Years, weeks, days, and hours laboring over something I thought was my calling was vanquished with the single click of a button. Over the last four years, I have been fostering an idea called Discovering Me, a blog-to-book concept that would chronicle my journey of figuring out who the heck I am and who Christ is in my life. But that all came to an end when I hit the “you can’t undo this” button on my web hosting server.
Discovering Me was a way out.
In the summer of 2015, I was working in a high-stress job with very little intrinsic value outside of the awesome people I got to work with. When I knew my new marriage would move me out of state, I wasn’t keen on leaving without an idea of what I’d be doing next. I believed that God put it on my heart to write a book entitled Discovering Me, a story full of personal transformation and exploration of Christ asking, “Come, discover Me.” So, when I did give my notice and people inquired what’s next, I had something to say. I was going to write and book and become a public speaker. Awesome.
Yeah, not so much. But not for lack of trying.
I launched a business, built a website, and created a logo, and business cards. I even joined a women’s networking group to spread the word. For the first six months of 2017, I blogged weekly. Every day I posted on four different social media outlets. You could say I was committed… but I was also miserable.
I’ll never forget a conversation with my dad about self-motivation versus self-initiative. Part of my struggle was with pushing myself to do the work—I seriously lacked motivation. Yet, when something needed to be done for someone else, I never hesitated, and I usually went above and beyond. I had self-initiative in spades when it came to helping others, but zero self-motivation when it came to helping me. Running my own business, working in a silo at home, those were soul-sucking activities, but there was no way for me to know that without trying.
But it was my calling… or was it?
God put Discovering Me on my heart. I have no doubts about that. However, my interpretation of the imprint was much different than what He intended. He was giving me a chance to see me, as He saw me. But I needed to make it something more, instead of embracing the simplicity of God asking me to step back and really see who He created me to be (Psalm 139). He was inviting me to discover Jesus and His role in my life in ways I had never experienced.
It was time to step back.
By the end of summer 2017, I knew Discovering Me would not be a book or speaking career, but I held onto the blog. I still had something to say and my discovery was not over, but I took off the pressure to perform. The unrealistic expectations I cast over myself were lifted. After all, no one was waiting with bated breath for my next post! The following year I blogged once or twice. No pressure + no motivation = no writing. Surprising.
I still held on to the idea that God gave me Discovering Me and the desire to write for some purpose.
When I returned to California in late 2018, I joined the Kingdom Writers Association and signed up for a twice-monthly critique group. This was the infusion my blog-on-life-support desperately needed. Before I knew it, I was sitting with strangers in a library meeting room getting ready to bare my writing soul.
What did I get myself in to?
There were only three of us. We named our group the Royal Hedgehogs. Daughters of God with the quills of hedgehogs to write. But of the three of us, two had vision and talent… and then there was me. I knew I wasn’t a terrible writer, but I couldn’t hold a candle to their creative story-telling. And as a blogger, sort of, my story arc changed each week depending on my mood. Despite feeling like a failure, I found much joy and encouragement in our little habitat. With each submission, my writing strengthened and my voice became more pronounced. Yet, in all the months together I never once posted anything new on Discovering Me.
Something wasn’t right. Things just weren’t clicking.
I stepped back from the group for a six-week hiatus because of a change at work, but I was also out of words—and desire. A question taunted me, “Why continue with something if you are never going to do anything with it?” Was I just wasting my time, or more importantly, the Royal Hedgehogs time? No. And, in fact, I found clarity.
Not even realizing it, Discovering Me had become a box I locked myself in.
The mental picture and accompanying expectations I had painted around my writing were suffocating my ability to be me. So much pressure—applied by me and only me—was causing me to break. That’s not what God had in mind, no way. So, what was His purpose in this journey? I am not 100% sure, but I know for certain that it was time to say goodbye to Discovering Me and all it represented. Not the lessons and life-altering stuff, just the crap weighing me down.
Recently, my web service sent a notice that my plan would auto-renew in a few weeks. I gathered my hedgehogs and asked them to pray. To renew or not renew, that was the question. Before long, it was clear that delete buttons exist for a reason.
The funny thing is… I have a new leash on writing and creativity.
In fact, I am setting up a free blogger site, and I am going to start posting my work on Medium. Even my writing style has evolved in a way that is authentically me. This is me stepping out of my locked box and just going for it. I’ll do the writing and let God handle whatever comes next. Honestly, if just one person is encouraged by something I share, then it is all worth it.
Even if we get something wrong, God can make it right.
Whether or not the pursuit of Discovering Me was wrong, I don’t know. But what I do know is that God can take anything in our lives and turn it into something amazing and unexpected. The self-professed “calling” on my life led me to where I am right here, right now, and for that, I will be forever grateful. God knew every step—good, bad, or ugly—I would take along the way. Thank goodness He was, and is, in the course-correcting business! I have discovered a lot about me these last four years… perhaps that is the story.