Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Circumstantial Evidence: A Tale of Two Mondays

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.

Leave a comment to be included in a drawing for a copy of Almost Like Being in Love, which releases the end of June.

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 Cant Hurry Love (May 2016) and Almost Like Being in Love (June 2016). Visit Beth at


  1. Welcome back to Seekerville, Beth and congratulations on your Christy final.

    I try to remember a Viktor Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)when life chips away at me. He spent years in four different concentration camps.

    "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

    It really is all about attitude. How you perceive life -as you say Monday to Monday.

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

  2. My pastor says it's often in those valley moments that God shapes and molds us into His image. Those times when we can only see the mountain tops in the horizon, when we must trust He is there. Those times when it's darkest and we can't even see through the thickest trees. Those times of despair when we think we're alone. Sounds like that could apply to the in-between Monday to Monday times you are talking about. When you begin to doubt yourself as a writer (or insert any number of things here), that you'll be good enough for a contract, or you worry that readers will hate your books. I love that God can use ANYTHING to speak to our hearts, even a Facebook feed! He knows what we need to hear at the exact moment we need to hear it. We may go through the valley first, but that mountain tops looming closer :-) He'll walk us through every circumstance in life never leaving our side....we're assured of that in scripture...He's the same today, tomorrow & forever (another of my Pastor's favorite Bible quote)! LOVE IT!!

    Great post Beth, what an awesome reminder of God's great love for us, He never leaves nor forsakes us!

    Please add my name to the hat for a copy of "Almost Like Being in Love", I'm very excited for the newest book by you!

  3. WOW - - this is a powerful post, Beth. Even people who normally possess a strong faith can get shaken and knocked down by daily happenings (or a bad review or contest score). But how wonderful that our Lord is ALWAYS there for us, and HE loves us no matter what! :)
    Thank you for reminding us of this truth today, and a BIG CONGRATS on being a Christy Finalist!
    Blessings, Patti Jo

  4. I can soooo relate to this. Thanks for sharing. Your book sounds interesting. :-)

  5. Beth, your blog posts have always hit home with me but this early morning your words here truly helped to put many things into perspective. Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. Well said Beth. Thank you for your blog today. It really hits home for me.

    Have a blessed day!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  7. Beth, what a lovely post! Thank you for it, and for being in Seekerville today. It's an absolute pleasure to have you, and isn't it funny how... as thinking, reasonable, fairly intelligent people... we allow a single circumstance get to us so thoroughly???

    I did a "Life Space Intervention" course years ago, and part of the course was to examine those triggers and "buttons" that can get pushed and cause an over-reaction. How we bring the past into the present with one caustic look or comment. It's a great thing to use in our personal lives, but also in our stories, the direct relationship between what has happened in our past and how it affects the current moment... Amazing how much we hold within!

  8. And Beth! Huge congrats on being a Christy finalist two years in a row. Oh my gosh, that is wonderful! Go you!!!

  9. Welcome to Seekerville, Beth! It's so nice to see you here. My self-confidence has taken some big hits since I began writing. I knew how to be a mom, wife, and a pharmacist. Sure, I had some struggles but I was certain God and I would meet the challenge.

    Writing has been entirely different. I know God called me to write, but at times I've even wondered if he called me to write in order to pray for Christian authors. But I keep on writing and wait on his perfect time.

    Congratulations on being a Christy finalist again this year! Whoohoo!

  10. Congrats!!! And thanks for your message. You are a blessing!
    Please put my name in the hat for the drawing!

  11. BETH!!! It's sooooo great to have you here, my friend, and WHOA ... what a message!! It hit me right between the eyes at a time when I really needed it, especially since I know the circumstances of both of your Mondays. WOW!! In fact, it kinda felt like God had you write it just for me when I read it, which shows you just how universal this message is ... and important it is, not just to writers, but to every child of God.

    I don't believe anything has wrung my emotions out or swung me on that crazy pendulum more than being a writer/author. There's something so personal about bleeding your heart onto a computer for a story of your soul where everyone can take potshot at you and it. Sometimes I feel like a pinata! But the truth is the one who is taking potshot at us is the enemy of our soul, and focusing on the One Who loves us with an unfailing love on an unfailing basis is the only way to survive.

    Thank you for reaffirming God's unfailing love for each and every one of us and SUPER CONGRATS on the Christy nod, my friend -- you truly deserve it!



  12. TINA SAID:
    "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

    WOW, Tina, I had never read this before -- it's very powerful, so THANK YOU!!


  13. Thank you for this encouraging post, Beth. That internal nagging voice is one of my greatest challenges. Not only does the voice change day to day, often it's minute by minute. Hebrews 13-8 is definitely one of my go to verses during those times.
    Congratulations on being a Christy finalist once again!

  14. Good morning, BETH, and welcome to Seekerville! Emotions are such a up and down thing, aren't they? We sure can't put our confidence in them. You're so right--the only solid foundation we can stand on is Christ. As the old song goes, "all other ground is sinking sand."

    Congratulations on the Christy and RITA finals!!

  15. Beth, Thank you for this timely post. It is so helpful. So grateful that God never changes and He is always with me. My first critique from the ACFW loop a couple months ago was so harsh. I seriously felt like I did not belong. Then later the same day I had one that was so encouraging and kind as she pointed out what was wrong and even gave some suggestions to improve. I knew when I submitted the chapter that it needed work and I needed help to see what to improve and how. Then I took both of their suggestions and went to work making the first chapter much better.

    Congratulations on the Christy final.

  16. Good morning, Seekerville! It is so, so good to be spending time with you today. I'm heading out the door soon to take my daughter to school, but I've just read through these first comments:
    Tina: You probably know I love quotes. The one you shared is a keeper! Yes, perspective makes all the difference and sometimes -- most of the time -- you have to give circumstances time to understand them.
    Trixi: Your pastor is a wise, wise man. I'm certain you are thankful for him.
    CatMom: I'm so thankful for God's unfailing love. (And I love your avatar!)
    Melissa and Lara and Kate: Thank you for stopping by today and leaving a comment!
    Elaine: Hugs to you this morning, my friend!
    Ruth: That Life Space Intervention course sounds amazing -- because we do bring the past into the present with a single comment! And thank you for the congratulations -- this is actually my first Christy final. (I've finaled in the Carols twice.) :)
    Jackie: Oh, what the writing journey does to our sense of self. I truly believe that God has used this journey along the writing road to conform me to His image more than anything else in my life. Is it painful? Yes. Am I thankful? Yes.
    Julie: "Sometimes I feel like a piñata." Amen to that! But that's why focusing on Christ and who He says we are (as you said) is so, so important!
    Jill: So glad you were encouraged by the post. I think we all struggle with lies about who we are and Whose we are.
    Glynna: And now I'll be humming that precious hymn all day long! Thank you!
    Wilani: I'm sorry you experienced a harsh critique. I believe feedback doesn't ever need to be harsh -- that's not constructive feedback. That said, I've experienced my share of it. But I'm thankful you got encouraging feedback the same day. And good for you for getting right back in the writing game and going to work on your first chapter!

  17. Beth, Everyone has said it all. Your blog today is both a challenging read (really hits home and we can identify) and a very inspiring. I know trusting in God gives you strength to carry on even when our critique partners all have problems with our writing. I find if I put it away and write on something else the solution comes while I'm daydreaming and don't know it. A spark of something that gets me back on track. It usually changes the piece and it ends up working. Thanks for opening your heart and sharing. Have another cup of coffee and face that computer. Add some lemon poppie seed muffins too.

  18. Hi Beth,
    Oh. my. goodness. what a great word for today. Circumstantial evidence and backstory, two things that are constantly conspiring to take the wheel and steer me into a ditch, but I'm so thankful God is in control of my life and helps me every day of this journey.

    Congratulations on being a Christy finalist for Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Vanessa and Logan's story was challenging yet wonderful, but that ending! Logan literally pouring out his love for Vanessa is one of the most touching and romantic endings ever written. To be loved like that!

    Next up in my TBR pile is You Can't Hurry Love, the only book of yours I haven't read yet. I've read an ARC of Almost Like being in Love and it's a five star read for sure.

    How exciting June will be for you, the Christy Awards one day and a new book releasing the next, praying your book wins, it would be well deserved.

    Thanks for the opportunity to "meet" you today, so much fun.

  19. Beth, I really needed this. Thank you for being real ... for sharing your struggle. You remind me that regardless of the level we've achieved, we have to remember God is in control. I, too, let one negative comment hurt me this last week. Any shred of confidence I had went flying out the window because of that one person ... who only said negative, no positive. It trickled even down to my blog posts ... I allowed my confidence to be trashed. Thank you for giving me the verses I need to press forward. I'm so blessed by you.

  20. Beth, congratulations on being a Christy award finalist again! Yaaaay!

    Thanks so much for the kick-start to our morning! (((HUGS)))

  21. Beth
    Your post is so accurate and very encouraging. There are times, too, that it's not a specific incident that sends us into the slow self worth cave. It's an accumulation of all of the tiny things, kind of like when your car battery starts to get low and then lower and then it's done. That's the enemy sending in the little foxes. . .no pun here!

    You are special in the kingdom

  22. Okay I'm pretty sure I meant low self worth, not slow but. . .

  23. Beth,
    Thank you for a post that is Spot On! It's like going to have a scheduled knee replacement and landing back in the hospital two weeks later to have very-much-unscheduled surgery to remove a gall-bladder. Hmm. That's hit my self worth way way down. Writer? You think?

    Congratulations on your Christy nomination. And please add my name to the draw (for an e-book as I live in South Africa.)

  24. BETH,Thank you so much for this timely, encouraging post! Our identity is a core issue that affects every area of our lives. I pray that the Lord would grant us the revelation of who He is and who we are in Him.

    Congratulations on your Christy final!

    Please enter me in the drawing for a copy of Almost Like Being in Love.

  25. Beth, this is so beautifully said! It's saddening sometimes to realize how day-to-day circumstances can radically affect not only my self-esteem but my ability to function effectively--as a writer or otherwise. I really need to be better about following the advice from TINA's quote.

    Why is it so hard???

    Thanks again for joining us today, Beth, and congratulations on the Christy final!

  26. BETH, welcome back to Seekerville. Thanks for reminding us of the important truth that God's love for us isn't based on our performance. That He's the same now and forever and His love for us is unwavering. We are blessed beyond measure! I can cling to Hebrews 13:8 when the writing life has more downs than ups.

    Congratulations on the Christy final and on all those lovely awards!


  27. As I'm reading through all the comments, I'm reminded why Seekerville is such a wonderful place. Y'all are such encouragers!
    Suzanne: Yes, sometimes it's best to walk away from what we're working on. I do that quite literally -- I love to get outside and go for a walk. I do that almost daily with my writing buddy, Mary, and sometimes I go on solo walks and mull over a scene that isn't working. I think and I pray and sometimes I even sing (quietly). Usually my head and my heart are in a better place when I sit back down at my computer.
    Tracey: I always weave truths I've learned or am learning into my story. Truths about relationships -- earthly ones, as well as truths about my relationship with God. That's one of the best things about being a writer: weaving in the truth and weeding out the lies.
    Shelli: Hugs to you, my friend. I am so sorry you were hurt this past week and I do pray you view those words for what they were: circumstantial evidence!
    Cynthia: How fun to see you here! You are the best encourager ever!
    Barbara: Love your car battery simile. Spot on!
    Caryl: Yes, our identity in Christ is so, so key to being able to live the life He wants us to.
    Myra: You ask a great question: Why is it so hard to remember who we are in Christ -- to rise above the circumstantial evidence? Because we have an enemy that seeks to destroy us ... an enemy that lies to us! And I think we forget that in the day to day. We get caught up in the busyness of life and we don't see with our spiritual eyes -- instead we are focused on the here and the now, not the eternal.

  28. Beth, what an inspiring post. Thank you for joining us today and for sharing. Thanks also for this wonderful quote:

    "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."


  29. I also meant to congratulate you on the Christy nomination!!

  30. Loved your post, Beth. Thank you for sharing. Sometimes it's hard to share the low points. Thanks, TINA for that quote.
    Congratulations Beth

  31. Hi Beth
    Congrats on your Christy nomination. Cool!

    I'm sensing a theme this week at Seekerville, sort of a Trust God, Lean on Him for validation thing. This post is great. I tend to think my feelings as reality, when, in fact, reality is quite different. Your post helps me know that I am not the only one who struggles with self confidence and that God doesn't change. He's ALWAYS there, ready to pick up the pieces of our shattered confidence and make our renewed sense of self stronger.

  32. BETH, Though I prefer way more ups than downs, what I've learned and the feelings I've experienced during those times can help me tell emotional stories that ring true to readers. Nothing is wasted.


  33. Beth, this post is perfect timing! I've been reading Lysa TerKeurst's Made to Crave this week, and your comment about struggling with accepting your significance really hit home. I'm so thankful for transparent posts like this--and prayer. Thank you!!

  34. What a great post. Struggling with acceptance is a battle I know many of us struggle with.
    Thanks for writing.

  35. Hi Beth What an inspiring testimony. Yes, God is amazing and it is also amazing how things tend to work out even when our self-worth plummets.

    Thanks for sharing with us today. I hope you enjoy your day with the Seekers. Your story is an inspiration for all of us.

    Congrats on all the finalists. Those are hefty contests to be finaling in. Shows how wonderful your writing is. smile

    Again, thanks for coming and have a fun day.

  36. JANET, you're so right about how we can draw upon even our lowest, most difficult emotional experiences to help our stories resonate more deeply with readers. The flip side, and equally important, is portraying how faith and the support of friends and family can carry us through. And isn't that what good Christian fiction should do?

  37. Hi, Missy! So good to see you here -- I still remember when you visited my blog during last year's Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt. That was fun. And I appreciate your congratulations on the Christy nomination -- and everyone else's! That was quite the surprise. I was flabbergasted -- happily so.
    Marianne: Sharing the low points ... I've learned that is so vital. One of my values is honesty. One of the more recent challenges to be honest was when I wrote my novel Somebody Like You. I wrote about identical twin brothers who were estranged -- a carefully planned out plot point. What I didn't realize -- would have never imagined -- was that I would experience estrangement from my own family of origin during the time I wrote this book. (Backstory, right?) God knew, of course. At times, I had to walk away from the computer and unravel my own heartache from the experiences of my character. And then I had to decide if I was going to share honestly about this when the book launched. I did -- in a way that respected my family.
    Deb: Isn't it just like God to create a theme on Seekerville? And I loved Jill Buteyn's post yesterday!
    Janet: Yes! I do try to use my experiences to tell emotionally true stories. I use an emotional journal to write down similar experiences that my characters are going through -- and then use that to write my scenes. Anyone else do that? I learned this technique from author Susie May Warren.
    Hi, Jill! Made To Crave -- that's on my Want To Read list over at GoodReads. Hugs, my friend.
    Becky: It's true -- all of us struggle with self-acceptance. And the truth of who we are can only be found in the Truth of who God says we are.
    Sandra: I'm having a delightful day here at Seekerville. This is a wonderful place to be. I love the interaction with others.

  38. Thanks for coming to Seekerville today, Beth! I can really relate to your low points and how most writers struggle with their writing.

  39. Beth, I really enjoyed your inspiring post and loved your 3 books that I have read. I am looking forward to reading your newest and thanks for the giveaway. Thanks, also, for reaffirming God's unfailing love for each and every one of us.
    Hope you will visit Seekerville again.

  40. Beth,

    What a timely, great post! I, for one, needed to be reminded that, no matter what, God never changes. Irregardless of the circumstances. No matter what. He is the one, unwavering Rock that we can depend on.

    Please enter my name for the drawing!


  41. Boy, things are hopping here, Beth, with a post every single one of us needs. Uh ... and some more than others ... ;)

    DEB H SAID: "I'm sensing a theme this week at Seekerville, sort of a Trust God, Lean on Him for validation thing."

    LOL ... yeah, it's funny how God does that, Deb, without any planning at all, isn't it? Like reading Jesus Calling and having EVERY SINGLE DAY'S READING nail it to the wall. How the heck did she know that's what I needed to hear??? Go, Holy Spirit!!

    JANET SAID: "Though I prefer way more ups than downs, what I've learned and the feelings I've experienced during those times can help me tell emotional stories that ring true to readers. Nothing is wasted."

    Oh, AMEN to that, my friend, and and a great, big THANK GOD!!


  42. Oh Beth. This post brings back memories. Were you sitting beside me? :)

    A craft partner’s critique, (A PAID FOR 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 (RUDE) 15-minute appointment can make you vow to never attend another writers conference – ever, ever, again.

    I thank God he knows my weaknesses and insecurities, and the WHY of them. He's sent encouragement and affirmation to me when I'm at my lowest point.

  43. Beautiful and encouraging. Thank you for sharing! Self-confidence has been something I struggle with. Thankfully after years of study, I have rooted the truth in my heart. On the days that I feel like I don't matter, that I am a failure, I remember God is the same today and every day and that He created me and God never makes a mistake. I am just the way He made me. With Him I can be a better person, but my worth will never change. If He thought I was worth it to send His Son to suffer, die, and rise again, then there is nothing in this world that can change my value. I have worth because He created me and loves me. He designed me to be creative, and He called me to write. I am not worthy of His love on my own, but His love for me makes me worthy. :-)

  44. Exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  45. Thank you, Beth, this post was such an inspiration. As an unpublished author on the oft-confusing "path to publication" I find myself tossed about emotionally, mentally and even spiritually at times. In other words - I'm so confused!! But you've reminded me today of some very important truths, especially this: "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." Thank you so much for the reminder.

  46. Crystal, I love what you said: With Him I can be a better person, but my worth will never change.

  47. Hi Julie You wrote: LOL ... yeah, it's funny how God does that, Deb, without any planning at all, isn't it? Like reading Jesus Calling and having EVERY SINGLE DAY'S READING nail it to the wall. How the heck did she know that's what I needed to hear??? Go, Holy Spirit!!

    Isn't that the truth. And don't you love that book? And it applies to each one of us. Yes. Go Holy Spirit!!!

  48. Beth, congratulations on the Christy finalist. Thanks for reminding us that one bad day shouldn't define who we are as a writer. I try to keep going even when I feel like I'm getting knocked down.

    I would love to be entered in the drawing.

  49. Isn't it so human of us to recall the knock down's, and forget when our writing our ministry touched someone?

  50. Such an encouraging and inspiring post. Glad I finally got to stop by Seekerville and be uplifted! Thank you for a message that I needed to hear today. :-)

  51. Beth, I came away uplifted after reading your post today. Thank you I needed that!

    Please enter me in the drawing for Beth's new book. I look forward to reading it.

    Deanne P.

  52. Beth, such a beautiful post. And I love what you said about what counts is the days in between. I'm so thankful our identities are not based on circumstances (circumstantial evidence). Now to live more consistently like I believe this. :)

  53. Cara Lynn: It's always good to connect with other writers and have those "What? You too?" moments. Doing so pushes back the discouragement we all face in various ways.
    Jackie: Thanks so much for the encouraging words. And I am so thankful Julie Lessman invited me to visit Seekerville. I'll come back anytime I'm asked.
    Edwina: So glad you were encouraged by the post!
    Jessica: Hugs to you. And yes, we need to remember that God knows the WHY of all our circumstances and promises that He will bring good out of everything in our lives. There is such hope in that assurance, isn't there?
    Crystal: It sounds as if you're rooted and grounded in the truth of God's love and the knowledge of who you are in Him. So, so beautiful to hear.
    Beth: Love your name. :) So glad you were encouraged.
    Laura: I'm blessed to count Susie May Warren and Rachel Hauck as my mentors. And when I signed my first contract they told me this: That God loves me just the same post-contract as he did pre-contract. I've always remembered their words. God's love for me is unconditional. While I'm one of his creations who is called to be creative, he doesn't waver in his love for me based on my performance as a writer.
    Sandy: Truthfully, writing that post was a way for me to cement the truth for myself too.
    Tina: Yes! So often we concentrate on the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days ... and forget the times we've encouraged others.
    Kave and Deanne: So glad you were encouraged by the post! That was my hope and prayer as I wrote it.
    Jeanne: Hugs to you, writing buddy! Good to see you here!

  54. Beth, thank you for always sharing your struggles as well as a your joys. I'm sure almost every writer can relate.
    I think you are one of the most talented writers I've had the pleasure of reading and that a bad critique or a bad review is only a small blip on your path.
    I also struggle with worthiness and discovered that almost every one of my stories is about a character finding their true worth. Funny how we subconsciously work out our own issues in our writing.
    I am so thankful to be included among such awesome writers who set such amazing examples (all of the Seeker ladies included = of course!)
    Best of luck and keep on writing (please!)

  55. Thanks for the insightful, encouraging post, Beth.

    Congratulations on your Christy final! I'm thrilled for you!

  56. Beth, I normally stop by Seekerville in the morning, but my day held unexpected delays. I can identify with your feelings. I always thought I was a B+ person in an A+ crowd, so I was always striving to keep up. The opinions of others could make or break me. God certainly has His work cut out for Him to convince me of His unconditional love. Now I do my best to rest in His grace and trust Him with my writing.

    I'd love to read your book! God bless.

  57. Susan: Your words blessed me so much tonight. And yes, like you I have woven my "stuff" into my stories. Both the lies I've believed -- and the truths I've discovered as I've drawn closer to God.
    Keli: So good to see you here. You are one of my most favorite people that I've met along the writing road!
    Barbara: I understand the comparison trap -- and it's so easy to fall into as a writer, since we are thrown up against ratings time and again, what with reviews and stars and followers and whatnot. That's why I am more and more determined to focus on who God says I am instead instead of the roar of the crowd.

  58. Love this! So easy to let other people's words drown out God's still, small voice.

  59. Beth, here's what you get for writing such a terrific and truthful and inspiring message - LOTS of responses to read and reply to!! In an intimidating and overwhelming community called "writing", I am grateful for the reminder of what doesn't ever, ever change. "The grass withers, the flowers fade but the word of our God stands forever." (Isaiah 40:8) "Your word, O Lord, is eternal. it stands firm in the heavens." (Psalm 119:89)

    Love your refreshing honesty about the harder parts of this amazing journey called "writing"