Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. Hebrews 10: 15
The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted. Proverbs 29:25
I can still remember when I first had aspirations toward writing as an adult, many years before I wrote my first book. I had worked hard on a short essay, and felt deeply proud of my effort toward creative expression. Out of an excitement to receive feedback, I approached a family member with experience in creative writing, to see what they thought. After a quick look over my work, this person said without any hesitation, “This is very low quality. You’ll never be a writer of any merit with this kind of rubbish.”
Frustrated but not deterred, I persisted in stating that my writing was worthwhile. In an effort to end the argument, this family member took my writing sample to a professional editor, to prove that they were right in their assessment of my skill. When the editor finished, he looked up and said, “This is very good! There are several streams of writing styles that contribute to high-quality writing. Sally’s writing is in a very specific style, but it is highly effective in that genre.”
Many years later, after finishing a rough draft of one of my first books, I passed my first chapter of my first book manuscript on to my assigned editor. I had put my heart and soul into the writing, and felt very passionate about the message of the book. I can so clearly remember our conversation after that person finished my book. She emphatically said, “This is trash. I can’t believe you would think that this is worthwhile. It’s completely useless.”
At first I was tempted to be crushed and believe her, but after some thought, I regained the conviction that what I wrote was worthwhile. I remembered my experience with my family member many years before, and many other such encounters in the interim. When I wrote her back, I felt confident and resolute in replying, “You simply don’t appreciate either my style, or the content of my message. You don’t like me or my book, and from here on out, I would like to work with a different editor!” (The next editor was amazing, affirming and enthusiastic about my book, so her encouragement actually drew the best writing out of me.
God has given each of us a call upon our lives to trust in him and invest in righteousness, but only a few are able to both listen to His voice, and keep listening throughout all seasons of life. There are so many voices that speak into our lives that try to establish a sense of authority. Some are worth listening to, those who have earned the right to speak into our lives; but many are simply people who want to have power over our choices and convictions. It takes maturity to understand the balance between receiving input, and knowing our calling well enough to stick with our ideals.
I once had someone walk up to me after a seminar, and say, “You’re such a wonderful writer and speaker! How did you gain that excellence and win such a big audience so quickly?” I laughed when I replied, “It’s easy, it only took 20 years!”
As a mom, your convictions will be challenged by a culture that is permissive. Your children will sin and drive you crazy on a regular basis. You will be exhausted many of your years. There will be times when you think nothing you are doing matters, and that your life is invisible. Yet, the truth is, a child who has a committed mama is the most blessed child in the world. You are in a very active battle for the souls of your children, the next generation. Of course the world, and Satan would love for you to listen to voices of discouragement. But hold fast, keep going. You are God’s heroine, the one He has designed to civilize nations, And in due time, you will reap the vast reward of all of your faithful work.