I Quit…

I Quit

I had another post written for today, but as I sat typing it, I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to say.  You see, yesterday I read a blog post that sort of took me by surprise. It was about being a Christian blogger. It’s weird, because I don’t consider myself a “blogger,” I just happen to have a blog.

Anyway, the post talked about making your blog–and thus, your writing–your service, worship, and art, unto  the Lord. I felt like I had done that when I first started blogging 6 months ago. I “gave” Modern Reject to the Lord. Over the last month, though, my focus has shifted. I have been distracted by numbers, page views, comments, tweets, and all the rest.

I realized that I have been striving versus serving and I don’t like it. So I did what any healthy girl would do–I swallowed hard and said the words to the Lord that were so difficult for me to say…

I knew what I needed to say, but when it came time to say it, I froze. I sat there in my chair, facing my laptop, tears running down my face. “I don’t want to say it,” I whispered, in my heart, to the Lord. He waited. I waited.

“I give you…” I stopped. I couldn’t.

I started again. “I give you the… success,” [long pause] “I give you the success of Modern Reject, Lord.”

There, I said it and I meant it, as difficult as it was to speak. I immediately felt better. You see, while I felt like my motivation to write has been given over to the Lord, I was still holding onto the outcome. I have felt that it is my responsibility to make sure that this blog succeeds, whatever that means.

I have always lived in mediocrity. Well, actually, just above average–my sweet spot. Nothing too great, but nothing too disappointing (which is ridiculous, because if nothing is ever great, it inevitably leads to disappointment).

I so wanted Modern Reject to be different–to be successful, to be excellent. So what did I do? Instead of letting God be responsible for the outcome, I put my grubby hands all over it, and have tried to “make it happen.” It is exhausting. So, I quit.

No, I don’t quit blogging. I quit trying to be responsible for the outcome. That is God’s job, not mine. My job is to write, as best I can, and offer my writing to an audience of One. My job is to stop striving for success and, instead, serve unto His greatness.

My job is to learn how to reconcile the desire to be excellent with the desire to honor God in all I do.

I repented yesterday to the Lord, for the ways in which I have tried to control, manipulate, and force Modern Reject to be something it is not. He forgave me. He always does. And I am always grateful.

What have you tried to “make happen,” only to realize that the Lord had different plans? What have you made an idol that God has exposed to you at any time?

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29 thoughts on “I Quit…”

  1. Girl, so proud of you for saying those hard words…I confess the same thing and was convicted this very morning of elevating “people pleasing” over my desire to please God. So easy to get distracted, so very easy!

  2. I’m so proud of you. By confessing publicly like this- you create community with us….just like in the early church, when they would confess their sins in front of everyone.

    I have been guilty for the same thing. Actually, what pains me more is that the opinion/attention of others, or the “numbers” are sometimes (often) more motivating to me then when I am coming from a servants place. That is where I struggle with reconciling. Why is it that when I get my heart “right” with the Lord, my motivation decreases? He should bring passion to my heart like nothing else….

    Still working on that…

    1. So, I just clicked over the the post you linked to- WOW. That puts things in perspective…. I think I will print her bloggers prayer. :)

      I am reading her book right now (the one she quotes in the post), and it is changing my life.

      A friend sent a link to me so that I could read it and review it on my blog (Through Zondervan)… and she told me that when she was reading it, she felt like Ann is the C.S. Lewis of our time. I thought she was being dramatic- but seriously- it IS that good.

      I love her blog!

    2. Yeah, I totally get that. It is backwards that’s for sure. We should be just as, if not more, motivated to serve unto the Lord than to “serve people.”

      I’ll have to check out her book. The blog post got a little mushy-gushy, emotive for me. I get a little squirmy reading when it gets fluffy like that, but obviously overall, I thought it was good.

      Thanks for the encouragement Carrington!

  3. Love this and love you. It is a constant struggle to put the approval of God over the approval of men. The good news is, because of the grace of the Son, the Father already approves of you! But, isn’t it so tempting to find our signifigance in numbers. To wait patiently for those comments to come in, affirming our ideas, our art.

    I had the priviledge to hear Ann Voskamp (who wrote the InCourage piece you reference,)speak at the Relevant conference and she read most of that blog post for us live. She is an incredible writer, and she truly does use her art for the Glory of God. Until about 6 months ago, she never had a site meter, and never had comments inabled on her blog. She was shocked when she finally did put them in place that she recieves about 1 Million unique hits a month. Until that point, she was writing purely for the Lord. Once she got a glipse of the numbers, and the comments started flooding her site, she began to shift her focus on who she was writing for. This blog series of “Being an Upside Down Kingdom Blogger” sprang forth from that experience.

    And she speaks in casual conversation exactly how she writes. She is a walking volume of poetry.

    Just thought I’d share that since I got the blessing of spending time with this wonderful, influential woman.

    You will find your balance dear friend. Plus, your family and friends will keep you honest. :)


    1. That is so cool. I love that you got to hear her speak and share that testimony. Thanks for sharing that with me.

      Anyway, I hope i do find some kind of balance or that I just completely stop caring altogether otherwise, this is not going to end pretty.

      Thanks Karis!

  4. Nicole, I just went through a similar experience. I have been wrestling with the idea of going into full-time ministry over the last year. It is something that I have wanted for a long time, and I thought that I was going to have the opportunity to finally enter into it. I’d been accepted to Phoenix Seminary and was in the process of interviewing for a great internship where I would get some sweet hands-on experience beyond what I was already doing as a volunteer.

    However, through several conversations and a pretty honest heart check, God showed me that I was ignoring his call to be a light in my workplace.

    In the end I was wrestling with the question because I was afraid of missing out on something, no matter what I did. All the while, I was trying to make the full-time ministry thing happen and was closed off to the promise of God to use me here.

    It was really hard, but when He showed me what I was doing, I knew that I had to seek His forgiveness, but also that I would actually be happier and more fulfilled doing things His way.

    Since surrendering to the call He’s given me, I feel so free! It’s blown me away how much closer I feel to God, how much more empowered by the Spirit I feel, and how much more alert I am at work to what He is doing — just because I’m not trying to do things on my own anymore.

    I still want to be in full-time ministry someday, and I think that will still happen. For now though, I’m excited to be where I am because I know God is on the move here.

    1. Ashleigh, what an awesome testimony! I love it!

      You expressed exactly what I have been feeling since confessing–Freedom. Peace. Relief.

      Isn’t it so amazing how when we surrender what we think we need, God rushes in and gives us what we truly need?

      I’ll be praying for your continued witness and encouragement at work. Can’t wait to hear what God is doing through you!

  5. i read that post, too and had to bookmark it for a time that i could really take it all in. there are so many times, i lose track of HIM in all aspects of my life.

    but then…

    grace upon grace.

    God showed me a year and a half ago when I left my career, “do the things no one else sees.”

    and every time i get mixed up, caught up, messed up, He just reminds me of this “holy assignment” to be satisfied in the quiet hallways of my home as a stay at home mom….okay, the not-so-quiet hallways….

    my career in the music industry (among other things) was my idol. and that came crashing down when my husband gave me an ultimatum. him/kids or the job. so now we are broke. bankrupt. one car. food box receiving family. and i am BLESSED beyond measure. EXCEEDINGLY BEYOND measure. Buzz Lightyear ain’t got nothing on us.

    but oh, that is a hard hallelujah to shout when we are in the midst of it…

    beautiful thoughts here…

    1. Man Melissa, you just added such a beautiful and needed perspective to all of this. We get so afraid that if we tear down our idols, we will have nothing left. We are afraid we will feel useless and unfulfilled. You can testify though that is not true. While being a stay home mom is not the most glamorous job in the world and the thanks are few and far between, there is such reward!

      I am blessed to know how blessed you are…beyond measure, at being home and choosing your family over your career. The world wants to tell us that career is more important, but moms who have the honor of being home every single day, know that’s not true.

      Thanks Melissa for sharing that. I needed it this morning!

  6. Nicole, I feel like the rest of the women who have responded, and they said it so well I thought I might stay silent, but I had to join in!
    Maybe God had “convict them of their pride and sin” written on His calendar, because I have been struggling with the same! It is so easy to get caught up in what people say, especially when you are out in the view of many doing what God has called you to do. As far as I see it, it will always be my Achilles Heel…wanting the encouragement (not necessarily praise, but at least some positive feedback!) of those around me versus serving an audience of One! I’m trying to envision Revelation 4 and see the Throne room of God and recognize how unbelievably awesome that ONE is!!!
    So…I’m with you…I agree with Carrington…let’s keep confessing our sins to one another so the Holy Spirit can work!!!
    And I think you rock…Love you!

    1. Thanks Tracy! That really means a lot, just knowing that someone who I admire in their godliness (you!) is struggling with some of the same junk as me. I really have felt this freedom since confessing–true freedom. I feel so much less emotionally tied to the blog and more tied to God and what He desires for me and all of this. It’s crazy and so good to feel.

      Confession is not fun but so freeing. I’m realizing more and more that, that is what is God is after–not condemnation for us, but freedom for us. Love you Trac!

  7. Hey Nicole, I’m loving your blog and appreciate this post. Definitely a battle for me. In fact, just yesterday I tweeted, “Just imagining what would happen if I spent a lot less time and energy trying and a lot more time and energy dying.”

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Kerry, thanks for the encouragement. I love that line. I think I might steal it. Striving versus serving. Living versus dying. I’m always amazed by how counter-intuitive Christ’s Kingdom is, but how rewarding when we obey. Lay down your life to find it…

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I look forward to getting to know you more via the wonder that is the Internet. Blessings!

  8. nicole,

    tears roll down my face as i read this post. how did i miss this one? i visit your blog almost daily and i missed this one. i needed this post. i have tried to take control of everything with gavin. i can’t do it anymore. for 8 months i have done everything. i haven’t slept. i have wasted away trying to make everything better…trying to remember all of the intricate details…trying to fix everything. i continued to tell myself that “tomorrow would be different…that i would try something different and that TOMORROW, i would get it”. obviously i haven’t. and now i am so entrenched and i am so deep in the pit that i can’t even find my way out. the beauty in that is that i don’t have to. your post helped to remind me of that. i don’t have to try to fight so hard to get out of this pit anymore. i get to quit. i get to hand it to Jesus. He’s got this one. He has Gavin and He has a plan for him that doesn’t require my assistance. i have lost faith in the God who has brought my family through the depths. i desperately want that back. i want to cling to the One who has always proven Himself faithful. God, it’s all you now. i’m done. i quit.

    1. And now I’m crying…

      I’m sorta speechless. I love how God just used my idol worship, sin, repentance, and surrender to bless you. Only our God does things like that. Only our God takes what could be shameful to me and instead brings freedom and new hope to not only myself, but others that I love.

      It is so hard to remember that we are not responsible for the outcomes, but rather our obedience. Jesus is saying to us, “sit down…at my feet…I’ve got this one.” He loves your son more than you, which is unfathomable, I know. I’m so blessed that this blessed you. I’m so encouraged and proud of you. I am praying for continual refreshment in the Lord and surrender to Him. Now go, be a quitter. God wants you to. love you!

  9. “No, I don’t quit blogging. I quit trying to be responsible for the outcome. That is God’s job, not mine. My job is to write, as best I can, and offer my writing to an audience of One. My job is to stop striving for success and, instead, serve unto His greatness.”

    I should print that and stick it up on my wall.

    I want to blog regularly. I want to set up different themes and so on. And in the back of my mind, I also keep thinking that I want other folks in the Christian blogging community to like me. (Both readers and bloggers alike.)

    But whenever I try to prep myself to become a blogging machine, something holds me back. That still, small voice keeps reminding me that this really is not all about me. It can’t be. Certainly, not if my work is to really, truly be worth anything in this world.

    This post of yours is another lovely reminder of that fact. Thank you. :)

    1. I’m glad this was encouraging to you Claire. I personally have felt such freedom since giving over my blog t the Lord. I don’t stress like I used to or compare myself to others nearly as much (I still do sometimes as my Hate Blogging post stated).

      You are so wise in saying that if what we have to offer is to be worth anything, well then it better be offered to Him.

  10. This is long overdue, but I just want to say thank you. Coming to a plate where you have to give God the success of x or y in your life happened to me in a serious way twice since I read this post, and each time, as I surrendered, I thought about what you wrote. It really was a blessing, so thank you for writing not what you think will help your blog, but what God puts on your heart – it blesses.

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