I have a God-proclaimed purpose

When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher or a writer. As young as I can remember, I loved the feel of a newly sharpened pencil between my fingers. Attendance books, bulletin boards, construction paper. The school supply aisle was the eighth wonder of the world. Chalkboards, lined paper, pens, and NEW BOOKS. Have you ever smelled a new book? Now that’s something to behold.

As I got older and discovered the power of story, I felt drawn to the world of fiction. Telling a good story is just as transporting as reading one. There are a few differences, though: it takes longer to write a story so I can enjoy it more; I know the characters more intimately than if I simply read about them; and I get to decide their purpose – the end of the story.

As my Creator and the Author of life, God proclaimed His purposes for me long ago. Did He plan for me to be a teacher or a writer? Or something else entirely? Fear tries to edge in, convince me that I couldn’t possibly become anything worthy. It tells me that I’ll fail in everything I attempt.

But could it be that what I do as a profession is beside the point? Isaiah 44:8 gives me some clue. “Do not tremble; do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago? You are my witnesses – is there any other God? No! There is no other Rock – not one!”

I have a God-proclaimed purpose.

His purpose for me – for all His creation – is to be His witness. There is no other God, no other Rock. How we choose to witness to the world might be irrelevant as long as it brings Him glory. Knowing this, I can move forward in my chosen profession – fiction writing – without fear.

How are YOU fulfilling your God-proclaimed purpose?

My purpose is to please God, not people

Early confession here, peeps: today’s blog is slightly difficult to write because I’ve been watching Pride and Prejudice like a crazy woman and I want to slip into English prose. In my defense, I’m doing character research and I learn something new each time I watch the movie or read the book. (Yeah! That’s it! Character research sounds plausible.) I so love Darcy’s line in the 1995 version: “She smiles too much.” I have to use that somewhere.

Okay, enough P&P. For now.

Today’s real confession is also difficult because I’ve always been a fearful person. Ironically, I’m more fearful of people than of God. After all, God is kind and forgiving. I’ve hesitated to do things (approach book editors and agents, self-publish, audition for voice over roles, etc.) because people scare me. What will they think? What will they say? Worse, will they be kind to my face and snicker behind my back? Will I fail?

What if I succeed? GASP. There’s such pressure when you’ve succeeded. What are people saying? One time wonder? Accidental hit? She’ll never do it again?

Sigh.

Today’s confession is important for every area of our lives, not just professionally. To write this on our hearts can change the way we speak, the way we form relationships, the way we treat strangers. Indeed, the way we THINK is transformed as we live out this confession. Close your eyes and say it out loud with me:

My purpose is to please God, not people.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 says we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. So no matter what we’re doing or saying or thinking, we should do it with the Good News and God’s pleasure as our goal. That changes everything. I don’t have to live up to someone else’s expectations. I don’t have to live under the burden of anticipating what they want. The Bible tells me what God wants from me, so I’m free from the intimidation of others’ thoughts.

As I go about doing impossible and frightening things today, I’m going to repeat this confession. Who knows what I can accomplish when I forget my fear? Say it with me again: My purpose is to please God, not people.

Are you easily intimidated? What will you do in light of today’s confession?