The Truth Behind My Absence...

I have been feeling the drive to write for a few months. There are several articles waiting for me to hit "post", but I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it. However, before we head into 2020 I did want to update my readers on why there has only been crickets.

2019 has been a huge year of growth for me. One of growing pains and one of growing triumphs! My blog though, has been one of growing pains.

When I started writing I truly thought no one would read it, hahaha! I'm such a nerd, but it's the truth! As the views, emails, DM's, and guest/ghost writing offers kept rolling in...so did the income. So, I took the appropriate steps.

I deposited the checks, began growth strategy plans, etc. But, something happened. I began to feel...gross. I couldn't put my finger on it for months. Wasn't this the goal? Wasn't this what every human who starts a ministry wants? For it to flourish? I spent months in prayer constantly asking God: "Is my blog not your will for me? Am I supposed to have a ministry but not write about it? Lord, am I wrong? Or, is this a case of impostor syndrome?"

One night I woke up from a dream and the last words I heard in that dream were, "not your income".

As a millennial you can imagine how absurd that sounded! I mean, HELLO...MOST millennials have a blog! Most major companies...HAVE A BLOG. EVERYONE HAS A BLOG. But, the difference is not everyone has an income producing blog. It wasn't long before God continued to refine and point out why generating an income from my ministry is not right for me personally.

The first thing that happened was the song for Romans 12 from good ol' Sunday School days kept playing in my mind. I grabbed my Bible, read it, and immediately felt convicted. Paul wasn't kidding when he said, "Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." There is a part of this verse which often gets left off though, "then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- His good, pleasing, and perfect will."

Conforming my blog to fit the patterns of this world was exactly what I was doing. It started out so innocent, right? "If I create more, if I connect more, I can serve more!!!!" The ads, the sponsorships, the guest writing, the social media channels...all of it was a result of the belief that those things were necessary to do what God had planned. However, the inner response I was experiencing as I started generating an income was confirmation that it was unpleasing to Him.

The next thing that took place was a job offer. This job wasn't necessarily my dream job, but the administration offering it was. I should have paid attention to some red flags though, like the secret way it was offered and the questions affiliated with branding. Within one meeting I felt pretty strongly that at this point in my life, God does not have a paycheck and ministry combination waiting for me.

I believe we serve a God who is more intimate than production. I also believe that intimacy is getting lost in the examples of many churches today. We are not only the church, but we are also disciples. As His disciples we need to constantly be asking if what we are doing is for the right reasons.

My hesitation in writing this post is because several of my blogger friends do generate an income from their blog. Several of my friends work for churches and fulfill vital roles, including pastoral. Several of my friends travel and speak for Him. You know what? I don't believe it's inherently wrong. God may very well be calling them to those positions. But, I also believe that there is a temptation to believe that you have to be employed by a ministry (even your own!) to be in God's perfect will. Or, perhaps a sense that you aren't actually making a difference until then.

God's perfect will for your life is in everything we do. He is literally woven in to ever fiber of your life. Everything you do: the smile you give a stranger, your Bible study group of under 10 friends, the meal you share, the nose of your toddler you wipe for the 500th time...ALL of those things are God's and all of things things are an opportunity for you to serve Him and spread the Gospel by doing it with appreciation.

So, my prayer to God went a little something like this: "Hey there...so I feel that I need to back off from the business side of my blog. I'm going to take this leap of faith to serve you differently. So, if that's your will Lord then uhh, I am going to need a job :D"

Within TWO weeks guys...TWO WEEKS....I had two job offers...positions I didn't even apply for! I took them both. Within two months, there was a third income opportunity.

I always hear people say God doesn't speak to them, but I promise He can and He will. But, get ready...because the things He says to you are going to be the things that feel the most unnatural. Many times they are going to go against what the world tells you and what your human nature is.