Trust God And Do the Work

I was part of an interesting discussion on platform building in one of my Facebook writing groups. This particular group is populated by Christian bloggers so the discussion was mostly around promoting one’s work without promoting oneself. Many people said that they don’t promote but trust that God will put their words before the people who need to see them.

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Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Maybe it’s because, after four and a half years of blogging, I’ve recently decided to make more of a platform-y effort. For a variety of reasons, I want to start moving this from a pure hobby to the potential for something more. So, I’ve created things and followed steps and started plotting more intentional ways to engage with online communities.

About a month after I first started blogging, all the established and serious bloggers declared that blogging was dead and they were done. Similarly, about a month after I decided to start being more intentional about creating a platform, an established blogger-turned-author-and-podcaster declared that platform building is dead and that we just need to enjoy the work. I suppose if I had several popular books under my belt and a loyal and engaged following, I’d feel similarly.

Two things have come to mind from these recent experiences.

First, we are all on our own journies. I need to remember this in so many areas of my life. So, to the established and successful author, I say Yes! Stop building your platform! Sit back and enjoy the years of hard work! And to the new blogger, just getting the courage to take words from journal to a public space, I say Yes! Enjoy the process and don’t overthink it! (In fact, read this piece by Richard Beck on the anti-platform. I love his unique perspective because he never played the game.)

Second, trust God but do the work. As someone with perfectionistic tendencies, I like to practice. I didn’t mind blogging quietly for years before starting to get serious. But once I decided to get more serious, I appreciate people helping me understand what actual next steps are. And so now I’m taking methodical steps to do this next phase right. (Or as right as anything can be.) I love learning from those who know what they’re doing, especially in areas I don’t know anything about. I love having a plan and trying new things. I don’t think it means I’m any less trusting, but I’m learning that trust and hard work are not mutually exclusive.

In MOPS last week, we focused on Hebrews 12:1-3. The verses are about running the race set before us and keeping our eyes on Jesus. The part that hit home for me are verses 1b-2a,

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

I know that I’m taking this out of context – that it’s about a faith community and the idea of living out our faith. But I needed to hear this in my own writing journey, too. To remember that this race is marked out for me. That I don’t need to compare myself to the race others are running. I’m trusting that those markers make sense for my journey.

I’m thankful for the writers who have gone ahead – who have created platforms and systems that I can learn from. And I’m thankful for writers who are alongside me and who remind me that we’re all doing this a bit differently, and that’s what’s so beautiful about creative endeavors in the first place.

I feel like this is a conversation that goes beyond writing. How do we build our businesses and retain trust and integrity? How do we balance trust and hard work? What gives you inspiration?

26 thoughts on “Trust God And Do the Work

  1. I love the idea of praying to God to put our words before those who need them. Isn’t that why we do what we do? And isn’t that what keeps us going when the audience is small?

    Thanks for a great message! God bless!

  2. I love this, Annie! It resonates with exactly where I am in my own writing journey as well. A while back I heard this phrase which has deeply implanted into my brain: Worry about the depth and let God worry about the breadth. I like what you said about trusting God but also doing the work. I have to believe that if God wants people to read my words, then He will help me make that happen (huge platform or not). However, that doesn’t let me off the hook for the actual work and focus of my writing. Thanks for this read today!

    1. I’m so glad! I love that phrase… I sometimes wonder if, because we can’t find contentment through numbers, that’s why bigger bloggers (or whoever) get jaded? We realize that we need to keep our messages deep. And show up. 😉

  3. Hi Annie!

    This was an interesting read. It’s funny that you quote this common attitude among Christian bloggers:

    “Many people said that they don’t promote but trust that God will put their words before the people who need to see them.”

    To me, this is a highly naive approach to a very competitive industry. Bloggers with that approach will never get ahead if someone asks me – but no-one does, so I’ll move on in your blog post 🙂

    Many people say blogging is dead, but that’s not based on facts. Blogging is still a viable way to create an immense platform with a great following. Nevertheless, I believe it’s dead for those who create the kind of content, which used to work previously. I agree with other professional bloggers that that kind of blogging is dead.

    This was my favourite part of this particular blog post:

    “. . . I say Yes! Stop building your platform! Sit back and enjoy the years of hard work! And to the new blogger, just getting the courage to take words from journal to a public space, I say Yes! Enjoy the process and don’t overthink it!”

    You nailed it when you said, we all take our own paths. It’s a blessing following you on your blog and see the honesty you approach the industry with.

    Respect from me.

    I’ll share this on Twitter.

    God bless!
    Edna Davidsen

    1. This kind of went along with your post! You are so right – if we view this as a way to get our message into the world, then it is naive to sit back and not put in the work. I’m learning to lean into the balance… Thankful for those farther along the journey to help! 🙂

  4. I really enjoyed your blog today. It’s easy to compare our journeys with others. I’ve learned to glean from what others have done but not to try and be them. God has us on different journeys based on his plan for each of us.

    The more I pondered your post, I thought about how mighty our God is. The call to blog is ultimately his. He values his word getting out to others. Nothing we share concerning his word returns empty. We can trust that what he plans through our blogging will accomplish what he desires. But the accomplishment (platform) may look different for each of us. And that’s okay.

    1. Yes! I think it’s so important to learn from others. I appreciate those who are farther along the journey. But… When I start comparing, I lose sight. Thank you!

  5. I feel like I could talk about this for an hour! Every time I pick something else up to help grow my business someone says something about how it’s not working anymore so now try this new thing. I get overwhelmed and discouraged. I love your balanced thoughts! I need to try my best, trust God and have fun!

    1. Haha! It’s a lot, right? I’m learning to listen to those who understand where I’m at right now and to ignore (in all the best ways) those whose paths are too different. Such a tough balance to find!

  6. This is so good. I am in your exact shoes and I feel like God is telling me the same. For years, I wrote and just put it out on my social media page. I didn’t worry about networks or any of that, but lately God has been asking me to take it a few steps further. Sometimes, I do not see the results of the extra effort, but I know God has a specific purpose. Love this!

    1. Yes! I loved keeping blogging as a hobby. Until I felt that nudge… I’m learning that it’s ok to listen to God’s story for me, without worrying about others. (Easier said than done!)

  7. I love your point that we need to do the work. Obviously it’s God who determines our steps and knows what will succeed, but we can’t expect God to do the work for us! If that were the case, we wouldn’t have these talents for specific areas. Great thoughts here!

    1. I think that’s what makes me uncomfortable – when the implied message is that we sit back and let God take over. I trust and listen but also recognize that I have responsibility, too.

  8. I love your reply just above my comment here! We’re juxtaposed between surrender to God’s, hands-off sort of mentality because of fear of self-promotion and on the other hand, God saying to us, do this, I created it for you to carry out…do this, take steps towards my will for you.

    I sat in church on Sunday as the pastor mentioned upcoming nominations and since our church is small, I anticipated being asked if I would continue the three things I do. For the first time, I decided I’ll stick with my no because I knew I’d be heading home to finish a piece about a pregnancy care center, and, my calendar had other articles waiting for my regular submission.

    I decided, this is my tool, my talent, my witness, my offering…and I’m ready to follow God’s lead. Thank you for the links to the platform info…much needed.

    1. It is so hard to say no, isn’t it? And yet, in order to do really good things, we have to say no to other really good things. Trusting that our nos are glorifying can be tough… Glad you confidently listened to all God has already given you!

  9. Hmm.. I don’t know. I happen to be a little discouraged today. It’s funny my husband reminds me similarly – do the work and leave the results up to God.

    It’s hard though, when results are almost nothing, not to wonder if you are wasting your efforts. I suppose a little good – if just a few benefit – it’s worth the effort?

    1. I think that’s why I get discouraged, too. I trust God and I follow all the rules and there are still so many days when the numbers don’t add up. I’m learning to not look at the stats (as much) and take a longer term vision but it’s hard! In this with you!

  10. Saw you on the FMFparty list and stopped by. This post piqued my interest and this line: “To remember that this race is marked out for me. That I don’t need to compare myself to the race others are running. I’m trusting that those markers make sense for my journey.”

    I am thankful that God is showing me more and more as I abide in Him that the journey is ordained by Him and His will is for me to trust, obey, and heed the call He has for me. Without looking over my shoulder, or measuring success on a scale of numbers that are fickle, that change from one day to another. Numbers may mean much to all, but to God, if we reach one with His message, that is enough and substantial! Thanks, Annie for this honest post.

    1. Yes! I so often play the comparison game and I’m learning to use the experience of others as a guide but to ultimately trust my own path. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. We’ve been told that in the end, faithfulness is all that’s required of us. It must be true. Thanks for sharing, Annie. Blessings to you.

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