Circumstantial Evidence: A Tale of Two Mondays
At times I’ve said I’m not cut out for this writing gig. God should have gifted me with a stronger emotional makeup when he determined I was one of his “creative” creations.
At the very least, God should have changed my backstory, which caused me to struggle with a major lack of self-assurance in my significance. It turns out journeying along the writing road is a bit of a bumper car ride when it comes to your sense of self.
Participating in less than supportive critique groups. Pursuing publication. Attaining an agent. Resisting the desire to jockey for position among all the other writers. All of these emotional “mile markers” can deplete your self-confidence.
But the span of time from one Monday to the next reminded me of a truth that will hold me steady whenever the writing journey tries to knock me around in the future.
The first Monday involved some feedback that had me questioning my writing abilities. Okay, now you all are wondering what happened, right? It doesn’t matter. There are endless ways your confidence can take a hit when you’re a writer, pre-published or published.
- A craft partner’s critique, if not balanced with elements of what’s working in your story as well as what needs to be improved, can cause you to shove your manuscript into a drawer
- A rough 15-minute appointment can make you vow to never attend another writers conference – ever, ever, again.
- Wrestling with a scene or a synopsis or that won’t come together might cause you to abandon your computer to go sit in front of the TV while you indulge in a pint of ice cream.
Whatever dream you’re pursuing, whether it’s writing or some other worthy endeavor that doesn’t involve daily interaction with imaginary people, you’ll likely face circumstances that chip away at your self-worth.
But back to that Monday morning …
I spent a few hours regrouping mentally and emotionally. The most important thing to remember? That God has the final say on who I am.
Fast forward to the following Monday, when I receive some really fun, positive news – the kind of news that, as a writer, you hug close and savor like your favorite flavor of ice cream. Or chocolate. Or ice cream drizzled with chocolate.
And yes, I ended up liking that Monday a whole lot better than the previous one.
From one Monday to the next, I doubted my writing ability … and then I was affirmed as a writer.
But it’s what happened on one of the days in between the two Mondays that’s most important.
Toward the end of the week, a verse popped up on my Facebook feed: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NASB)
Don’t you love how God can use anything – even Facebook – to speak truth to you?
Hebrews 13:8 reminded me that no matter what happens to me along the writing road – failure or success – God’s love for me never changes. He doesn’t love me because of anything I do or don’t do. God loves me because of who He is: a God of grace and mercy and lovingkindness.
I’m significant because I’m God’s creation. And when He says, “I love you, Beth,” that proclamation isn’t based on whether I have a book contract or because of my Goodreads rating or on how many stars my latest release has on Amazon.
Without trusted family and friends reminding me to anchor my sense of self to who God says I am, I might have based my significance on circumstantial evidence – the events of one day to the next.
Circumstances change – sometimes daily, sometimes hourly. What didn’t change from one Monday to the next? God’s character. He’s the same yesterday and today and tomorrow.
So many of us struggle with a battered self-esteem. Our backstory – the circumstances of our past – have wounded us and made us doubt our worth. My own struggle with significance prompted me to create Caron Hollister, the heroine in my upcoming release, Almost Like Being in Love. Instead of embracing God’s unconditional love for her, Caron wants approval from the wrong person.
I don’t know what your week has been like so far. Let me encourage you that God is well aware of your circumstances – every single one of them. And his unwavering love for you is woven through each and every day of your life.
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Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Beth is a 2016 Christy Award finalist, as well as a 2015 RITA® finalist, and two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist. She continues her destination wedding series with You Can’t Hurry Love (May 2016) and Almost Like Being in Love (June 2016). Visit Beth at bethvogt.com.