One of my favorite things to do is clean my house. Yep, I’m strange like that.
Although there have been occasions when I have hired someone to do it for me, for the most part, I love to clean my own house. There is something about having a clearly defined assignment set before me that within a short amount of time, I can stand back and observe the results of my hard work. I can smell the yummy results, I can touch the yummy results, I can see the yummy results.
I love that about cooking, gardening, holiday decorating. I love a clearly defined assignment and a clearly enjoyed result–both in my personal life and my ministry life.
I have not been living such a clear ministry assignment for over a year now and it has been very, very tough.
I spent all last year couped up in my house writing two books, A Surrendered Life which released last Summer and my last book Life Unstuck which released in March. In fact, I have spent the last 4 months “releasing” it into the world and hoping somebody cares :), I am still praying to see the results. I watch Amazon. I receive sweet notes and photos of women reading my book. It has been a SLOW GO to say the least. No New York Times parties ’round here. No “it’s all finished and looks great” Yummy results to smell, see or touch-not yet.
As I have walked through this new process I have heard many discussions about “platform”. Basically, in the world of writing and speaking, “platform” is a critical part of your resume’. In other words–who are your people? who might actually BUY this book? who will CHOOSE you?
My first 20 years of my ministry life were filled with a “blind” call to open Tampa, Florida’s first Sanctity of Life Ministry/Crisis Pregnancy Center. God called, we stepped out. Our “Platform” was His assignment and our result was saving babies and healing broken hearts. Lots of babies have been saved. Lots of hearts have been healed. Thousands. People came without being marketed to join our “platform”. The assignment did not require a “launch”. We never had to look for partners or work for their support. The just came. We never had to guess about our “Yummy” success.
In 2008, God switched my “platform” from leading that local ministry to full time speaking and writing and my “platform” changed. I was no longer in my “safe” zone. Everything looked different and “platform” became scary and a case of clear “haves and have nots”. The “Chosen” and the Unchosen” became very obvious in Facebook likes and Instagram hearts. I found myself running excitedly up to a group of speaking and writing women only to be patted on the head and sweetly “Unchosen”.
Honestly, the past few years have been swirling with confusion about what to do about that. My instinct when I feel “unchosen” is to just walk away and find someone who does “choose me”. I have no need to butt my head against a closed door. I would much rather just choose another door.
This past week I ran a Facebook survey and upon really listening and hearing the hearts of so many women, several hundred responded, mostly unknown women, I realize how many of us are out there in the world feeling–UnChosen! I started to really meditate on that. To let the truth sink in and the questions bubble up. I started to pray and ask God for some truth!
What would I say to another woman who is feeling what I am feeling?
If you are not “chosen” by the crowd, do you quit?
If no one chooses me, or my book, (insert YOUR UnChosen here—or my talent, or my friendship, or my leadership) does that mean I misunderstood what God was calling me to do?
How do you deal with a lonely calling? one where there is no crowd? no clear affirmation? no raving fans? no “Yummy” result?
I would love to hear from you ladies!
In fact, I would LOVE to give away a copy of Life Unstuck to someone who comments this week and shares some insight with me!
Are there areas in life where you feel UnChosen? How do you cope? Where do you turn? What does God say about that?
On a happier note–
Last week, I went to Barnes and Noble and was so sad NOT to see my book on the shelf. Other Authors take pictures of their books at Barnes and Noble or Target. When I finally got the courage to check the local Barnes and Noble the only L’s on the shelf in the religion section, in the back corner of the store, were Max Lacado, Kathy Lipp and Amy Lively. As was checking out I whispered to the cashier my wonderings about them possibly carrying my book since I am a local author.
“Sure” he kindly obliged, “what is the name of your book” he asked as he started to look it up in his inventory.
When I told him, his head flew up “Oh my gosh, we can’t keep that book on our shelves. I had so many women recommend it I just bought the last one of my wife!”. We have some on order now! (Shameless self promotion–PLEASE ORDER ONE!!)
Yummy smell, yummy touch, yummy result.
One more day. Thank you for reading friend!