(And how it’s turned out to be the most amazing thing I could do right now.)
I am constantly amazed by the ways God will “adjust” my direction. Sometimes it’s a consistent nudge, and sometimes it’s a hard pivot. A few years ago I thought I heard Him telling me to write. I assumed that meant another book. I didn’t really want to write a book. Things were busy and I liked what I was doing with my time, and I felt like I had purpose in what I was doing. So I ignored the nudges. Everyone who has ever been in that situation is rolling their eyes hard at that one. Smart Jen… real smart. Check out the story of Jonah and you’ll get a hint at how that turned out. It is similar to why I didn’t want to start this blog – I had my own plan.
When you ignore the nudge
Sure enough I crashed, and crashed hard. A decade ago I would probably have been diagnosed with having a “nervous breakdown.” I wasn’t sleeping and my brain wouldn’t turn off or process things either. I couldn’t relax, and I was super sensitive to lights and noises. Life like I knew it wasn’t an option anymore. I had to change things. Fortunately, I have a husband, family, and friends that are straight up amazing. And after a few months, I started to feel a little better.
So there I was again. I still didn’t really want to write a book, but I kind of had tickets to this christian writer’s conference, AND God had nudged me enough times over the last couple of years that I figured I should probably sketch out an outline and actually go to the conference.
When you follow the nudge
But then my husband and I go, and everyone just kept talking about a platform. How “you have to have a platform before you even write the book!” I’m pretty sure I turned to my husband and flat out said I didn’t want to “make a platform – just so I have a platform – just so I can sell a book that I only kind of want to write in the first place.” My inner whiny kid was on a roll. I’m pretty sure God was getting ready to slap me upside the head if I didn’t get the message soon.
Then somehow, between keynote number one and breakout session number five, I got the message.
Turns out it wasn’t a book at all. God was preparing me to write about what I love best – encouraging and validating creativity in others. THAT I could do. Whoo-hooo! But then came the next part – get ready to pivot.
Time to pivot
That’s when I heard one of the speakers bravely tell a room full of aspiring authors, “that if our true goal is to minister to people, then the platform for a book can be a more effective ministry tool than the book might be.” I got the message. Social media, a blog, videos, public speaking, a website – those were the ways that people connect and the way I could connect with them. So I took it home and decided that if God wanted me to pivot towards a platform – I could do that. I could write a blog again, and I could give Instagram a shot. I still kind of think the videos and public speaking will require God actually taking over my body, but what do I know? (Update: videos without God taking bodily possession)
That book I thought I was supposed to write – it may still come. Every once in a while I start to write something that really doesn’t work into the blog format, and I tuck it away. But I know that when I said yes to God, then things start to happen. Everything I thought was so hard and so impossible just starts to work. For example, I was stuck on a blog name and it was just there when I woke up one day. Once I had the name, the mission statement, content strategy, and site structure all flowed from that. The tech stuff that was too hard for me, my husband stepped up to do. It all just worked.
It was a hard pivot, but a great lesson. One of the best parts about having faith is that we don’t need to make decisions based solely on what we think or feel to be “right.” Just recently I found myself googling “I started a blog, now what?” and then caught myself.
Continue to ask for your bearings
I remembered I had a simple plan for the times I felt lost: ask for direction. So I prayed and listened to the messages God was speaking through those around me, and through my Bible study. Once I did, I realized that I was hearing about the same blogging course from several different places. Although it seemed crazy to consider this (fairly spendy) online course, I was reminded through my Bible study that God equips those He calls. And sure enough – oh look, there’s still some money left from my book sales. And the course that’s only open once a year starts this week, and (this is the big one) my husband is supportive. The fact that I’m surprised at all has me rolling my eyes at myself.
So if you are currently in a place where you feel lost, or if you feel God nudging you, I hope this post has got you thinking. A hard pivot can shake us, but it just might be the move we need to make to reorient ourselves to God’s plan for us. If you have your own story of “Why I didn’t want to start this blog,” or if this post has you saying, “Yes! I totally get what you’re saying,” then I would love to have you share your experiences either in the comments here or on my Facebook page. Thanks!