes us.

I can’t help but wonder what God has in store. You know, some of the most beautiful testimonies I’ve ever heard were from women who spoke about how God didn’t answer the specific prayer being prayed, but instead answered the prayer by changing the person praying. I pray that God is changing me, that he’s making me better able to listen and connect with Him. I’m praying that He is making me more reliant on Him and not on the things I can do for myself.

I don’t write this post because I’m “cured” of this circle. Honestly, I’m still in it and I don’t know the right way out. I don’t know where it breaks down, but I know that God is working in me: to make me a person who loves my neighbor, and who rejoices in all successes for the Lord. I pray He is making me a better, more disciplined writer. And overall, I pray that whatever he wants to do with this calling, it would happen strictly along the lines of His plan and His timing.

Thank you for supporting this blog and me, and thank you for following the path and dream that Christ is laying out in your life each day.