Nor Forsake is a month old today, and I’ve been a bit discouraged this week because I’d like to see more sales than I already have. The book has absolutely incredible reviews on Amazon, I mean, the best you could ask for. Many people have read the book more than 3 times and keep going back to it, and keep telling their friends about it. I am humbled and honored to say that people love my book. But not enough people own my book in order for me to make it my full-time job to write books forever, and that puts me in a ‘le sigh’ kind of mood when I think about it.
He told me to write.
Now, I have written. A lot. But what I really want is for the things I write to turn into dollar signs so that I can ditch my day job and lose myself in my imagination and write all the live-long day. Don’t we all just want to spend every waking minute doing what we love? Isn’t that the real American dream?
When the campaign for Nor Forsake wasn’t going so well back in the winter, I was pretty disheartened and I had many heart to hearts with the Lord asking Him how this book was going to get self-published if there wasn’t money to pay for it. I looked at the donation page endlessly, wondering what was going on. His word to me then was very clear:
Stop looking at the numbers.
I took a deep breath after that and tried really hard to put my trust in God’s unfailing plan, and now, Nor Forsake is published and in people’s hands, on their bookshelves and their e-readers, and neither of my campaigns reached their fully funded status. I had to give up on my own expectations of how God was going to work on my behalf.
Of course I want my work to be successful. Of course I want my books to be widespread and have big sales numbers and reach millions of women across the world, and I will keep promoting and posting about them ’til the cows come home, but I can’t control the outcome. The only thing I can do is be faithful to what God has called me to do, and what that is is the only thing that is clear to me right now.
Stop looking at the numbers and write.
This word applies to every single area of my life as well, not just writing. I need to stop adding things to what God has called me to do, be, and say, and instead do, be, and say those things. I need to stop looking for quantitive results and instead focus in on the quality of my obedience. Why am I doing these things? Because I want results, or simply because God asked me to do them?
When you take away the issue of results, the quality of whatever your working on deepens and you get to sink back into your love of the work, rather than feeling the pressure to meet a certain standard, at least artistically speaking. Results do matter, but when the work of your hand has been spoken into existence by the Creator God, He handles those results for you.
I think this is a universal struggle for believers. We have our eyes on the prize at all times. We want to leap across the hurdles and get to the finish line of this blasted race that we seem to be running half-blind. We want the results of our hard labor and we want them now. But our God is obviously much more concerned about how well we run than He is about us crossing the finish line. The Lord simply wants us to trust the words and directions that He gives us, and to keep putting one foot in front of the other. He wants us to put aside the things that we can’t control, and focus on obeying His call. He will take care of the rest.
How does the phrase, “stop looking at the numbers” relate in your own life? What has God called you to do? Do you find it easy to follow through, or are you making a whole lot more work for yourself like I have been?