Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Audition

Last October I published my very first article on A Softer Voice (thanks to Patty’s great teaching and a generous measure of perseverance on her part). It might as well have been typed, stuffed it into a tin can and buried in the back yard. Well, maybe nothing that drastic. After all, the other members of the Clearing the Blog Fog class knew it was there. It was also tagged with a few words that would draw a few unsuspecting surfers to this new endeavor.

The name of my blog tells the story. I’ve always struggled with whether to remain invisible or step forward. Do I audition for a solo, or wait for one to drop into my open rehearsal folder?

About four weeks ago this hide-and-seek dilemma resurfaced. I was posting to my blog, adding buttons and pictures, tiptoeing through the blogs of others and leaving calling cards. Suggestions of sites from other bloggers led to following and being followed. But I remained comfortably seated in the back of the room.

It was time to “audition” once again. Facebook was the next obvious choice for baring my heart and soul publicly. But would that be self-promotion or a genuine desire to witness through writing? It all came down to the right motivation.

Occasionally, when I seek an answer from God’s Word, I open my Bible and begin to read. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. On this particular Word search, my Bible opened to James 3:13-18 (NASB). Verse 14 addresses “bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart” and warns that arrogance lies against the truth.

Ruling out bitter jealousy was easy. The “selfish ambition in your heart” put my Facebook debut temporarily on hold. I continued to read:

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every evil thing.
But the wisdom from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and
good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in
peace by those who make peace.”

Once again, Satan taunted me: “Be safe. Don’t put yourself out there. What if someone thinks you’re just looking for attention? What if someone doesn’t like what you’ve written? Are you sure you want to be called a hypocrite?”

Do I measure up to God’s heart standards? Not by a long shot. But I know my heart’s desire: Share God’s love and spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

Armed with God’s Word, I could say, “Get thee behind me,” to the discourager and, “Facebook, here I come,” to cyber space. The invitation to join Jewels of Encouragement ( soon followed. Coincidence? Maybe.

Is something keeping you in the shadows when you should:

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NASB)


Debbie Dillon said...

Oh, Amen all over that, Nancy! The name of your blog describes your writing voice perfectly, but not in a hiding-in-the-shadows kind of way. It's more of a quality vs. quantity kind of way. Your writing clearly speaks your heart, whether through your beautiful poetry or a blog post like this one - I feel like I'm across the table with you sharing a cup of coffee. Have the confidence, my friend, and write your heart!

Nancy K. Sullivan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy K. Sullivan said...

Thank you, Debbie for such a sweet comment. This one was my first post at Jewels of Encouragement and truly was an "audition" piece.

I'm just following the trail of this journey to see where it leads (and enjoying the trip)

Thanks again and God Bless.

Lisa Mikitarian said...

You've described some of my own struggles and helped me see it from a better POV. Thank you.

Stephanie said...

Wonderful blog post!

My reasons for hiding are more "Am I trying to be ambitious? Is this what God REALLY wants me to do? He has arranged many things in my life that happened 'accidentally' that how it is supposed to be? Or am I supposed to go DO something? What if i am reaching beyond my grasp because deep down i want to "be something more"? But then again, I have some talents and abilities He gave, so what if I get to heaven and He is disappointed because i did not DO anything with them? Will I be Sarai, who arranged the meeting with her maid and her husband??? Look what happened there! Or am I the person who buried the talent and the Lord is going to be terribly displeased? ACK!". And on...and on...and on. It is ridiculous. :)

Nancy K. Sullivan said...

I don't have an address to answer you personally, but maybe you'll drop in again and see my response.
Thank you! Your comments are a great encouragement. If you have the desire to write and a longing to share the message and the love of God, then - please do! Don't let the discourager place doubts in your path. God will use your talent according to His will. You get the blessing and He gets the glory!

Kimberly said...

Nancy, wonderful post! I could relate to your feelings of not wanting to grandstand or have selfish ambition. I have had this one my heart as well. You encouraged me to not let feelings of inadequacy in writing deter me from sharing my heart for the Lord. Some days I don't write because I think, "who are you to share about the Lord?" then I have feelings of doubt and get overwhelmed. Time to do battle and make sure my armor is in place. =) I'm following you. Sorry I'm so long-winded, you opened up a can of worms...Ha, Ha!

Nancy K. Sullivan said...

Thank you, Karen. I love your "long" comment! Writing has been a step of faith for me, and I leave the results to the Lord. He is opening some doors, and that is such an encouragment. I pray blessings on you and your writing. Sharing the Lord is always a good thing :)
Thanks again and God bless.

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