When I started my website last year, I read all the blogs and books about how to successfully build an audience. My goal was to get people to read what I wrote and ultimately, purchase my book. My website and blog were a mere beginning to my marketing plan and a way to ensure that I had a successful outcome.
I wanted everything I did to be done well. If I can’t do it well, then I shouldn’t do it at all.
My crippling expectation and fake rule has been in overdrive fighting for my thoughts.
Then, new questions began to swirl in my head.
What if I’m supposed to fail? What if no one is supposed to read my book? What if I’m not supposed to sell more than ten copies of my book? What if only five people need to read the words on my blog?
Will I still be obedient even if the outcome doesn’t meet my expectations?
When it comes to failure and success, I can’t pretend to understand all of God’s ways but they are always good. Somewhere in the surrender, I see the beauty of God’s plans from a fresh, holy perspective.
Growth always happens through obedience.
Obedience may require us to go first.
I don’t like going first. I worked in healthcare and thrived in an environment where we were constantly working towards best practices and meeting pre-set standards.
I’d rather be cheering a friend on in their new business venture. I’d rather be sitting in the crowd at a Bible study. I’d rather be bringing one dish to the neighborhood barbecue in someone else’s backyard.
We can’t do everything, but sometimes we have to go first.
God had to slam doors in my face so that I would start writing and I know exactly why I don’t like going first.
I don’t like failing. Really, who does?
I’m slowly becoming OK-ish with failure for one reason only. Failure is always used for God’s glory.
Failure doesn’t mean that you didn’t try your best. Maybe it means that you were obedient in going first and God had an even better journey for you than a nice, tidy outcome.
Obedience will cause a ripple effect.
We’ll likely never see the impact of our obedience this side of heaven. In fact, I don’t know that I want that kind of pressure. I used to, but then I would get prideful or overwhelmed.
I’d rather be obedient and let God worry about the ripple effect. That’s all he really wants from me.
God is always kind to give me a glimpse:
One person hugs me with tears in her eyes saying that my words encourage her.
One text from a friend saying they have the same thoughts and struggles.
One person musters up the courage to start writing and sharing their words because I went first.
The journey of obedience causes ripples. Don’t miss it by being fixated on the outcome.
In my twenties, I was already climbing the corporate ladder. I won awards at work. Job promotions came easily. If I would’ve stayed the course, there’s a good chance I’d have my own office in some organization at this point. I’d be pumping out Excel spreadsheets and carrying a briefcase like I always dreamed.
I was living my dream for almost a decade. Towards the end of that decade, I was empty. I was empty because the successful outcome never mattered.
When the outcome doesn’t matter, a weight is lifted off of us and we are free to simply obey. Then, we can truly see the joy, peace, and beauty that flow from simple acts of obedience.
Will you be obedient even if the outcome doesn't meet your expectations?
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