My heart pounds as thought after brutal thought races through my mind. No one cares what you have to say. Who do you think you are anyway? What makes you think your words will have any impact? Give up before you make a fool out of yourself.
As the tears roll down my face, trying desperately to quiet the bully rattling my brain, I pull out my computer and start to type. Through blurry eyes, I began to write statements of encouragement to myself—words that I would offer to anyone else without hesitation.
#1: God gifted you with words, share them with the world.
Whether that world is your faithfully-loving grandma or millions on YouTube, who you are matters and what you have to say matters. Just think if something you wrote or said changed the life of a single person. How amazing would that be! Staying quiet may be the “safe” and “socially acceptable” choice, but if your heart drives you to speak then let your heart shout it out. Don’t waste your gift of gab!
#2: No one will say it, write it, or create it like you can.
God’s incredible design allowed for only one of you on this planet! Even identical twins have differences that make them unique. So, everything you do will have a YOU stamp. Whether that is a snort when you laugh, overuse of ellipses in your writing, quoting Friends in your sleep or crying at every Hallmark Christmas movie. All those things are a part of who you are. Why would you deprive the world of such originality? That’s certainly not what God would want for you.
#3: When you are authentic, people can’t help but pay attention.
Have you ever been around someone so fake that every word dripping from their lips made your skin crawl? You are authentic to your core. You can’t help but be honest with others and with yourself. You speak truth and love. You encourage others simply with your smile. You even ugly cry openly. Because you are willing to be real, people will feel that and will gravitate toward your honest spirit. With God on your side—and behind your words and actions—people will have no choice but to take notice.
#4: What do you have to lose?
Absolutely nothing. If you write a blog post and no one reads it, at least you read it. Maybe it was something you needed to write to you. If you express from your heart then you can leave the rest up to God. He will make sure that whoever needs a word from you will get it. You don’t have to worry about making an impression. Just create what you are called to create. You only have something to gain, and the bonus would be for others to gain something too.
#5: Let’s bottom line this.
People do care what you have to say, whether that’s via a text message to your mom or standing on a TEDx platform. As long as you are breathing, you will have an impact on this world. It’s up to you what kind of impact that will be—choose to impact from a place of uniqueness, hope, grace, and joy. Remember you are a child of God who is fearfully and wonderfully made, and you will never be seen as a fool in His loving eyes. And let’s remember that there is only One in your audience who truly matters.
So, the next time you start to doubt, stop and remind yourself what is true… even if you have to do it in the second person.
My thoughts have been defeatist and my depression has hung over my head like dark a cloud-ready to release a downpour of titanic proportions. All I wanted was to write something relevant and impactful for my writing critique group, but I found I had no words. Nothing to offer. Then God reminded me to just be me, even if that meant admitting that I was raw and lost, regardless of feeling useless. So, in true Seinfeld fashion I wrote a blog about nothing and yet everything at the same time. Though I am sure my fellow Hedgehogs (it’s a secret writing society, lol) will say they love it but want me to go deeper!
Just okay is not okay, or is it?
I love the AT&T commercials with the tagline “Just okay is not okay.” But not for my life. The most valuable thing I have learned today is that it’s okay to not be okay. And, it’s super okay to talk about it. I am broken. I am struggling greatly with depression, and that affects everything. But my brokenness does not define me. Nor does it dictate my ability to write, speak, and create. I am defined by my Father who loves me more than can ever be fathomed. It blows my mind.
So, it is in His strength that these words are typed into existence. And I have His Spirit to thank for reminding of what is true about me… and you.