My consolation prize.

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Writing has been a challenge for me lately. I've been putting it off for lot of reasons. Part of it is because I don't know what to write about. Which is ironic, because all I ever do is think about things that I could totally write about for hours. Part of it is because I felt discouraged. The last blog post I wrote was honestly the one I'm most proud of to this day. I thought super hard about it. I was more in my element than I'd ever been while writing it. But it didn't elicit the response I was hoping. It didn't get as many likes or shares as others I've written in the past -- others that I barely put any thought or effort into. All around it was a disappointment to me, because nobody else seemed to like it. So I didn't want to write again until I thought of something that I knew people would love. But day after day, when I sat down to reflect on new ideas I've learned or my opinions on prevalent issues, I ended up just closing the tab. I was so concerned about writing something that people would love, and that's what paralyzed me.

I've never really thought of myself as one to be driven by the approval of others, but here I am. I thought my intentions were innocent enough...

"I just want my blog to be a light for people (as long as it's bright as hell)."

"I'll be happy if my writing impacts just one person (but 100 likes on Facebook would be even better)."

I JUST WANT PEOPLE TO VALIDATE MY EXISTENCE.

Boy, don't we all. It's tough being a person, you know? We all just want to feel loved and accepted. The problem is that we're looking for validation in all the wrong places.

We do things on the basis of whether they'll make us look better to others or feel better about ourselves. Either way, it's about us.

We want to love ourselves and we want people to love us, too. Either way, it's about us.

I watched Hannah Brencher's "Craving: Faith" webinar the other night, and she gave the best advice: The best way to love yourself is to forget about yourself. 

When I refuse to write a blog post in fear of nobody liking it, I'm selfishly protecting my own fragile ego. I'm looking for approval in the wrong places. I need to know that I'm already loved and accepted by the only dude who matters.

Generally speaking, there's a lot of shit we have to deal with as human beings. But I just finished reading The Reason For God a couple nights ago, and it hit me with the greatest realization of all time: We don't have to deal with that shit. Jesus already dealt with it for us.

There's no need to put our worth in the number of likes we get on a blog post or how much money we make. But we do -- because we're only human -- and it enslaves us. When we put all of our worth in those things, they're going to disappoint us at some point, and it'll wreck us. But the cool thing about God is that he's the same today as he was yesterday, and the same as he'll be forever. He'll always be there, even when we lose our jobs or when people criticize us or when we delete an Instagram post because it didn't get enough likes. He'll be there. And if we could just put all of our worth in him instead of how many people will like/admire/envy our shit, we'd be better people for it.

I need to just sit down and write because that's the gift I've been given, and that's what helps me reach people. If 100 people read my silly blog post and love it, then that's amazing. If Isaac is the only person who reads it because I force him to, that's also amazing. I can't be scared to share parts of me with this world just because I'm afraid it won't accept me. I can't let what I do become who I am. Even though I'm deeply tied to my writing, my identity isn't in my writing. My identity is in Christ. And when I've had a bad day or a disappointing blog post, that's the best consolation prize I could ask for.

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