An Audience of One

We all have fears that have kept or keep us from pursuing the ___________ (fill in the blank) we know the Lord has put on our hearts.

Voices in our heads.

Taunting from a variety of places and spaces.

For me, those fears are all related to my writing or making art. I get stuck and feel like a fake. Then I write nothing. at. all.

Let's examine a couple of official terms for this oft-recurring deterrent to us having more good writing to read.

Imposter SyndromeThe imposter syndrome is a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. This article is a wonderful resource.

Comparison trap: "The temptation to compare is as near as your next chat with a friend, trip to the store, or check-in on social media. And whether you come out on top or come up lacking, there is simply no win in comparison. It’s a trap," according to Sandra Stanley. 

You can explore the details, check out Sandra's book, and do the devotional here.

I have struggled with segments of both of these, as they are siblings in the grand scheme of feeling like a fraud; specifically in my gifting as a writer.

What I need more than anything else to be able to continue to pull myself up to my keyboard is a healthy and regular reminder:

I have an audience of ONE.

Jesus is my audience.

I must get to the point of being able to sit down and write whether anyone is reading at all -- we'll get back to that in a minute.

First, I dealt with this concept in corporate worship. I finally gave myself an assignment when it comes to joining my fellow believers on a Sunday morning. 

I am going to meet with Jesus with others present. 

It doesn't matter who is there, who greets me, who sits next to me, whether I have a lengthy conversation with them or not, whether they stay awake during the sermon or nod off throughout, whether I like the topic of the pastor, the order of the music, and whether it's predominantly contemporary or a blended mix of classic hymns and praise songs. 

It doesn't change my worship experience if I end up being the only one the Holy Spirit prompted to stand during a favorite part of a song, or if I am the only one standing out in the aisle so I can tap my foot and wave my arms a bit. 

I go on Sunday for Jesus. 

I go to worship alongside other brothers and sisters who love Him, too. 

I am not there for them, though I do enjoy the shared time of coming together before our Father.

I worship . . . because I can do nothing else. I am incapable of doing anything apart from exclaiming His goodness and faithfulness.

He is worthy of my praise, and I can't help but praise Him whether there are any accolades in it for me at all. He is my audience of One.

The same is true for my writing. 

Do I want to serve a reader? Yes.

Do I want her/or him to come and find me, like what I am writing, and ultimately keep coming back? Sure.

Does that need to be my main goal?

I don't think so.

Someone like me gets caught so easily in that comparison trap. I still wear the virtual scars from the well-camouflaged one I stumbled into back in 2008 or so. I watched and compared myself right out of writing altogether, while those I compared myself with went on to very visible blogging, speaking, and book-selling careers.

I know God has gifted me and many other writers around the world.

I want to use my gift for Him without looking to the right or the left at what everyone else is doing and whether anyone is looking back at me. 

Jesus affirms me no matter what. His accolades are all I need. 

So, I keep pressing on in my quest to make His name great. If others join me and are served in the midst of me being obedient to His call, then I have made the right choice.

May God be glorified. May the words He gives me to say minister to others and draw them closer to Him.

What relief that brings! Freedom to know all I have to do is put out there what He places on my heart to say. Be honest. Be authentic. Be myself. 

He holds the results in His hands. He brings the party!

I have no reason to fear, because it is NOT up to me. 

Your audience only has one in it, too. 

How are you going to adjust your focus to zoom in on Him alone and let Jesus bring the rest of the audience to hear/read what He's put on your heart to say?

I'm thinking this is not the end of this topic. Watch for more to come on the whole issue of comparison and how to combat that in your life.

Leaving a trail of beauty~

Pam




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