Those who live by the stage

There are two choices for a writer: seclusion or limelight. Sometimes it’s somewhere in between. But the way God has made me (or perhaps it’s my own dysfunction) is to impart. When I learn something, experience something new of Jesus, or hear direction, my first inclination is to share it–usually here.

Of course, I am learning the fine art of quiet and rest and keeping some things to myself. Believe it or not, that’s a discipline for me. In high school after meeting Jesus, I had this insatiable desire to tell my testimony to everyone who would listen. I would share my tale of trials, then triumph to anyone with ears. As I grew, I realized how important it was for me to simply take direction from the Holy Spirit’s promptings rather than simply vomit my story on anyone.

And now I’m in that place where I share as God leads.

In my nonfiction books, I’ve put myself on the page for all to meet. I do that here, too. It’s strange for me to meet someone who’s read my blog, to see how familiar he/she is with me, my struggles, my fears. It always takes me aback. And yet, I continue to spill my heart. Why? Because I believe there is something intrinsically helpful about sharing each other’s authentic journeys.

So I write facts on the page, but I also spin stories. And it’s the stories I write where I feel the most vulnerable. You would think it would be the opposite, but it’s not. And I’m not sure why that is.

So yesterday I read several reviews of Daisy Chain. Many were humbling and stellar. A few weren’t. (And of course with my crazy insecure soul, I latched onto the the non-stellar reviews). The words stung, then wormed their way into my heart. It took me some time to let this all go, to place the good and the bad in Jesus’ hands for His glory. But it’s not easy for me.

This morning, though, the Lord was gracious to me. I ran down the path toward the lake, and I heard Him say, “Those who live by the stage, die by the stage.” If I am living for limelight, for the applause of others, my soul will crumble under the critique of others. But if I am living for the resounding applause of heaven, earthly words will not kill me. They’ll keep me close to the One who deserves the stage in the first place.

So I prayed my way through the run, thanking God that Daisy Chain would actually disturb people, praising Him for using these reviews to push me to His heart. It’s so not about me. It’s about Him. It’s about doing my best, writing the story He puts in my heart, and letting the results rest in His scarred hands. I simply need to be obedient and trusting.

Because, as the curtain closes on the play of my life, I want it to fall on Him. I want my story and stories to be so infused with Him that folks applaud His fame, His ability. “It is the work that God does through us that counts,” writes Oswald Chambers, not what we do for him.”

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