“These were his instructions to them: ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.’” Luke 10:2 (NLT)
Have you ever wondered if there’s any need for you and the dreams tucked in your heart when there are already so many successful people out there?
I totally understand.
Several years ago, I remember pouring out all the best words I had through pixelated letters-turned-pages-turned-book proposal. I tucked my heart and dreams into a purple OfficeMax binder and hoped for the best.
That summer, I gave my proposal to several acquisition editors. For months after sending out my proposal, I dreamed about the day some publishing house would say yes.
I can’t tell you the number of afternoons I’d stand at my mailbox, holding my breath, praying there would be good news inside. When the rejection letters started coming, I tried to keep up the hope that surely there would be one positive answer. I just needed one publisher to say yes.
Soon, I’d received a no from all but one publisher. And when I got that final rejection, I felt so foolish for thinking I could actually write a book. My dream was nothing but a sham. I had no writing skills. And I must have heard God all wrong.
At the same time, I had other writer friends who were getting different letters from publishers.
Letters that turned into book contracts.
In my better moments, I did the right thing and authentically celebrated with them. But behind the scenes, there were hard moments happening inside of me.
Moments where I felt like my friends’ lives were rushing past me in a flurry of fulfilled goals, new opportunities, and affirmations of their callings from God. It seemed the world was literally passing me by. On the inside, I just kept thinking, Ouch — that means less and less opportunity for me … even though, on the outside, I declared, “Good for them.”
I wrestled, and I processed.
And I decided to get still. But this stillness wasn’t passive. I actively had to make the choice to reject the fears that said I’d been left out and left behind. And I had to starve my scarcity mindset of thinking that opportunities had passed me by altogether.
Then I could see new and life-giving possibilities. Maybe I wasn’t ready yet, but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t ever be ready. Now was the time to stop looking around and start focusing on becoming the best writer I could be. And eventually, I wrote something worth publishing.
Looking back on that season, this is the nugget of wisdom that sticks with me: Her success does not threaten yours or mine. When a sister in Christ does well, we all do well. All tides rise when we see her making this world a better place with her gifts.
When I finally started believing this, my stillness turned into readiness. And that was over 25 published books ago.
Even if your dream isn’t book writing, let Jesus’ words in Luke 10:2 sink into the deep places of your heart today: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
And this is where we have a choice to make.
We can look out and see the unlimited, abundant opportunities God has placed before us. To create. To write. To try. To grow. To serve. To sing. To be and become. To harvest for Him.
Or we can stare at another person’s opportunity and get entangled in the enemy’s lie that everything is scarce. Scarce thinking. Scarce supply. Scarce possibilities. And we start seeing another person's creations as a threat to our own opportunities.
Oh, friend, there is an abundant need in this world for your contributions to the Kingdom — your thoughts, words and artistic expressions — your exact brand of beautiful. Know it. Believe it. Live it.
Lord, thank You for reminding me how You created me on purpose and with purpose. I don’t have to live this life feeling threatened by the success of others. Today, I’m asking You to bless the women around me who are doing what I long to do. Stir even more hearts with a deep passion to make You known. And continue to settle my heart with the truth that this world really does need my exact brand of beautiful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)
How does Ephesians 2:10 encourage you in the unique ways God has gifted you? How might you reframe your scarcity mindset as you look ahead at opportunities in front of you? Share in the comments!
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