I am no stranger to disappointment.
When I was in fifth grade, I didn’t make the Central Stars cheerleading team. I tried out for the middle school team the following year and didn’t make it again. I decided to pursue other activities. A cheerleader I was not meant to be.
I was chosen to be an alternate on the high school dance team for a few months until I could prove I was worthy and they put me on the team as a regular.
Just the other day I made the mistake of looking at the stats for this little blog here and I realized I had lost 13 subscribers within two days. The next day I had gained ten. The following day I was down two. Two steps forward, one step back.
The list goes on.
I wasn’t chosen to receive the “She Speaks” Conference Scholarship.
I won’t lie and say I wasn’t disappointed because I was. It’s difficult not to take something like that personally even though there were 300 applicants and only four scholarships to award. Even though.
Of course, the irritating partner of disappointment is self-doubt. Those two form a harmonious marriage that, if left alone to fester, can have a hazardous effect on the soul.
As soon as the disappointing news is received, the self-doubt starts to creep in almost instantaneously.
Are my posts too long? (I try to be brief. Honest, I do.) Am I too open about my faith? (Hmmm…) Is my writing just mediocre? (Possibly.)
You get my drift.
As soon as I learned I had not been chosen, I wondered if I should just do this writing dream of mine as a recreation instead of an actual career.
That’s when I realized I was being overtaken by that horrid couple – disappointment and self-doubt.
For starters, I find that so often we can be so overwhelmed by what is not good that we lose perspective and forget what is good.
I was the feature editor of my high school newspaper.
I was elected my sorority’s president in college.
The fact that I have even ONE blog subscriber is spectacular.
I can’t always be chosen for all of the great things. You can’t always be chosen for all of the great things. We all have to spread the wealth – it’s just the way it is.
And of course, there is God’s plan in everything. I know about it all too well and I know it’s always good. Always. Even in our disappointments, he may not be telling us a “no” but a “not right now” instead. Something better for us might be coming – something we are perfectly suited to take-on for Him.
It’s true that I write for myself. In fact, now that I write regularly, I have found a release like never before. I am growing as a person simply by taking the time to just write. Just write, write, write.
But the main being I am writing for is God. Plain and simple. It’s for Him.
I love those of you who read what I write – I sometimes can’t even believe you do if I may be honest. I am flattered and honored that you take the time to listen to what is on my heart. However, the one subscriber I need to worry about the most is the one who is gently leading me now. I’m in big trouble if he chooses to unsubscribe and yet I know He never will. He just doesn’t work that way and I’m so thankful he doesn’t.
As my Meemo says, “Not everyone is going to like you.” No truer words were ever spoken.
An atheist is not going to enjoy my spiritual reflections that pepper almost everything I write. They will unsubscribe.
A pessimistic, glass-is-half-empty kind of person will not enjoy the fact that I try to always look for the good in even the worst possible cases. I will annoy them. They will unsubscribe.
Someone who wants short, little quips won’t be my number one fan, either. They will unsubscribe.
I can’t unsubscribe to disappointment. That’s just not something I can choose to “opt out” of because disappointment is simply part of life. But self-doubt? Insecurity? Worry? Unsubscribe.
It wasn’t my time to win the scholarship. There were others whose plan was a “yes” this time around. I can’t always be chosen for all of the great things.
Here’s what I do have…An amazing husband who sent me this text message when I told him I wasn’t selected:
(Thank you to Sadie at HeyMamas for showing me that I can take a photo of a text message)
And this, friends, is why I married this man.
I’m going. We’ll figure out a way to make it work. He was the wind that boosted my sails and made me realize that it’s really just between God and me. And it always should be.
Regardless of who unsubscribes.
Natalie, I like this post.
First of all, do you use Feedburner, and do you know how they count subscribers? Check it out — you might be surprised about how some burners do that. It’s common that your count fluctuates from what I understand.
But really the important thing is to do what you’re doing: remember why you’re writing and leave it at that. There’s only One who really matters.
And just so you know, I’ve subscribed to your blog through a feeder, and I’m still listening. ;)
Yes, I do use Feedburner and I don’t get it. I should probably leave it at that – ignorance is bliss? Maybe not in this case!
Thanks for listening!!! :)
Natalie, you are so talented. Please don’t let anything make you doubt that! I look forward to your posts. Not only do they make me smile and let me get to know you more, but they inspire me. Your posts inspire me not only as a writer, but more importantly in my faith. I think that you are a light that God has placed in my life for this reason as well as so many others. As you once told me, “You are a beautiful wonderful child of God.”. Don’t forget that Mama!
.-= Theresa´s last blog ..What Would You Be? (Free For All Friday!) =-.
Theresa, thank you for your kind words. I am blessed by every person I know and that includes you, my dear! Thanks for your encouragement, dear.
What an awesome husband you have :)
.-= Michelle´s last blog ..♥Easter was Fabulous :) =-.
Yes, I do. I am one blessed woman…:)
Beautiful post! I love it :)
.-= Danae´s last blog ..Christ is Risen! =-.
First of all, what a nice thoughtful post. I love it. Secondly, your husband is so cute and encouraging. Lucky girl. Thirdly, the picture looks great!! Yeah!
Sadie at heyMamas
.-= Sadie at heyMamas´s last blog ..America is generous =-.
Thanks, Sadie. As I told Michelle, I know I got a gem of a husband and I realize how blessed I am every day!
You do have a gift for writing, and I love your outlook on not getting the scholorship. I know it’s dissappointing, but God has a plan for you and your writing. And what a great husband you have to encourage your gifts!
.-= Michelle´s last blog ..Not Me! Monday – day after Easter =-.
Thanks, Michelle. Yes, I do have a gem of a beau but I had to kiss SEVERAL frogs before I found him…:)
first of all, you have a great husband. a guy who sees it all and decides that he’ll be the wind to keep your balloon afloat.
second, i’m one of those that are glass half-empty type of people. i try to step out of the rut, i really do. which is why i read your blog. people like you help me see through the dark cloud.
thanks for stopping by my blog, by the way :)
.-= cheri´s last blog ..spaghetti for all seasons =-.
You know, I personally think we sometimes have to work at being glass half full kind of people. I am not always though I strive to be – its the human part of us. Kudos to you for owning it and for reading something for your personal growth and betterment, Cheri!
First off … ((((hugs))))
Your Meemo is so right… “Not everyone is going to like you.” And you know what…that’s a GOOOOOD thing! Hard to explain my stance on that, but basically, if everyone likes you then that means you’re most likely not being true to yourself. If you’re pleasing to everyone then you’re not picking a side of the fence to land on. Be proud of who you are and keep on writing.
I was recently in a HUGE funk (just blogged about it) and found that blogging at that moment seemed like torture. I didn’t have anything nice to say and I didn’t want everyone reading about what I was going through…mainly specific people in my life, really. I almost wanted to pull the plug on the blog, but I KNOW God wants me to write…if for anything just for myself. Sure, I’d LOVE to pursue something more with this whole writing biz, but I don’t know what’s in my future for that. For now, I’ll just stick to what I know and let God open doors. More often than not, those doors are too heavy for me to open on my own anyhow.
Oh and I’m a subscriber! I haven’t been around lately because of the funk that I’ve been in, but I’ll be back. Going out of state tomorrow, but I’ll be back and reading often! :)
You are so right that not everyone is going to like you and that’s a GOOD thing! Some people are going to be turned off by truth and transparency.
Excellent point. So true, so true…
Thanks, Melody! Couldn’t agree more with your statement that it’s a good thing not everyone is going to like us – I had not thought of it this way.
I know all about funks but it sounds like you are working your way out of it. I am going to visit your blog now…
And Amen on the heavy doors…:) His yoke is light and His burdens are easy…:)
Natalie, I’m so bummed for you that you didn’t get the speaking engagement. I am certain that God has a plan (love Jeremiah 29:11!), but that doesn’t always take away the disappointment we feel when OUR plans don’t come to fruition.
Sometimes I would just like to get a peek at God’s plan…
Since that isn’t really possible, I guess it’s a good thing he puts people in our lives who help us weather the disappointments. A wonderful husband, sweet babies and good friends; they are what will get you through. I know you already know this; sometimes it’s just good to hear. Or read. Whatever.
You are a gifted writer. You write from your heart. You make me laugh out loud and cry, sometimes in the same post. And I can always tell you are writing with the Spirit in your heart.
Keep on keeping on, girl. You are on the right path, I just know it.
Heather, thank you for your kind words. The fact that you notice I write with the Spirit in my heart is enough for me to hear because I so do. I write for Him.
Thank you, dear friend.
If you want to be a writer, you can’t take that kind of stuff personally. There are so many blogs out there, and so many readers, and so many people with different opinions and tastes. I mean, not everyone likes chocolate, right? As crazy as that may be!
I was a newspaper journalist for many years and heard all kinds of stuff. But that’s the thing with lots of us women: we only hear the one or two negative things, and we forget about all the fabulous things!
.-= Cheryl´s last blog ..Cheers! =-.
Amen and you are correct, Cheryl. I know I need to grow some thick skin! :)
Thanks for reading and most of all, for commenting!!! :) I appreciate your encouragement – I know you have been at this longer than I have so I appreciate your “mentor” mentality.
I just found your blog through SITS and I like your blog. Sorry you didn’t win the She Speaks scholarship. I hear that it’s a great conference. Maybe God will provide another way for you to attend.
Be encouraged and don’t get down because of a few disappointments. Sometimes, we are just at the brink of a victory when we get discouraged and tempted to give up. :-) It’s great that you have a husband that is a good encourager.
I’m a new follower now! Have a blessed day!
.-= Tonya´s last blog ..What’s for Dinner? =-.
Hi, Tonya! I remember when your blog was featured on SITS – great to see you here!
What a great and encouraging point you make – I love the “sometimes we are on the brink of victory…” statement.
Thanks for visiting and following!
Oh, Natalie…My heart breaks for you. I so wanted you to win that scholarship! I would LOVE to go with you. Hopefully God will work it out for us to be there together!!!
And whoever unsubscribes from you is crazy…and missin’ out! I Love your writing! You are so refreshing and real. But oh do I know that horrid couple you speak of. They attacked me BIG TIME this week! I cried all the way to church today (I work there in childcare during women’s Bible study) and sobbed along with the words to Stained Glass Masquerade by Casting Crowns. The part about “Would it set me free, if I dared to let you see, The truth behind the person you imagine me to be. Would your arms be open, or would you walk away. Would the love of Jesus, be enough to make you stay?” Also, “Only when no one is watching can we really fall apart.” Of course I DID fall apart when I sang that! Ha Ha! I can laugh about it now because I had a good cry and then I got on the horn with a friend who always sets me straight. =) God is taking us on a journey through writing. I believe that too!!!! I’m just along for the ride…
Can’t wait to see where He takes both of us!
Love ya, girl!!!!
.-= MandyP´s last blog ..The Sorority of Blogging =-.
I adore you. You are terribly honest, because although many of us have looked at stats and thought…ARGH!…we seldom voice it. I understand each frustration in my own way. Blogging is finicky. It is often a measure of preference, and who can control that? You are doing exactly what He has given you. He has given you everything you need to do THAT. Hang in there, my friend. You have to keep writing, you just have to.
Go hubby! I was president of Panhellenic. I find more commonalities between us all of the time.
.-= Tracy´s last blog ..Women in the Word @Exemplify =-.