A prayer for bloggers

Ah. Hello God.

I think this might be called facing a demon or two.

I have just been reading a post by Ann Voskamp.

Lord, you know how I feel about Ann Voskamp. You know that I follow her blog and you know that I devoured ‘A Thousand Gifts‘ and even made notes on little sticky bits of paper (I can’t ever bring myself to write in a book) and you also know how long it took me to actually open the book and start to read it.

It sat on my bookshelf for months before I opened it, and before that my copy sat lonely on a shelf in Amazon before I brought myself to order it. You know why, and now I’m admitting it. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to read it.

I wish I could write like Ann Voskamp.

I wish I had her wisdom, her insights, her hotline to you. I wish I had her eyes to see and her ears to hear. I wish I had her way with words, her lyricism, her skill with a camera, and yes, her success.

I just said it, didn’t I?

I know that I shouldn’t compare myself with other people. You made me me, you made her her. You have different plans for the two of us and your plan for me wouldn’t fit Ann and vice versa.

But…how can a farmer’s wife and homeschooling mother of six write so prolifically, so beautifully, with such incisive wisdom and inspiration? How come she attends conferences and speaking engagements and makes TV programmes and keeps it all ticking over? I have two children who go to school, my house is not very clean, I don’t have farm duties and I don’t go out to work and the days are not long enough.

I so, so admire what she’s done. When I read her blog quite often she tells me things I didn’t know. She makes me see the world in a new way. She inspires me – and yet I sometimes come away feeling discouraged and I’m quite sure that is entirely the reverse of her intentions.

If it has been said before, and so much better, then why should I bother even trying? 

I keep plodding on. I remind myself that it matters not the slightest bit what other people do. You don’t look to me to point to anyone other than yourself. I can only use my voice to speak your words, no-one else’s. I do what I do for you, not for anyone else.

Not for anyone else. Honestly.

Sigh.

So, then, Ann wrote this. Actually this is an excerpt from today’s blog, which is a transcript of an address she gave at a conference for bloggers in America. And when I read it, I knew that it was for me.

A Prayer for Bloggers 

by Ann Voskamp

I am no longer my own blogger, but Yours.

Refine me with each post how You will, rank me how You will.

Put me to service, put me to suffering.

Let me be a follower – instead of seeking followers

Lord, you and I meet up and come here most days, at some point. I don’t know what I’d do without it these days. I remember the days a couple of years ago when I didn’t come and chat with you this way and I wonder what I did instead (cleaning the bathroom? Surely not). Lord, it’s all for you. It has always been for you, but sometimes it becomes about me, and I’m sorry. Sometimes the words try and run ahead of me and I need to slow down and listen, make sure that it’s you I’m hearing, and not my own ego.

Let me post for You – or be put aside for You,

Lifted high, only for You, or brought low, all for You.

Do with me and each post whatever You will, because You alone know best.

I’m not feeling that comfortable with the ‘put aside’ and ‘brought low‘ part, to be honest. Ann has more humility than I do, I think. I’m not over-sure about asking you to teach me humility, either; I’m not sure I like the sound of learning humility….

Getting myself a bit tangled up here. I can completely agree with the last bit though. You know best. Whenever I think I know best I invariably come unstuck. I’m learning.

Let me not strive but submit

Let me not compete but care

Let me not desire hits but holiness

Can’t I have holiness and hits? I know, I’m sorry. I’m being flippant.

Lord, I just want to be with you. I want to be more like you. I want to speak you and point to you. I want people to hear you, through me. I want to be a part of your Plan. I want the world to be a different place because I’ve been in it and I’ve done as you asked me to. It isn’t about me, though you know my heart and the longings you have placed there. Dreams and hopes are there and fears too.

I trust you, Lord.

And if I have to choose hits or holiness, let it be holiness.

Let my blog be full of You, and let it be empty of me.

Let me crave all things of You, let me care nothing of this world.

Let my words be focus only on the greatest of audiences: You.

And you are enough.

My I write not for subscribers…but only for Your smile.

You are enough. Over and over again you have been enough. I don’t doubt it. The world creeps in and steals my attention and I compare myself with others and never, ever, does any good come from that. I want to make you smile.

May my daily affirmation be in the surety of my atonement not the size of my audience.

May my identity be in the innumerable graces of Christ, never, God forbid, the numbers of my comments.

May the only words that matter in my life not be the ones I write on a screen – but the ones I live with my skin.

I freely and heartily yield every sentence, every title, every post, every comment…or no comments…

all to Your pleasure and perfect will.

The words don’t come from me. I know that. I ask you every time to give me words, to show me what you want me to say. Sometimes I know that you answered my prayer, sometimes I’m not so sure. I am a work in progress; I know that I get it wrong.

Lord, it’s all for you. I’m laying it right in front of you.

My only fame is that I bear Your name

My only glory is the gift of Your Grace

My only readership, Your eyes that seek to and fro to find

Make this so. Lord…

Oh, Lord God, make it so. Help me get past the enormous and all-encompassing desire to please other people. I so want people to want me, to understand, to see, to tell me it’s alright, that I’ve done alright. That I’m not a failure. I worry so much about what people think, and I dread failure and humiliation and the death of my dreams.

And yet… I play to an audience of One. The only One that matters. Help me to learn this lesson deep in my heart and not just in my head.

Yawhew, you alone are my God, not Google

Jesus, you alone are my Comforter, not comments

So be it, today, yesterday, and every post to come.

Amen and Amen. Oh yes. You know my heart, Father God. You are enough.

O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, 

thou art mine, and I am thine.

This is my prayer I have made on earth, over this keyboard…

let it be ratified in heaven.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

You know, if I’d been at that conference I’d have had my eyes closed in prayer and the tears would have squeezed their way through.

Sometimes it’s hard, you know.

I know that you know. I sit here and chat with you and I pour out my heart and I ask and I wait and I moan and I confide and I laugh and I hope – and I taptaptap and I press ‘Publish’ on the little orange button and it all feels very intimate and private. There are days when I can’t find any words and there are days when I have so much in my head that I can’t get it down fast enough and precious ideas dissolve and disappear because I can’t pin them down.

Then, just now and again, someone says to me, ‘I know just how you feel‘ or, ‘I thought it was only me‘ and it makes my day, because I know that you have spoken. Not me, but you.

And I praise you because you could get your message across in a multitude of ways, any way you choose, and yet you chose me, and it blows me away.

You are enough. Nothing else matters.

Lord, bless this wise lady in all the different ways that you can bless her. Her words are reaching millions and every last one of them points to her Saviour. Help me to listen without comparing. To have a heart ready to learn and to pray this prayer every time I open the lid of my computer.

Amen.

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About Helen Murray

I'm a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister and a child of God.
This entry was posted in A CLICK A BLESSING TODAY, CHRISTIAN FOUNDATIONS OF BELIEF, CHRISTIAN LIFE AND THE WORD and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to A prayer for bloggers

  1. I really needed to read this today. After being away from blogging for months, I am prayerfully contemplating getting back to it. My main fear seems to be that I may have lost all of my followers after such a long absence. Thank you for the reminder that it does not matter, as long as I am writing what God is telling me to write and following His will. Even if I only have one reader, and what I write touches that one soul, then I will have accomplished His will. Thank you so much for this.

    • Helen Murray says:

      Oh, Drusilla, I’m so glad it helped. It’s a constant struggle, isn’t it, to write so that people will read, because that’s the gift God has given us, yet not to mind too much when they don’t come. I come back to it over and over again. I even gave up checking the blog statistics for Lent! I’m glad that you’re coming back to write. That’s what matters. Thanks so much for letting me know that it touched you.

  2. Steven Sawyer says:

    Mike, thank you for sharing this. I follow Helen and agree that she has captured some of my insecurities and my priorities that have more to do with hits than holiness, more to do with comments than Christ. I shall also applaud Helen for once again being spot on with her comments. I have been to Ann Voscamp’s website. And, like Helen, can not imagine how she does all she does. She is an amazing writer, wife and mother and I admire her perseverance and her heart for Jesus. Thanks again, my friend. God bless.

  3. Pingback: For All the Bloggers Who Could Use a Little Encouragement Today | Resting in His Grace

  4. mtsweat says:

    This is good… way good! Thanks for the great encouragement, loved the prayer.

  5. GodGirl says:

    Thanks for your honesty here – I can totally understand, as I compare too. It’s so normal, and we all need reminders that God has gifted each of us for an individual, beautiful purpose. May you keep writing for His smile, and being the blessing to others that only you can be. Thanks for such an encouraging post.

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