I have to remind myself of this verse when I see others surpass me. I hate to admit this out loud here on the blogosphere, but it’s sometimes hard when I see other authors garner huge sales. It’s not that I wish them ill. I’m always happy to hear authors succeed. It proves that it can happen. But there is a little part of me that looks back on my journey and wonders how long I’ll be asked to be faithful in little things.
Then again, I know I must celebrate the amazing places God has brought me on this writing journey. The talks I’ve been able to have. The lives impacted (praise be to Jesus, not me). Nine books published.
I recently read a review of one my books that really startled and blessed me. Someone called my writing “great.” That’s been my desire all these twenty years of writing–to learn the craft, to grow as a writer, to write the next book better than the last. To be faithful in the small things. To be okay without fame or sales. To plow forward, improving, expanding, learning.
And sometimes the satisfaction of writing a well-turned phrase is its own reward. Sometimes an email from a reader is enough. I sense God’s smile there. But then when I, like Peter, look at the waves of finances and “why-me” instead of Jesus’ steady gaze, I want the “large things.” The bigger platform. The greater sales. What I perceive as the reward for years and years of being faithful in little things.
Stupid ol’ money. Not for me. Not for ease. But for my children’s college. To free up my hubby to pursue more dreams. To, in a sense, finally earn income greater than what seems to be minimum wage (It’s painful to calculate hours to pay…).
Yes, pursuing writing is a dream. A dream come true. But it’s also a costly risk with no guarantees. I am walking this path by choice, writing word upon word, trusting God to provide as He is so apt to do. I am learning contentment. I choose to smile, to trust that the little things are things God sees, and that rewards are not merely financial (and if I measure my success there, I’ll lose sight of what genuine Kingdom success is.) And when I hear words like, “She just doesn’t have the sales,” from a publishing entity, I try not to cry, try not to take it personally, try to hope that publishers will continue to take a risk publishing someone without star-power numbers.
God knows. He knows. I thank Him ardently that He didn’t entrust greater responsibilities to me when I started writing. I could not have handled that spiritually. He whispered this in my ear right before I met my first agent, “Mary, you have withstood many trials, but will you withstand the trial of notoriety.”
I want to withstand it well. Lord willing. But right now, I will keep being faithful, as God gives me strength, in the little things. I will trust that He will grow them as He prefers.