In the age of communication, now more than ever, do people have a voice that screams to be heard. Whether that’s audibly or in text, the opportunities anyone with an electronic device has to become visible are endless.
This is not always a good thing, as we know. Many people attach themselves to a voice that just wants to clang about, like a loud cymbal or maybe it’s a cry to be seen, due to the ache of a void in their popularity.
I have also seen so many women & men like myself, who have stories deep & opinions that are valid, yet we are the mid-way group, somewhere between mentoring & being mentored; not yet arrived, but much farther than we have ever been.
For a person like me, who once got off track, getting back on is a constant juggling act. It seems like yesterday, I was a lot younger, others were off seeking their degrees & establishing their future careers. When my dearest friends were graduating with Bachelor’s, I was giving birth to the sweetest boy on Earth. When they were finishing Master’s programs, I was preparing him for Kindergarten. When they were settling down, starting their married lives, I was in the process of a divorce. I have always done this life thing a little rogue & unpredictable.
I’ve encountered a beautiful & blessed life. If you’ve combed over my recently posted testimony, you’ll see that it’s also been a life full of hardship & turbulence. Somewhere between back then & today, my talents & gifts were placed on pause. Trying to unearth them at 41 years old, minus the college degree & outreach of community support in my ‘gift areas’, where I see many consistently lifting each other up, especially in the writing community, becomes one of the major struggles of my current season.
I am being as honest & transparent as I possibly can be about this. Mainly, because I see & hear so many others, especially women, dealing with the same thing. I hope this will be a place of connect that says, “I am right there too, what can we do about this?”
My son is 18 & off to college. My daughter is in Kindergarten & my husband is a full time, in the classroom & online, teacher plus world Rugby coach. The people around me are very busy & often out of the house & for the 1st time in my life, I am blessed with silence.
God really started to press into me sitting down & writing again. He’s also repeatedly used scripture & the words of others to remind me that ANY plan is possible when He is driving this thing. Sadly, removing self doubt from your own mind & the power of His plan & trying to make that plan yours, is a discipline that I am not naturally designed to just simply accept & move forward with skipping & flower petal throwing. This is a very obedient & difficult journey, to find trust in & hope for some part of it all, to come to fruition. Maybe this is also where you are finding yourself.
You see, when I say God called me to write again, it isn’t because there was a period where I drafted my 1st novel or that I even had a moment where I was writing for a local publication, not even a snip in the church bulletin.
This is taking the stacks of handwritten notes, many on napkins & post its- taking the lifetime of saved drafts that never were sent out & blowing off the dust & hoping they’ll come back to life; that someone will be blessed by them. They are the hidden stories I thought no one would ever care to read.
I realize that grammatically people read & critique, especially examining me & my abilities when I ask for them & many when I don’t. But, that is where part of me cares so deeply & at the same time, doesn’t. It’s quite the bittersweet thought process. I mean that only because of how I feel inside when I am in a thought or writing approach. Perfection is not my goal. Getting those words out of me is-
I follow many writers, whose craft is deep in many topics. Their styles are different, as well as, their audience. I will note though, there are 2 things, for me, that gather them in the same categories: their extreme push to people who have a fire in them to write or grow something inside them & their extreme need for their own writing & abilities to be mentored, supported & promoted.
Personally I find that it’s very, very hard to find people who have been published or excel in their craft, to walk outside their personal groups & help raise up the unknown or the unheard, that is until someone else has heard of them or mentioned them first.
I don’t mean that snarky or rude, I just mean that whether it’s a time constraint of busyness, an introverted personality, or maybe in some, it’s just a lack of desire. Whatever the reason, it’s very hard for many people like myself, who are pouring themselves out to others in verse, to ever be seen, heard or even have a simple blog post retweeted/shared. It’s the invisibility factor inside the visible spectrum. For instance, how often do you read something meaningful & just keep pushing past it with your finger? I am guilty. I am also a victim. It’s the being looked past. What if everyone out there were just simply looked past because we didn’t have the desire to share what hit home with us? We’d have no available talent.
Many out there would just love to have a few questions answered or maybe someone to take time for positive feedback, but I see more & more decrease in this for the regular Joe, yet the boom & the growth of the published community has never been more on the rise. The balance of time for each other is extremely off. I truthfully do not think that the God who is so gracious to give us platforms, is the same God who expects us to be so busy promoting Him, that we forget to make room for the next in line.
If you are someone who has published a book or maybe you have a blog following in the extreme numbers, I just want to ask, who helped you along the way? Who still helps you? Who promotes you & helps put your name & talents out there? Before the 1st book was in print, when it was an idea in your head, a passion in your spirit, who answered your how to questions? How did you find out about the people you needed to contact or the side advice from another person re: tips & techniques, who may have already walked your journey? How were you ushered into a sister & brotherhood of support, when you used to be the one with your face pressed against the glass looking in?
The way those in the front of the line, sought & still seek that help & support, is the same thing people behind you need another to be for them; the kind of person you still consistently need to help you push forward & believe in you, is what an entire group of others need in return. It’s a forever cycle.
This is also a call to myself & others reading this who may be waiting for a door to open, in the event that’s God plan. We can also be to others what we currently need; just from another platform.
It’s not about likes or followers, it’s about using the current technology so many abuse, to lift & support one another in friendship. To inform & bless each other across thousands of miles, even globally. Especially, when these people are strangers we aren’t biased to or part of our comfortably zoned communities. Many times over, those closest to us are used to the support, a stranger is not expecting for someone to go out on a limb & make their day in the ways that we all have the power to do. There is an infinite supply of talent out there. What there isn’t, is an infinite supply of selflessness.
If you don’t think we forever need one another in these areas of aid, look what happens online when a person is getting ready to launch something; whether that something is a product, a book, a conference, a new website, etc. The masses come together to promote. It’s very important for writers to have those who’ve published best sellers to write the reviews in their books & even post those positive affirmations on their blogs. Displaying those words of favor on the sites selling their items, so others can read why this particular thing is worth my time & my investment .
These communities will forever be in need for their own personal growth & mentoring. However, these communities will forever need to feed back into the lives of those outside the circle.
Many people will purchase materials, tickets & merchandise to support the ministries/talents of those who have inspired them. It’s something I pray people who are moving up the ladder do not fail to remember when it’s time to slow down & friend the ones who are still at the bottom climbing up. Primarily, when the crux of what we are writing over & over is the love your neighbor call. Do not isolate the stranger. Always be the hand available. I cannot reiterate the importance of us all living out this message.
Several like me, especially women, would have loved/love for a child’s medical bills not to have exceeded the chances to spend hundreds of dollars on training herself through writing workshops. Many would love to go back to college, but right now it’s more important for her son to be there & save the extra for what he may need as he’s building his own life foundation. Many of us wish elementary school & therapies & the demands of child rearing & home making, didn’t dominate the schedule, so we could jump on planes for conferences & mission trips. Many of us feel like we are getting a very late start on who we are called to be. Many of us need the ones ahead of us on the track to remind us, there is still time to do all the things that set a fire within our hearts. Many of us need to be told no matter who does not recognize us, God does & it’s never to late to be what you would have been.
Recently, Lysa Terkeurst, http://lysaterkeurst.com/ & her ministry, http://proverbs31.org/ launched a series of free online videos & a free eBook for those with a call to write. Tips & pointers that were so simple, yet so helpful to someone like me. Since, they have developed a new training experience that you can subscribe to for $25 a month. I am in no way endorsed by or have been asked or expected to promote this, I am only sharing with you, in the event you are like me, in need of some outside mentorship & advice. Obviously, personal friendship is always best, but this is a great alternative, opportunity & a prime example of someone using her gift to give back to others. This is the link to the Compel Membership & training site: https://compeltraining.com/membership-registration/ I hope it will be useful for you.
In my past, probably like you, I’ve read hundreds upon hundreds of books, articles & blogs. Even though many of them have been life changing & set a fire under/in me, many have not. Maybe you will agree that a blog post, a comment, or the words typed & spoken from a regular mom or a dad, launched from the platform known as their couch, has impacted you greater than many of the books you own that are collecting dust or being ready for the Goodwill box. Some of the most inspirational people I have bumped into, have 70+ Twitter followers & spend their days in yoga pants or behind a computer at a job that just pays the bills. However, they’re blessed with a reality & transparency that attracts something we need to hear.
I truly believe, whether it’s writing, speaking, or any artistic talent & expression, many of the most inspirational & influential out there, have not been noticed yet. Many may never be noticed if we don’t take the necessary 5 extra minutes to do something as simple as, help them to be seen.
I cannot imagine, as we sit here today, how many risk takers, life changers & warriors for their generation there are in the middle of nowhere USA, running errands & cleaning house. Changing diapers or maybe typing a blog while tackling laundry, entertaining a child, while praying that one day they’ll leave a legacy for their own to inherit.
Throughout all of my years serving others, whether it be through time, talents, or just trying to connect as friend, I always end up walking away learning more & being blessed beyond measure moreso, than the ones I am actually supposed to be blessing. The sacrifice of self for someone else, never returns void.
I pray that neither you or I ever stop growing as students of life & each other. Gift givers of ourselves. To never look past people who are not in our clique. To mean it & live it, when we say ALL people are deserving of our time & attention.
I am truly looking forward to how God is going to grow & connect so many of us. I have prayed so hard over this very thing. For those that are rising up in this generation & the ones to come, what an honor to run alongside those who need us to cheer them on. What an honor to have people run alongside us in return. We should be deafened by the sound of each other’s applause.
It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes an entire globe to maintenance & sustain one another after the raising.
Never stop pressing forward in your purpose & passions. Always know your efforts & your time are not lost. Today can always be the day you decide the story will be written differently. Today can always be the day you decide to help another rewrite their own.
Prayers for you- XO