One month ago, I shared a story about a former business coach who told a hilarious story from a time she hobbled across a room, flung her high heel across the stage, ripped her dress, and left her audience in utter shock. At the end of that story, I decided that sometimes doing new things feels just like her story and sometimes those new things don’t work out.
Trying new things is scary because there’s always a risk. It could be great or it could be awful! I warned you that as I began trying new things, I might be flinging some proverbial high heels around. You promised me that if my high heel came at you hard and fast, you would duck and then tell me about it. You promised me.
Like any growing and budding artist, I want to expand my craft and grow as a writer. I love blogging and I’ve been doing it for nearly a year. I’m not going to stop, but I also have some other ideas and was looking for some ways to dip my toe into other avenues of writing. As it just so happened, an opportunity came along and I went for it.
An organization called Faith Social invited writers to submit ideas and concepts for devotionals to be considered for their readers. It was a little intimidating, but I decided to inquire and ultimately submitted a concept for a 10-day Advent themed devotional. It turned out that they accepted mine and the outline I sent them a week prior now had a deadline. I was thrilled for like a day—and then I panicked.
Even though I submitted the idea of my own volition, the fact that someone else said, “Hey, this is great. We’d like you to write this for us!” startled me. It’s one thing to write for you—my readers and friends. It’s a completely different thing to write for strangers. Images of high heels flying toward an unsuspecting emcee in front of hundreds of stunned guests began flooding my brain and self doubt set in.
Self doubt can be paralyzing. As I sat down to write each day, it would take a while to get into a rhythm. After I got a couple of thoughts in, sometimes I would sit back and think “What on earth am I even saying here. Literally no one is going to care. This is so stupid.” Some days, it took a tremendous effort to get even a sentence or two on the page. I felt incredibly insecure, the deadline was approaching, and I was stuck.
There were many times I had to set the writing aside simply to connect with Jesus. He was the person I was writing about, for pity’s sake. Spending time with Jesus often gave me room to breath and process my thoughts. Quiet moments with him reminded me of how loved I already was—regardless of my writing.
The reminder of God’s love for me was sufficient to become free in my heart and mind, but I was still stuck in the work. I had to write this devotional. I had two friends to whom I knew I could confess my insecurities without getting too far ahead of myself. I mean, what if it really was bad writing and they ended up not publishing it? It was a real possibility and I knew that they would both be honest, loving, and encouraging. So I text them—and they text me back.
The advice they offered was so helpful and encouraging and I want to share it with you. One friend said, “Don’t left that self doubt creep in…you’ll probably do a dud or two in 10 days of posts…as long as you stay focused on telling the story and not on your writing, it’ll be perfect.” I remember pondering this for about an hour. It’s not about me, it’s about him.
My other friend reminded me of a great saying from Jo Saxton, who once said GETMO. Sometimes our work is GETMO—good enough to move on. I reflected on this for a while as well. I was getting so hung up on saying something exactly right or using just the right metaphor or story—it was holding me up and holding me back. God is not after our perfection, he is after our hearts and our obedience. I needed to finish and the wisdom I received from these two friends was exactly what I needed in order to finish well and on time.
After I hit send on the email containing my manuscript I let out an enormous sigh of relief, gratitude, and joy. It felt good to be done. As I waited to hear back on whether or not it was accepted, I realized I didn’t feel a tinge of self-doubt any longer. Regardless of whether or not they ran with it, I was confident that I was loved by God, by my friends, and I had done my best. The rest was up to the editorial team and God.
They accepted it—and published it. It is with humble joy and gratitude that I share this devotional with you. You can read and contemplate all 10 days (or even just one) here on Faith Social’s website. My prayer is that as you read it, God will bless you. May you know that Jesus is real and may you be blessed knowing the truth that God came down—for me and for you.