A few days ago, I was trying to study the same devotion for the second day in a row. It just wasn’t easy to get into it.
Until something happened in my procrastination that kind of trampled on my original idea of what I want to be when I grow up.
I was scrolling through Instagram. All these really cool writers and designers of Bible studies, Scripture cards, etc. put up pretty pictures of their Bibles. They put up coffee mugs and quotes from their bestsellers. And Bible verses with pretty backgrounds.
I’m a former marketer, so I should know these things are there to push their platforms.
It’s not a bad thing. They aren’t coming from a bad place. They love the Lord. They share His truth with thousands of women every day.
But I felt a little miffed when one of them put a quote that comes close to the name of this blog.
The book I’m stirring up inside my head while I wash dishes or try a baking experiment to get the Man Cub to touch a vegetable is still just an idea. But it’s the thing I want to do when I grow up.
I want to be a writer just like this writer who unintentionally stole my grand idea. She’s actually the writer who inspired me to quit my business as a freelance business journalist to pursue my own writing.
You see, I want to do what she does when I grow up.
But I have to grow up first.
So, I let myself be a selfish kid for about three seconds. “It was my original idea. But now I can’t use it because of her quote on Instagram.”
When I write the statement I was thinking down, it looks silly. Really stupid, actually.
Then I do what I always do when I get a bug in my ear about writing this book. I start thinking about where to start. It’s on a water stained piece of yellow paper that I carry around with me.
I carry this thing around like a picture of my kids in my wallet. It’s my pet. It’s the thing I want to do, but can’t seem to get past “go.”
And you know what’s behind the hesitation other than three small kids, a husband, a home, homeschool and a cat that wants to eat me? The same lie that I want to write about. That we aren’t good enough.
I know I’m capable of writing a book. Heck, I’ve probably written three or four as a ghostwriter.
I’ve written enough articles to fill an encyclopedia. I’ve even written a book on skateboarding, but you won’t catch me at the skate park trying out tricks with weird names like ollie and nollie.
But something keeps stealing my time and zeal to get started.
It’s that lie that I almost believed yesterday.
It’s the thought that I must be completely original in my writing.
I must have an idea that no one else has.
Of course, I shouldn’t just head out there and rehash another writer’s work. But ideas aren’t simple. Just like C.S. Lewis says in Mere Christianity, “Real things have the appearance of simplicity, but nothing is truly simple…”
Ideas are complex. Their made up of veins that can go in a thousand different directions.
But I was hiding from this. I was falling into the “not good enough” boat before even starting something great. Because it was the simple thing to do.
When I saw that image on Instagram, I could’ve given up a dream. A dream that I don’t believe came from me.
I could’ve decided to believe the lie that I’m not original. That I’m just regular (which isn’t even a synonym of original). Like the tube sock you’d find seven matches for in a sock basket of unmatched pairs. You know, the ones you really don’t like to wear. You can always find those.
(Please tell me I’m not the only one with an orphanage of great socks with no mates.) But I digress.
I wanted to believe that lie. But something stopped me.
I stared the lie in the face and said, “You’re actually not that original. You’ve crossed my path before.”
And I did something different.
First, I finished up that devotional I was stalling on. Guess who it was about?
Eve. The original woman. She didn’t know what this big lie was until she thought she heard a plan she that sounded better than the original one created just for her. Hmm…That’s thought provoking.
Then, I went and finished the book I’ve been reading by the same writer I was miffed at. And it was inspiring.
Especially when she got to this point:
“My ministry didn’t take off like I expected it to because I’m not smart enough, or schooled enough, or business minded enough.
I try so hard. I give it all I’ve got. Then it all just falls apart. And it all just seems incredibly out of whack.”
Excerpt from The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst
Her advice for when life gets like this?
She says to “do the next right thing that’s in front of you.”
So without knowing it, I did it. I decided that I could wade in the “not good enough” pool where I really like to hang out. Or I could go a little deeper and see where this lie is planted and pluck it out by the roots.
It’s all in that place we don’t like to go. That place of insecurity and distrust.
We don’t have to open that door. We have a choice to let our inner dialogue hang out with the comfortable friends insecurity, distrust and maybe not.
Or we can speak truth to ourselves. We can look for the light. We can look for the real truth.
So, I did that yesterday. It was uncomfortable and it felt odd.
But I started back at the verse of truth that led me to this idea, my original idea.
But before I share that verse, I’d like to share what I forgot about original. It has more than one meaning.
According to Wordnik.com, its first meaning is “first.” Its second meaning is “not derived from something else.” Its third meaning is “showing a marked departure from previous practice.”
And when I reread the truth that led me to the name of this blog and my potential book, all three of these meanings showed up:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.
Psalm 139: 13-15
The originator thought me up. He created me different from every other person that ever walked or will walk the earth. He gave me a purpose unlike no one else’s.
That’s where going back to the original source will never lead you astray.
I and you are an original work of God. And to Him be the glory.